... this was always going to be Sue Parish’s night, a precedence that neither Hotcha!-who were superb accompanists- nor a decent house peppered with many old friends and fans would begrudge. She’s long flared a path for jazz singing in the North West and beyond: graced many a KJC meet with warmth, taste and abiding talent. So the Club was proud to host this, her final performance for the time being.Few artistes can boast a more catholic playlist, but tonight was about the classic standard repertoire. ‘Familiar’ doesn’t always mean ‘easy’: ascending ‘The Nearness of You’ must be plotted carefully but here and elsewhere, Sue marshaled her considerable vocal technique with time served assurance and excellent diction. There were a few songs less travelled including two ‘At All’ numbers. ‘All or…’ famous in an early Sinatra recording with the octave leapt finale and ‘No Moon…’from the 40’s -seek out versions by Ella and Mel Tormé. The Gershwins’ ‘Little Jazz Bird’ came complete with verse-many singers chained to their fake books, seem unaware such things exist- and some ‘guiltily pleasurable’ whistling.Before an apparently unplanned encore was demanded, the final scheduled number was ‘Just One of the Those Things.’ But it wasn’t, Sue. It was something rather special.

Ben Goodman reviewing Kendal Jazz Club performance
with Jon Moore, Alan Pill, Heath Lavery and Ed Harrison 8th August 2017.

… right from the opening bars of ‘Secret Love’ I knew we were in for a good night. Interestingly, that proved to be the first of only 5 or 6 well-known standards spread across Sue’s two sets.The remaining fifteen or so numbers were little-heard gems from composers of the 30s to 70s, from which I’ll only mention my personal favourites:  the sad bar-room song ‘ I Keep Going Back to Joe’s’, Hoagy’s lovely ‘Memphis in June’, and, best of all, ‘Harlem Nocturne, usually heard as a big-band instrumental.   Full marks for originality, Sue.

And the jazz content was very high, with the leader in good voice, bending notes and reshaping melodies like a good-un…

Bruce Carnaffin, reviewing Kendal Jazz Club performance
with Tony Ormesher, Frank Grime, Phil Bennett  8 March 2016.

“For the second time in the past six months, vocalist Sue Parish made the long journey down from Lancaster to perform for us last night – it’s not often that we invite an artiste to North Wales twice in such a short time but Sue’s extremely fine performance in St Asaph in May easily won her a slot in our autumn programme, this time in Wrexham, at Llay’s Royal British Legion – and what a consummate professional she is! Whether performing with her trio, and Sue always picks the best, this time pianist Paul Kilvington, with Ed Harrison and Danny Ward on double bass and drums, or sharing the stage with big-toned saxophonist Dean Masser, Sue’s delivery was flawless, and with another extremely varied programme of great numbers she drew plaudits from our discerning jazz audience. To sum up, another evening of sheer bliss.”

Maureen Hopkins, Director, North Wales Jazz. 7 October 2015

“In 2009 I got the agreement of Hornby Village trust to back me in promoting jazz here in our newly refurbished Village Institute.

I didn`t have to think twice about who to ask to kick us off: Sue Parish I knew, and her singing, and that she had a following, also she knows whom to engage to back her for any given occasion. Being new to my role one worry remained: I felt I was competing with the `freeby` pub scene; would people pay to see her and the band? As it turned my fears were groundless; on that first November evening they came in droves, as the clock ticked towards eight Jim, our institute manager was jamming extra chairs in at the back. We were full. I sat near the front, overwhelmed by the continual applause. It was a tremendous performance. At the end, before I could reach Sue, Jim had her signed up for the following year.

Since then Sue has been back annually a further six times and is booked again for this coming November 2016. It`s the one gig where I don`t have any worry about the audience turning up.

Sue doesn`t do ‘easy’; she enjoys a challenge, her repertoire expands and extends, every year the set list includes new and exciting items. Lastly, she is a most unselfish band leader and gives them plenty of space to do their thing.

Sam Ashton; Jazz in Hornby

“We booked Sue Parish and her band for a charity dinner and they judged the performances brilliantly, moving seamlessly from a quieter ‘background’ set while we were eating to a more lively second set after dinner. They were entertaining and contributed greatly to the evening, while also entering into the spirit of the entire event with a well-judged repertoire that very well received by the audience. We look forward to booking them again as we know Sue will make it a great night.”

Christopher May
Chair of Arkholme Village Hall Entertainments Group
regarding  event October 2015

“We both thought you excelled yourself last night.  Your rendition of Monterey was absolutely brilliant. I have never heard better and I have a library of over 30,000 tunes on my computer. You were really great. Thanks for the show.”

J L Wilson (audience member) re performance at Stockport Plaza
in June 2015 as guest vocalist with the Palm Court Orchestra

“An immaculate performance from vocalist Sue Parish at our St Asaph venue, the Farmers Arms, last night – not surprisingly, Sue’s use of her three octave vocal range and her repertoire of glorious numbers from the Great American Songbook, classic bossa novas and little-known but beautiful melodies won her warm applause. Sue’s accompaniment by three of the North West’s best, Andrzej Baranek, Frank Grime and Eryl Roberts on keyboards, double bass and drums, and the addition of North Wales’s own Liam Byrne, a young player with a growing reputation as a torchbearer of the jazz tenor sax tradition, to the bill, all helped make this an enormously enjoyable evening.”

Maureen Hopkins, Director, North Wales Jazz. 28 May 2015

“I really can’t tell you how much your music contributed to last night. The evening has been judged to be a great success and everyone has mentioned you.  Thanks so much.”

Liz Dean, Chair, Friends of Williamson Park
Re solo concert performance in Williamson Park Feburary 2015

“We have travelled around 400 miles just to hear you sing and I’m sure that’ll benearer 4000 before the c(l)ogs wear out.  If that doesn’t say you’re something special, I don’t know  what will.”

Geordie jazz fan (private email 2014, quoted with permission)

“Sue Parish: Truly versatile, and a natural entertainer with a fabulous voice.”

Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club 2014

“Micky Newbury’s “American Trilogy” has a blues lullaby section which the choir invited Lancaster’s jazz diva Sue Parish to sing. Her distinctive voice cut through the mellow male voices to spine-tingling effect.”

July 2012 – Geoffrey Bolton reviewing
Lancaster District Male Voice Choir Concert

Brilliant jazz singer, Sue Parish presenteou-nos ao incluir bossa nova em seu repertório. Ela cantou a versão em inglês de “Chega de Saudade” (No More Blues), acompanhada dos musicos Andrzej Baranak e Frank Grime. Um grande momento em Lancaster.

Apr 2012 – Brazilian audience member  Cirilo Braga visiting Lancaster

“It was a very special evening – you and Paul were simply amazing, so a very big thank you”

July 2011 Adrian Thiedman, promoter,
Jazz and Cocktails event at Brockhole, Windermere

“We wanted to tell you just how much we enjoyed having you and the band play at our wedding. The band you put together were super and a number of guests have said how much they enjoyed the music. I’ve been singing our wedding songs ever since!”

Jenny and Mike Fisher May 2011
Wedding at Netherwood Hotel, Grange Over Sands

Best Jazz Singer is without doubt Sue Parish, sophistication personified, quietly bringing together jazz musicians of quality for events from trio at The Gillow to full concert onslaught at Hornby Institute.

Sue Seddon, arts commentator:
Lancaster Best of 2010 Music and Performance Awards

Thank you so much for your involvement in our Wedding day. The music was just perfect and lots of people commented on how good it was.

Sarah and Danny (Mr & Mrs Jones!) July 2010
at the Storrs Hall Hotel, Cumbria

Sue Parish delighted us with a scintillating performance this month, and us turned out to be a very healthy crowd of 60 plus. Her accompanying trio, as forecast, really turned up the heat in the kitchen, but Sue gave us ample proof that she could stand it in a carefully chosen selection of twenties- to-fifties standards and rarities.

Bruce Carnaffin Chair, Kendal Jazz Club March 2010

… in 60 years of listening to jazz nothing tops your rendering of Duke`s `Sophisticated Lady`, let alone all the other songs you did”.

Sam Ashton, Jazz promoter, Hornby, Lancashire, October 2009.