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Tina May

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Biography of Tina May

" May is a surprise " (Cadence)

" handles the classics as the gems they still are " (The Guardian)

Just two media review quotations emphasising what a fantastic jazz, cabaret, and recording, artiste Tina May has become since forming her first Tina May Quartet in the early 1990's.

" Now considered the finest jazz vocalist ever produced by Britain " (Chris Allen), Tina was born in Gloucestershire, where she was influenced greatly by her parents jazz record collection, containing such illustrious composers and artistes as Duke Ellington and Fats Waller.

Tina now has seven CD's of her own, as a leader, with another two due for release in 2000. Tina has also recorded and performed Ellington's 'Sacred Music' with the Stan Tracey Orchestra and been a featured guest on many other recordings from jazz and soul to fusion.

In her early teens Tina performed with the Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra, before entering the University of Wales, Cardiff, where she performed with jazz musicians on the South Wales jazz scene. In 1983, while studying in Paris, Tina met and performed with such legends as Kenny Clarke and Roger Guerin, at Caveau de la Huchett, Le Petit Opportun and Le Bilboquet. Fifteen years later Tina was invited to return to Paris, to perform at the legendary Jazz Club Lionel Hampton, becoming the first non-American artiste to headline at the club since it opened in 1973, and where she now performs annually. This is in addition to her regular season's at London's Ronnie Scott Club, Pizza on the Park, Pizza Express Jazz Club, where she is invited, at Scott Hamilton's request, to perform with him and his band each New Year's Eve.

Jazz UK's Pete Martin reviewing the 1998 Brecon Festival, remarked despite the parade of American jazz stars, " the most lasting memory of the event will be of the late night concert by vocalist Tina May ".

Other worldwide concert and festival appearances have included London's Royal Festival Hall, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Hong Kong Jazz Club, Munich, Belfast, Cork, and Kilkenny, Antwerp, Boulogne, Sydney, Melbourne, Malta, Monte Carlo, and Prado.

A recent Dublin 'Sunday Tribune' article about Tina May commenced as follows. " With the elder generation of master vocalists now dangerously dwindling (Mark Murphy, Nancy Wilson, Blossom Dearie, Meredith d'Ambrosio and Shirley Horn are a few of the giants left) it is indeed heartening that Britain does harbour a young female performer who, at the moment, is achieving impressive maturity, and evidencing genuine empathy and understanding for the timeless and indefinable beauty of the artful popular song. She is Tina May".

Indeed, the London Observer's jazz critic Dave Gelly, in reviewing her ever lengthening number of CD's has long considered " Tina May has an unerring instinct for how to treat a song ", and is "that great rarity, a singer who enhances a song." Tina's musical heart may well be rooted in the music of Waller, Ellington, Gershwin, and Monk, and the jazz tradition. However, she is not a performer, who remains musically static, as she is a thoroughly modern twenty-first century artiste.

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