I reached my largest ever audience last week… although I couldn’t see any of them. I did a live broadcast for BBC Radio Lancashire, chatting to broadcaster Sally Naden and performing four songs. Which was great fun, despite the odd slip of the fingers in the heat of the moment. If you’re curious, and looking at this within 30 days of the broadcast, you’ll find a link below that you can listen to. I’m in the last hour, so you can slide the counter along to about 1:35
Goodness. Halfway through April already….
But that’s okay, because nice things coming up soon include a return visit to Zeffirellis in Ambleside with Ed Harrison and his trio colleagues Robin Joiner and Hugh Lawrence on Saturday 14th May. And, by way of a contrast, I’ll be live on the airwaves on my tod, when I do a solo guest performance on Radio Lancashire the day before. More details of all of these, and lots of other things now up on the gigs page. It would be great to see you at any of these if you’re free.
I’m pleased to say that this year’s solo performance at Lancaster’s astonishingly beautiful Ashton Memorial raised a thousand pounds (exact total awaited) for the Friends of Williamson Park, as well as being a lot of fun. There’s a nice video of last year’s gig here or you can find a shorter version on You tube if you’re pushed for time…, which will give you an idea of the atmosphere….
A couple of nice gigs coming up in the next couple of months. This coming Tuesday 8th March I’ll be back at Kendal Jazz Club. A while since I’ve done this gig, so I’m looking forward to singing for the members and guests again. Further details here: Kendal Jazz Club.
And then, on Friday April 15th, I’m delighted to be back at the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster’s Williamson Park for a solo vocal/piano performance. I’ll be the guest of the Friends of the Park, who are raising funds for specialised play equipment for children with disabilities. The Ashton is an amazing and atmospheric building, and playing there last year was a real treat, so I’m looking forward to doing it again. I’ll be including lots of Spring songs in the set, and the admission price includes refreshments. Further information on the adjacent poster (which you can click on to see more detail), or visit Friends Of Williamson Park
And in the meantime, I’ll also be doing all my regular local sessions at the Robert Gillow in Lancaster, where I’m often to be found on Tuesday evenings, Wednesday teatimes and Saturday mornings…. See Gigs page for further information.
January. Yay! With the solstice over I’m starting to think about what to do next. I’ve just been trawling through some live recordings and put a few up on my new Jazz page, and also different examples on the Listen page. So if you’ve got a moment to spare, please do listen and let me know what you think. There’s some amazing instrumental work on the jazz songs from some of my wonderful colleagues, so I do recommend them.
I’ve also started adding dates to the diary, – more to come shortly.
And (modest fanfare….) my main focus this year is on finally recording a proper album, featuring some of my favourite songs from over the years. I’m grateful to the supportive friends and audience members who’ve badgered me into getting this project started, and I’m making this little announcement so I can’t change my mind!
Hope to see you at a gig somewhere. Happy New Year!
Nearly at the turning of the year, thank heavens. And I’m starting to think about new projects, which I’ll share more of in January. In the meantime, I’m pleased to be doing a final run of local gigs at the Robert Gillow, including a gig with the wonderful Andrzej Baranek and Ed Harrison on Tuesday 15th December.
And also a shift to a new mid-week spot on Wednesdays from 5pm – 7.30pm:
I’ve played the piano at Lancaster’s Robert Gillow pub every Friday for several years now, and have really enjoyed having a regular work-out at the keys. The sessions have been increasingly well-attended by end-of-the week relaxing folk, which I’ve been glad about. But I’m now really enjoying singing as well as playing, and it seems sensible to do that in a slightly more gentle atmosphere than the occasionally boisterous Fridays. So I’m taking on the Wednesday slot at the pub (again from 5 to 7.30) instead, and will be at the keys and microphone there every week from now on. It would be lovely to have your company, whether you want to listen or just unwind with a book, a friend, a coffee, a beer or a treble gin and tonic depending on how your week is going!
I’m not normally a “chirpy in the morning” kind of woman. So it has come as something of a surprise to me that I’ve greatly enjoyed doing a series of Jazz Breakfast gigs at my Lancaster base The Robert Gillow. Starting at 10am and running to midday, these sessions have been an opportunity to make some laid back music, explore new material, and offer a suitably relaxed and subtle environment for customers wanting to imbibe a coffee and fuel up for the day. Initially conceived as part of the Lancaster Jazz Festival, the breakfast gigs have become a regular feature of the Gillow’s weekly music schedule. I’m likely to be there most Saturday mornings until Christmas, sometimes solo, but more commonly singing with guitarist Jon Moore. Full details are on the gigs page.
At the other end of the day, 20th November also brings my favourite annual concert gig in Hornby, with Paul Kilvington, Ed Harrison and Hugh Lawrence. Plus a first visit to The Boathouse in Windermere on 27th with Jon Moore, and a Winter Dinner jazz event at Stockport Plaza on 28th November, with the musical assistance of Vinny Parker, Dave Turner, Nigel Cretney and Harold Salisbury.
Whether you’re an owl or a lark, it would be great to see you!
Well, actually that second bit’s not true (although I will be playing with marvellous saxophonist Dean Masser a couple of times in the coming months…)
But I am about to embark on a bunch of nice Autumn gigs, including a solo slot at Morecambe’s sensational vintage festival this weekend, return dates to the Plaza at Stockport and North Wales Jazz, and my annual concert at Hornby Village Hall. Plus plenty of gigs at my Lancaster second home the Robert Gillow, and a North West Air Ambulance fundraiser out in the Lune Valley at the lovely Arkholme Village hall.
As always, I’m honoured to be working with many of the Northwests very finest jazz players, and you’ll find further details of all gigs and personnel here.
Well the previously mentioned Boaters and Blazers event in Williamson Park went better than my wildest expectations, and as you can see above we had glorious weather. You can see some more pics and an account of the day here:
However, I’ve now given back the megaphone… and am returning to more contemporary approaches to sound amplification. I’ll be back in front of the microphone at the end of July in three places with my longstanding and excellent musical colleague, pianist Eileen Guppy, so please do come and say hello at one of our gigs, which you’ll find on the Gig Calendar. I’ll also be back at Stockport Plaza towards the end of August for another jazz cafe outing in the beautiful dining room.
And in the meantime, I hope you have a lovely, and not too damp Summer….
… So here we are past the Solstice. Which must mean it’s about time for me to get together for my annual set of gigs with long time collaborator Eileen Guppy, a wonderful pianist, arranger and friend. We’ll be doing gigs in Lancaster, Garstang and Eccles at the begining and end of July, and you’ll find further information on the gigs page.
I’m also having another session with Andrzej Baranek and Frank Grime on 14th July, and when I’m not singing my head off through a microphone I’ll be bellowing Edwardian classics through a megaphone accompanied by dozens of ukuleles for an event I’m running in Lancaster’s Williamson Park on 19th July. More information about Boaters and Blazers here:
I’m back at the wonderful Stockport Plaza this Saturday 6th June, for a very special gig. I’m honoured to be be a guest vocalist with the refined and lovely Palm Court Orchestra as part of an evening of Cine-Variety in the spectacular main auditorium. You’ll find more information about the event here.
The Plaza is such a special and glamorous place, and this event is part of an “Anything Goes” weekend celebrating everything about its Art Deco heyday. Plus you get to see vintage film stars in togas…..Do come along and find out more!