Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Bowie, Bath and Beyond

Masonic Hall

It's been a quiet couple of months as far as performances go but things are going to be picking up in the spring.

Lots of exciting gigs planned.  I'm back with more Bond to Bowie in a return visit to Saffron Hall where we had lots of fun last year with Family Jazz All Stars.  And speaking of Family Jazz, I'll be featured once again with this project for two shows at Norwich Playhouse for the Norwich & Norfolk Festival in May.  Looking forward to playing with my fabulous all star band again.  Here's an interview that I did about the show before last year's performance.

28 April - Bond to Bowie (with Jennifer Carr), Saffron Hall
13 May - Family Jazz All-Stars, Norwich Playhouse, Norfolk & Norwich Festival

And at the end of May I'll be working on a new project with the excellent performance poet/spoken word artist Zena Edwards for the Bath Festival.   We'll be performing songs around the themes of our past, present, future and what it means to be a thinking and feeling person in an increasingly self-centred, "post-truth" world.  The show will take place in the beautiful Masonic Hall at the Old Theatre Royal, a setting that will make this debut performance even more special.

22 May - New Meetings: Juliet Kelly & Zena Edwards, Masonic Hall, Bath Festival

In the summer, gigs will be happening in Oxford, London and possibly Italy!  I will keep you posted.



Friday, 23 December 2016

2016 has been an interesting year...

With Brexit in the UK followed by Donald Trump in the US, it's certainly been an "interesting" year...

There have been ups and downs -  a couple of the ups being my trip to Crete in July to perform at their jazz festival with the amazing Dimitri Vassilakis and getting back on the rural road with my new Bond to Bowie show in the autumn.  The tour included return visits to a couple of village halls that I had performed at as part of my first ever rural tour with my Divas of Jazz show.  Once again, we had a great time visiting these gorgeous parts of the country.  And we also got a great review for the show in Cotherstone.  Read it here.

Performing in Crete with Dimitri Vassilakis Quartet


Middleton & Todridge Village Hall


Whittingham Memorial Institute


Lund Village Hall


Kirton in Lindsey Town Hall


Beverley Minster - We stayed in beautiful Beverley for the last leg of the tour



Swanland Village Hall - looking Christmassy


A lovely note received after the show in Swanland from a 12-year-old audience member!


I also got the chance to try my hand at being a presenter/host for some of the London Jazz Festival shows.  Really enjoyed it and hope to be doing more of this, alongside any radio presenting opportunities that my come up.

Next year I'm looking forward to appearing at more festivals and possibly some performances in Germany too.  Watch this space!

Until then, here's a video of my song "Little Things".  Happy Holidays!
















Thursday, 13 October 2016

Back on the Rural Road


Middleton Village Hall

The debut performance for Bond to Bowie took place in the same village hall in Dufton as the debut performance of Celebrating the Divas of Jazz.  Once again it was a great success!  We had so much fun playing some of my favourite songs - songs which turned out to be favourites of many in the audience too,  And it was wonderful to work with Jennifer Carr again who until recently I hadn't performed with for over 10 years!  We also had some great audiences in Frosterly, Middleton and Whittingham.

There are still 6 more shows to come and I can't wait to sing those songs again and visit more tucked away, beautiful rural parts of the UK.

Sat 15-Oct-16 Amble Parish Hall, Northumberland NE65 0DX
Sun 16-Oct-16 Cotherstone Village Hall, County Durham DL12 9PG
Fri 28-Oct 7.30 Lund Village Hall, Yorkshire YO25 9TF
Sat 29 Oct - Broughton Hall, Brigg, North Lincolnshire DN20 0JG
Thu 01-Dec-16 Kirton in Lindsey Town Hall, North Lincolnshire DN21 4LZ
Fri 02-Dec-16 8.00 Winteringham Village Hall, North Lincolnshire DN15 9NN
Sat 03-Dec-16 7.30 Swanland Village Hall, Yorkshire HU14 3QR
Sun 04-Dec-16 8.00 Bishop Burton Village Hall, Yorkshire HU17 8QJ

Saturday, 30 July 2016

New Show - Bond to Bowie: Songs of Stage & Screen



So excited about my new show!  After focusing on novels for my last album, I got to thinking about my favourite songs from cinema, stage and television.  I'll be touring this new show around the village halls of Northumberland, Yorkshire and Cumbria in September and October.  There'll also be a London show at the Elgar Room at Royal Albert Hall on 6 October. 


Bond to Bowie: Songs of Stage & Screen

Juliet Kelly is one of UK jazz’s hidden treasures.  Gifted with a beautiful, expressive voice, she is also a talented, highly original songwriter, who draws on a diverse set of influences and has performed with the likes of Courtney Pine, Seb Rochford and Talvin Singh.  She has appeared at clubs and festivals throughout the UK and Europe and opened for legendary artists such as Georgie Fame and Take 6. 

After several successful tours of her show "Celebrating the Divas of Jazz", the acclaimed singer and songwriter now shines a spotlight on her favourite songs from stage and screen. Bringing her warm personality and a jazzy flavour to the songs from classic movies, musicals and tv shows, Juliet will take you on a whistle-stop tour through the ages of musical entertainment.

"One of those rare singers that tells a genuine story with her music, through her passionate performance and naturally warm voice, it's a beguiling combination that's hard to resist. One of the UK's finest singers in any genre" TIME OUT

"The nuanced warmth of Kelly's rich, full voice is streets ahead of most of her contemporaries."  BBC MUSIC

www.julietkelly.com


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Birmingham, Birthdays and Baileys

Photo by Brian Homer taken at Birmingham Jazz in Sep 2015
Birmingham

I am so looking forward to performing in Birmingham again!  I was there last Autumn with my Spellbound Stories project and I'm back again this Sunday with Celebrating the Divas of Jazz. We'll be appearing as part of Birmingham Jazz's Legends of Jazz Festival.  In anticipation of this I did an interview with Peter Bacon's excellent Jazz Breakfast blog.  He asked some really tough questions and really made me think.  My favourite part of was when he asked me what I thought about standards given that I mostly write and record my own material.  I replied:

"I think classic songs are loved by many and will always be relevant. The wonderful thing about jazz is that the standards are like a beautiful piece of fabric that each musician gets to make into a unique garment. Some keep it simple, some come up with high fashion concepts that everyone admires but no-one will ever wear. Fashions change but beautiful music and clothes can always be appreciated."

Read the full interview here.

I'm also very excited to be taking part in the first ever Festival of Voice in Cardiff in June.  I'll be supporting Hugh Masekela at the New Theatre on 7 June.  Tickets here.

Birthdays

It was my birthday earlier this month.  I usually celebrate my birthweek (one day is much too short!)  I got some lovely gifts and one of the highlights was going to see Rambert at Sadler's Wells.  They performed three separate dance pieces with the themes, "murder, mystery and a party"!  Anyone who's been to see Spellbound Stories will know how much the themes of murder and mystery influenced my project and of course I love a party!  My favourite section was the "party" piece Itzik Galili’s A Linha Curva - "a spectacular, sexy, percussion-fuelled explosion of samba-flavoured dance".  I don't often go to see dance performances so it was a rare and enjoyable treat.

Baileys

My birthday gifts included a bottle of the Limited Edition Baileys Chocolat Luxe. Mmmmmmmm!  I LOVE Baileys and am quite a fan of chocolate too so can you imagine my delight at discovering the nectar that is the two of these delicious ingredients combined?  Their marketing department describes it as the "ultimate decadent drinking experience".  I concur.  And I'll just say again... mmmmmmm!  Cheers!





Friday, 18 March 2016

Women's Day Debut (& Family Jazz All Stars is Back!)



Photo by Steven Cropper


International Women's Day was the ideal opportunity for me to showcase a new group made up of three female musicians!  It was such fun to work with the creative talents of Tori Freestone (sax) and Alcyona Mick (piano) and our debut performance at The Vortex on 8 March was very much a success.  We chose songs written about women, for women or by women and the overarching theme was love.  The set included originals by the individual members of the band plus a varied mix of other material that included tunes from Thelonius Monk and Joni Mitchell.  Hopefully there'll be more from us in the future.  Watch this space...

And Family Jazz All Stars is back!  We're performing at the beautiful Saffron Hall in Saffron Walden.   Can't wait!

Sunday 03 April - Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden, Essex (Tickets)






Monday, 11 January 2016

One Step At A Time... Happy New Year!

Potemkin Steps - Odessa's most famous landmark.  The graffiti  in Russian lists the names of the months.
January (января) is bottom left.


Happy New Year!  Hope that 2016 is treating you very well so far...

At midnight on 31 December 2015 I celebrated the new year in the wonderful city of Odessa.   I was invited to perform at one of the most amazing hotels I've ever seen.  I was also lucky enough to stay there!  From the unique, quirky decor to the magnificent views, to the exceptional food, staying at the M1 Club Hotel was a truly wonderful experience.  I wanted to move in permanently!

I met some wonderful people including my host Alex and worked with some great musicians.  The weather was sunny although extremely cold and it snowed as if on cue just before midnight which was very apt as this was the beginning of their Christmas season with their actual Christmas Day being on 6 January as per the orthodox calendar.

I also visited the famous Potemkin Steps and saw the graffiti which led me to thinking about new year's resolutions.  So many times I've made grand resolutions only to fall at the first hurdle (normally broken by January!).  More recently I gave up resolutions altogether and just decided to make the most of any opportunities that came my way.  This year I've decided to find a compromise.  I won't make grand resolutions.  Instead I'll take small steps, every day, towards my life goals.  There'll be no real deadlines or quotas, just constant striving for improvement.  Why not join me?  Hopefully this time they will stick and if not, I will still have done something and every little bit counts!


Standing at the top of the Potemkin Steps with the view of Port of Odessa

With my wonderful host Alex just after arriving in Odessa.  At this point I had been awake for almost 40 hours!

My hotel room balcony. It was such a joy to wake up to the beautiful sea view.




At midnight there were spectacular fireworks...

... and then I performed with the band at 2am (midnight in the UK!)

Performing at the P1 Prosecco Bar