7 Star Arts’ Susan Porrett in ‘The Slaves of Solitude’ at Hampstead Theatre

Our wonderful friend and actress Susan Porrett, creator of our acclaimed multi-genre productions Classic Gershwin, Divine Fire, Sweet Harmony and Chekhov’s Grand Piano, will be appearing at Hampstead Theatre in ‘The Slaves of Solitude’, a play by Nicholas Wright adapted from a novel by Patrick Hamilton, which weaves a fascinating blend of dark hilarity and melancholy in a story about an improbable heroine in wartime Britain. Directed by Jonathan Kent, the play runs from October 20th to November 25th 2017. Details here

This winter Susan appears in two 7 Star Arts concerts – ‘Russian Winter Concert’ with Alena Lugovkina (flute) and Anne Denholm (harp) at Dorich House, Kingston on 7th December and our much-loved ‘Classic Gershwin’ with Viv McLean (piano) in the Jazz Room at the Bulls Head on 21st December.

Please visit our Events page for full details and tickets for these concerts and other 7 Star Arts productions.

 

‘Blue Skies’ – new album from Aydenne Simone & Liam Stevens

BLUE SKIES – the new album from Aydenne Simone & Liam Stevens Trio, is just swinging!

The story so far……

Aydenne & Liam met at The Piano Bar Street Jazz Festival June 2016 – six days later they performed their first gig together and it was sheer magic. The rest is history!

​The chemistry between them is incredible to watch. Every performance they do together they have the audience in the palm of their hand, hanging on every note!

This magical collaboration has now resulted in a new album featuring Aydenne and Liam’s personal take on popular jazz standards such as Summertime and One For My Baby.

one of those albums you will play again and again, the songs are known and loved, and the quality of playing is stunning

Aydenne and Liam will be performing music from Blue Skies at The Jazz Room at The Bull’s Head as part of their album launch tour on Thursday 5 October 2017. More information

 

Blue Skies is released on 22 July 2017

 

Listen to a sample track

 

Order Blue Skies

 

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Meet the Artist……Aydenne Simone, jazz and blues vocalist

‘BLUE SKIES’ – the new album with Liam Stevens is released 22 July 2017

Who or what inspired you to take up singing and pursue a career in music?

My father was a jazz musician, and a massive jazz fan. Jazz is what I grew up listening to and was given my first jazz album at 6 years old.

Who or what were the most important influences on your musical life and career?

Sarah Vaughan, Eydie Gorme, and Ella Fitzgerald

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

Well every day is a school day, and the greatest challenge has got to be to consistently striving forward and raising the bar. When the bar is raised you have two choices step up, or step out. I choose to step up and take on the challenge to constantly improve what I do.

Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?

“All of me” album (not least because I had a broken foot and full blown flu at the time), “Running Away” single and a recording I did with Roger Limb of ‘Round Midnight’

Which particular works do you think you perform best?

Jazz ballads, and firing blues numbers; ‘Misty’, ‘My Funny Valentine’, ‘Round Midnight’, ‘Stormy Monday’ and ‘Mama Told me’.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

I like songs that are pretty, in a way, either I fall in love with the melody or I love the story the lyricist is telling. I tend to choose songs that I know I can make my own, and use the tones in my vocal range to add light and shade, use techniques to get to try and demonstrate the story the lyricists is telling us.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

The Piano Bar in Soho (not a concert venue but one of my favourite places to sing), Pizza Express, The Pheasantry, Chelsea, London, and Quay Arts Theatre, Isle of Wight

Who are your favourite musicians?

Oh my days I could go on all day! In London, *Benet Mclean (violin & piano), Nathan Britton (pianist), *Liam Stevens (pianist), *Clinton Paul (blues guitar), *Harry Bolt (pianist) Roger Limb (pianist), *Dario Di Leece (double bass), *Emiliano Carouseli (drums), Andrew Huggett (drums), Imre Varga (pianist), Derek Nash (sax), that is just a small handful (apologies to anybody who feels left out, but I could be here till next Christmas!).

Listening/Records my favourites are Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Oscar Peterson (pianist), Errol Garner (pianist), Michel Camilo (pianist), Count Basie (pianist + band leader/arranger), Bill Evans (pianist), Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Benet McLean, again I could just go on and on!

What is your most memorable concert experience?

Newport Jazz Weekend, Isle of Wight 2013 and 2015, Piano Bar Street Jazz Festival 2016, and Pizza Express Live The Pheasantry with the most incredible line up*

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Listen rather than hear and as much as possible. Listen to each musician and the interaction between them, the phrasing, timing……it all educates.

Aydenne Simone performs with the Liam Stevens Trio at The Jazz Room at The Bull’s Head Barnes on 5 January 2017 – further details here

(photo ©Aydenne Simone)

www.aydennesimone.co.uk

7 Star Arts residency at The Bull’s Head, Barnes

From 24 December 2016, 7 Star Arts has a year-long residency at the iconic Jazz Room at The Bull’s Head, Barnes.

The Bull’s original music room was opened at the same time as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in 1959 and became known as the “suburban Ronnie Scott’s”. It is now an established part of the London jazz scene and host to many acclaimed jazz musicians and singers, including Humphrey Lyttleton, Jamie Cullum and Peter King. It attracts audiences from all over the capital and beyond who favour the intimate setting and a chance to get up close and personal with music and musicians.

7 Star Arts presents a series of events featuring acclaimed musicians Viv McLean, Susan Porrett, Liam Stevens and his trio, Duncan Eagles and saxophonist Jess Gillam, and many more……

Check out our Events page for more information