Hannah Horton in Conversation With...Wendy Kirkland!

18th June 2024

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Welcome to the latest episode of ‘In Conversation With’ with host and producer Hannah Horton, with our theme tune Surfing Thermals from our host, Hannah too! In this episode, we welcome Wendy Kirkland

Our podcasts are named as one of the Top 15 Women In Media Podcasts on the web by Feedspot and you can also find our podcasts at number 9 in the top 60 Best Jazz Podcasts in FeedSpot!

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Pianist and singer Wendy Kirkland has been a mainstay of the UK Jazz scene since the late noughties, but it was her first album, Piano Divas, released in 2017 that began her ascent to wider recognition as a “Singing Pianist”, as dubbed by Jazz Journal. The ability to sing at the same time as comping and craft solos on the piano or unison piano/voice scat lines is her forte, with influences such as Diana Krall, Eliane Elias and Dena DeRose. Further accolades were given for her 2019 release The Music’s On Me, dubbed “a huge leap forward” by Jazz Views. Both albums prompted ACE funded tours all over the UK and constant radio airplay ever since.

During lockdown from March 2020, Wendy and guitarist/bassist husband Pat Sprakes entertained with a daily dose of Latin American music on Facebook which they entitled Latin Lockdowns. After 86 such performances they decided it was time to move on to other musical endeavours, but were amazed and pleased to receive daily messages from people who described the videos in such terms as “a ray of sunshine” in their lockdown situations.

Wendy will be performing at our special event on June 27th to celebrate jazz vocalists and women in the jazz industry to raise money for renowned jazz vocalist Anita Wardell. Five outstanding vocalists from the British jazz scene, Vimala Rowe, Lily Dior, Esther Bennett, Diana Torti and Fiona Ross will bring their unique artistry to a range of jazz standards in an evening full of jazz tradition and elegant atmosphere, all accompanied by Wendy!. Women in Jazz Media presents: Jazz Sisters: A celebration of vocal jazz

Wendy’s musical career began at age 10, when she started taking piano lessons. She won a scholarship to have all her lessons paid for by Derbyshire Music, and continued to take her ABRSM piano grades. Switching to jazz in her late teens, Wendy continued her playing career as a dance class pianist, accompanist to singers and as a keyboardist in club bands. After being persuaded to sing by a great friend and guitarist, Bill McCreath, Wendy learned to reach people who are perhaps turned off by instrumental jazz, as she learnt to communicate with the audience through the songs. Wendy’s voice has been likened to Blossom Dearie with hints of Diana Krall. Find out more about Wendy here: Wendy’s links here

Hannah Horton is a British Female Jazz Saxophonist whose music is rooted in jazz, folk and funk. She has performed with many great jazz artists including Ian Shaw, Amy Winehouse, John Etheridge, Tina May, Georgia Mancio, Polly Gibbons, Natalie Williams, Esther Bennett and Irene Serra; and at venues including Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express Dean St, The 606, The Pheasantry, Love Supreme Jazz Festival, Royal Festival Hall and The Barbican. She has also toured in Europe and USA with her own and other groups. Her latest album has been going down a storm across the world. “Hannah makes the big beast of a baritone sax sound like an angel” – Ian Shaw.

Hannah Horton website

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