Wendy Kirkland and her band play Nina Simone, Diana Krall, Blossom Dearie and more

Mon 3rd September 2018
Wendy Kirkland Png

The idea of a show featuring the work of pianist singers such as Nina Simone, Eliane Elias, Diana Krall and Blossom Dearie came from the meeting of minds of band members Pat Sprakes, Paul Jefferies and Stevie Smith. But who could produce such a performance? Step up Wendy Kirkland!

There are few pianists in jazz today that can step up to the mark of singing whilst playing and, rather than accompanying themselves, can exhibit superb technical and harmonic ability at the piano. Wendy is that pianist.

Wendy’s musical career began at the age of 10, when she started taking piano lessons. She won a scholarship to have her lessons paid for and switched to jazz in her late teens. She accompanied other singers, played in club bands and was a pianist for dance classes but was persuaded to sing by friend and guitarist Bill McCreath which enabled her to reach people turned off by instrumental jazz.

Wendy’s voice has been likened to Blossom Dearie with hints of Diana Krall. Her influences range from Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald through Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly to Chick Corea, Eliane Elias and Michel Petrucciani. Piano Divas is a tribute to the great pianist singers of jazz; the band includes Wendy’s husband, Pat Sprakes who she met by chance on a gig - they have been making music together ever since!

The Observer review said: “Proper jazz piano, excellent band - a very classy debut" whilst the Sunday Times said: "Mellow and stylish". You can enjoy this gig LIVE on Sunday 9th September at Hayward Theatre, Parkway Cinema at 7pm. Tickets available from http://beverley.parkwaycinemas.co.uk or 01482 968090. It is bound to be very popular!

Just Beverley