Leading singer and pianist team up for Bedford jazz session

Pianist Rob Barron joins Anita Wardell at the White Horse next week
Pianist Rob Barron joins Anita Wardell at the White Horse next week

Top vocalist Anita Wardell leads a high-quality line-up at the next Monday Jazz session at the White Horse in Bedford on July 23.

Anita Wardell is noted for her and captivating vocal improvisations and vocalese lyrics to instrumental solos. Anita is a musician who uses the voice as her instrument, displaying precision and agility, mixed with heartfelt emotion.

Singer Norma Winstone praised her “unexpected vulnerability, which makes her reading of the ballads both beautiful and touching. Her honesty shines in this well-chosen collection of songs.”

Bebop pioneer Mark Murphy, proclaimed Anita “a gift from Australia”, adding: “What hits me is how expressive her ballad singing is. Then she has the courage to scat a ballad or two, not unlike a young lady disciple of the Ben Webster school.”

Anita received the BBC Jazz Award for Best of Jazz category in 2006.

Her latest album, The Road, was released in summer 2013. In the same year she won the Best Vocalist category in the British Jazz Awards and in 2014 Anita was nominated in the 2014 British Jazz awards.

Over the past four years, Anita has travelled extensively, performing and leading jazz vocal masterclasses in USA, Europe and Australia.

She will be joined by pianist Rob Barron, a mainstay of the London jazz and studio scene. His work as a jazz pianist has taken him all over the world and has played with artists including Al Jarreau and Jacqui Dankworth. Rob regularly appears with the BBC Big Band and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra.

The musical ensemble is completed by bassist Jeremy Brown and drummer Mark Hale, who organises the weekly night.

The music starts at 8.30pm, with suggested donations of £5 per listener.