Enduring jazz diva keeps the family flame burning

Jacqui Dankworth and her trio are in concert at Lincoln Drill Hall tonight.
Jacqui Dankworth and her trio are in concert at Lincoln Drill Hall tonight.
  • World-renowned singer launches summer tour in county’s capital tonight

CONCERT PREVIEW: Jacqui Dankworth and Her Trio, Lincoln Drill Hall, Friday June 5, 8pm.

Described as “the most flexible and expressive voice of her generation”, a chance to interview jazz princess Jacqui Dankworth has been “a long time comin”.

However, it’s another Bruce Springsteen song – The Ties That Bind – which better illustrates the singer’s seemingly inescapable association with the jazz genre first handed down to her by her parents, Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth, who died in February 2010.

The fruits of their parental investment in Jacqui’s musical credentials will be put on show in front of an eager audience at Lincoln Drill Hall on Friday (8pm) when the English/German/Jamaican jazz diva’s unique and engaging style will quietly run free here.

Jacqui said: “There will be a collection of songs, half of which are going to be on the next album which I’m taking me time over putting together.

“But there will also be songs that have come to me in serendipity, songs that seem to land on my lap over time by happy and unexpected accident.

Jacqui Dankworth.

Jacqui Dankworth.

“I love touring and I like seeing places I’ve never seen before because, when I’m singing, I’m constantly aligning myself with things and experiences that have happened to me in the past.”

Jacqui is married to blues and jazz experimentalist Charlie Wood whose exposure to the rich musical cultures present in Memphis, USA, where he was born, have increasingly come to play a part in his wife’s own musical heritage since acquiring a singing career in her own right during the early 1980s.

“It’s a great joy in my life that I met Charlie because he’s an extremely strong character, incredibly talented and I do learn from him,” Jacqui said.

“We’re doing a duet together soon and I can’t fail to be influenced by his Memphis roots.

When I’m singing, I’m constantly aligning myself with things and experiences that have happened to me in the past.

Jacqui Dankworth, jazz diva and daughter of Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth

“But Charlie’s also unusual in that he has both a great jazz and blues tradition, so he knows what he want.

“I really enjoyed producing his latest album, New Souvenirs, as it’s the first really involved album that I’ve ever produced in that I made most of the decisions on what songs should be on it.”

But it’s the next album of her own, the sixth in 13 years, that Jacqui will be turning her attention to after a tour that will take her to other cathedral cities such as Norwich and Lichfield, as well as the coastal towns of Worthing and Dartmouth in Devon.

“When you’re singing, you do so from your heart and your experience because you have to do the best you can, being as creative as you can,” Jacqui said.

"I love touring and I like seeing places I've never seen before."

"I love touring and I like seeing places I've never seen before."