Drawing: Stacey Kent

Stacey Kent

“She has charm to burn, a smile that could give you hope in February and sings like nobody’s business,” wrote the Wall Street Journal about Grammy-nominated American jazz singer Stacey Kent.

After graduating from New York’s Sarah Lawrence College Stacy moved to the UK to study at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She began her professional career singing regularly at Cafe Boheme in Soho for a few years before moving across the road to Ronnie Scott’s nightclub and opening for established jazz acts.

Stacey’s first studio album CLOSE YOUR EYES was released in 1997. Ten more have followed plus numerous singles and compilations, including three with her husband, British saxophonist Jim Tomlinson. Their album THE LYRIC (2006) won Album of the Year at the BBC Jazz Awards. Stacey herself has collected two Individual Awards for Best Vocalist and her BREAKFAST ON THE MORNING TRAM album was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Stacey’s popularity is global, especially in Germany and France with sales of her albums consistently attaining Platinum and Gold status. In 2009 she was decorated with the ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French Government in recognition of her contribution to the arts.

Stacy has also added the movie medium to her repertoire, appearing in Ian McKellen’s 1995 film version of RICHARD III, singing a jazz version of Christopher Marlowe’s poem, ‘The Passionate Shepherd to his Love.’

She returned to London’s Leicester Square Theatre for one evening last month, featuring music from her new album TENDERLY, where she signed this drawing for me.

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