Jazz AROMA PRESENTS...Fleur stevenson
This week Jazz Aroma caught up with Fleur Stevenson, as talented a jazz singer as she is beautiful.
There's no underestimating Fleur's incredible talent and presence in the jazz world, Fleur has had the fortune to work with some very influential names in the musical world reinforcing her talent and love of singing.
Fleur was first introduced to the world of music classically, receiving musical training at Wells Cathedral School in Somerset to refine her skills in classical singing and trumpet.
Fleur's first experience of jazz singing was when asked to fill in for a soloist at a rehearsal, Fleur stepped in and immediately fell in love! Enjoying the freedom provided by the style. Fleur formed her own jazz band and began to make her presence felt joining the live music circuit in Oxfordshire and London.
Fleur further enhanced her musical skills by completing an Associate Trinity College Diploma from Trinity College London and began receiving personal tutoring from the talented British jazz vocalist, Claire Martin OBE, X-Factor voice coach Anita Wardell, Verona Chard, Paris Jazz Club resident Laura Littardi and one of Ronnie Scott's resident artists, Renato D'Aiello.
Fleur has a jam-packed summer coming up performing a fantastic range of events from dinner jazz gigs in Reading and her personal favourite evenings at Chelsea 606 Club Sunday 3rd June with her talented trio. For a full list of places Fleur will be performing please follow this link and plan ahead!
Jazz Aroma wanted to get to know a little more about Fleur and what makes her tick, we asked her 5 questions to learn more from this great artist.
If you could have dinner with anyone famous who would that be and what would they eat?
George Clooney obviously! And who cares what we eat or talk about!
... there are so many, I couldn't possibly choose. Herbie Hancock would have some stories to tell, and a lot of wisdom to share, or Quincy Jones perhaps... If I could bring someone back from the dead, Dudley Moore would be my dinner date.
Where is the very best place or country you have performed?
London! It's a great city, with a lively jazz scene. I love playing at the 606 Club, and Ronnies, but I also like the smaller more local venues, like a lovely yurt (www.haddonacre.co.uk/rhythms-at-the-yurt) that I play in a couple of times a year. It's so intimate, and the audience sit all around you; it's a wonderful vibe. Cafe Aroma should be just as lovely, I'm looking forward to it.
What would you like people to get from your singing?
I'm telling a story with every song. Each song means something to me, but it might not necessary mean the same to the listener, that's the beauty of this art. I tell the story and the audience interpret it. Every word has to be meant, I think Ella Fitzgerald once said '' I sing like I feel'', I think there's a lot to be said for that, and I hope it comes across in my music. I want my audience to go away satisfied and feeling like they've been part of a musical journey.
What does the next 12 months look like to you? Are you planning anything big for your musical career?
Someone once told me an awful joke: ''How does a jazz musician get three million pounds? .. He starts off with four!''... I've got some lovely gigs coming up and teaching lots; I'm always grateful to be doing a job I love and fortunate to have work coming in.
I'm recording this summer with wonderful pianist Pete Billington, so that will be a nice project, stripped down versions and quirky arrangements of some standards as well as a few more obscure tunes which we both really love. I've got some other nice collaborations in the pipeline that should be fun. I should have a few dates with Remi Harris, gypsy guitarist later this year, he's great.
It's an ever evolving art and my voice changes over the years and my life experience grows, so I'll keep doing what I love while I can and keep the jazz cog turning.
If you would like to get in touch with Fleur please head over to her website here or follow along with Fleur's Facebook page here.
Fleur and her Trio will be performing live at Jazz Aroma Sunday 17th June from 8pm. Reserve your ticket via this link to receive a table, table service and two complimentary drinks on the house! Grab them while you can, they won't hang around long.
the Man behind the sax...
This week Jazz Aroma catch up with Ottone Caretta to find out a little more from the man behind the sax...
Otto is a remarkably talented musician. By day this softly spoken, sedate gentle giant is one of Oxfordshire's scientific engineers, mathematical genius and computer whizz...but by night when he picks up his saxophone his alter-ego takes over and leads the audience on a journey through infamous depths of his musical abilities.
Otto learnt to play the saxophone as a teenager from his home town just north of Venice, Italy. He continued to learn alongside his training to be an engineer writing and performing to help pay his way through his education and now as an escapist side hobby.
The jazz band 'Ottone Caretta' have performed across the UK, in some exclusive venues, for Royals and A-list celebrities. Recently Otto has been performing with a 7 piece band called 'Funk Bake' which is just as popular, with the group working hard to release new music and perform more together this year, hoping to appear at several local Oxfordshire jazz and blue's festivals with their new music - subscribe to his Youtube channel to keep posted on dates!
Otto, a lover of all things jazz and blues plays saxophone in the hugely successful 8 piece blues band 'Bolt from the Blues', creating lively blues musical sets to sing and dance along to and have now performed at over 1000 weddings; they draw their inspiration from The Temptations, Otis Reading, James Brown and Bo Diddly, leaving guests enthralled and dancing the night away.
For something a little different where Otto plays sax with vocals from the gorgeous Rochelle Balach, 'The Zards' manage to create smooth happy upbeat tunes, with fun titles like 'Cockroach Grind' and 'The Traveller' and characterise their style of music as 'red hot and fully charged jazz'. Take a look at one of their Youtube videos to hear for yourself.
Jazz Aroma are lucky to have Otto perform live for us Sunday 3rd June (date may change slightly).
If you would like to book Otto or one of his many bands for your event, please head over to his website to find out more.
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