Norma Winstone: 75th birthday celebration feat. ECM European Trio, Symphony Orchestra and Big Band

LONDON Cadogan Hall
5 Sloane Terrace


The sheer quality of timbre and expression that exudes from the voice of Norma Winstone MBE transcends familiar conceptions of the jazz singer, within her field she is one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.

Norma has long been considered a national treasure in contemporary music, she retains the same clarity and emotional depth that characterised her impact on a prolifically inventive British jazz scene in the 1960s. Her contribution as a vocalist and lyricist to the art of jazz and improvised music since then has been immeasurable. Norma’s influence on her musical peers, as well as respect from audiences worldwide, places her in a select category of British jazz musicians who have truly made a global impact. The EFG London Jazz Festival is proud to present this unique, gala concert celebrating her life at the very forefront of innovations in jazz for almost five decades.

Over the years, her associations with contemporaries such as John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler and Steve Swallow stand out alongside collaborations with the great American pianists Jimmy Rowles and Fred Hersch – and she continues to explore fresh ground. Her Grammy-nominated European trio, with saxophonist Klaus Gesing and pianist Glauco Venier, has recorded a series of delicately nuanced CDs for ECM that are masterpieces of chamber jazz.  

This concert features Norma with her European Trio in the first half. Joined in the second half by the full Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra and Big Band, playing music especially written for Norma by the late, great arranger Steve Gray, plus a selection of other big band works written for her.

We’re particularly proud that there is also a specially-commissioned new piece for this evening's concert by the legendary composer/arranger Vince Mendoza, who as a long-term fan of Norma’s, again illustrates the international acclaim in which she is still held. Don’t miss this extraordinary one-off opportunity to hear Norma with these combined forces in a unique and special setting.

‘A superb example of state-of-the-art, imaginative, virtually beyond-definition singing’ (Downbeat)

'Norma Winstone celebrated her 75th Birthday in September this year, and I’m really looking forward to a celebration of her music at Cadogan Hall on the 16th. The Royal Academy of Music Big Band and Symphony Orchestra will be providing a wonderful setting for Norma’s voice, and as well as featuring some great arrangements from Steve Gray, there’ll be a new piece written and arranged for Norma by Vince Mendoza. Norma will also be performing with her grammy-winning trio of Klaus Gesing and Glauco Venier, so the concert promises to be one of the highlights of the festival.'

(Helen Mayhew, Jazz FM)