Jessica Radcliffe sings Billie Holiday at Diss Jazz Club
PUBLISHED: 15:38 03 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:38 03 August 2018
Almost 60 years after her death, Eleanora Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday, continues to be a seminal influence on jazz and pop singers.
The American jazz singer, who died in 1959, had a career spanning nearly 30 years, but her lasting legacy continues and her music timeless. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education
Amongst those to have fallen in love with her musical influence is Jessica Radcliffe, one of London’s most accomplished jazz singers, appearing at Ronnie Scott’s, St James Studio and other top venues.
Next week she takes the rich, lovelorn repertoire made famous by the jazz vocal legend and puts her own captivating spin on it when she appears at the latest Diss Jazz Club night.
Originally classically trained as a pianist and clarinettist at the prestigious Wells Cathedral School, which she attended as a music specialist from the age of 11, Radcliffe was first introduced to jazz through big band music, singing as a young teenager with Bristol-based big bands, and playing flute and saxophone with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.
She later began singing with the ensemble and was offered a place as a jazz vocalist at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Since moving to London 2010, she has appeared regularly at jazz clubs and venues in the UK and internationally.
As a member of the London Vocal Project, she travelled to New York to debut Jon Hendricks’ fully lyricised Miles Ahead to the man himself. She was a featured soloist alongside Michelle Hendricks, Kevin Burke-Fitzgerald and Anita Wardell.
At the Diss Corn Hall concert she will be singing accompanied by Chris Ingham (piano), Owen Morgan (bass), George Double (drums)
• The Billie Holiday Songbook: Jessica Radcliffe is at Diss Corn Hall on August 9, 7.30pm, £12, 01379 652241, disscornhall.co.uk