Twickenham lady sings the blues at Landmark Festival, Teddington, tomorrow

Award-winner: Val Wiseman

Award-winner: Val Wiseman

First published in News by

The 2011 BBC Jazz Awards Vocalist of the Year will close the 2012 Landmark Festival with her critically acclaimed celebration of the music of Billie Holiday.

Val Wiseman, of Varsity Drive, Twickenham, will perform some of Holiday’s greatest songs, with support from some of the finest UK jazz musicians, including Brian Dee.

Wiseman says she was particularly worried about performing Holiday’s songs because she wanted to do them justice but also give them her own style.

She says: “I tried to put my own slant on the songs, but people want to catch a glimpse of Billie. I tried not to just imitate her though.

“Her story is very inspiring and very dramatic. We do try to include that element.”

But she does add that the act has a good feel to it.

Lady Sings the Blues was created in tribute to Holiday by Wiseman and Jim Simpson, from Big Bear Music, as a one off for the Birmingham Jazz Festival.

The show has been performed on and off since the late 1980s and toured around the UK and Europe.

Wiseman, who has been singing for 40 years, says: “It always goes down well.

“Modern day signers are very aware of Billie Holiday and I think that it’s great, she goes on through the generations.”

Lady Sings the Blues: Celebration of the music of Billie Holiday; Landmark Arts Centre, Broad Street, Teddington, Saturday, November 10. Doors open at 7.15pm and show starts at 8pm. Tickets £15/£17 or £13/£16 for LAC members.

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