Juliet Kelly

b. 6 May 1970, London, England. As a child Kelly was raised and educated in non-musical surroundings. Only religious music was permitted at home and at school she shied away from any kind of performance,…
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Artist Biography

b. 6 May 1970, London, England. As a child Kelly was raised and educated in non-musical surroundings. Only religious music was permitted at home and at school she shied away from any kind of performance, although she did take piano lessons from the age of 13. She had begun studying for an economics degree and was also taking a bass guitar course when, newly aware that she had a good singing voice, impulsively she took a jazz vocal class at a music workshop and came into contact with singer and teacher Anita Wardell. Persuaded and guided by Wardell, Kelly changed direction and next took a postgraduate course in jazz at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she encountered musicians such as Gary Crosby, John Etheridge and Orphy Robinson. Her public performance schedule swiftly developed and she was soon singing in bars and clubs throughout London. Before long, she was singing all over the UK, and has also toured Europe and has appeared in Israel and Australia. Kelly is also a promising songwriter and arranger and all but one of the tracks on her 2003 debut album Aphrodite’s Child were her own compositions. Among musicians with whom Kelly has worked are saxophonist Tony Kofi, pianists Mike Gorman and Gareth Williams, guitarist Jim Mullen, bass player Tom Barlow and drummer Sebastian Rochford. She appeared at the London Jazz Festival in 2003 and 2004 and made her American debut at New York’s Sweet Rhythm jazz club in 2005. Kelly, whose stated influences include Shirley Horn, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald, has a distinctive rich and creamy sound allied to good phrasing and an admirable stage presence. (NB: Not to be confused with the jazz vocalist by the name of Julie Kelly.)