We Love Ella Tribute
Featuring Jamelia, Lea DeLaria, Claire Martin, David McAlmont, Juliet
Roberts, Ian Shaw, Terri Walker, Melody Gardot & Lizz Wright
@ Southbank Centre / Royal Festival Hall
16 November 2007
Click an image to enlarge.
Lea DeLaria - biography
Lea DeLaria, who already enjoyed a career as a Broadway singer
and stand-up comedian, made her recording Warner Bros. debut in
2000 with the album “Play It Cool”. Her second album,
“Double Standards”, received rave reviews in the UK
and US press.
DeLaria’s UK jazz live dates have included the London Jazz
Festival (2001 and 2007), Brighton’s Komedia, as well as several
sold-out residencies at Pizza Express, and Pizza On The Park. She
has also appeared at the New York City JVC, the Montreux Jazz Festival,
and as the featured vocalist of The 50th Anniversary of The Newport
Jazz Festival Tour.
Delaria is the first openly gay comic to appear on national television
in the United States ( Arsenio Hall, 1993) from this point forward
she has toured the world with her one-of-a-kind blend of cool jazz
and in your face comedy.The United States Congress officially criticised
Delaria in 1993, but this has not stopped her winning accolades
including Muff Diva - Best Of The Fest (Edinburgh 1993) and Best
Live Performance (Backstage Award 1999). Her work for television
has also recieved acclaim, including the 1994 Regional Emmy for
her performaces on Chanel 4 UK Television. Delaria was also awarded
the 1999 Glama award for role in
Delaria continues to tour, performing at major festivals and clubs
worldwide. She continues to impress critics and woo fans with her
voice, she also continues to cross boundaries with her no take prisoner
Claire Martin biography
Growing up in a house full of music in Wimbledon, South London,
Martin learned all of Judy Garland’s songs by the time she
was 12. But it was hearing Ella Fitzgerald’s legendary “Song
Books” that changed her life inspiring her to go to Stage
School and then to study singing in London and New York. A further
seminal moment came at 18 when she saw the great improvising singer
Betty Carter at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club. It confirmed what
she already felt - she had to be a jazz singer.
At 21, Martin formed her first quartet (featuring guitar-great
Jim Mullen). Linn Records signed her in 1991, the start of a creative
relationship that is still going strong today. Martin’s 1992
debut “The Waiting Game” scored rave reviews and was
chosen as a Times Album of the Year. Martin achieved one of her
ambitions later that year, opening for Tony Bennett at the Glasgow
International Jazz Festival.
By the mid-nineties Martin had received the Rising Star and Best
Vocalist awards at the British Jazz Awards while receiving rave
reviews on her American debut with four sell-out shows in Washington
DC. Another ambition was fulfilled with the recording of a live
album at Ronnie Scott’s in 1995.
Martin has continued to gather awards, winning the Best Vocalist
category for the fourth time at the 2002 British Jazz Awards and
Best Vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards in 2003.
Martin and her band regularly tour the Far East, Europe and Australia
and was the first jazz group to perform in Vietnam. She also performs
regularly with Girl Talk (alongside Mari Wilson and Barb Jungr).
She can also be found performing with the Halle Orchestra and the
Laurence Cottle Big Band. Martin also finds time to work as a broadcaster,
working as co-presenter of Jazz Line-Up on BBC Radio 3 interviewing
the likes of Michael Brecker, Andre Previn, and the occasional terrified
Juliet Roberts biography
Roberts was weaned on music from as far back as she can remember.
Both of her grandfathers were drummers while her father, a Grenadian
immigrant, was the guitarist in a calypso band called the Nightingales.
Their rehearsal space was at the family home so her childhood was
marked by easy access to guitar, piano and trumpet. Juliet found
that her true instrument was the most natural one – the voice-
and started to develop as a singer in her teens.
It was in the mid-80s that Roberts came to the attention of many
through her work with a new generation of young jazz warriors such
as Courtney Pine and her contribution to Working Week. She was also
to be heard on a variety of sessions for genre-defying artists such
as Yargo and then in the 90s she recorded a string of highly successful
As comfortable as she was in the dance music arena, she never forsook
her love of jazz and got a band together with the veteran bassist/DUNE
records head honcho Gary Crosby for a series of gigs at the Jazz
Cafe in London. This informal induction to the DUNE family subsequently
led to a collaboration with saxophonist Denys Baptiste on his Be
Where You Are and Alternating Currents albums. Then came an appearance
on Jazz Jamaica All Stars’ Massive. A solo Juliet Roberts
album was a logical progression.
Ian Shaw biography
Named Best Jazz Vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards in 2007 and 2004,
Ian Shaw has already amassed a number of highly acclaimed albums
and is a popular performer both in the UK and the US.
Shaw’s career in performance began unusually for a jazz
musician on the Alternative Cabaret Circuit, alongside such performers
as Julian Clary, Rory Bremner and Jo Brand. Shaw was spotted by
Dave Illic, jazz critic for “City Limits” and was described
as “the voice of the decade”. In the next few years
Shaw moved from the singer-pianist format to working with his new
band to an eventual move into jazz. Shaw has toured extensively
in the UK, Europe and the States, his appearances on TV included
guesting with Jools Holland, Top of the Pops, The Jack Dee Show,
Christmas Night with the Stars (BBC), C4’s The Happening,
TVAM, BBC Breakfast Show, BBC 2’s A Night of Love, BBC 2’s
Jazz at the 606 and, more recently, numerous appearances on the
Performance and Artsworld channels.
His collaborators over the years have included: Guy Barker, Mari
Wilson, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Iain Ballamy, Mornington Lockett,
Barb Jungr, Cleo Laine, John Dankworth, Cedar Walton, Joe Lovano,
Joe Beck, Papa Vasquez, Lew Soloff, Geoffrey Williams and Ray Brown.
In 2002 Shaw performed in “Jerry Springer, the Opera”,
by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee. Thomas created the part of the
warm-up man/devil for Shaw. Shaw is a regular on BBC Radio 2, 3
and 4 as well as contributing to “Behind the Mask with Alison
Moyet”, a Something Else Production for Jazz FM.
As well as presenting Big Band Special for Radio 2, Shaw co-hosted
The 2004 BBC Jazz Awards with Claire Martin, during which he picked
up the Best Vocalist award.
In the summer of 2005, Shaw appeared in the new Adrian Shergold
(“Dirty Filthy Love”, “Christmas Lights”)
directed film, “Pierrepoint”, playing Percy, alongside
Tim Spall and Juliet Stevenson. The film features a song, written
Terri Walker biography
London born Terri Walker was raised on a diet of soul and jazz.
Her mother listened to artists such as Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan
Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald.
After spending a brief period in Germany from the age of 4, Walker
returned to England to commence a boarding school education. It
was during her boarding school years that she received vocal coaching,
specifically in opera.
Walker’s initial training and developing talents attracted
many admirers, collaborators and production gurus from the growing
British garage scene such as TNT and 187 Lockdown. Her more recent
work has also seen commercial contributions from the likes of So
Solid’s Asher D. Such experimentation would not sway Walker
from earlier ‘rock solid input’ of old school soul and
Walker’s acclaimed debut album “Untitled” was
released March 2003. In 2004 Walker received 4 Mobo award nominations.
2005 saw the release of more commercial offerings in the shape of
her album “Love”.
Terri Walker contributes lyrically to much of her work, and like
many conscious musicians, she takes pride in the whole process.
Walker has gone from strength to strength since signing to London
based Dekor Records in 2005. She is definitely her own woman.
Lizz Wright biography
Lizz Wright hails from Hahira, South Georgia. Both her parents
were ministers. Her father (a pastor) eventually formed his own
church. Apart from his regular duties, he also contributed to the
church musically by serving as pianist and musical director. He
would encourage Lizz to absorb as much as the church could offer.
As you may imagine, her childhood was definitely not ‘rule
free’: no sports, no television, no pants, no designer pantyhose
and no short hair!
Despite such a strict upbringing, Wright somehow managed to maintain
an open mind. In high school she sang with the choir and won many
competitions. She also attended Georgia State in Atlanta to study
voice at professional level. Wright gained further experience performing
at jazz nightclub Churchill Grounds. In 2000 Wright joined the much
talked about In The Spirit jazz group. Two years later she signed
with the Verve record label.