Hey Ho and on with the show
By Ciara Johnson
Saturday 18 Jun 2011 10:02:00
Browse all Music articles

The UK’s finest jazz singer and much loved performer Clare Teal makes a welcome return to Middlesbrough Town Hall on Thursday 23 June as she hits the road with her new album Hey Ho, a celebration of The Great British Songbook spanning a period of almost 120 years.


Clare has twice been voted British Jazz Singer of the year and also the BBC’s Jazz Singer of the year. Away from her singing work, Clare is becoming increasingly well known to radio listeners for her two weekly big band shows on BBC Radio 2, whether it be Clare Teal Sunday Night at 10pm or Big Band Special on Mondays at 11pm.


Passionate about the music she plays on her shows, Clare is on a one-woman mission to introduce younger audiences to the joys of big band music.  Clare has also written articles for the Times and various magazines and for the past 4 years has penned a weekly column for her beloved Yorkshire Post.


To those familiar with Clare’s tongue-in-cheek down-to-earth northern charm the title will come as no surprise, “Hey Ho is more than a Miss Marple aside or a hey nonny-esque quip with a whiff of the morris dancers about it.  It’s a state of mind, a useful ‘mustn’t grumble’ type tool which can be deployed to deal with the grimness of the recession, the decline of the music industry or the running out of kitchen roll. It’s been a part of our language, heritage and attitude since the 15th Century and is of course, without doubt, quintessentially British.”


Teal is a recognised knowledge and enthusiast of the history of jazz and popular song and has been working on this project for nearly two years.  Although rooted in the jazz traditions of the 1930’s and 40’s this record covers a huge spectrum of sounds and genres but focuses simply on highlighting the beauty of well-written songs using honest open soundscapes and textures.  


The oldest song is Herbert Hughes’ musical setting of W.B. Yeats 1889 poem Down By The Sally Gardens, the album proceeds to wend it’s way through thirteen decades to the 2005 song Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol.   


It’s the ballads including Why (Annie Lennox) that allow the listener to appreciate the full yet understated tones of a singer of whom the Observer said, “when she sings a ballad, she trusts the song to tell its own story without emoting all over it.”   


Hey Ho shows a new depth to Clare’s work. It is more reflective and mature yet confident and self-assured, ably assisted by her brilliant band led and arranged by the vibrant young Australian ARIA winning pianist Grant Windsor.


The exceptional musicianship and musicality provide a majestic and luxurious platform to showcase Clare’s effortless ability to sing this collection of world class songs. On reflection she notes “I’m very proud of this record. It’s taken a long time to make and research and whilst Hey Ho celebrates these great songs, by intention it isn’t quintessentially British but it is quintessentially me!”


Don’t miss this chance to catch such a spell binding performer live in action.


“In this overcrowded field, Clare Teal deserves special attention”Daily Telegraph


“The New Queen of Swing ... a sensation in the normally rather sedate world of jazz” - Mail On Sunday


“Teal has a big-heartedness that blows warmth through her work, and is perfectly offset by her bluff Yorkshire wit” - Independent On Sunday


“Teal is a distinctive singer with perspective and a sense of humour”  - The Guardian


·        Clare Teal, Thur 23 June, 8pm, £16; Conc £14

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