Our Music

Band members
Valerie Bracken (vocals) is a relative newcomer to jazz singing but has pursued her new vocation with enthusiasm since leaving local government. From a lifetime of interest in jazz, via sit-ins with local bands, she has developed her repertoire of material from the Great American Songbook to include latin and contemporary songs. Her focus is on expressing the emotion of the song and her style can be said to have been influenced by Billie Holiday and Madeleine Peyroux. A good example of her singing can be heard on ‘Mood Indigo‘ and other songs (available on line on ‘Sound Cloud‘). She has enjoyed entertaining the various audiences she has met since commencing performing in pubs, restaurants and other venues in Lancashire and West Yorkshire. She looks forward to extending that circle of listeners.

John Birkby (piano, keyboard and saxophone) has been playing piano all his life and enjoys listening to and playing many different types of music. Particular favourites are Pat Metheny and Joe Sample. At age 50 he decided to seriously tackle the saxophone as well, alternating between tenor, alto and soprano instruments. He has a jazz style of improvisation that is unique to himself. John’s saxophone playing is a perfect complement to Val’s cool vocals and Chris’s subtle rhythms and harmonies.

Chris Brown (guitar) is an experienced instrumentalist who has performed in this part of the world with various combinations, including an accomplished duo with David Vangelderen in ‘Bossamba’. He listens to all the major guitarists: Barney Kessel, Joe Pass, Pat Metheny and Martin Taylor. The presence of Chris allows us to experiment with different instrumental sounds, which we hope will provide contrasts to please audiences. Crucially, he supplies the solid rhythmic and harmonic foundation to our music whilst also contributing sparkling solos.
Contact Valerie: email val@zen.co.uk