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Jacqui Dankworth: I Can't Help Pouring My Heart Out

By Published: August 15, 2011
There are plenty of examples in jazz of singers who also act—indeed, Dame Cleo had a successful acting career. Many performers move between the two disciplines, but how do they inform and affect each other? "The two are definitely integrated. I always approach a song from the point of view of the lyric. I do a lot of groundwork at home, I don't necessarily think about it on stage. I always try to make the lyric personal; to relate it to my life or how I feel about the subject of the song. I don't know any other way of doing it, but I suppose that is quite an active approach."

Talking of the link between acting and singing, Jacqui is reminded of one of the great singers, and his acting skills, as she relates: "I remember seeing Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
1915 - 1998
at the Royal Albert Hall—my mum was supporting him—and it really struck me what a great actor he was, especially in front of an audience. He made everybody believe that he was singing to them: it was very personal. Absolutely brilliant. Yet it's amazing how many singers don't seem to think about that approach. They just sound like they're singing something out of the telephone directory and I just think 'How can you do that?.' It must be partly my acting training." Perhaps it's also something inherent in Jacqui that's part of both her acting and singing talents? "Well maybe. I can't help pouring my heart out."

Selected Discography

Jacqui Dankworth, It Happens Quietly (Specific Jazz, 2011)

Jacqui Dankworth, Back To You (Cadiz Music, 2009)

The Passion, One Good Reason (Qnote Records, 2008)

Jacqui Dankworth, Detour Ahead (Candid Records, 2004)

Jacqui Dankworth, As The Sun Shines Down On Me (Candid Records, 2003)

Jacqui Dankworth and James Pearson, For All We Know (Black Box, 2000)

Jacqui Dankworth and New Perspectives, Housman Settings (Spotlite Jazz, 1996)

Photo Credits
Page 1: Courtesy of Jacqui Dankworth
Jacqui Dankworth
Jacqui Dankworth

All Other Photos: Bruce Lindsay

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