Joe Stilgoe featuring Giacomo Smith
Line-up: JOE STILGOE vocals, piano; GIACOMO SMITH clarinet, sax; TOM FARMER double bass; JAS KAYSER drums
In March 2020, Joe Stilgoe and Giacomo Smith were about to head into the studio to record what was to be the great album of both of their careers. Featuring a whole new collection of songs written together in 2019, the music was destined to showcase two of the country’s finest creative talents, and with a headline Mainstage show booked at Love Supreme to launch the project, 2020 was going to be the year of The Entertainers. As we know, things didn’t turn out quite the way they were planned, but the story remains and the music is ever more prescient after the year we’ve all ad. These songs are about the world of jazz clubs, the audiences who come and go, the characters who can be found at the bars of any club in the world, from Ronnie Scotts to The Blue Note Tokyo to The Basement in Sydney. Each song tells a different tale and presents a different character - they’re about membership, acceptance, a shared love of something vital, quixotic rules and regulations, the minutiae of everynight life, and importantly, the world of entertainment. The people are the same everywhere you go, and they haven’t changed. The guy in the hat, the flirt, the one who can’t stop shouting at the drummer, the illicit lovers, the nervous fan, the faded star, the record executive who promises the world… The project is a love letter to the jazz club.
With an exciting new band of some of the great young UK jazz talent, this is an unmissable date.
JOE STILGOE is an internationally acclaimed singer, pianist and songwriter. He has created a fresh sound for jazz in the 21st century, known for writing songs that feel like they’ve been around for years, and adapting classics that sound as though they were just written. As a recording artist he has released 7 critically lauded albums, 5 of which have topped the UK Jazz chart. In 2019 he released two albums - the first being a new departure of style and genre - THE HEAT IS ON! - Joe’s unique interpretation of the soundtrack from the 1980’s, reimagined with a full 1950s Big Band. In December 2019 he released another no.1 record - ‘Joe Stilgoe’s Christmas Album’, which featured guest stars including Rob Brydon, Amy Dickson and The Canterbury Cathedral Girls Choir.
During the lockdown of 2020 he started a series of online shows from the bottom of his garden - Stilgoe In The Shed, which has had over 100,000 viewers worldwide and is the inspiration for a new UK tour scheduled for 2021.
Growing up as the youngest of 5 children he was surrounded by music, with two parents in the business -songwriter and TV personality Richard Stilgoe and opera singer Annabel Hunt. Over the course of his varied career he has become a true modern-day entertainer, known globally as a performer of wit, style and a level of musicianship which has seen him recognised as one of the best singer-pianists in the world. Always searching for a new way of bringing not only his own songs but those he loves from the past to a new audience, he is an enticing mix of his heroes Danny Kaye, Nat King Cole and Dudley Moore.
Joe has toured around the world with his band and as a solo act, appearing in festivals, jazz clubs and concert halls from Ronnie Scotts to Adelaide Festival, Edinburgh Festival to Birdland in New York, via The Blue Note in Milan and Duc Des Lombards in Paris. As well as frequent guest performances he regularly puts together his own Mighty Big Band for sold-out shows across the country.
He hosts annual shows featuring illustrious names from the worlds of theatre, comedy and jazz at Crazy Coqs; Joe Stilgoe and Friends, and his Christmas specials at the Lyric Hammersmith have included Rob Brydon, Jess Gillam, Jamie Parker, Scarlett Strallen, Louise Dearman and Meow Meow. He made his Albert Hall debut as a special guest with Guy Barker’s Big Band in 2017. He has created award-winning shows for the London Jazz Festival including A Tribute To Gene Kelly at LSO St Lukes, Songs On Film at Cadogan Hall (plus three sold out Edinburgh Festival seasons and UK tour), and last year Joe Stilgoe & His Big Band at St Johns Smith Square.
He is a hugely sought-after performer for society parties, corporate events and charity fundraisers - he was asked to perform for The Queen and Duke Of Edinburgh’s 70th wedding anniversary at Windsor, and has given private performances for Prince Charles at St James Palace, the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor, the Duchess of Cornwall at The Ritz in London and Prince Edward at Frogmore House, among many others. He has recently begun an association with The Science Museum, where last year he was the first jazz musician to be invited to give a talk on the science of music with Dr Philip Ball as part of their LATES season. He is also an ambassador for The Old Vic, Children & The Arts, The Orpheus Centre and Chestnut Tree House.
He works extensively on radio, having hosted and starred many times in BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night (14 times at the last count), while also being a regular presence on the station (his show Joe Stilgoe – Christmas At The Movies was the most popular show aired on Christmas Day 2018). He has appeared on the Now Show, Loose Ends and The Horne Section for Radio 4, and is a regular on In Tune for Radio 3. He has worked with some of the finest orchestras and bands in the world including The John Wilson Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, RTE Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, BBC Big Band and The Guy Barker Big Band.
As a theatre performer he starred in High Society at The Old Vic in 2015, which led to him being invited to perform at the 2016 Olivier Awards, and in 2018 starred in Guys And Dolls at the Albert Hall.
As composer and lyricist, he wrote music and lyrics for a new production of The Jungle Book, which toured the UK to great success in 2017 and 2018, and The Midnight Gang, an adaption of the David Walliams novel, which opened at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2018. He is currently working on many new theatrical projects, including a new Walliams adaptation.
On TV, he has appeared most notably hosting BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year, and least notably in Bargain Hunt.