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“A bright and auspicious debut. She swings, is confident and has an engaging delivery. What’s not to like?” John Martin, Jazz Rag
“A very classy debut.” Dave Gelly - The Observer
“Mellow and stylish” Clive Davis - Sunday Times
"Unsung heroine of British Jazz - the lucid warmth of her singing is accompanied by her highly accomplished piano playing" The Jazz Mann
"This first recording could just mark the beginning of much deserved recognition." Alan Barnes
The idea of a show featuring the work of pianist singers such as Nina Simone, Eliane Elias, Diana Krall, Blossom Dearie came from the meeting of minds of the band members; but who could produce such a performance?
There are few pianists in jazz today that can step up to the mark of singing whilst playing and rather than simply accompanying themselves, can exhibit superb technical and harmonic ability at the piano. Wendy is that pianist singer.
Joined by the superb guitar talents of Pat Sprakes who was asked by Darius Brubeck to join his band on tour in Nottingham; Paul Jefferies who is a founder member of Gypsy Fire and Ben Holder Quartet; Stevie Smith who is a consummate professional drummer who has drummed with Blur on their iconic 90s tours. Amongst them they have performed with jazz luminaries including Jim Mullen, Bobby Shew, Dave O' Higgins, Jean Toussaint, Bruce Adams, Alan Barnes, The Matthew Herbert Big Band, Tony Kofi, Nigel Price, Phil Robson.
The album has enjoyed overwhelmingly positive feedback from national media...
• Airplay on Helen Mayhew’s JazzFM show on 29th March 2018
• Airplay on Clare Teal’s BBC Radio 2 show on 7th Jan 2018
• A slot at Pizza Express in London on 25th November 2017
• Album of the week April and December 2017 on The Jazz UK radio plus ongoing weekly airplay
• Airplay (continuing) on 50+ worldwide stations including BBC, US and Canadian stations
• Reviews in The Observer (4 stars), Independent, Jazzwise magazine, Jazz Journal - incoming
• A UK/EU distribution deal from Discovery Records. They have placed Piano Divas in Ray’s Jazz in London, Amazon.co.uk and HMV amongst others.
Wendy sings and plays tunes from the Great American Songbook plus Latin and groove numbers. Having worked with jazz greats including Alan Barnes, Jim Mullen, Roger Beaujolais and BBC Jazz Award winner Karen Sharp, Wendy is a firmly established UK jazz artist.
“Proper jazz piano, excellent band. A very classy debut” – Dave Gelly, The Observer "Refreshing tribute to pianist singers like herself: Diana Krall, Nina Simone, Eliane Elias" - Jazzwise "Mellow and stylish" - Clive Davis, The Sunday Times "One of the great unsung heroines of British jazz. The lucid warmth of her singing is accompanied by her highly accomplished piano playing." The JazzMann "This first recording could just mark the beginning of much deserved recognition." Alan Barnes "Wendy is proof that great musicians are alive and kicking all around the UK and that they don’t have to be products of our music colleges to create high quality, entertaining music." Jim Mullen "I’ve had the pleasure of playing music with Wendy & Pat a few times & their relaxed attitude & superb musicianship means I always look forward to the next time!" Roger Beaujolais Wendy's musical career began at age 8, when she started taking piano lessons. She won a scholarship to have all her lessons paid for by Derbyshire Music, and continued to take her ABRSM piano grades. Switching to jazz in her late teens, Wendy continued her playing career as a dance class pianist, accompanist to singers and as a keyboardist in club bands. After being persuaded to sing by a great friend and guitarist, Bill McCreath, Wendy learned to reach people who are perhaps turned off by instrumental jazz, as she learnt to communicate with the audience through the songs. Wendy's voice has been likened to Blossom Dearie with hints of Diana Krall. Her influences range from Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald through Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly to Chick Corea, Eliane Elias and Michel Petrucciani. Current projects include Piano Divas, a tribute to the female pianist singers of jazz; hammond organ jazz outfit Organik Fource featuring Pat Sprakes on guitar and guest saxophonist; Organik Trio Goes To The Movies and The Organik Cookbook celebrating the early soul-jazz albums of George Benson. Wendy is married to jazz guitarist and bass player Pat Sprakes. They met by chance on a gig and have been making music together ever since.
See 8 tour dates featuring Wendy Kirkland
UK established jazz guitarist who cut his teeth working with Tony Kofi in the 1990s. He was selected by Darius Brubeck to perform as part of his quartet based on a live performance. He performed for US superstar guitarist Robben Ford around the same time. Since then, Pat has been working with artists such as Wendy Kirkland, Alan Barnes, Jim Mullen, Karen Sharp, Nigel Price and has performed at clubs and festivals throughout the UK such as Brecon, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Pershore, Marsden, and more.
See 8 tour dates featuring Pat Sprakes
Paul Jefferies is an accomplished bassist and teacher based in Oxfordshire, England. He is bassist with the Rob Terry Trio, The Ben Holder Quartet, Gypsy Fire and his own trio ‘Tantrum’ featuring Tommaso Starace. Paul teaches students of all levels from beginner to very accomplished (and even well known) performers. Paul was one of the founders of the successful Oxford Jazz Festival, he currently operates ‘Jazz-on-Tap’, Moreton-in-Marsh and Witney jazz clubs and has made a name for himself as an active and successful promoter of music and musicians.
See Paul Jefferies tour dates