Of all the singing I do, the thing closest to my heart is jazz.

Quite a lot of gigs I do are as a vocal/piano/bass trio, because it’s small, joyously flexible and fits in a bar easily and economically.  And when there’s room, (financially and/or spatially…) I enjoy the extra energy and texture provided by a drummer.  I sometimes share front line duties with saxophonists, including recent band guests Dean Masser, Liam Byrne and Harold Salisbury.    I’ve even done odd performances with full 1930s orchestras.  But for preference, I’m definitely in the “small is beautiful” camp from a band point of view.


With Frank Grime and Paul Kilvington at the Grand, Clitheroe.


End of the night! Cheerfully post-concert at Hornby, Lancashire, with Hugh Lawrence, Paul Kilvington, Frank Grime.

I’m lucky to sing regularly with some wonderful longstanding musical colleagues, including pianists Andrzej Baranek and Paul Kilvington, bassists Frank Grime and Ed Harrison and drummers Hugh Lawrence and Andy Smith.  As well as lots of others over the years – too many to list here, but I’m grateful to them all.


I’ve performed in duo, trio, quartet and quintet format at many of the NorthWest’s established jazz clubs and festivals, including those at Keswick, Kendal, Manchester, Lancaster, Ribble Valley and North Wales, many of these being regular engagements.


The material I tackle ranges from classic American standards, and bossa nova through to be-bop  tunes and the occasional pop song given a jazz twist.   My initial inspirations were Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O-Day, Carmen McRae,  Nina Simone and Blossom Dearie.  Later I was drawn to more recent UK based performers such as Norma Winstone, Claire Martin and Liane Carroll.  But I hope, of course, in the end to sound like myself, not like other people, however inspirational.

Sue Parish-5I love having the freedom to take a lyric and explore its meaning, phrasing, melody and harmony.  To choose an old or a new song and see how it can be re-presented.   To play with a ballad at a gentle pace – or drive it at breakneck speed and see what happens.  To wonder “How would it be if…?”  or ask the band “What shall we try with this one?” and then take up the resulting challenge…

Forthcoming dates for all the things I do in public are on the gigs page.

As for what it sounds like – below are some basic live recordings captured at gigs over the last few years.   Quality of sound has been reduced for streaming.

Joy Spring (Clifford Brown)
with Sue Parish (vox), Paul Kilvington (keys), Frank Grime (bass), Hugh Lawrence (drums).
Joy Spring

Get Out of Town (Porter)
with Sue Parish (vox), Andrzej Baranek (keys), Frank Grime (bass), Hugh Lawrence (drums).
Get Out of Town

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Kern/Harbach)
with Sue Parish (vox), Paul Kilvington (keys), Frank Grime (bass), Hugh Lawrence (drums).
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Just One of Those Things (Porter)
with Sue Parish (vox), Andrzej Baranek (keys), Frank Grime (bass), Hugh Lawrence (drums).
Just One Of Those Things