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Issue 1084

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London Jazz Festival 2012 preview

B&S London Jazz News 2012
B&S London Jazz News 2012

It's time for London Jazz Festival again folks, and in time honoured tradition it kicks of with Jazz Voice on the 9th of November at the Barbican. Last year saw Gregory Porter storm it with an orchestral version of "1960 What?" And Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa, giving Grace Jones a run for her money in the fashion stakes, soaring up to the heavens above with Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come."

This year will see Imelda May join Grammy-award winning vocalist Patti Austin and jazz-soul diva Juliet Roberts  to complete a stellar line-up of vocal talent on the opening night of the London Jazz Festival 2012.

A born performer Imelda May has been hailed by the Guardian as âthe closest thing to a superstar the roots/rock scene has produced this century.â Decorated with superlatives, she drew early inspiration from the blues of Elmore James and the raw emotion of Billie Holiday (âI heard Billie Holiday, and that blew my mind.â) With a style forged from a distinctive fusion of blues and rockabilly that wouldnât be out of place in a David Lynch film, sheâs gone from strength to strength, performing with Jools Holland, Jamie Cullum and Jeff Beck, and, with the release of three mega selling albums, has emerged a major recording talent â âa sassy retro singer who can mix sultry exquisite ballads with flat-out rock and rollâ The Independent.

One of todayâs top jazz voices, Grammy-award winning singer Patti Austin made her debut at the legendary Apollo Harlem at the tender age of four and fifty-seven years later, is a firmly established vocal star. With a lifetime of chart-topping records, a string of awards to her name, plus a star-studded list of collaborators that includes Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Roberta Flack and Luther Vandross, Austin returns to London for yet another glittering performance.
 
Juliet Roberts was the voice of internationally famed British jazz-dance group Working Week through the '80s â their first recording, "Working Nights", is due for long-overdue re-release in late October.- a welcome return to the London Jazz Festival for one of this countryâs most assured jazz and soul singers.

Actor, writer and comedian John Sessions will host the evening â which celebrates the art of the jazz vocal through a series of musical anniversaries, all linked to the year 2012.

Guy Barker provides consummate arrangements and dynamic leadership of the 40 piece London Jazz Festival Orchestra - in an evening which features, already announced vocalists; Brendan Reilly, Claire Martin, Gwyneth Herbert, Junior Giscombe and Natalie Duncan - who together complete a stellar launch to the 20th London Jazz Festival.

For full concert listings please visit the Festival website londonjazzfestival.org.uk

Below, London Jazz Festival attendee Natalie Duncan in action...
Words Emrys Baird

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