Thursday, 19 September 2019

Hard-working jazz singer’s a hard act to Follow

Hard-working jazz singer’s a hard act to Follow

ONE of the stars of this year’s BunkFest is playing the Crooked Billet in Stoke Row on Wednesday (September 4).

Fleur Stevenson is fast establishing herself at the forefront of an exciting new breed of jazz vocalists, having recently launched her debut album Follow Me with a concert at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho.

Haling from Crowmarsh near Wallingford, Fleur is known for her scat singing style and passionate interpretation of jazz classics.

Her phrasing, use of space and improvisational ability contain a nod to such distinguished predecessors as Shirley Horn and Anita O’Day. But Fleur has carved out a niche all her own with her surprising yet stylish interpretations of jazz standards and her tender, heartfelt delivery of romantic ballads.

One of Fleur’s musical mentors is the leading British jazz singer Claire Martin, who called her “a wonderful singer with a great musical ear and natural jazz feel”.

Something Else magazine wrote of her: “Stevenson is in possession of a voice which has power — yet she has the control to drop down to a caress in a heartbeat.”

Following on from the release of her album, this year’s BunkFest will see the singer play two sets tomorrow (Saturday).

Accompanied by Jez Cook on guitar and Nick Hill on bass, she is performing in the bar of the Corn Exchange in Market Place from 3pm to 3.40pm.

Then she and Jez Cook will be playing as a duo in the La Clos wine bar in St Mary’s Street from 9pm to 10.30pm.

Looking ahead to Wednesday night, Crooked Billet chef patron Paul Clerehugh said: “Gifted with an offbeat sense of humour and a naturally charismatic stage presence, Fleur creates an instant rapport with her audience through sparkling narrative and an unerring instinct for choosing the right material to showcase her talent.

“This will be an evening of charming vocal jazz as Fleur presents songs from her recently released album Follow Me, which received rave reviews.

“She will also perform some classic American Songbook numbers, plus some well known singalong, feel-good jazz favourites.”

Fleur will be backed by Pete Billington on piano, Andy Crowdy on double bass and Simon Price on drums. Guests should arrive at 7pm for food and drink, with the show starting around 8.35pm.

Tickets in the form of a music cover charge are £15 and the Crooked Billet’s full, regular menu will be available on the night.

To book a table, call the Newlands Lane pub on (01491) 681048. For more information, visit www.
thecrookedbillet.co.uk

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