Richmond Jazz Festival

Norma Winstone

‘Right now, Norma is at the peak of her form... there is no jazz singer in the country to touch her’ Alyn Shipton, The Times, London.

Norma Winstone began singing in bands around Dagenham in the early 1960s, before joining Michael Garrick’s band in 1968. Since then, she has worked with many European musicians and visiting Americans, as well as with most of her peers in British jazz, including John Surman, Michael Gibbs, Mike Westbrook and John Taylor. Currently, Norma works with Nikki in The Printmakers together with Mike Walker-guitar, Mark Lockheart-saxophones, Steve Watts-bass and James Maddren-drums, and in her trio with Klaus Gesing- soprano sax/bass clarinet and Glauco Venier-piano. Norma continues in the forefront of British jazz and was nominated again in the 2007 and 2008 BBC Jazz Awards for Best Vocalist. Norma has made many albums, several of which deserve to be called ‘Classics’. She was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2007.

Nikki Isles

‘Nikki Iles is one of the most refreshing figures to have emerged in the UK in recent times, with a liquid sound and supple, obliquely resolved phrasing as an improviser, although this is often eclipsed by her own bigger scale compositions.’ The Guardian.

Nikki Iles studied at The Leeds College of Music between 1981 and 1984 and has risen to the front rank of British jazz musicians as a pianist and composer. Currently, in addition to working with Norma in The Printmakers and in a trio with Norma and Tony Coe, Nikki leads her own quintet and two trios and is a regular member of a number of other groups. Nikki’s first platform as a composer was with the groups Emanon and the Creative Jazz Orchestra. Since then she has had many commissions, including several from New Perspectives, the London Sinfonietta and the Northern Underground Band. In addition to her performance and composing schedule, Nikki has developed a parallel career as a widely respected teacher and jazz educator in this country and around the world, and has been part of a team at The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, developing an exciting new series of graded exams for jazz ‘horns’.