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Described by Jazz FM as “….an irresistible mix of Sinatra, Bennett & Buble”, Kevin is the perfect guest for our Christmas gig. With a repertoire based around The Great American Songbook his jazz influences were recently displayed at sell-out shows at Ronnie Scott’s in London and New York’s famous Birdland club. A brilliant gig to end a brilliant year!
Kevin Fitzsimmons is a London born jazz singer, lyricist/songwriter & producer, who s sung everywhere from well-worn local jazz clubs to glittering international occasions. He s enjoyed sell out shows at Ronnie Scott’s, a one hour concert live on Jazz FM, TV appearances with his jazz band on E4 s Made In Chelsea. Kevin has entertained royalty twice and been the voice of a TV advert with Hollywood moviestar Naomi Watts. A natural lyricist (& artist/cartoonist), he also writes in collaboration with musicians, most notably with Jools Holland s saxophonist Derek Nash. He also stars in the theatre concert-show based on Frank Sinatra s iconic years with Capitol Records, Sinatra Sequins & Swing The Capitol Years Live!
Being the son of a 1950’s model & a singer/pianist father, with family members who’ve acted in films with Richard Burton, Peter Sellers, Michael Caine & David Niven – and the stunt director of the epic film ‘Zulu’ also in the family – meant a career in entertainment was a strong possibility for London born singer Kevin Fitzsimmons.
At around the age of five Kevin first discovered ‘the American songbook’, singing Pennies from Heaven accompanied by his father, whose constant renditions of Gershwin, Porter and Berlin were to leave an irreversible impression. By his early twenties, Kevin found himself in the company of and performing with other like minded aficionados and their profound knowledge and musicianship helped forward his studies; they included the late American saxophonist Spike Robinson, John Critchinson (piano accompanist with Ronnie Scott at his eponymous Club), and bass player Lennie Bush – who sessioned with Frank Sinatra himself, on his album “Great Songs from Great Britain”.
Kevin performs fresh-sounding jazz standards, own jazz arrangements of iconic pop tunes & the odd self-penned song (the ones on his album were praised by Malcolm Laycock, former BBC Radio 2 Big Band presenter, who said “may I flatter you on the quality, both the music and the clever lyrics. I am impressed”). These live dates have proved very popular (his debut at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club was sold out a month prior to the date, and he’s also performed at the historic Birdland Jazz Club, off Broadway, New York), as well as receiving great feedback. Described by Jazz FM as “….his voice is an irresistible mix of Sinatra, Bennett & Buble – backed by a world class band”, Kevin’s sextet featured in their own hour long live show on Jazz FM’s Discovery Show.
All of Kevin Fitzsimmons performances are delivered with bona fide presence and he performs effortlessly not only the less challenging songs but also the more vocally difficult. The result of all this…..a truly memorable experience.
“Wow Kevin can really swing a song” – Birdland Jazz Club, New York
“I thought they were playing a CD (of Sinatra) until I came around the corner and saw it was you singing” – Shawn Levy, Author of The Rat Pack & US bestseller Rat Pack Confidential.
“A singer who I had the privilege of hearing rehearse earlier and who is absolutely marvellous. What a great voice.” – Sir Trevor Mcdonald.
Kevin Fitzsimmons was singing with the Jazznights Trio who were:
Roger Odell – Drums
Roger was one of the founder members and drummer with the jazz-funk group Shakatak and the forerunner band Tracks. Roger has toured internationally and recorded numerous CDs, which he continues to do on a regular basis to this day.
Ted Beament – Piano
Ted is one of the UK’s most revered pianists. He was with Humphrey Lyttelton’s band for many years and before that with George Melly. He’s played with just about every name on the UK scene and many visiting American jazz stars too. For many years he did gigs with his own trio and with other freelance groups, reaching a point when many top international musicians were happy to have him supporting them. He is also a superb and sensitive accompanist.
Bernie Hodgkins – 5 String Double Bass
Bernie grew up in a Jazz-oriented family and has toured in Europe and further afield with a wide variety of artists and honed his skills and adding to his prodigious repertoire. Spending much of his time in the recording studios, he is equally at home and in demand as an enthusiastic “live” rhythm section player.
With additional vocals from
Larraine Odell – Vocals
Beginning her professional singing career with the group CMU with whom she recorded two albums, Larraine performed at numerous venues throughout the UK and Europe, including the Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall. Boxford Fleece & Ronnie Scott’s.
Larraine Odell opened the first set with superb arrangements of:
Artie Shaw’s Moonray
Luiz Bonfa’s Gentle Rain from the 1966 film of the same name.
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s 1940 I Could Write a Book.
The Masquerade Is Over (1938) Music from Allie Wrubel and Lyrics by Herb Magidson.
The Touch of Your Lips (1936)Words and Music by Ray Noble.
Kevin Fitzsimmons then joined the band to sing:
Cole Porters’ I Get a Kick Out of You (1934)
When Your Lover Has Gone (1931. Words and Music by Einar Aaron Swan.
Sunday in New York from the 1963 film of the same name.
Blue Skies is a popular song that was written by Irving Berlin in 1926.
It Never Entered My Mind, a show tune from the 1940 Rodgers and Hart musical Higher and Higher (1940).
Following the Jazznights raffle of 2 jazz cd’s and a bottle of wine we had the traditional Jazznights sitting in spot which is open to all musicians who have an opportunity to play with the band. Tonight we had Consuelo Velazquez’s 1941 Errol Garner’s Misty played by Geoff Harriman on harmonica and Jean Faulkner to sing Fly Me To The Moon.
Kevin Fitzsimmons then re-joined the Jazznights Trio to sing:
Out of Nowhere is a popular song composed by Johnny Green with lyrics by Edward Heyman. It was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1931.
Michel Jean Legrand’s Watch What Happens.
Just One of Those Things is a popular song and jazz standard written by Cole Porter for the 1935 musical Jubilee.
I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face is a song from the 1956 musical My Fair Lady, with music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner.
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (1942) Music by Duke Ellington and Lyrics from Bob Russell.
This Masquerade is a song written by Leon Russell. The song appeared on the B-side of the single for Russell’s 1972 hit “Tight Rope” and on his Carney album. Made famous by George Benson.
Dream, sometimes referred to as “Dream (When You’re Feeling Blue)”, is a jazz and pop standard with words and music written by Johnny Mercer in 1944.
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” is a song by the Beatles, mainly written by John Lennon, with the middle eight co-written with Paul McCartney, released on the 1965 album Rubber Soul.
Ray Noble’s 1934 The Very Thought of You (1934) brought this evening sadly to a close as Kevin and the band received rapturous applause from the full house (even those who had to sit on the stairs – make sure you book in advance in future!) audience
SUE RICHARDSON (trp & voc) will be at Jazznights on Sunday 1st March.Sue’s special show features Chet Baker’s most famous standards, his own compositions and works inspired by his life. As well as performing some of the songs forever associated with Chet and his sublime solos Sue has uncovered great songs written by him. There is also new material written by Sue.
THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, The Cock Inn, 3, Callis Street, Clare, Suffolk, CO10 8PX
Admission £10. Doors open 7.30pm. Music 8.00-10.30pm.
Reserve seating on 01787 237653 or email email@example.com
Pay on the night.
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For further information on future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com