Jill Saward at Jazznights with Roger Odell, Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins with additional vocals from Larraine Odell at The Bell Hotel, Clare on Sunday 5th May 2019

Jill Saward began her musical career at the age of 16, with the British progressive jazz rock band Fusion Orchestra, from 1969 to 1972.[1]

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.[citation needed]

Jill Saward

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.[2]

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.

Jill Saward

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.[3]

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.[4]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. [6]

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 [6] .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 Saward

Jill was singing with the Jazznights Trio who were:

Roger Odell
Simon Brown
Bernie Hodgkins

With additional vocals from:

Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins, Jill Saward and Roger Odell
Larraine Odell
Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins, Larraine Odell and Roger Odell

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.

THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, Admission £10. Doors open 7.00 pm. Music 7.30 – 10.00 pm.

Reserve seating on 01787 237653 or email info@jazz-nights.com

Pay on the night.

You can join us at facebook, read reviews of previous performances on more opinions blog or tweet at twitter.com/jazznightsuk

The Jazznights blog and pictures is now at  https://moreopinions.wordpress.com

Pictures from past gigs can also be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerd/
and at google photos at

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