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Sonya Beale

Semi-pro jazz vocalist

About Me

I made my jazz singing debut at the Baker Street Jazz club in Swindon last year. Since then I have been performing as a duo with jazz guitarist Ian Jackson mainly in the Wiltshire area. I also perform with a quintet of very talented musicians. I really like the sound of jazz played on the bassoon and I have recently had the opportunity to sit in on a few gigs and play on a few numbers. It seems to have gone down well with the audience and it's a good talking point as the bassoon is rarely seen outside of an orchestral environment.

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because it can be played in so many different ways and it is so exciting and immediate. I was first exposed to jazz by my oldest brother who has a very eclectic taste in music. On hearing jazz I felt compelled to try playing it. The thought of improvisation was much more thrilling than playing the dots as written. I've met John-Paul Gard, Art Theman, Andra Sparks and Nick Weldon, Louise Parker, Chris Cobson, Ben Waghorn, Rob Terry and Clive Morton. The best show I ever attended was Abdullah Ibrahim at the Barbican. The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. My advice to new listeners is to listen to as much jazz as possible. There's something for everyone.