Jazz Singer

Profile

Sophie began her musical career on the stage, performing in shows since a young child. It was while at University, however, studying drama and dance that Sophie first went for singing lessons with renowned Birmingham-based singer, Sara Colman, and caught the bug for jazz! So eager was her appetite for this style of music that she then went on to complete a Masters degree in Jazz Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, under the tutorage of Lee Gibson and Anita Wardell.

Since then Sophie has perfected an individual style and is acknowledged as having a voice "ideally suited to jazz. Flexible, rich in tone and with great intonation." (Lee Gibson).

She has been heralded as "one to watch" by many, including Jamie Cullum, who, playing her on his Radio 2 show, described her voice as "Norma Winston-esque".

Last year she was snapped up by the great British jazz saxophonist, Alan Barnes, to record a number of albums on his Woodville label. Her debut release in 2010, You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To... features her fantastic trio as well as guest stars, Stan Sulzmann (saxes) and Jim Hart (vibes).

She cites her biggest singing influences as Norma Winstone and Liane Carroll. Sophie's sound is soulful and modern, yet influenced by great jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, and containing all the emotional intensity of Billie Holliday.

"Sophie Smith has all the attributes associated with being that rarity, a great singer. They are: superb intonation, beautiful quality of voice and an ability to pitch the most difficult of intervals with apparent ease. However, it is her peerless sense of swing, her phrasing and her harmonic awareness that move her into the category of a great jazz singer- an even rarer breed." (Alan Barnes, 2009)

"Her fluent and lyrical singing displays a musical maturity beyond her years." (Anita Wardell

Sophie performs an exciting programme of music, ranging from Cole Porter to Kenny Wheeler to Joni Mitchell. She gives a vibrant and fresh edge to the old jazz standards and complements them perfectly with her choice of contemporary jazz songs.

Sophie also loves to write, putting a personal and creative stamp on the music with her own lyrics and vocaleses.

As well as performing in Jazz venues throughout the UK with her own trio, Sophie has also been involved in other musical projects, such as the Nostalgia 77 Octet, becoming their featured singer on the 2007 album "Weapons of Jazz Destruction" on the Tru Thoughts label. She sings with bands Backbeat Village, Back 2 Funk, the Jazz Reporters and Sax and Honey, performing at weddings, parties and corporate functions.

Sophie also teaches part time at a school in London and privately around London and the South East.