Saturday, 5 December 2015

Arrivederci Roma, Hola Odessa!

November was a busy month filled with new people, places and experiences.  :-)

I had a really amazing time with 6 gigs in Italy, then numerous gigs over the EFG London Jazz Festival including a live performance from the Barbican for BBC Radio 3's Jazz Record Requests and a great family-friendly performance at Cadogan Hall.  I also returned to one of my favourite places (Oxford), at the Summertown Wine Cafe.

And it won't be long until I'm off to foreign climes again as I've been invited as a guest artist for New Year's Eve celebrations at an amazing new venue in Odessa!  I've checked the weather and it doesn't seem too cold at the moment but I'm keeping everything crossed that there'll be no snow.

We played 2 nights at Gregory's Jazz Club - the oldest jazz clubs in Rome
Downstairs at Gregory's there is a tiny bar where regulars have special name plaques.  I asked about Vittorio and if I remember correctly, he is a sailor from Sicily who visits Rome and Gregory's often and keeps his place at the bar reserved.  Love this idea!
The Italian Quartet!  Max (bass), Rudy (drums) and Daniele (piano)

I spent some time in Genoa and was amazed at how wonderful the climate is - there are PALM TREES!
Love Pisa!  Here I am in front of a gorgeous Keith Haring mural.
With the Family Jazz All Stars (Tony Kofi -sax, Kate Williams - piano, Oli Hayhurst - bass, Cosimo Keita - drums) just before we stepped on stage at Cadogan Hall
On stage at Cadogan Hall.  A stunning venue!

Finally, Trevor Hoggett did a really nice interview with me about Spellbound Stories and it's out now in December's Jazz Journal magazine.

And my name is on the front cover - second name up from the bottom in red - woo hoo!

Finally, (really this time), here's a seasonal joke for you:

Q:  What do you call a bunch of chess players bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
A:  Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Black History Month, LJF & the final chapter of Spellbound Stories

Performing at Methodist Central Hall Westminster for Jazz Vespers with Dan Forshaw Qrt

October has been a crazy month.  I've gone from performing for over a dozen toddlers running around and bouncing on cushions whilst listening to the Divas of Jazz for The Streets community high street project in Twickenham (cute!) to performing gospel songs to a huge audience at Westminster Central Hall during Jazz Vespers as part of Black History Month (awesome!).  And in between I also visited Birmingham Jazz for the first time and had an amazing, appreciative audience for the final Spellbound Stories tour date (wonderful but also sad).


The Streets

The Streets is an amazing project bringing music to unusual places on the local high streets.  Kate Williams and I performed in a lovely local Italian Restaurant, a library (with aforementioned cushions in the children's section) and a beautiful stately home called York House.   There are few more performances next month.  Would be great to see you if you're local.

14 Nov - Ilford Library  11am & 12.45pm
22 Nov - Leyton Library 11.15am & 12.30pm


Spellbound Stories - The Final Chapter

Our gig at Birmingham Jazz for Black History Month was such a lovely end to the Spellbound Stories tour dates.  We had a great audience and lots of lovely feedback.  Huge thanks to my amazing band, all the promoters and venues who booked us and my lovely agent Sabina at Mo' Connections.  Although the chapter is over, there is a chance of an epilogue or two next year as there has been some interest from literary festivals.  I will keep you posted.  Until then, here are some great photos taken by Brian Homer at the Birmingham Jazz gig.





With Nick Ramm on piano

Eddie Hick on drums

Oli Hayhurst on bass

Jazz Vespers

My final gig for Black History Month was Jazz Vespers at  Methodist Central Hall in Westminster.  It was an amazing, very well organised event and the audience loved it!  It included powerful readings from Martin Luther King by Darren Raymond and contributions from many members of the church all backed by Dan Forshaw's excellent quartet.  From all the positive feedback I think there's a good chance it will happen again.  Again, I will keep you posted.

Just one week now until I'm off to Italy!  Can't wait to go back to one of my favourite countries in the world.  Once again I'll be performing with the wonderful Daniele Gorgone Trio.  We'll be kicking off with two nights at Gregory's Jazz Club in Rome.  It's currently raining and only 16 degrees in Rome but I refuse to let that dampen my spirits.  Italia, here I come!

03 Nov - Gregory's Jazz Club, Rome
04 Nov - Gregory's Jazz Club, Rome
05 Nov - la claque, Genoa
06 Nov - Jazz Club Torino, Turin
07 Nov - Raindogs House, Savona

08 Nov - Ex Wide, Pisa


EFG London Jazz Festival

It's that time of year again!  Once again, I'll be doing some family friendly concerts with Family Jazz All Stars.  We've got two at artsdepot and one at Cadogan Hall.  I'll also be performing and chatting to Alyn Shipton for Jazz Record Requests on 14 Nov live at the Barbican for BBC Radio 3.  November is going to be another busy month! :-)

14 Nov - Jazz Record Requests @ Barbican Freestage, London 5pm
15 Nov - artsdepot, Finchley 11am & 2pm
21 Nov - Cadogan Hall, London  2pm


Thursday, 17 September 2015

Stories, Divas and Vespers in the Rain

Westminster Central Hall

I had a lovely relaxing August but am now gearing up for a busy end to the year!

We brought Spellbound Stories to The Stables in Milton Keynes this week and there's more on the way...

Sunday 04 Oct Verdi Room, Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 2AP (Sunday Brunch)
Friday 16 Oct Urban Arts Bar @ Red Lion, 95 Warstone Ln, Birmingham B18 6NG (for BLACK HISTORY MONTH

And I'll also be Celebrating the Divas of Jazz...

Sunday 27 Sep The Apex, 1 Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds  IP33 3FD (Sunday Brunch)
Saturday 10 Oct  The Crazy Coqs, Brasserie Zedel, 20 Sherwood Street, London W1F 7ED (Late Night Show)

Also for Black history Month, I'll be singing Ellington and Spirituals for Jazz Vespers with the Dan Forshaw Quintet...

Sunday 25 Oct Central Hall Westminster, Storey's Gate, London  SW1H 9NH


So some exciting gigs ahead.  I've also been invited back to Italy in November - yay!  More details to come.


It's been raining A LOT in London this month.  I found this and it made it all better.  :-)


Monday, 3 August 2015

Hot Hot Hot!


We have been very lucky with the weather this summer in London but it still didn't prepare me for the heatwave in Tuscany.  I think one of the days the temperature hit 39 degrees celsius.  It was like being in a sauna... and I loved it!

I had a wonderful time performing with excellent local musicians playing in five different beautiful venues.  Daniele Gorgone (piano), Nino Pellegrini (bass) and Marco Simoncini (drums).

The Italian Quartet!  Enjoying a meal before our first gig in La Spezia.

The view whilst sipping an aperitif before the gig at Villa Trossi in Livorno.

The stage of our third gig on the bank of the Arno in Pisa.

The view from the stage at Argini & Margini in Pisa - magical


The Tennis Club in the park by the beach in Castiglioncello
was the setting for our 4th performance

The soundcheck before the final gig in the beautiful Villa Conti in Fauglia

Yesss!  I finally made it to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

And I just could resist doing a tiny bit of shopping.
This beautiful Italian handbag is so unique with interchangeable colours,
handles and accessories.  Bellissima!


Hope it won't be too long before I'm back in Bella Italia, but before then I will be at Boisdale in Canary Wharf this Saturday doing my Nina Simone & the Divas of Jazz show.  Hope to see some of you there! 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Spellbound Stories - Lyrics

I've always been told that I have very clear diction when singing but for those who would like to read the lyrics for the songs on Spellbound Stories, here they are!

One More Dance
Little Things
Devilish Disguise
All He'll Ever Need
No One Can Tell
Beautiful Smile
Magic & Mystery
Heaven Scent
Forbidden Fruit


One More Dance

On her face, the moon casts its gleam
She longs to sleep and to dream
A dream of romance, love without pain
Where she’d dance to the sound of rain

In her dreams, a bird flying high
But soon it falls from the sky
It’s poor broken wing, she sees through her tears
And its cries are the sounds she hears

Then the bird lies still on the ground
But now it makes not a sound
She wakes to the pain, time cannot mend
Like the bird she waits for the end

But she learns to take and to give
And decides she now wants to live
Through Fate’s guiding hand, she’s given a chance
Time to love, time for one more dance


Little Things

The Little Things about you
The Little Things that make me love you
The Little Things about you
The Little Things that make me love you

The way you smile is part of your mystique
That tiny dimple playing hide and seek
The way you laugh is totally unique
The Little Things about you

The Little Things about you
The Little Things that make me love you
The Little Things about you
The Little Things that make me love you

Your Midas touch turns me to liquid gold
One look from you and I just lose control
Your voice ignites a spark that had gone cold
The little things about you

Nobody sees you and knows you the way that I do
No-one compares to the miracle I see in you
I am in rapturous wonder at all that you are
A light that shines like a star

The Little Things about you
The Little Things that make me love you
The Little Things about you
The Little Things that make me love you

The way you laugh, the way you smile
I just can't help but feel alive
You're everything I'll ever want
So I just need to make you mine


Devilish Disguise

Who knows when he’ll appear
To challenge all your fears
He’ll offer you a world
Of diamonds and pearls

His promises to you
Sound too good to be true
Watch out, be on your guard
He’s holding all the cards

He can read your mind
Knows just how to bind
With his sweet and silky words
Under his control
He will own your soul
But he’ll try to crush it first

He wears a Devilish Disguise – ooh ooh
Beware his Devilish Disguise – oh oh

If you give up the fight
Convinced that he is right
He’ll bend you to his will
Your pain gives him a thrill
You’ll need to search within
To find the strength to win
For love comes at a price
He holds you in his vice

He can read your mind
Knows just how to bind
With his sweet and silky words
Under his control
He will own your soul
But he’ll try to crush it first

He wears a Devilish Disguise – ooh ooh
Beware his Devilish Disguise – oh oh


All He'll Ever Need

He looks in her eyes
She shows no surprise
She’s waiting to see
If he can be real
She’s waited so long
Afraid to be strong
Now he's here she sees, believes
She’s all he’ll ever need

She is the sun that brightens every hour of his day
She is the rain that nourishes his fragile faith
She is the earth whose endless beauty shames his greed
Now that he is here, it’s clear
She’s all he’ll ever need

He touches her face
Beguiled by her grace
No words he can say
Can prove he has changed
His presence reveals
The love that he feels
Now that she is near, it’s clear
She’s all he’ll ever need

He just wants her to know
That he’ll never let her go
For she’s the centre of his universe


No One Can Tell

No one can tell she is lonely
She pretends to love her life
No one can tell she is hurting
He will never leave his wife
Waving goodbye as he hurries back home
She smiles when she just wants to yell
But no one can tell

No one can tell she is angry
How could he forget to call?
No one can tell she is hating
How he makes her feel - so small
The wait by the phone on those long empty days
Excuses that she knows so well
But no one can tell

He gives her all she desires
Anything money can buy
Truth is all she requires
She knows she’s living a lie

No one can tell she is crying
For the child she never had
No one can tell her heart’s breaking
Though it should be iron clad
She tries so hard to see hope through the tears
That decorate her empty shell
But no one can tell


Beautiful Smile

Curse those indelible longings
I'm feeling your irresistible draw
When you are near me my heart sings
I’m totally in your thrall

I’m in love with your smile
Beautiful Smile
So in love with your smile
Beautiful Smile

Just can't get rid of this fever
Infatuation that won't be denied
But there is something much deeper
Something that's rooted inside

I’m in love with your smile
Beautiful Smile
So in love with your smile
Beautiful Smile

You'll see
History
Will be
Set free
Worlds apart
Close at heart
We were meant to bev
I’m in love with your smile
Beautiful Smile
So in love with your smile
Beautiful Smile


Magic & Mystery

Fairies sparkle in the gloom
As they dance beneath the moon
Shooting stars put on a show
Granting wishes as they glow
Rainbows just beyond your reach
Whispering seashells on a beach
Magic and Mystery

Fortunes told by scattered leaves
Meanings gathered from your dreams
Ancient stones with hidden powers
Waiting for that sacred hour
Guardian angels standing near
Superstitions calming fears
Magic & Mystery

Close your eyes and trust the magic life will bring
Open wide and see it’s there in everything

Perfect snowflake symmetry
Each one crafted differently
Lunar cycles pull the tides
Pushing madness into minds
Futures guided by the stars
Wondering if there’s life on Mars
Magic & Mystery


Heaven Scent

Fragrance dancing, on the breeze
It’s the answer, to his pleas

And he’s found, all that he’s sought
Perfect scent, that can’t be bought

Through the air, It beckons him
She’s the prize, he has to win

When at last, he sees her face
He loses time and place

She is breathtaking
Intoxicating
There’s no mistaking
Heaven scent

He must possess her
Hold and caress her
There’s nothing better
Heaven scent


Forbidden Fruit

The Forbidden Fruit
Tastes like no other
The Forbidden Fruit
Is undercover

Though you deny it
You long to try it
Do what you know you could
The Forbidden Fruit – it’s there for you

The Forbidden Fruit
A road to freedom
The Forbidden Fruit
A route to wisdom

Follow your passion
And with compassion
Go live the life you should
The Forbidden Fruit – It’s all for you

Just take your time
You'll find, your line
You'll find treasures and pleasures in all the things you missed before

And if you give in to your desires
You will know that when you finally go go go towards your dream
You will get your wish and more

All lyrics (c) 2015 Juliet Kelly Music

Friday, 26 June 2015

What the Press are Saying About Spellbound Stories...

Being interviewed on Arise TV


I am so grateful for the support of those who pledged to my campaign and/or supported my music by coming to the album launch last week.  Thank you!

The album is now officially released and on sale at Amazon and Bandcamp.

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Bandcamp (also available as high quality audio files or mp3s)

It's had amazing reviews so far including this 5-star one from BBC Music Magazine!



It was also jazz album of the week in the Sunday Times.




And the Guardian said:



It's been a busy, busy month!  As you can see from the photo at the beginning of this blog, I was on TV talking about Spellbound Stories - my first ever television interview.  That was a lot of fun!  And there's a feature in July's Jazzwise - a great interview and a 4-star review.





I've also been interviewed on radio and you can listen to recordings of the shows on Hoxton Radio (Jazz Standard) and Croydon Radio (JazzBeat).

Last but definitely not least, there are the blogs:

Interview on London Jazz
Review of album launch at Pizza Express on Marlbank
Reviews of album on LondonJazz, Bebop Spoken Here, JazzViews, Sandy Brown and All About Jazz

I'm so pleased with the response the album's been getting.  Huge thanks to the journalists for their reviews and to the presenters for having me on their shows.

Next stop - Italy. I have just one month to brush up on my basic Italian!





Sunday, 31 May 2015

Derby, Tuscany and Countdown to the Launch of the SS (Spellbound Stories) Album



Castello Pasquini


Great news - I've been booked for some tour dates in Tuscany, Italy.  Love Italy and all things Italian so I'm really looking forward to it!  I'll be working with some great musicians, the Daniele Gorgone Trio. 

23 July - La Spezia
24 July - Livorno
25 July - Pisa
26 July - Rosignano Marittimo (at a festival taking place at the beautiful Castello Pasquini pictured above)

Closer to home, I had a lovely time at my first performance in Derby.  We performed a family-friendly show of Spellbound Stories organised by excellent musician/promoter Corey Mwamba who is doing such great things for jazz, especially in Derby.  It had been a while (since October last year) that we'd played the songs and I'm so excited that we'll be performing them again very soon for the launch at Pizza Express Jazz Club on 18 June.  Tickets are available here:

http://www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk/jazzBook.aspx?showId=b94d9d1a-7cdc-481a-914f-03df585d347b&showDateId=8280

More good news - the PledgeMusic target was achieved!  Thanks so much to everyone who pledged.  I appreciate it a lot.  You can still pre-order the album and other exclusives up until the release date of 22 June.  And remember, 10 per cent goes to Amnesty International.  Just click the link below:

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/spellboundstories

I was very happy to learn that Forbidden Fruit (the track inspired by Alice Walker's "The Color Purple") was played on BBC Radio 3's Jazz Line Up by Julian Joseph at the beginning of this month.  And there was a mention about the album release in the June edition of UK magazine Jazzwise.  Exciting to have received the first bit of press and some radio play for the album!



Thursday, 30 April 2015

Germany, Flowering Tea and a Magical Forest

The Magic Forest

The Magic Forest

This place that I've named "The Magic Forest" was the location of the shoot for my first ever music video!  It was cold, wet and muddy (and my suede boots were destroyed) but it was still very exciting.  Am hoping that a stiff suede brush will sort out the caked in mud on my beautiful boots...


Pledge

Thanks so much to those of you who have supported my Pledge campaign so far.  I still need lots of help though.  Here is a list of the things on offer in the hope that I can tempt some of you.

Download of Spellbound Stories... just £8 (included with all purchases)
CD delivered before official release... £15
Signed CD delivered before official release... £25
Exclusive handmade (by me!) DIVA bracelet... £25
Singing or songwriting lesson... £75 (for you or a loved one)

Lots more too at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/spellboundstories


Germany

I went to a trade fair called Jazzahead in Bremen, Germany last weekend.  Was so lovely to see so many jazz peeps and caught up with lots of musicians I haven't seen for a while.  I was also offered a tour in Germany next year so watch this space!


Flowering Tea

I've discovered the most beautiful tea in the world.  It's called Flowering Jasmine Tea!  I ordered a cup at Wagamama's and was amazed when it arrived.  It flowers after it's served to you.   Below you can see "before" and "after".  Not only delicious but stunning too!

Before
After

Finally, two performances in May.

Saturday 16 May 2015 The Crazy Coqs London, UK (Divas)
Wednesday 27 May 2015 Old Spa Function Room, Derby, UK (Spellbound Stories Family-Friendly Show)

And the big one in June!  Tickets on sale now.

Thursday 18 June 2015 Spellbound Stories Album Launch Party @ Pizza Express Jazz Club, London, UK 
http://www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk/jazzBook.aspx?showId=b94d9d1a-7cdc-481a-914f-03df585d347b&showDateId=8280

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Parliamentary Partying and Wonderful Worcestershire

The talented Norma Winstone and Laura Jurd

The Parliamentary Jazz Awards

It was fun attending the Parliamentary Jazz Awards at the Houses of Parliament earlier this month. Didn't enjoy the long queue to get in - it's just like going through airport security! - but seeing lots of my friends and colleagues and chatting over a glass of wine and some canapes in the company of Jamie Cullum, Moira Stewart and Dame Cleo Laine more than made up for it

Above is a photo I took of Norma Winstone (Wnner - Vocalist of the Year) and Laura Jurd (Winner - Instrumentalist of the Year) - two very talented women indeed! 


Spellbound Stories Album

My Pledge Music page is now up and running!  You can pre-order the album here. Be one of the first to get your hands on the highly anticipated album and get access to exclusive updates too.



Celebrating the Divas of Jazz in Worcester and Clows Top

Another lovely couple of gigs in new places for me.  Worcester was a little different as it's not exactly rural but the venue certainly was spectacular.  Our stage for the evening was set at the front of the most beautiful church.  The acoustics were amazing and as always seems to be the case at these rural touring gigs, we received a very warm and appreciative response from the lovely audience. 


Our stage at St Barnabas Church, Worcester

Intriguing item found in church vestry (we decided they were vintage ink wells)

Clows Top was a true rural location.   We had tea and cake (gluten-free for me!) at a charming farm shop before the performance and were once again welcomed by the friendly and enthusiastic audience.  I love rural touring! 

Clows Top Victory Hall

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Jazzing for Justice

Jazz for Labour

Performing on the Barbican stage with Kate Williams on piano

It was a huge honour to be included amongst the most stellar of line-ups ever assembled to perform at the Barbican to show our support for core values of the Labour Party - Fairness, Diversity & Equality.

This was the official line-up:

Alex Webb / Café Society Swing
Andy Sheppard
Arun Ghosh
Christine Tobin
Claire Martin
Courtney Pine
Darius Brubeck
Dave O’Higgins
Gary Crosby
Jay Phelps
John Etheridge
Juliet Kelly
Kate Williams
Ian Shaw
Liane Carroll
Phil Meadows
Phil Robson
Soweto Kinch
Tim Garland

But there were also many amazing musicians not listed who took part to make this one of the most spectacular jazz events ever!   I performed "Ghosts" one of the songs from Spellbound Stories, based on Toni Morrison's "Beloved" about a runaway slave forced to commit a terrible act out of desperation.  I thought it a good fit to illustrate the importance of the values of fairness, diversity and equality and received a very warm response from the audience.  I feel so proud to have been part of this and thank the organisers, audience members and fellow musicians for making it such a special evening.

Courtney Pine, Arun Ghosh, me, Soweto Kinch

With Courtney Pine just 30 mins before curtain up!

My first credit as a radio reporter!

The report I did at Brilliant Corners on their Played Twice series was aired as a segment on BBC Radio 3's "Jazz on 3" show.  So excited to see my name as a reporter!  My first credit but hopefully not my last.  You can "listen again" to it here for the next 17 days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02k6g5s


Celebrating the Divas of Jazz

I will be honoring the classic divas once more in Worcestershire in March.  Looking forward to it!

26 Mar - St Barnabas Church Hall, Church Road, Rainbow Hill, Worcester,WR3 8NX
27 Mar - Clows Top Victory Hall, Mamble Road (A456) Clows TopDY14 9HX

 
 


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Secret Life of a Jazz Diva


Happy New Year!  (Yes, it's still January so I can just about get away with it!)

January has been treating me well so far and I'm looking forward with great optimism to the rest of 2015.


Live on the Radio

The gig I played with the Jazz Nights band in Clare, Suffolk was broadcast on BBC Radio Suffolk at the beginning of the month.  You can still listen for another 10 days here:

Part 1:  S'Wonderful and Mutual Attraction http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fk3kd

Part 2:  My Foolish Heart and Forbidden Fruit http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fl9zb

Part 3:  April in Paris, One Note Samba and My Baby Just Cares For Me http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fk3kk

Part 4:  Mood Indigo and Tainted Love http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fk3qf


New Newsletter

Yes, I'm starting a new newsletter called "Secret Life of a Jazz Diva" where I will be sharing some behind the scenes snippets, photos and other good stuff!  I'll also be passing along tips and sharing some of my favourite things with you like other artists, cool gadgets, websites and of course some seriously groan-worthy jokes.  Sign up here and you'll also receive an exclusive download of the song that has moved audiences to tears.

Sign up now


More Radio Stuff

Some of you know that I've done some radio presenting in the past, doing some stints at BBC Radio Kent and with my own show at the short-lived UK Jazz Radio.  Well, I did my first stint as a radio reporter for BBC Radio 3's "Jazz on 3" last week!  Scary but very exciting.  I went along to a great night in a venue in Hackney called Brilliant Corners where they have a monthly event called "Played Twice" where the audience listen to a classic jazz album and then this is followed by a live band playing the same album again. This month it was 5 by Monk by 5 played by Byron Wallen's excellent quintet.  The show is due to be broadcast sometime in February. 

So here's to a fabulous 2015!  Next month I'll finish mixing the final tracks of my Spellbound Stories album (here's a sneak peek of some backing vocals I added last week) and I will also be taking part in a concert at The Barbican called "Jazz for Labour" alongside a whole host of amazing musicians including Courtney Pine, Soweto Kinch and John Etheridege.  Bring it on!