Katherine Jenkins postpones February’s York Barbican concert. New date awaited

Katherine Jenkins: 2021 York Barbican concert to be rearranged

KATHERINE Jenkins has been forced to call off her 2021 tour until “later in the year”, putting paid to her February 5 concert at York Barbican.

Today’s statement on the Barbican website explains: “Due to the on-going situation with Covid-19 and the announcement that Guildford G Live and Southend Cliffs Pavilion will be closed until January 31 2021, unfortunately we have no alternative but to postpone Katherine’s January and February 2021 tour.

“Ticket holders are asked to keep hold of their tickets as we’re working to reschedule the tour to later in 2021 and a further announcement regarding new dates will follow shortly. All tickets will remain valid.”

South Welsh mezzo soprano Katherine, who turned 40 on June 29, celebrated her latest number one in the UK Classical Chart last month, when she released her 14th studio album, Cinema Paradiso, on Decca Records.

When her York Barbican concert does go ahead, Katherine will combine songs from Cinema Paradiso with favourites from throughout her career that began at 23 after she swapped school teaching for the concert stage and recording studio on signing to Universal Classics.

“I wanted to create an iconic movie moment with this record,” said Katherine Jenkins of Cinema Paradiso

Also peaking at number three in the Official UK Album Chart, Cinema Paradiso assembles 15 tracks from “the world’s best-loved movie moments”, such as Moon River, from Breakfast At Tiffany’s, When You Wish Upon A Star, from Pinocchio, Tonight, from West Side Story, and the themes from Schindler’s List, Lord Of The Rings and Dances With Wolves.

“I’ve always loved movie soundtracks,” said Katherine. “I wanted to create an iconic movie moment with this record – all the best film musical themes that we know and love, all together on one album.

“The last few albums I’ve made have been inspired by what’s happening in my own world. This one, in particular, was inspired by the things that were going on around me. Having played my first movie role last year, it felt like a natural transition for me.”

In February 2019 in Serbia, Katherine filmed her debut film part of Millie in her husband Andrew Levitas’s eco-disaster movie Minamata, playing opposite Johnny Depp and Bill Nighy in the true story of war photographer W Eugene Smith being pitted against a powerful corporation responsible for mercury-poisoning the people of Minamata, on the Japanese coast, in 1971.

Minamata was released in February 2020. Previously Katherine had appeared as Abigail Pettigrew in a Doctor Who Christmas special, A Christmas Carol, in December 2010 and in the West End as Julie Jordan in the musical Carousel in 2017.

“Having played my first movie role last year, it felt like a natural transition for me,” said Katherine Jenkins, explaining her decision to make an album of film songs. Picture: Decca Records/Venni

Katherine has been treating fans to Facebook Live concerts from her home during the pandemic lockdown and dedicated the chart-topping success of Cinema Paradiso to “all my lockdown lovelies who’ve been spending the past 16 weeks with me, through lockdown, through our concerts”. “You’ve all been amazing and I can’t thank you enough,” she said.

The track listing for Cinema Paradiso is:

1. When You Wish Upon A Star, from Pinocchio.

2. Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (Somewhere Far Away), from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence

3. Cinema Paradiso, featuring Alberto Urso, from Cinema Paradiso

4. Never Love Again, from A Star Is Born

5. Moon River, from Breakfast At Tiffany’s

6. Singin’ In The Rain, from Singin’ In The Rain

7. West Side Story – Somewhere/Tonight, featuring Luke Evans, from West Side Story

8. O Danny Boy, from Memphis Belle

9. Schindler’s List, from Schindler’s List

10. The Rose, from The Rose

11. May It Be, from Lord Of The Rings

12. Here’s To The Heroes, from Dances With Wolves

Bonus tracks

The Rose, featuring Shaun Escoffery

Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (Somewhere Far Away), featuring Sarah Alainn

Cinema Paradiso.

Melody Gardot and her global digital orchestra bond remotely for From Paris With Love single in aid of health workers

Melody Gardot looking out over the Paris skyline during lockdown

MELODY Gardot’s lockdown single From Paris With Love est arrivé “after incredible efforts made by fans to help finish the track”.

Confined in the French capital, where she now lives, the American singer-songwriter made headlines last month when she launched a call-out on social networks for musicians to join her on her remote new project with a “global yet personal tone”.

After reviewing hundreds of the online submissions from the United States, Armenia, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Norway and beyond, the final piece is ready, completed in the first session at London’s Abbey Road studios after lockdown.

From Paris With Love combines the musicality and skills of orchestral musicians from all over the world who have never met, many of them out of work these past few months, unable to perform under COVID-19 strictures.

The artwork for Melody Gardot’s From Paris With Love single in aid of healthcare workers

The hopelessness of this continuing situation for Gardot’s fellow musicians inspired the New Jersey-born singer to embark on her ambitious digital recording in isolation. All musicians chosen for the final project were paid a fee relative to the standard UK musicians’ studio wage.

“This project is a stunning example of how music is a universal language and how our global awareness is greater than ever” says Gardot, 35. “Seeing what’s happening around the world, we cannot ignore our need for love and connection during this time.

“I am so happy to see the generous response displayed in the vast array of characters, from all corners of the globe, coming together to create this unique piece of music. It is a symbolic gesture for the way we can offer hope as we look towards the idea of creation in the future.”

The global digital orchestra musicians were selected by producer Larry Klein, conductor, arranger and composer Vince Mendoza and veteran engineers Al Schmitt and Steve Genewick, who have worked in the past with Frank Sinatra, Joao Gilberto, Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney.

From Paris With Love….and a heart

From Paris With Love’s accompanying video captures the selected musicians performing from their homes, complemented by a montage of people who sent video portraits of themselves with messages of love from all over the globe.

“This video is a kind of a digital postcard, made possible by the generous contributions of musicians and people currently confined,” says Gardot. “My hope is that this message will continue to find its way around the world and bring hope where hope is most needed to leave us all feeling more connected. My most heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in the making of this project.” 

Earlier this month, Gardot had the honour of being the first artist through the doors when Abbey Road Studio re-opened for business after ten weeks for a socially distanced album recording session.

From Paris With Love is being released on the Decca Records label to benefit healthcare workers; both Decca and Gardot are waiving their profit, instead paying a minimum of 50p to the charity Protégé Ton Soignant for each permanent download sold in the UK and 20p for each permanent download sold outside Britain or for every 150 streams.

Gregory Porter calls for “All of us rise” on new studio album set for August release

“All Rise,” urges Gregory Porter…from his seated position

AMERICAN jazz singer and songwriter Gregory Porter will release his new album, All Rise, on August 28 on Decca Records/Blue Note Records.

Porter’s last studio album, 2017’s Nat King Cole & Me, was a dedication to his life-long idol, built around cover versions.

All Rise marks a return to the two-time Grammy Award winner’s original song-writing template: his heart-on-sleeve lyrics imbued with everyday philosophy and real-life detail, set to a stirring mix of jazz, soul, blues, gospel, and pop.

“You could say that I went big,” says Porter, 48, of a record produced by Troy Miller that combines the talents of his long-time bandmates, a hand-picked horn section, a ten-strong choir and the London Symphony Orchestra Strings.

“But, quite frankly, the way I write in my head, it all happens with just voice and piano first, and it’s built up from there. It feels good to get back to the rhythms and the styles and the feelings and the way that I like to lay down my own music from start to finish.”

The artwork for Gregory Porter’s August 28 album, All Rise

Sacramento-born Porter has just released his latest single, the suitably soaring Phoenix. “The song is about the undying, irrepressible spirit of love,” he says. “Love can fall, can suffer some great blow, but it can rise from the ashes and keep going.”

Phoenix follows the gospel-infused lead single Revival, the ballad If Love Is Overrated and Gregory’s dedication to his fans, friends and family, Thank You.

As he worked out the album’s direction, he looked inward, upward, and around him, arriving at a raison d’être found in the title, All Rise. “We hear that phrase when presidents or judges come into the room, but I’m thinking ‘all of us rise’, not just one person being exalted,” says Porter, who played York Barbican in October 2014 and Leeds First Direct Arena in April 2018.

“We are all exalted and lifted up by love. This is my political thought and my real truth. It comes from my personality, my mother’s personality, the personality of the blues and of black people. It’s this idea of making do with the scraps, of resurrection and ascension, and of whatever the current situation is, it can get better through love.”

Did you know?

GREGORY Porter won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Liquid Spirit in 2014 and Take Me To The Alley in 2017.