Vimala Rowe leads this tribute to Lady Day, inspired by the legendary 1956 concert at which Billie’s music was accompanied by extracts from her autobiography Lady Sings The Blues. With a band led by pianist / MD Alex Webb, Rowe gives her unique interpretations of the Lady Day catalogue while quoting from her extraodinary life story.
The show includes many of the most well-known Holiday songs, ranging – as did the Carnegie Hall concert – from the optimism of her 1930s work (What A Little Moonlight Can Do, Fine And Mellow) through her 1940s Torch songs (My Man, I Cover The Waterfront) to her self-penned classics Don’t Explain and Lady Sings The Blues – and many more.
Holiday’s memoir Lady Sings The Blues remains a unique document. The New York Herald Tribune called it, ‘One of the most candid self-portraits ever painted on a typewriter’, and it retains the power to shock and intrigue more than half a century later.
Vimala Rowe is a startling recent arrival on the UK vocal scene, appearing on two albums in 2016: ‘Call Me Lucky’ by Alex Webb & The Copasetics, and ‘Out Of The Sky’ by Vimala Rowe & John Etheridge. She is working on her next.
‘Vimala Rowe was sensational, managing convincing renditions not just of the standards, but also the closing number, “Strange Fruit”, delivered with eye-moistening poignancy’ – The Arts Desk
‘Flawless tributes to the great jazz vocalists are a speciality of hers’ – The Guardian
The show normally features Sue Richardson (trumpet), Denys Baptiste or Katy Jungmann (tenor sax & clarinet), Neville Malcolm or Flo Moore (bass) and Sophie Alloway (drums)