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Jazz - Gwyneth Herbert

Three years ago Gwyneth Herbert was a 19-year-old student in York University with a great voice, an inbred love of jazz music, and an ambitious temperament. During a holiday from college she spent a week trawling round bars and clubs in London, looking for somewhere that would let her perform. She was walking past the Pizza Express Jazz bar in London, and walked in, demanding to see the manager, Peter Wallace, one of the most influential promoters of jazz in the country, the man responsible for bringing Norah Jones to these shores. He politely took her cd, and waved her off, telling her to get some experience under her belt. On his way home, he popped the disc into his car stereo. ‘Within 40 seconds I realised that I had a star on my hands,’ he recalls.

Pretty soon Gwyneth had a deal with Universal Records, and a massive future. She has been likened many times to Norah Jones, but her voice is a unique thing: at times soft and soulful, at others completely at ease hitting the big notes. “My mother used to put speakers up to her tummy when she was pregnant with me and play jazz to me,” recalled Gwyneth in a recent Radio 4 interview. “I grew up listening to Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Nina Simone.” She dabbled with different sorts of music - classical, punk, hip-hop - before realising jazz was her forte. She is now one of the rising stars of the music scene. It is a massive coup for the Chiddingly Festival organisers to get her to sing in the village. DL

Gwyneth Herbert ‘the new Norah Jones’ at the Chiddingly Festival
Chiddingly Village Hall
When? 7.30pm
How Much? £10
Chiddingly Festival
(w) Website
(t) 01825 872401 (between 7pm and 9pm)