Andra Sparks Jazz Singer and Vocal Coach - My Quintet

The Andra Sparks Quintet Jazz Services Tour 2007 - 2008

The amazing ART THEMEN is playing on all of the dates apart from the Epsom Playhouse on 29 Nov - when the wonderful MARK LOCKHEART is part of the quintet.

Live... our music covers a broad mixture of material, ranging from the standards of the 'Great American Songbook' through to the beautiful contemporary work of Kenny Wheeler and Pat Metheny, together with originals and music adapted for devious purposes from many genres, including modern classical and French chanson!! All the songs have fascinating lyrics in common and stunning arrangements which go deep to the heart of the composition and reveal the improvising potential. And we always play - whether in the hard swinging blues of 'Teach Me Tonight', in the Gallic angst of 'Your Time' or in Nick Weldon's hilarious spoof lyric 'Man Talk' - with intensity and passion...

ANDRA SPARKS - VOCALS Andra has performed in a wide variety of musical setting ranging from orchestras and bass ensembles to small groups and big bands. Her interest in poetry and lyrics naturally drew her towards the jazz repertoire, where she has been particularly influenced by musicians such as Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler, Peggy Lee and Shirley Horn. At Banff in 1998 she worked with Hugh Fraser, Kenny Werner, Dave Leibmann and Kenny Wheeler, singing in Wheeler's 'Sweet Sister Suite'. Andra recorded her first album 'People We Once Knew' with Nick Weldon, Trevor Tomkins, Jeff Clyne and Iain Dixon in 1999 and her second - 'Your Time' in 2003 with Russell van den Berg on saxes. She is the narrator on Nick Tomalin's story 'Molly and the Owl', a project to introduce young people to jazz improvisation.

NICK WELDON - PIANO Nick has a first class degree in French and Philosophy from Keele university but was introduced to jazz at the age of seven by his stepfather, trumpeter Ron Weldon - and turned professional in 1979. He has played with many visiting Americans such as Johnny Griffin, Sonny Still, Harold Land, Eddie Henderson and Dewey Redmond. Nick has worked with many well known singers: Carol Kidd, Annie Ross, Jimmie Witherspoon, Sheila Jordan, Mark Murphy, Christine Tobin and Trudy Kerr. He has two trio albums - 'Lavender's Blue' and 'Live at the Albert' - featuring Andy Cleyndert and Paul Clarvis. As well as composing, arranging and songwriting, Nick writes satirical and humorous poetry. He has his own independent record label Verge. His current passion is playing the double bass. Professor of Jazz piano at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy, he is an experienced workshop and music course organiser. more...

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