Kevin Fitzsimmons at Jazznights with Roger Odell, Simon Brown, Dave Olney and vocals from Larraine Odell at The Bell, Clare on Sunday 14th July 2019

Creative & original mainstream jazz from one of today’s most individual new male jazz voices – charismatic singer/songwriter, Kevin Fitzsimmons – praised by jazz critics for his naturally swinging vocal, elastic phrasing and engaging, highly personable stage presence. Together with some of the UK’s top straight-ahead & modern bebop musicians (players described by Jazzwise Magazine in review of Fitzsimmons’ album as “the cream of UK straight-ahead jazz musicians”).  Known for their sassy new take on the genre, they re-style carefully-chosen standards from likes of Legrand, Strayhorn, Jobim, Mercer, Ellington with taste & verve. Interspersed with their formidable jazz versions of classic pop recordings (Beatles, Sam Cooke, Sting, Billy Preston, Paul Weller, Supergrass) plus a few of Fitzsimmons’own songs – some co-written with Sax Appeal frontman Derek Nash – has garnered them fans far & wide.  In addition, the band offer several projects particularly suitable for jazz festivals:- “Bright Lights, Big City: Tribute to Cannonball Adderley/Ernie Andrews/Eddie Vinson” (read preview here http://www.londonjazznews.com/2016/03/preview-kevin-fitzsimons-bright-lights.html); “The ‘In Crowd’: Jazz In The Swinging 60s “(explores jazz artists that seeped into the mainstream during this unique time alongside new jazz translations of era’s pop hit-makers),  “Too Marvellous: Sinatra At Capitol Today” (reimagines the rich seam from Sinatra’s supreme time on the Capitol label for today’s jazz fans).

Kevin Fitzsimmons

About Kevin Fitzsimmons

Long a fan of Mark Murphy, Kevin Fitzsimmons is a London born jazz singer, bandleader, lyricist & songwriter, with a self-produced album ‘Show Me The Way’ released to considerable critical acclaim. He’s enjoyed many sell out shows at Ronnie Scotts and at venues nationwide, a concert broadcast live on Jazz FM, headlined in 400 seater Athens concert backed by pioneers of Greek jazz scene, The Dimitris Kalantzis Quartet, and with his band appeared in E4′s Made In Chelsea.  He plays all the top London jazz clubs, including The 606, Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, has several festival appearances under his belt including Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and has sang at Birdland Jazz Club, NYC. His distinctive vocals been used by by global brands (like Louis Vuitton, Hermes) and corporations for campaigns in New York, Far East, Europe, London, as well as for TV and radio commercials – including a TV advert with Hollywood film star Naomi Watts.  Furthermore, as a favoured vocalist on the corporate/party/private events scene, he’s entertained royalty twice and been booked by many celebrities and sports stars to sing at their own private events. A natural lyricist (& artist/cartoonist), he also writes in collaboration with musicians, most notably the Jools Holland saxophonist Derek Nash. In addition, and running separately to his career on the UK jazz scene, Kevin Fitzsimmons also fronts a touring Big Band theatre concert alongside the Pete Long Orchestra (‘Sinatra Sequins & Swing (The Capitol Years Live!’) based on Sinatra’s supreme era on the Capitol label.

Kevin Fitzsimmons
  • “Lovers of the jazz vocal mainstream have another star to follow” – JAZZWISE MAGAZINE
  • “Fitzsimmons shows he is a thoroughbred jazz singer and can even swing a superior rock song such as “Paul Weller’s ‘You Do Something To Me” – MARLBANK
  • “Has the most unenviable job in jazz: sounding original in the male-jazz-vocalist mould. But he’s his own man, highly personable, “a musician’s singer” – JAZZ JOURNAL
  • “Unique interpretations, superb presence, unique personality.  A brilliant gig”  – MOREOPINIONS (JAZZNIGHTS) BLOG
  • “A very encouraging sign that modern jazz and male vocals are not incompatible” – UKVIBE (JAZZ CULTURE ONLINE)
  • “Lush Life is something of a test, and he passes it with honours” – THE IRISH/SUNDAY INDEPENDENT
  • “Reminiscent of Kurt Elling’s in that Fitzsimmons isn’t afraid to nonchalantly wander off the melody line while still capturing the song’s essence” –JAZZWISE MAGAZINE
  • “Blessed with a rich voice, mature phrasing and a superb sense of swing” – JAZZ CAMERA
  • “Supple, naturally versatile vocal & the warmth of his voice helps to steer the session away from the schmaltzy showbiz side of popular jazz vocals” – JAZZWISE MAGAZINE
  • “Wow Kevin Fitzsimmons can really swing a song” – Birdland Jazz Club, New York
Simon Brown, Dave Olney, Kevin Fitzsimmons and Roger Odell

Kevin sang with :

Roger Odell
Simon Brown
Dave Olney
Larraine Odell
Kevin Fitzsimmons duetting with Larraine nOdell

Following the interval Raffle of three jazz CDs we had the traditional sitting in spot which gives local musicians to st in with the band, tonight we had  the pleasure of  Carol Bleiker singing Our Love Is Here To Stay and Jean Faulkner singing Misty

Carol Bleiker
Jean Faulkner

Simon Brown, Dave Olney, Kevin Fitzsimmons and Roger Odell

On Sunday 28th July 2019 – MICK FOSTER (bari) & GEOFF MASON (trb) will be at Jazznights

Mick Foster and Geoff Mason perform a tribute to their past heroes. Mick’s baritone sax and Geoff’s trombone pay their respects to the cool sounds of the 1950’s that were produced by Gerry Mulligan’s sax and Bob Brookmeyer’s valve trombone where their warm and swinging sounds found a way into the public’s soul worldwide.

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 Here

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Tim Whitehead at Jazznights with Roger Odell, Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins and vocals from Larraine Odell at The Bell Hotel, Clare on Sunday 30th June 2019

Tim Whitehead was born in Liverpool, the son of one of the original writers of Dennis the Menace in the children’s comic, The Beano. His first public performance was as solo clarinettist in his school orchestra’s rendition of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, conducted by his fellow pupil, the now knighted, Sir Simon Rattle. From this promising musical beginning, Tim decided to follow a career in Law, but was pulled back to music, and more specifically jazz, soon after qualifying.

Tim Whitehead

During his career, Tim has played extensively throughout the UK and Europe, and more recently in the USA with American pianist Phil DeGreg. In the 70s he toured with Ian Carr’s Nucleus and Graham Collier Music and won the Young Jazz Musicians of the Year Award with his own band South of the Border in 1977.

 In the 80’s he was a member of the groundbreaking big band Loose Tubes, and continued to develop his own music, recording for Spotlite Records and Editions EG – English People (1983) and Decision (1987) with his own bands, featuring at different times John Parricelli, Django Bates, Nic France and Pete Jacobsen.  In the 90’s he recorded Authentic and Silence Between Waves, on Ronnie Scott’s Jazz House Label with Dave Barry, Pete Jacobsen and Arnie Somogyi, and received The Andrew Milne Award for Jazz, as well as several other commissions during this period.  In 1999 Tim released Personal Standards, an album of soul and pop tunes arranged for jazz quartet, which received widespread interest and critical praise including Jazz Album of the Year in the BBC Music Magazine, and led to an educational project at Trinity College of Music under the same title.  In 2000, Contemporary composer Colin Riley and Tim won the Peter Whittingham Award to complete and record Tides with the Homemade Orchestra.  This was the beginning of a long term collaboration.  Since then the HomeMade Orchestra have toured extensively and received several awards and commissions as well as releasing their second album, Inside Covers in 2005.

  In 2004 Tim founded the musicians’ co-operative WayOutWest, which he continued to chair until 2010, presenting regular performances at the Ram Jam Club in Kingston and latterly, The Orange Tree in Richmond, and at local theatres as well as workshops and discussion groups.  Early in 2005, Tim toured with the award-winning Italian pianist Giovanni Mirabassi.  This led  to the release of their album Lucky Boys (in the UK and Japan) in 2006 and since then they have continued to work together both in the UK and Europe.  Also during this period, Tim premiered Landscape with Birds, a saxophone concerto by Colin Riley, with the Orchestra Viva.  In November 2007 he featured with BBC New Generations Artist Gwilym Simcock in The Free Thinking Festival at St George’s Hall in Liverpool, recorded live for BBC Radio 3, also collaborating with Gospel singer Jennifer Johns on his own piece‘Let Her Rave’.

Tim Whitehead

In 2008-9 Tim toured and recorded a new work, ‘Nonsense’, co-written with Colin Riley and Liam Noble  featuring settings of Children’s Poet Laureate Michael Rosen’s two books of Nonsense poetry, which was performed at The Queen Elizabeth Hall , Southbank Centre in London in The London Jazz Festival 2008.

In 2009 he was the first ever musician Artist in Residence at Tate Britain (funded by an award from The Leverhulme Trust), to research and compose music in response to the work of JMW Turner. During the residency he wrote ‘Colour Beginnings’, a series of compositions written from transcribed improvisations performed in front of and in response to a selection of JMW Turner’s watercolour sketches. The work was performed at Tate Britain in November 2009 following a series of lecture demonstrations in October. The performance was also recorded for release in 2010 and filmed for a profile on the project by Gwynhelek Productions. December 2009 saw a collaboration with Colin Riley and The Royal College Of Music String Orchestra, to perform‘Landscapes With Birds’ by Riley for tenor and soprano saxes, which Tim performed with them at St James Church Piccadilly in London , and which was also performed at The Royal College Of Music in January 2010.

‘Colour Beginnings’ has been shortlisted again, this time for the Parliamentary All Party Jazz Awards 2011 Album Of The Year.

In 2010 Tim continued touring ‘Nonsense’ with Michael Rosen and The Homemade Orchestra remained active in the Way Out West co-operative, and organised a fund raising concert for the charity ‘Parents For Inclusion’, for whom he served as a trustee. In Autumn he toured and released the CD album ‘Colour Beginnings’, to critical acclaim, receiving a four star review in The Guardian, five stars in The BBC Music Magazine and three in The Times, and was shortlisted for THE BRITISH COMPOSER AWARDS 2010 for ‘Colour Beginnings’.

Tim Whitehead with Roger Odell

In 2011 ‘Colour Beginnings’ was again being toured from April onwards, and work began on a new project for young children with Michael Rosen and The Homemade Orchestra, and the album was also shortlisted for Jazz Album Of The Year 2011

In May 2012 Colour Beginnings was performed on WDR German Radio by Tim’s Personal Standards Quartet.

The London Jazz Festival commissioned Tim to compose ‘Turner And The Thames’ for the 2013 and 2014 festivals, which were performed by Tim’s quartet at The Festival Hall Ballroom and The Maritime Museum in Greenwich at the opening of their exhibition‘Turner And The Sea’. The second stage of the commission is scheduled for three performances at the LJF 2014 and a UK tour in March 2015.

In 2014 Tim collaborated with his daughter Maisie, composing and performing an orchestral score for her dance and aerial show‘Strung Out’, which was performed at ‘The Place’ (London Contemporary Dance), in February and three performances in The Kingston International Youth Arts Festival in July.

Tim co-founded and chaired Jazz Umbrella in the 90’s, and WayOutWest in 2004, and was for some years an active member of the Musician’s Union. He was also chair person of the charity Parents For Inclusion for 7 years to 2011.

Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins Tim Whitehead and Roger Odell

Tim played with Roger Odell, Simon Brown and Bernie Hodgkins with vocals from Larraine Odell

Larraine Odell
Roger Odell
Simon Brown
Bernie Hodgkins

Following the interval Raffle of three jazz CDs we had the traditional sitting in spot which gives local musicians to st in with the band, tonight we had  the pleasure of Geoff Harriman playing “You Don’t Know Me” on his harmonica

Geoff Harriman
Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins, Tim Whitehead and Roger Odell

Thursday 11th July 2019 – JAZZNIGHTS @ BURES

As part of the Bures Music Festival we are organising the Jazz Evening at St Mary’s Church, Bures. The evening will start with our own Larraine Odell followed by the outstanding clarinettist Julian Marc Stringle. Julian will then join our headliner vocalist Jacqui Hicks for the main set. The Jazznights Trio accompany.

Sunday 14th July 2019 – KEVIN FITZSIMMONS (voc) will be at Jazznights

Performing his own brand of fresh-sounding vocal improvisations to jazz standards and his own jazz arrangements of iconic pop/soul tunes & jazz originals (including some co-written with Jools Holland sax star Derek Nash) Kevin has garnered critical acclaim and fans far and wide with performances at Ronnie Scott’s and the EFG London Jazz Festival.

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 
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipM1nC8IDiDYGa1__XMU_NiRx8V-JK9ApKwdisfiJ3wo1tFwQa_xdK3bxXa9FVNuUw?key=U1VUN1E4bXlWaEdLZ0o0WFFFdV9adlZIOUlJeFF3