James Billington sings music of the great jazz singers, with favourite tunes from Fats Waller, Louis Jordan, Fred Astaire, Dean Martin, and of course the evergreen Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.
In addition to being an excellent pianist, Nat King Cole made his nameas a vocalist specialising in warm ballads and light swing, achieving his first chart success with “Straighten Up and Fly Right.” Cole’s popularity allowed him to become the first African American musician to host a TV programme, the Nat King Cole Show, in 1956.
Frank Sinatra was one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century, forging a career as an award-winning singer and film actor. In the ’40s and ’50s, he had a dazzling array of hit songs and albums and went on to appear in dozens of films, winning an Oscar for From Here to Eternity. He left behind a massive catalogue of work that includes iconic tunes like Fly Me To The Moon and I Get A Kick Out Of You.
James Billington is one of the top vocalists in the South West, dedicating himself to the swing and jazz genre. He has been working regularly alongside the region’s top musicians for nearly twenty years and now fronts the popular swing band, “All Jazzed Up”. His vocal influences, apart from the great Cole and Sinatra, include Mel Tormé, and more recently, Gregory Porter and Michael Bublé. Tonight he will be accompanied by Philip Clouts at the piano.