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Kate Westbrook

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Biography of Kate Westbrook

Kate Westbrook's musical career began in the mid '70's when she joined the Mike Westbrook Brass Band. She has toured widely and has recorded more than 20 albums. Kate's vocal range embraces Contemporary Music, Opera, Music Hall, as well as Jazz and Popular Song. She sang the role of Anna in The Seven Deadly Sins by Brecht and Weill with the London Symphony Orchestra, arias by Rossini with the Mike Westbrook Orchestra at the Proms, and songs by the Beatles with the Westbrook Band in Off Abbey Road. Kate multi-tracked most of the roles in the television opera Good Friday 1663 (with libretto by Helen Simpson), now released on a CD as part of Jazzprint's Westbrook Music Theatre series.

Kate sings in several European languages, especially Italian, French and German. She was guest soloist in a series of performances in the Christus Pavillon at the Expo 2000, Hannover, in a work by composer Heribert Leuchter, KlangWeltReligion. In 2002 she collaborated with Heribert on a music-theatre piece, Reich durch Arm, commissioned by WDR, and premiered in Aachen.

Kate Westbrook's work as a lyricist has encompassed everything from cabaret songs to opera. She wrote book and lyrics for the music theatre piece Platterback, performed by Westbrook & Company and the Westbrook Trio's 20th anniversary album L'ascenseur / The Lift (both on Jazzprint) as well as the current Westbrook project ART WOLF, based on the life and work of the Alpine painter Caspar Wolf (1735 - 83) now releases on the Swiss label altrisuoni.

Kate wrote texts for Chanson Irresponsable (Enja Records), one of many collaborations with Mike Westbrook, which include settings of European poetry, as in such concert works as The Cortege and London Bridge is Broken Down. She wrote the libretto for their opera Jago, and the recent Turner in Uri, a celebration of the painter JMW Turner's travels in the Alps, commissioned by the 2003 Alpentoene Festival.

In her recording project Cuff Clout, (Voiceprint) a neoteric music-hall, performed by her group The Skirmishers, Kate's lyrics are set by eight composers from the worlds of pop, rock, jazz and classical music. On her solo album Goodbye Peter Lorre (also Voiceprint) she is accompanied by pianists John Alley and Mike Westbrook and the vocal group Fine Trash. Other albums include Music For Other Occasions with Lindsay Cooper and the Duo album with Mike Westbrook Love or Infatuation, based on the Hollywood Songs of Frederich Hollaender.

Kate studied Fine Art, and continues to exhibit her work in solo and group shows in Britain and abroad. Some of Kate's work is on show in the gallery pages of www.westbrookjazz.co.uk.

Kate Westbrook is currently performing ART WOLF in a quartet with Mike Westbrook and saxophonists Chris Biscoe and Pete Whyman.

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