Jazz styles on show at annual festival

Sarah Moule
Sarah Moule

Three jazz singers will bring different styles to this year’s Scarborough Jazz Festival, which runs at the Spa from September 26 to 28.

Anita Wardell first appeared at Scarborough Jazz Club in the late 1990s when she was little known and last year she was awarded the British Jazz Award for Best Vocalist.

“I’ve kept in touch with Anita and she has become a good friend,” says festival director Mike Gordon.

“She is an amazing musician. Many jazz vocalists improvise with little understanding of what they are doing.

“Anita has the same musical knowledge and understanding as a top solo instrumentalist. And she has such a beautifully warm and clear voice.”

At the festival, Anita will be singing the music of Johnny Mandel – for example, The Shadow of Your Smile and the theme from MASH – arranged by Alan Barnes whose septet will be backing her.

The young singer and pianist Theo Jackson will perform with saxophonist Nathaniel Facey, of British Jazz award winners Empirical.

Their interaction demonstrates remarkable musical ability and a very special jazz relationship.

This will be Sarah Moule’s first appearance at the 

“What a great voice and a great talent,” said BBC Radio Two’s Russell Davies.

She is highly regarded for her ability to bring maximum emotion and meaning from her songs.

Simon Wallace, whose trio will back Sarah, has had an international career as a composer, pianist and musical director.

And for something completely different, in the Spa’s Sun Court the entertaining Stephen Joseph Theatre’s Funky Choir, with 25 members, will be singing a varied selection of numbers arranged by their musical director Mark Gordon.

Headlining the weekend are Nigel Kennedy and John Etheridge. Ticket sales are at a record level this year and are selling rapidly, say the organisers.