Friday, 10 November 2017 10:04 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                     altUndoubtedly one of the biggest and best festivals on the jazz calendar is Rotterdam's annual indoor North Sea Jazz event, which has been going since 1976 and is scheduled in 2018 for the weekend of 13th to the 15th of July. Next year's line-up hasn't been announced yet but given the festival's past history, it's bound to be a jaw-dropping array of talent from the worlds of jazz, R&B, and funk.  

For those wishing to get first dibs on tickets for next year's festival, from next Friday (November 17th),  you'll be able to buy full weekend passes at the reduced price of €199, which sounds like an absolute bargain. But you'd better be quick - last year's Early Bird tickets sold out within a month.

For tickets and more info go to:

Read SJF's 2016 interview with the North Sea Jazz Festival director Jan Willem Luyken here:

Last Updated on Friday, 10 November 2017 15:40



Thursday, 09 November 2017 09:54 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

           altFormer Hot House and M People singer, HEATHER SMALL, is set to make an appearance at  London's trendy Mayfair restaurant and nightspot, Quaglino's, on Thursday 16th November as part of the venue's much-anticipated Autumn Series programme. The 52-year-old London born singer will take to the stage at 9pm backed by a full band and will perform an intimate set comprising some of her most famous songs from her substantial back catalogue.  

Blessed with a distinctive and immediately recognisable voice, Heather Small first came on the radar of soul music fans via her work with the band, Hot House, in the late '80s. Though critically-acclaimed, the London-based group were unable to make a significant commercial breakthrough despite producing seven singles and two well-received albums between 1987 and 1990. Small's career changed dramatically when she agreed to become the lead singer of Mike Pickering's dance music group, M People, in 1990. The group went on to rack up a welter of global chart hits and best-selling albums during the 1990s and succeeded in making Heather Small a household name. She made her debut solo album, 'Proud,' in 2000, and its anthemic, uplifting  title track has gone on to become Heather Small's signature song. Her second album, 'Close To A Miracle,' followed in 2006.



Last Updated on Thursday, 09 November 2017 19:52



Wednesday, 08 November 2017 20:47 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altHard to believe, maybe, but dear old SHALAMAR are right back with us! Through the late 70s/early 80s, the trio (essentially Howard Hewett, Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel) crafted plenty of sweet dancers and beautiful ballads that live on... and on!

For all kinds of reasons the trio disintegrated but a few years back Howard Hewett and Jeffrey Daniel got together again and, hooking up with Carolyn Griffey (daughter of group founder and SOLAR Records honcho Dick Griffey), they began touring once again.

Recently the revitalised trio have been back in the studio and they've just launched their first single – a tasty, stately dancer. 'The Real Thing'.

SHALAMAR are about to embark on a UK tour to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the bestselling 'Friends' album but, no doubt, they'll be performing 'The Real Thing'!

A diligent web search will reveal if Shalamar are playing a venue near you sometime soon!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 November 2017 21:01



Wednesday, 08 November 2017 20:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altPAUL LOREN is a native New Yorker who won himself plenty of friends on the soul scene with his last single, 'All By Myself'. Little wonder, Paul says his influences are early R&B and soul, jazz and Brill Building pop, Paul says: "I started singing at 3 years old along with the little 45rpm records my mom would play and started playing piano at 4 years old. The voices I remember most and identify with are Ray Charles, Frankie Valli, Sam Cooke, Sinatra, Aretha, Otis, and Tony Bennett." And his latest single betrays many of those influences.

'I Know A Place' is a lazy, old school soul groove with a hint of the great Sam Cooke about it. The song is Paul's optimistic plea for a more unified and peaceful world. The track is the focus tune on Mr. L's upcoming EP – 'Selections From Leisurely", which Paul is currently finishing off at the Five & Dime studio in Brooklyn on old magnetic tape machines.

Find out more @

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 November 2017 21:01



Tuesday, 07 November 2017 20:30 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altTHE CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD are one of soul's iconic groups. They were the standard bearers for Holland-Dozier-Holland after their momentous split with Motown and with the mighty trio behind them, the General Johnson-led Chairmen scored hit after hit.

As fashions changed, the Chairmen found a new niche on the Carolina Beach Music scene and after the sad passing of Norman Johnson in 2010, the lead singer's mantle was assumed by Ken Knox. He was chosen especially by Johnson but out of respect for the him, Ken opted to put the Chairmen on hold while he fronted his own outfit, Ken Knox and Company. Their stage show featured their own material as well as plenty of Chairmen hits and their popularity on the Beach Music scene meant they enjoyed local hits with songs like 'Carolina Shuffle' and 'I'm Ready Willin' And Able'.

Ken has now re-convened the Chairmen Of The Board and the trio (Ken, Thomas Hunter and Brandon Stevens) are busy promoting their latest recording – a 7 track EP named for the song 'Words Left Unsaid'. The song is a beautiful old school ballad and if it reminds you of the glory days of Philly soul, you'd be bob on! The song was written by Philly veterans Mervin and Melvin Steals – the "Mystro" and "Lyric" behind countless Philly classics - while the arrangement comes courtesy of another legend, McKinley Jackson... and that trio "Mac-Mer-Mel" are the producers behind the whole mini collection.

Other highlights include the opening 'Each Moring I Wake Up' (a cover of the Major Harris tune), 'All I Need Is You Tonight' (originally recorded by Arthur Prysock for Old Town in 1976) and 'Get Your Lovin'' (a long time Beach Music favourite made popular by the Embers). But, if you like good old, proper soul music –the way it used to be – dip in anywhere here and you won't be disappointed. Retro soul never sounded so good!

The Chairmen Of The Board's 'Words Left Unsaid' is out now on Mo Philly Records and is being promoted by Soul Junction Records in the UK.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 November 2017 20:36


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