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Laura Collins

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Biography of Laura Collins

It's no wonder that, since turning professional a year ago, Laura Collins has been creating a huge buzz. A sophisticated singer with style and wit to boot, her work takes her around Britain, winning hearts and minds.

Laura played classical 'cello and piano from an early age in her home town of Cardiff and studied singing as a choral exhibitioner at Cambridge University. Feeling the constraints of High Church music, she found solace in Nina Simone and Charlie Parker:

'I saw the light, threw off my cassock, and began to take the path of jazz understanding.'

Then followed an adventurous year in Rome, singing in backstreet clubs. On returning to the UK she continued her apprenticeship in working mens' clubs and any place she could shove a microphone.

Keen to receive formal training, Laura moved to London to study on the highly competitive jazz performance course at the Guildhall School of Music. There she was awarded scholarships from the Ryan Davies Memorial Fund and the Atlantic Foundation. Fortunate to learn from some of the most prominent figures in jazz, she performed with the Swedish piano whizz Jakob Karlzon, studied singing with Lee Gibson, Anita Wardell and Tina May and explored lyric-writing with Norma Winstone.

Since, in addition to working as a versatile session musician, Laura has performed around Britain with her own band and also as a solo singer-pianist. Having recently located to the West Midlands, she works frequently with Paul Sawtell and Casey Greene. She is lyricist and vocalist on the trumpeter Ben Thomas' 'Edge' project. She has performed with other UK jazz greats including Bruce Adams, Alan Barnes, Andy Cleyndert, Dave Cottle and Tony Levin.

Laura's sound has been likened to the Norwegian singer Radka Toneff. Her main singing influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Annie Ross and Norma Winstone. What results is a magical blend of old and new.

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