Hollywood Romance with Claire Martin

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Hollywood Romance with Claire Martin

In June 2014 at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, London, drummer and producer Matt Skelton launched “Close To You”, a reinvention in concert of one of the classic Sinatra Capital era albums.

“Where else would you hear such distinctive, timeless music, tailored with such care yet still sounding so fresh?” – Peter Vacher, London Jazz News (June 2014)

The project features an ensemble of handpicked musicians chosen for their sound and empathy for this extraordinary music – Matt Ford, regularly appearing with both the John Wilson Orchestra and the BBC Big Band and nominated for Best UK Male Vocalist at the inaugural Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Awards, the internationally acclaimed Tippett Quartet as well as hugely talented Callum Au, Ronnie Scott’s artistic director James Pearson and other Grammy-nominated jazz instrumentalists. 

2014/2015 saw the ensemble undertake their Cadogan Hall debut (London) as well as numerous performances at prestigious festivals throughout the UK – Henley FestivalThaxted Festival, Cheltenham FestivalPetworth FestivalNewry Festival and Music @ Malling. On 24th August, they will be appearing at the Snape Proms in Aldeburgh.

“It’s musical goldStewart Collins, Henley Festival Director

“It’s a very stylish, satisfying show, perfectly balancingartistic integrity with entertainment value” – Meurig Bowen, Cheltenham Festival Director

I originally saw the Close to You Ensemble at a London jazz club and it was an easy decision to sign them for a concert at Cadogan Hall. Their creative talent, world-class musicianship and all-round commitment to the project is remarkable and it was a genuine pleasure to work alongside them. The concert was a great success and feedback from all sources has been glowing. ” – Toby Cruse, Worldwide Live, Cadogan Hall Concert Promoter

Following the success of “Close To You”, Matt Skelton has devised an entirely original project bringing together the same ensemble in collaboration with multi award-winning, celebrated jazz singer and broadcaster Claire Martin OBE. Claire has been described by Jazz Times USA as “rank(ing) among the four or five finest female jazz vocalists on the planet”.

“Hollywood Romance” celebrates the art and setting of popular song from the golden age of Hollywood. Expect to hear elegant, swinging settings of songs arranged by Callum Au and inspired by the legendary Songbook recordings of Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day and Sarah Vaughan.

The programme’s highlight is a collection of songs from the Shirley Horn/Johnny Mandel Grammy award-winning masterpiece Here’s To Life, which have been orchestrated especially by Tommy Laurence.

“Hollywood Romance” was launched at the Newbury Festival earlier this year:

The show was vintage jazz at its luxurious best remindingone of the golden age of Hollywood and Nelson Riddle in a programme which was universally enjoyed by all who came. ”- Mark Eynon, Newbury Festival Director.

Forthcoming concert dates include a performance at Music @ Malling on 26th September 2015 and two nights at Pizza Express Jazz Club (London) on 10th & 11th January 2016.


Accompanying personnel :

The Tippett Quartet

Hugh Webb – Harp

Jon Shenoy – Woodwinds & Saxophones

Callum Au – Trombone & Orchestration

James Pearson – Piano

Jeremy Brown – Double Bass

Matt Skelton – Drums & Project Producer

For more information, press tickets or any other queries, please contact Matt Skelton, Project Producer (mattskelton01@gmail.com) and Héloïse Werner, Media & Marketing Manager of the Tippett Quartet (heloise.tippettquartet@gmail.com).



John Mills – violin
Jeremy Isaac – violin
Lydia Lowndes-Northcott – Viola
Bozidar Vukotic – Cello


johnMillsThumbs John Mills READ
johnMillsThumbs Jeremy Isaac READ
johnMillsThumbs Lydia Lowndes-Northcott READ
johnMillsThumbs Bozidar Vukotic  READ