Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gig Preview - Nicki Allan

I had the chance to meet up with Leeds based jazz singer Nicki Allan in Leeds a couple of days back for a
chat, Nicki has lined up the first gigs of 2013 with her sextet.
For those not familiar with Nicki, she was the inaugural winner of the Jazz Yorkshire’s best vocalist in 2010 and since then has a record deal with 33 Records. Nicki has 3 jazz albums under her belt 2 of which are with her sextet. reviewers have described her band and music as refreshingly flawless and exciting arrangements executed with class.



The sextet are:
Joel Purnell – Tenor Sax
Mark Chandler – Trumpet
Graham Hearn – Piano and arranger
Adrian Knowles – Bass
Ronnie Bottomley – Drums and arranger
Nicki Allan – Vocals

Mark Beirne-Smith – So where are the first of the gigs?
Nicki Allan – The first is Pave Bar in Hull
( on Easter Sunday and the next is JATP in Bradford ( the Friday afterwards 5th April. There are a few more just being arranged and I will put them up on my web site. Doncaster Jazz, Seven arts and Wakefield Jazz festival are among those definitely booked in.

Mark Beirne-Smith – Is the band the same line up as the albums?
Nicki Allan – Almost, unfortunately Mark cant make it so Jim Corry who is just back from a Jamiroquai tour has stepped in to play soprano sax instead of having a trumpet, so it will sound slightly different without the trumpet, but the Soprano sax blends brilliantly with tenor so I'm looking forward to hearing those two playing together.

Mark Beirne-Smith – What songs should we be expecting, any new material?
Nicki Allan – Its mostly going to be American song book, with some exciting and original arrangements from both Graham and Ronnie. There will be some numbers from the previous two albums and I have another half a dozen or so new songs too.
Also I am going to be playing and singing some solo numbers on the piano at the request of Brian Bicat. He heard me at UCC Jazz club and demanded i do them at JATP.


Mark Beirne-Smith – Solo numbers, is this a new project?
Nicki Allan – Yes I have two other projects on the go at the moment, one is solo, just me! This was born out of the work I have been doing on the cruise liners over the last 3 years, I did do a solo album a couple of years back so its an extension of that. I've been working on developing my Jazz piano playing so the album is dedicated to that really, me playing and singing a variety of different styles but focussing on the Jazz. Also I am doing a duet album with Graham Hearn on piano, this is a collection of great songs that we have put together and been working on and will be recording on the lead up to summer.

Mark Beirne-Smith – Where can people buy your CDs?
Nicki Allan – There will be some with me at these gigs, also if they cant make it to them, from my web site above or if people prefer down loads through iTunes ( and Amazon (

Mark Beirne-Smith – Do you like marmalade?
Nicki Allan – .......Well, its funny you should ask as actually, Yes, I do!......but only Robertson's Shred less.

If you get the chance to catch Nicki and her sextet I am sure you will be in for a treat

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