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clare teal

Clare Teal and her Hollywood Orchestra

Clare Teal and her Hollywood Orchestra Celebrate the First Ladies of Swing – Sage Gateshead

~ a guest blog by Mandy Charlton

I’m going to take a moment to admit something, a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t actually know who Clare Teal was!  I know, shocking right?  I’ve been a fan of mainstream jazz for many years, I’ve loved the work of Harry Connick Jnr, Jamie Cullum and the classic standards from Ella Fitzgerald et al.  The lure of the orchestra got me again and I am so glad I got to experience this concert.

When Clare tells stories, she sounds like Victoria Wood and she’s just as funny, when Clare sings she has he biggest, richest, chocolaty smooth voice I’ve ever heard, I think If I’d ever heard Karen Carpenter sing Jazz, this is what she would have sounded like.

Clare’s concert opened the annual Gateshead International Jazz Festival with a bang, celebrating the first ladies of swing we enjoyed an evening of music dedicated to legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Lena Horne and Peggy Lee, great musical arrangements and wonderful moments of tunes like Stormy Weather and Let’s Fall In Love, this concert had something for everyone from the hard-core jazz lovers to those who just enjoy an evening of brilliant, bouncy big band tunes.

Clare also introduced us to 2 young singers, aged only 21 and 22 with the most amazing jazz voices and some great dance moves thrown in for good measure.

I cannot find one single fault with this concert and if I was invited to enjoy the same concert over again I would not refuse, in fact I’d quite happily listen to music like this every single day for the rest of my life.

The best thing I guess is that it introduced me to some music I didn’t know but music I’ll be searching for and downloading, music which makes you smile, music which makes your heart happy and ultimately gives you a spring in your step.

If you get a chance to go and see Clare live, don’t even question it, don’t think about it twice, get your tickets immediately and perish the though but if you can’t get a ticket, go buy her CD or download her album because you really will thank me for having a little more swing in your lives.

~ a guest blog by Mandy Charlton

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