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Yots.K

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Biography of Yots.K

Yots.K’s intriguing debut album, fire & water, perfectly captures her vibrant vocal swing with attitude, as previously appreciated in her live performances, and will challenge perceptions of the contemporary jazz vocalist.

As an Afro-Grecian living in London, Yots.K has a rich mix of influences to draw from - from the Greek rebetika, so close to the American blues, to Latin and African pulsations. She progressed from Elvis to admiring a range of early jazz singers and musicians, in particular Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis; the story they had to tell and how they told it was the greatest influence.

Today, Yots.K’s inspirations come from closer to home, namely the lush, diverse talent she hears in the current British jazz scene, thrilling music right here on our doorstep that tips its hat to the legends of American jazz while bursting with its own energy and distinctive identity. The unconventional and provocative British art scene - with Gilbert & George as favourites - is also a continuous source of stimulation, and fire & water‘s album artwork is Yots.K’s bold homage to the duo’s work.

fire & water opens with Isolina Carrillo’s classic Cuban bolero Dos Gardenias. Alongside the self-penned title track are sublime reworkings of Love For Sale (Cole Porter), Mad About The Boy (Noel Coward), Cry Me A River (Arthur Hamilton), and Throw It Away (Abbey Lincoln), plus some genre-mixing choices such as Nick Cave’s Into My Arms, and Tom Waits’ Chocolate Jesus. The album ends on a high with the anthemic I Will Survive (Freddie Perren/Dino Fekaris).

Yots.K was first seduced into the jazz persuasion whilst dealing blackjack in an illegal club in South Africa to the soundtrack of the club owner’s extensive jazz collection. Even getting arrested for keeping a gambling house couldn't dampen her love of the music - in fact, it just added to the romance of it all. A common perception of jazz is of the smoky, gambling gin joints of yesteryear and for Yots.K this was definitely an attraction; but her education didn’t end there. It continued in London where she’s become known for her work behind the scenes in jazzland. Meeting musicians, hearing them play and learning from them, she took the bold step to join their ranks, starting at open mic nights before progressing to gigs with her own trio. She has performed in Atlanta Georgia, France, Greece and Glasgow as well as all over London.

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