Joanna Eden 'Embraceable Ella'

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Last Show: Saturday 28 th July 2018

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Joanna Eden presents a 'labour of love' show celebrating the music of her vocal hero Ella Fitzgerald. Joanna is mentor to superstar Sam Smith who last appeared at Dean Street as Joanna's backing singer when he was still a teenager. Joanna launched 'Embraceable Ella' to much acclaim at the London Jazz Festival and has since been touring this heart-warming collection of songs with her world class band featuring Chris Ingham on piano, George Double on drums and Owen Morgan on bass. Eden mines the rich seam of Ella Fitzgerald's unrivalled canon with humility, style and obvious deep affection.

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“The UK’s answer to Diana Krall and Norah Jones” Time Out

"A fitting tribute to Ella... the full house clamoured for an encore!" London Jazz News

Joanna has loved all-things Ella since growing up in Lincolnshire listening to her RAF Musician Dad John’s record collection.  “Ella was the soundtrack of my childhood.  Her voice has such a warm quality that I immediately feel calm and soothed when I hear it.  I’ve called the show Embraceable Ella because I love her rendition of Gershwin’s ‘Embraceable You’ and because her voice feels like an embrace; a lovely warm hug!”

Ella Fitzgerald’s popular nickname “First Lady of Song” betrays the deep affection and admiration audiences had for her work.  On her death at 79 years of age in 1996, the New York Times called her simply “the voice of jazz”.  Her six decade career took Ella from smoky clubs in Harlem to the Carnegie hall, to concert halls in Europe and - thanks to her virtuosic, heartfelt and intimate recordings - into living rooms all over the world.

Joanna Eden’s ability to combine jazz vocal dexterity with heartfelt emotion and great storytelling gives her all the skills necessary to pay a fitting tribute to such a legendary artist.  She also has a  world-class band to accompany her in the form of the Chris Ingham Trio featuring Chris Ingham on piano, George Double on drums and Owen Morgan on bass.

Joanna has hit the headlines in recent years because she has been the long-time mentor of pop sensation Sam Smith.  The two remain good friends to this day.  Sam, who studied singing with Joanna from age 9 to 18 and wrote his first songs with her, has called Joanna “the reason I sing” and quoted her 2006 album “My Open Eye” as being the reason he chose to be a singer/songwriter over his other teenage passion; musical theatre.  Joanna has fond memories of a teenage Sam Smith appearing as her backing singer at Dean Street when he was still a teenager "I think we had to lie about his age!  He sang 'Feeling Good' with me and raised the roof!"  Joanna appeared recently as a judge in the BBC singing show 'All Together Now'.

Joanna has performed her show ‘Embraceable Ella’ all over the world receiving standing ovations and even generous praise from Ella’s curator at the Smithsonian Museum, John Hasse.  At a recent outing at The Stables, Dame Cleo Laine attended and shared an anecdote about her friendship with Ella who'd filled her hotel room with flowers after Cleo and late husband Jonny Dankworth won a grammy for best jazz vocal performance in 1986.  "She obviously held Ella in great affection and I was so honoured that she came along to my concert!" said Joanna.

Band Lineup

Joanna Eden (vocals)

Chris Ingham (piano)

George Double (drums)

Owen Morgan (bass)