Dear jazz, I’ve missed you.

I had a good few months break from doing any jazz gigs, but last night I covered for someone who had to drop out at the last minute. It was lovely to get out and have a good old sing again. I had so much fun! I love singing jazz songs. I love the freedom to play with melody, rhythm and the sound of my voice. I love that it doesn’t have to sound to perfect and nice. I love the surprises that come along from the other musicians, in how they choose to interpret and express the music. The thing I find difficult is finding the balance with gigging and other things I do. I enjoy having some structure in my life, so my part time job and the choirs that I lead give me that. In a way it would be nice to be able to make enough money to survive from music alone, but finding enough work that pays well enough has always proved difficult for me. It’s a fine balance between time and money, and between doing something creatively rewarding and paying the bills. I also find it hard being at odds time-wise with the majority of the working population, and I’m not good at late nights, but I so miss it when I don’t do any gigs. For now I will just enjoy the feeling that I got from singing last night. It wasn’t a big payer, but as a friend said, it was a gig to feed my soul, and it did.

New Recordings on Soundcloud

So, I finally got round to editing some live recordings from a jazz gig I did earlier in the year at The Hillary Step. They are:
If I Were A Bell
Someone To Watch Over Me
Detour Ahead
Só Danço Samba
My Funny Valentine
Black Coffee.

I’m backed up by Andrzej Baranek on keys and Ed Harrison on double bass, so you will hear some beautiful solos and playing from those guys. You can have a listen on my Soundcloud

Gigs ‘n’ news ‘n’ stuff ‘n’ all that jazz

Just a quick update on what’s happening in my gig world.

I’ve been doing a weekly Sunday afternoon jazz trio gig for a while now at a bar/restaurant in town called R House. This has now become a fortnightly gig for the time being. There will be music on the alternate weeks, but I hear it’s a guy singing R ‘n’ B to backing track, and I’m guessing if you like live jazz, you probably won’t like that too much, but do feel free to check it out.

Our next gig there will be on Sunday 5th May, 2:30-5:30. We play three 45 minute sets of jazz including a fair bit of swing and also a few ballads, bossas and some blues. The guitarist for this one will be Steve Hemsworth (aka Sonny Intervals The bassist is yet to be confirmed. The next one after that should be Sunday 19th May, but check the gigs page on my website to be sure: If you are thinking of coming along and having some food, it’s worth booking, because it’s quite busy there now, but if you just want to come for a drink you can just turn up. The venue is R House, 26-28 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EH.

In other news, I’m still running the Inspire Community Voices choir over in Bury, and we’d be happy to have more singers to join us (especially some men or ladies who like to sing low!). We normally meet the first and third Saturday of each month. Our rehearsals take place at the Met Theatre in Bury, 2pm – 4pm. It’s a warm and welcoming group, open to all abilities. There’s no need to have experience or to read music. All you need is the will to have a good sing! Our next rehearsal is Saturday 4th May. Have a look at our website for more info:

There’s a new piano-vocal duo in the offing. It’s going to be a soul-jazz-pop-Cuban type of thing. We should hopefully be getting some gig dates in the diary before too long, so watch this space for more news of that.

I’m getting very close to the end of the Professional Diploma in Comtemporary Vocals that I’ve been doing for the last year. I feel like I’ve been saying that for ages no, but it really will be over on the 8th of May come hell or highwater. I’ve learned a huge amount from the course, but I’m going to be so relieved to not have to write any more essays!

Below is a list of my upcoming gigs. As always, do check my gigs page in case of any changes and I’ll do my best to keep it updated. Thanks for reading, and may the force be with you!

Alyss x


Sunday 5th May, 2:30-5:30pm, Free
Jazz Trio @ R House, 26-28 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EH.
We’ll be playing three sets of swing, bossa, blues and ballads.

Sunday 19th May, 2:30-5:30pm, Free
Jazz Trio @ R House, 26-28 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EH.
We’ll be playing three sets of swing, bossa, blues and ballads.

Sunday 26th May, 8pm, Free
New Sense Brass and The Voice Collective @ Chorlton Arts Festival
The a capella vocal group I sing with is doing a joint gig with a fun and funky brass band.

Friday 21st June, 8:30pm, £6.50 on the door
Jazz @ Hyde Cricket Club
I’ll be singing with the fantastic Vinnie Parker Trio

Sunday 23rd June, 8:30pm-11pm, Free
Jazz Jam @ the Ram & Shackle, 393 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester, M20 4WA .
I’ll be singing in the house band for this one. Bring your instruments and voices and come and jam, or just bring your eyes and ears to soak up the music.

News and Gigs

Dear friends, I hope you’re all well and that the new year’s not treating you too shabbily. Here’s a quick post to let you know what I’m up to.

So, I’ve got a regular Sunday afternoon gig at a new-ish bar/restaurant in the Northern Quarter called R-House. I was originally doing the gig with a great French guitarist called Hugo Corbin, but he’s gone off to further his studies in New York, so now I’m working with a few different musicians, varying from week to week. We’ve had some great people, so far on the guitar we’ve had Simon Mulcaster and Steve Hemsworth; and on the bass we’ve had Ed Harrison, Matt Owens, Gavin Barras and Stewart Wilson. On the odd week I’ll be off doing other things, so we’ll be having guest vocalists for these ones. We had Jade America Harris on 27th January, and she’ll be back again on 24th February. We’re there every Sunday, 3pm-6pm and it’s free.

Another new project I’ve taken on is leading the Inspire Community Voices, a new community choir based in Bury. We rehearse in Bury Met Theatre the first and third Saturday of each month (although this can vary, so do check the web) 2pm-4:30pm. It’s a very friendly group and all songs are taught by ear, so no music reading required. We will be covering a range of musical styles. So if you’re over Bury way and fancy a bit of harmony singing, get on down!

There’s quite a few gigs on the horizon, so have a look at the gigs page, and I hope to see some friendly faces at some of them.

Alyss x

Sunday Afternoon Jazz @ R House

Dear Music-loving peeps,

Just a quick update to let you know that I have a new regular jazz gig if anyone fancies coming down. I’m singing with the French guitarist Hugo Corbin, and double bass player Matt Owens (although it will be someone different next week). We’re on 3pm-6pm Sunday afternoons at the R House bar and restaurant in the Northern Quarter. It’s a glitzy little joint, which also does a mean carvery.

The next one is….

Sunday 16th December
@ R House, 26-28 Hilton Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 2EH.

We’ll probably be doing one on 23rd December too, but as everything becomes a bit irregular around Christmas time, check my Facebook page or website gigs page to be sure.

Seasons Greetings, and a big ho ho ho!

Alyss x

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