Jill Saward and the Fusion Orchestra gained a following of fans who secured a record deal with EMI music to produce their first album Skeleton in Armour, an album that immediately received critical acclaim upon its debut, and is now considered a collector’s item which is highly sought after.
After the band Fusion Orchestra split, Saward became involved in a new all female group, called Brandy. The band, produced by Polydor, was active for about three years in the UK and Europe, before disbanding in 1976.
Saward was spotted later by the band leader Nicky North who invited her to perform in the ‘Cats Whiskers’ with his own big soul funk band. She also made a name for herself as one of the UK’s session singers at that time. Saward also had a brief stint with a musical group of all women, called Citizen Gang, built by a French manufacturer of Orpheus Productions, and still managed to collaborate with the Nicky North Band. It was in this period she met band, Nigel Wright and Roger Odell, who are still components of jazz-funk band Shakatak.
It was through them that Saward was able to record some vocals on an experimental track of a song called “Steppin“, and after nine top ten hits Saward was invited to be a permanent part of the group and started to tour worldwide.
She became the leading voice of Shakatak sharing success for more than 35 years. The band is still touring and recording and still popular around the world, especially in Europe and the Far East. They usually publish a new album every two years for JVC Records and Secret Records.
Despite constant touring and recording, Saward has always managed to find time to develop new projects, and still continues to write and record new material.She has been married with the charismatic bass player George Anderson, also a member of Shakatak, with whom she had two sons, Luis and James. They divorced in 2001. 
The Shakatak frontwoman had the procedure while taking part in Living TV’s Pop Goes The Band, a show which sees former musical stars, as Bucks Fizz, Bananarama, Visage, Cleopatra, 911, Chaka Khan and more, undergoing surgery in a bid to relaunch their careers  .A source from that show in 2008 said: “Jill’s recovery was touch and go as to whether she would be healed in time for her ‘reveal’ on camera. She didn’t heal very well and had a bad infection.” [
When Jill Saward is not touring with her band Shakatak, she lives in Italy, in the small village of Martis in Sardinia, where she owns and runs a guest house with her current partner the businessman Chris Johnson.
Jill was singing with the Jazznights Trio who were:
With additional vocals from:
Sunday 19th May 2019 – SIMON SPILLETT (sax)
A regular at Jazznights who always blows up a storm. Originally influenced by the great Tubby Hayes, Simon has now forged his own path in contemporary straight ahead modern jazz. He has won several awards for his music, including the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards.
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