Arts & Entertainment Award 2004

Clare Teal

“Some singers sing standards, some sing their own material, but very few do both and even fewer do it well. Clare Teal is one of those rarities” – The Observer

Clare Teal is, quite simply, a major star. With an extraordinary voice, the ability to write songs that promise to become classics and a wonderfully sharp wit, Clare is a rare commodity – a complete entertainer.

Described as “a sensation in the normally rather sedate world of jazz” by the Mail On Sunday, Clare possesses an extraordinarily effortless voice that has a distinctive richness and warmth balanced by a rare subtlety and intimacy.

Clare’s fourth album ‘Don’t Talk’ (named after the Brian Wilson/Beach Boys song) balances jazz standards with classic pop songs whilst showcasing her exceptional song-writing. She brings new character to old favourites including Laura Nyro’s “Stoned Soul Picnic”, Dusty Springfield’s “What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life?” and the standards “Mellow Tone”, “The Music Goes Round And Round” and ‘Mood Indigo”. Her own writing has been compared to the great Cole Porter and here we are given a glimpse of her versatility with the steaming big band number ‘Messin’ With Fire’, the irrepressible samba of “Everything is You”, and the passionate ballads “Falling For You “ and “You Bring The Best Out In Me”.

Following the release in 2002 of her second album ‘Orsino’s Songs’, on the jazz specialist label Candid, Michael Parkinson predicted that Clare would be the “next big thing”. He has continued to be a staunch supporter inviting her to sing on his TV show in November 2003 and to join him on his Radio 2 show. Having heard ‘Don’t Talk’ he declared it “worth raving about” and promptly booked her to perform on his new TV show on October 16th. Listeners to his Radio 2 show Parkinson’s Sunday Supplement, on which Clare has appeared three times as a guest reviewer, have already been treated to weekly previews of the album.

Clare’s personality takes her to an even more stellar level as a live performer when her passion, wit and ability to truly entertain set her apart. During the last few years Clare has played at jazz clubs and festivals throughout the country and in 2003 she wowed thousands when she played the OneWorld stage at Glastonbury, received rave reviews after 4 nights at Edinburgh Festival and was invited to sing with John Dankworth and Cleo Laine for Radio 2’s ‘Live From The Stables’. October will see her taking to the road again for her 12 date headline ‘Don’t Talk’ tour – “I hope that every person in the audience leaves with a big grin on their face and the feeling that they have been entertained, that they have got to know me and are taking something away with them”.

Other points of interest include:
Clare’s well documented ‘discovery’ of Jamie Cullum – she recommended him to Candid Records after hearing an early demo recording at a dinner party. Clare also recorded with Jamie; their duet ‘The Road Less Travelled’ appears on her third album for Candid, of the same name.

Clare was nominated in the ‘Rising Star’ category in 2003’s BBC Jazz Awards and in the ‘Best Vocalist’ category in both 2003 and 2004. Already a major star in her home county of Yorkshire, Clare has been nominated for “Arts & Entertainment Personality Of The Year” in this year’s Yorkshire TV Awards (The Yorkies). The awards will be televised on Yorkshire TV on November 19th.

Clare has just completed a six week run on Radio 2 presenting her own show “After Seven with Clare Teal” every Friday evening during which she was able to indulge her passion and look at classic songs from the 1940s, 50s & 60s, how famous songwriters treated different themes and how some of the great singers interpreted the results.

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