The Royal Bopsters

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Last Show: Monday 3 rd July 2017

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

The Royal Bopsters are a multi-generational jazz vocal quartet made up of New York’s finest jazz singers/music educators and specializing in Bebop and Swing music. Their highly acclaimed 2015 album The Royal Bopsters Project, released on Motema Records, sold out a full week at New York’s Birdland Jazz Club and made five top-pick CD release lists, receiving 4 ½ starts from Downbeat Magazine. This special recording features true jazz royalty, with Mark Murphy, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Sheila Jordan and Bob Dorough each lending their iconic voices and stylings (not to mention their writing). The album has garnered universal praise, with Christopher Loudon (Jazz Times) stating: “If this disc featured just the quartet, it would be sensational. The addition of the icons, […] all in remarkably fine form, escalates it from valuable to priceless, from piquant to landmark.”

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Allen Morrison, Downbeat

With singers ranging from age 33 to 93, The Royal Bopsters Project is a multigenerational vocal summit on which the talents of singers London, Meader, Pramuk and Ross unite in harmony to pay tribute to the art of vocalese singing and to the forefathers and mothers of their favored art form. This homage features five vocalese pioneers, each of whom helped to invent the bop-vocal or ‘vocalese’ art form. Six-time Grammy nominee Mark Murphy (1932–2015), considered one of the most influential vocalists in jazz, appears on four tracks, including an outstanding new version of Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay,” a song which stands very tall among Murphy’s many breakthrough recordings. Four of the original ‘Bopsters’ – NEA Jazz Masters and Grammy Awardwinners Jon Hendricks (b. 1921) and Annie Ross (b.1930), who represent two thirds of the pioneering vocalese group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross; NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan (b.1928); and Arkansas Hall of Famer and Schoolhouse Rock mastermind Bob Dorough (b. 1923) – each have one feature track on this recording.

The Royal Bopsters Project has garnered universal praise, with Christopher Loudon (Jazz Times) stating: “If this disc featured just the quartet, it would be sensational. The addition of the icons, […] all in remarkably fine form, escalates it from valuable to priceless, from piquant to landmark.” Four years in the making, the album was initially conceived by producer/vocalist/arranger Amy London as a twilight years feature for her musical hero and close friend Mark Murphy, who she cites as a key influence (as do scores of other successful jazz singers). One by one, the other ‘Royal Bopsters’ signed on for the project at London’s behest. The result: a sensational album that made five lists for Top CD Releases for 2015 including Downbeat and Jazz Times!

The Royal Bopsters are: Amy London, known and loved in New York City jazz and Broadway circles for her effortless sound, impeccable musicianship and depth of emotion; Holli Ross, “a top-tier jazz vocalist” (All About Jazz) and published ASCAP lyricist whose songs have been recorded by Janis Seigel with the Count Basie Orchestra, Mark Murphy, and Meredith D’Ambrosio; Pete McGuinness, a multi-Grammy nominee for jazz arranging as well as a highly regarded trombonist and singer; and Dylan Pramuk, a remarkable vocalist, improviser, arranger and educator who has performed at many of NYC’s finest jazz venues, including The Blue Note, Zinc Bar, Joe’s Pub and Birdland.

Band Lineup

Frank Griffith (saxophone)

Nikki Iles (piano)

Mark Hodgson (bass)

Rod Youngs (drums)