This specially-curated tribute to Lady Day was 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, top vocalists including Vimala Rowe and David McAlmont have given their 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.