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Kerry Hodgkin

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Biography of Kerry Hodgkin

This up and coming jazz vocalist has a "not unimpressive" stylistic and vocal range, singing with "real conviction" and working with some of the leading lights of the British Jazz scene. She uses her unique 'silk & steel' vocal style to sing an eclectic combination of the standard repertoire mixed with crossover soul and popular classics in a contemporary jazz style, with a blues edge.

"All that talent, all that hair!" - Maddy Prior

Originally from Sheffield, Kerry comes from a musical family of classical singers and did her first paid singing work at age 15. Brought up with classical, pop, blues and soul music, it wasn't until her late teens/early twenties that Kerry really discovered jazz.

Following three years at the Birmingham School of Speech & Drama (1990-93) where she gained a diploma in acting and a L.A.M.D.A L.L.A.M teaching diploma, Kerry moved to London. Kerry continued to gain live performance and recording experience over the next few years, including an appearance on "The James Whale Show" on ITV (1995) and backing vocals on the Denim album "Denim on Ice" (1996), both during her 2½ years with a four part, all-female pop/soul/jazz a cappella group, The Spirellas.

Other experience during this period includes work with rock, blues, soul and funk bands, teaching vocal technique at The Musicians' Institute in London, session work and forming the jazz/blues duo Ben and Kerry with highly talented guitarist, Ben Smith (1999).

In 2000 Kerry's real obsession with all things jazz, both vocal and instrumental, really kicked in. Since then she has begun to appear at some key jazz venues, including Pizza on the Park, various Pizza Express restaurants and the National Theatre Foyer. Her debut CD "…and everything" was released on 33 Records in February 2002, receiving airplay on Jazz FM and BBC Southern Counties Radio and a very favourable review in JazzReview Magazine.

Kerry counts Billy Holiday, Etta James, Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin and, more recently, Claire Martin, Liane Carroll and Cassandra Wilson among her influences. Musicians worked with include Alan Barnes, Andy Panayi, Julian Siegel, Mick Foster, Robin Aspland, Gareth Williams, James Pearson, Simon Wallace, Barry Green, Ian Riley, Malcolm Edmonstone, Clark Tracey, Jeremy Brown, Simon Thorpe, Nick Pugh, Mike Ellis Swing Band and Crissy Lee Big Band.

Kerry completed a Jazz Services tour in Feb/March 2003 with the Kerry Hodgkin Quintet: Kerry Hodgkin - vocals, Alan Barnes - sax/clarinet, Robin Aspland - piano, Jeremy Brown - bass, Clark Tracey - drums.

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