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Elaine Delmar stars at Jazz Hastings

For their session on 7 May, Jazz Hastings will be welcoming a true ‘Grand Dame’ among British female jazz singers, Julian Norridge reports: Elaine Delmar will be appearing with her quintet, featuring guitar legend Jim Mullen.

Elaine Delmar has been recognised as a major force by some of the great and the good: “One of the ageless, evergreen singing stars that we have…as beautiful and talented as ever…she’s marvellous,” is how Michael Parkinson described her. Humphrey Lyttelton said that she “…truly defines the word class…”

Born in Hertfordshire, Elaine was raised in a strong musical environment. Her father was the renowned trumpeter Leslie ‘Jiver’ Hutchinson, a leading influence in the jazz and dance band movement in Britain from the 1930s onwards. After initially learning classical piano, she followed a natural progression towards singing and became a vocalist in her father’s own band at 16.

It was soon apparent that her vocal talent and natural affinity with the stage would lead her to triumph in many areas of the entertainment world. As well as singing, she has had a successful career on the London stage and on Broadway, receiving critical acclaim as a straight actress for her role in Map Of The World at the National Theatre. She has made many appearances on TV and radio and featured in Ken Russell’s film Mahler as the Bohemian Princess.

Stellar recording career

Her stellar recording career has spanned some 60 years. She’s equally at home in the concert hall – she appeared with Andy Williams at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester and Michel Legrand and the LSO at the Royal Albert Hall – and in smaller venues.

Her popular appearances at the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s Club in London have shown her to be remarkably adaptable in a jazz setting, having worked there at different times with such jazz giants as Herb Ellis, Benny Carter and Stephane Grappelli. Her recent season and her live album at Ronnie Scott’s revealed a singer who remains in the prime of her performing life. By popular demand, she regularly headlines at the club.

For this event she’ll be supported by guitar legend Jim Mullen, a major figure on the UK scene in his own right. His distinctive guitar sound – like his idol Wes Montgomery he plays with his thumb – has been an instantly recognisable instrumental voice in UK jazz for more than 50 years. He is widely regarded as one of the finest jazz guitarists in Europe.

With him will be three more musical luminaries: Barry Green on piano, Bobby Worth on drums and Simon Thorpe on bass.


Elaine Delmar Quintet with Jim Mullen Jazz Hastings, Tuesday 7 May, East Hastings Sea Angling Association (on the Stade behind the lifeboat station). Doors open 7.45pm for 8.30 start, tickets £15 on the door, £3 for under 18s.



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Posted 10:04 Sunday, Apr 28, 2024 In: Music & Sound

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