Alison Burns....one of the world's foremost jazz singers
How does a flame-haired Scottish lawyer move from the law courts of Britain to the concert halls of California? Her life takes an unexpected turn that sees Alison Burns become one of world’s foremost jazz singers.
Today Burns is truly an international jazz star, performing concerts for Prince William at Windsor Castle and extensive tours of the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Italy and France. She even gave an exclusive concert at Shanghai’s Communist Party Headquarters as part of her last Asian tour.
Surrounded by the surfeit of little girl voices prevalent in jazz today, it’s almost a relief to encounter a mature but flexible voice like that of Alison Burns. There are few jazz singers alive today that bring more to the microphone – their life, love, heartaches and joy. As a young girl in Dundee, an industrial city on the east coast of Scotland, her dreams were of singing and acting in Hollywood and the soundtrack was Peggy Lee, Lena Horne, and Bessie Smith among many others. The twist of fate that took her from high-flying lawyer to international jazz singer was when an early demo tape made its way into the hands of TV presenter Sir Michael Parkinson. Sir Michael had previously been responsible for introducing Diana Krall, Amy Winehouse and Michael Buble to British audiences and had now fallen in love with the voice of Alison Burns. Offers of tours, recording contracts and sponsorship deals followed, which allowed her to quit the 9-5 legal job and move from Scotland to California to pursue music full-time.
Her debut album, Kissing Bug, was received with universal acclaim, while her follow-up recording, produced by the legendary Tony Platt (Bob Marley, Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy), introduced her to new audiences. Burns has performed at London’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, New York’s Rochester International Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival and Italy’s Ancona Jazz Festival. She has also sang live with the BBC Big Band and in 2010 was guest vocalist with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Guy Barker Big Band as part of her orchestral debut.
In 2010 she performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall with Mick Hucknall, Kiki Dee, Martin Taylor, Mel C, Paul Carrack, Chris Difford and members of The Rolling Stones.
The Alison Burns Trio consists of award-winning jazz pianist Dave Newton (Stacey Kent, Clare Teal) and double-bassist Chris Hill (Jamie Cullum, Damon Albarn). The concert consists of an evening of smoky jazz vocal classics from The Great American Songbook as well as little-known gems from the likes of Peggy Lee and Julie London.
Jazz Rag Magazine
'She has the ability, rare in all but the best jazz singers, to make even the most frequently heard, over-recorded standards sound fresh and interesting.'
“Burns confirms her pedigree with the lightest of touches – imperceptibly hurrying a word here, stretching another into a soft hoot, stretching a sound into a whispered glissando.” - John Fordham, The Guardian
“Burns has a honeyed and assured voice” - Clive Davis, The Times
Now Here Comes The Good Part...
In October 2014 Alison Burns will hit the road and play a series of shows in the UK with her trio as part of a worldwide tour.
To enquire about availability for this tour please contact:
Kelly Foley at Adastra UK
+44 1377 217 662
Shows already confirmed or previously played
- Rochester International Jazz Festival, New York
- International Association of Jazz Educators Conference, Toronto
- Royal Albert Hall, London
- Edinburgh International Jazz Festival, Scotland
- City Winery, New York
- Thailand Cultural Center, Bangkok
- Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London
- Ancona Jazz Festival, Italy
- Penang Island Jazz Festival
Interested in booking?
There are singers and there are jazz singers. There are jazz singers and there are a few artists who bring more to the microphone – their life, love, heartaches and joy. Alison Burns is one of those artists. Her debut album, Kissing Bug, released in March 2007 was received with universal acclaim and became the first album by a Scottish jazz singer to reach the Jazz Top 10. So far she has played in far-flung destinations such as Tokyo, New York, Cannes, Italy and Shanghai and guested with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC Big Band. When not on the road she divides her time between Vancouver, Canada and Le Marche, Italy.
David Newton is probably the UK's most in-demand jazz pianists and certainly the most cherished by British jazz singers. Newton's reputation as an exquisite accompanist for a singer, spread rather rapidly and by 1995 he was regularly working with Carol Kidd, Marion Montgomery, Tina May, Annie Ross, Claire Martin and of course Stacey Kent, with whom he spent the next ten years recording and travelling all over the world. David Newton has been voted best Jazz Pianist in the British Jazz awards for the tenth time in 2011 and was made a Fellow of Leeds College of Music in 2003.