Wednesday 13th February
Nikki Iles- piano
Sheila Jordan is a critically acclaimed American jazz singer and songwriter who has performed and recorded with an array of legendary artists. Jordan pioneered a bebop and scat jazz singing style with an upright bass as the only accompaniment and won admiration for her ability to improvise lyrics. Scott Yanow describes her as ‘one of the most consistently creative of all jazz singers’ and Charlie Parker often introduced Jordan as ‘the singer with the million-dollar ears.’ Entirely non-derivative, Jordan is one of only a tiny handful of jazz singers who fully deserve the appellation and for whom no other term will do.
The Royal Bopsters
Formed in 2013 by four of New York’s busiest singers, The Royal Bopsters bring a new and refreshing approach to the art of vocalese. They pay tribute to their jazz heroes through their intimate treatment of harmony and their ceaseless mission to bring jazz classics and bebop style to the next generation and beyond.
Initiated by jazz vocalist Amy London, this groundbreaking project brought together fellow singers Holli Ross, Dylan Pramuk and Darmon Meader (replaced by triple Grammy nominee Pete McGuinness in 2016). Their debut recording, The Royal Bopsters Project (Motema, 2015), featuring vocal jazz legends Mark Murphy and NEA Jazz Masters Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Sheila Jordan and Bob Dorough, earned critical praise as a loving tribute to the art of vocalese.
Following a series of accolades from DownBeat Magazine (4 1/2 stars), Jazz Times (top 2015 releases), All About Jazz (top picks) and The New York Times (weekend picks) as well as rave reviews from Europe and the UK, The Royal Bopsters soon began performing on major stages including jazz festivals in San Jose, Rochester and Montclair, as well as notable jazz clubs in London, Vienna and New York City.
Their upcoming CD release, The Royal Bopsters – Party Of Four, will again feature Sheila Jordan and the late Bob Dorough. 6-time Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride appears on several songs, lending his powerful sound and groove to this deserving group. Party Of Four combines masterful solos by Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Dexter Gordon and the Tito Puente Orchestra, with the tried and true lyrical writings of Bopsters Amy, Holli, Dylan and Pete. The album also features “Why’d You Do Me Like You Did”, a special, neverbefore heard original composition by Mark Murphy and pianist Steve Schmidt, as well as a beautiful composition by Pete McGuinness with lyrics by Amy London entitled “Spring Song”.
In early 2019, The Royal Bopsters return to London with special guest Sheila Jordan to perform at Ronnie Scott’s, followed by a debut in Athens at the well-known Half Note Jazz Club. Don’t miss your chance to hear this adventurous quartet yourself!
“If this disc featured just the quartet, it would be sensational. The addition of the icons, showcased once each (with Murphy provided wider presence) and all in remarkably ﬁne form, escalates it from valuable to priceless, from piquant to landmark.”
—Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes | A JazzTimes Best Album of 2015
“Every era needs a group of slap-happy enthusiasts to extoll the virtues of oo bop sh’bam… these expert practitioners of vocalese.”
—The New Yorker Magazine
“This is my favorite group of singers of all time! The Bopsters are fantastic, soulful singers doing great lyrics and great tunes. Buy their CD and hear it for yourself!”
—Sheila Jordan, NEA Jazz Master