Because I’m in love with songs and songwriters, and how the good ones distill human experience into three minutes of music.  I’m still excited about discovering new material.  I’m still curious and learning about what my voice (and other people’s) can do.  And I’m fascinated by melodies and harmony, from simple pop tunes to the challenges of the jazz repertoire.

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Live at the Dukes Theatre, Lancaster. Photo: George Coupe.

And mainly I live for live performance, including taking musical risks and seeing what happens.  There are very few recordings of me, because I love the immediacy and intensity of being in front of an audience, and don’t like the self-conscious process of having to faff about in a studio or listen back to something that’s over.  However you can hear a few clips here.  But please, if you want to know more, check out the gigs I’m doing and come and see me.  Live music needs you to keep it happening.

A Bit of Background

JazzBistro6smallI was lucky in having a piano teacher grandma.  She immersed me in classical repertoire from when I could barely clamber onto the piano stool until my teens, when I rebelled and starting playing boogie woogie and pops. The piano, and music, have been part of my life ever since.  I’m immensely grateful to my grandma.  I didn’t realise, until it was too late to say a proper thank you, that she had built the foundations for the rest of my now very happy life.

I discovered singing rather later,  when I found myself joining in with recordings of Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Blossom Dearie, Anita O’Day, Peggy Lee and Carmen McRae.  And also (once my prog-rock phase was out of the way….) learning about singer songwriters like Carole King, Suzanne Vega, Janis Ian and many more.  I’ve spent the last twenty years working on understanding my voice and developing what I can do with it.  I think I’m getting there…

I started sitting in with local groups, and eventually I was invited to front a band (to my delight and astonishment).  I began  working in lots of different formats, and bookings expanded until I had to gradually let go of other roles.  So now music is what I do all the time.  Lucky me.