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Jazz Night: Tina May

Monday 22 May 2017


This week the Bedford Arms is proud to be presenting a very special line up of Musicians led by renowned Vocalist Tina May. The quartet will also feature Pianist Robin Aspland, Bassist Arnie Somogyi & Drummer Mark Hale.

Since beginning her Jazz studies in Wales, Tina May has gone onto record and perform internationally,  her extensive biography and discography can be found on her website 

Tina started exploring and developing her jazz sensibilities at University College, Cardiff. She attended vocal studies with Eilleen Price in the music dept. and almost immediately teamed up with other musicians to form small bands.She joined the Welsh Jazz Soc. run by Jed Williams and was soon a regular listening to Sweets Edison, Eddie'Lockjaw' Davies, Al Cohn and many, many more at The Lions Den' in the Great Western Hotel in Cardiff.

As a student of French ,Tina knew she would have the opportunity of living in France for a year as part of her degree course. She chose to study in Paris and began her apprenticeship in Jazz when ,by chance, she met up with some aspiring young music students, who invited her to 'faire un boeuf' – have a jam with them.These musicians were Pascal Gaubert and Patrick Villanueva – who recorded with Tina on the 'live in Paris' album nearly twenty years later! Very soon Tina was performing at Le Slow Club with the Roger Guerin Big Band with special guest Kenny Clarke – such a great drummer and sweet man. Le Caveau de la Huchette became another regular gig for Tina and the band.

Tina formed a quartet with Patrick Villanueva, Renaud Garcia-Fons, Alain Richard and they performed all over Paris . At that time Tina was also involved in theatre and especially comedy review- something she felt a great affinity with. She met up with another talented thespian Rory Bremner who was already writing sketches and performing his hilarious monologues and skits on politics. Together Tina and Rory performed 'You are Eiffel but I like You (!)' – a review show which they took from Paris to the Edinburgh Fringe re-naming it 'Midnight Excess'. Tina was singing some amusing jazz songs like 'I'm hip' and doing some bi-lingual and 'franglais' originals as well as acting alongside Rory. 

Tina was a soloist in The Ellington Sacred Concert performed at Durham Cathedral with the Stan Tracey Big Band - Tina performed this work many times with Stan's band and also with The Echoes of Ellington Orchestra in San Sebastien with their famous San Sebastien choir. The work was recorded by 33 Records entitled the Durham Connection.

Tina has appeared in festivals & broadcast with the BBC Big band and recorded with her group. Her album , entitled 'Fun ' was a hard-swinging affair with the title track Tina's vocalese dedicated to Cannonball Adderley's band.Tina also toured Australia with this album, had her own week at Lonndon's Ronnie Scott's and also appeared at the award winning HongKong Jazz Club – Tina first trip to the Far East.

Tina has made many International Festival performances including; Ginza Jazz Festival inTokyo, Japan, Poland, Austria, Germany, France, Prerov in Czech republic, Munich and Augsburg, New Yorks 'Jazz Standard' with The Ray Bryant Songbook- featuring Ray himself and Don Sickler amongs other New York luminaries , Paris'Le Sunset' Club with Patrick Villanueva to name a select few!

Music commences at 8.30pm with suggested contributions of £5 per listener to ensure the performers earn a fair fee for their performance.

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