Pianist, Singer, Hammond player
Wendy Kirkland is a jazz pianist, singer and Hammond player in the sense that she’s a keyboardist first and foremost – soloing as well as accompanying herself on the songs she sings.
Wendy started piano lessons at aged 8, going on to win a Derbyshire Music scholarship and gained her ABRSM grades. Wendy continued a playing career as accompanist to singers and as a keyboardist in club bands. Switching to jazz in her late teens, after being persuaded to sing by a friend, she quickly learned to reach people perhaps turned off by instrumental jazz, and to communicate with audiences through the songs. She now sings and accompanies herself on piano and Hammond organ, her voice being likened to Blossom Dearie with hints of Diana Krall.
Wendy has been described as “mellow and stylish” by Clive Davis of the Sunday Times.
On March 28th, 2017 Wendy released an album entitled Piano Divas, celebrating singer pianists who have earned their rightful place in jazz history. These include Diana Krall, Eliane Elias, Blossom Dearie and Nina Simone, and those deserving more attention such as Shirley Horn, Dena Derose, Carol Welsman and Tania Maria.
It was quickly chosen by www.thejazzuk.co.uk to be Album of the Week, which they then repeated in December.
Throughout the year, the album gained positive review after review.
“a very classy debut” Dave Gelly, The Observer
“A bright future…first rate” – Jazz Views
“One of the great unsung heroines of British Jazz – the lucid warmth of her singing is complemented by her highly accomplished piano playing.” – 4.5 stars, The JazzMann
The album is full of well-crafted arrangements by Wendy Kirkland and Pat Sprakes of accessible classics such as “Come Dance with Me” and “Hey Good Looking”, as well as original compositions with a Latin swing – Bahia and Samba Chica. The recording features Wendy on piano and voice joined by a top-class band – Pat Sprakes on guitar, Paul Jefferies on double bass and Stevie Smith on drums, who between them have worked with several UK and international jazz luminaries.
Alan Barnes says “this is the beginning of much deserved recognition”
Jim Mullen “Wendy is proof that great musicians are alive and kicking…high quality, entertaining music.”
Roger Beaujolais: “Superb musicianship. I always look forward to the next time!”
More information about Piano Divas – Download