Carleen Anderson

Carleen Anderson

Carleen Anderson

Selected performance:
Monday 7th January - Tuesday 8th January

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The 2013 Jazz FM Awards Winner for Best UK Vocalist, Carleen Anderson, branches out beyond the roots of the Acid Jazz scene of the 1990’s, where her career began with UK musicologists who pioneered a specifically British, Jazz/Funk based sound, coupled with synthesized and Live elements which yet draws a faithful myriad of followers to witness her vocal offerings.

With packed out houses over several nights at Ronnie Scott’s since 2006, Carleen brings forth her own unique style of musicianship, presenting her distinctive interpretations of Jazz, combined with her own fresh flavour of Gospel and Soul, which is in marked contrast to her celebrated connections to the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, her stepfather musician/songwriter, Bobby Byrd, her birth mother/singer, Vicki Anderson, or the band which launched her solo career, the Young Disciples.



Singing in her paternal Grandfather's Pentecostal church from the age of three years old, raised by her Grandparents since she was an infant, Carleen Anderson began directing and composing songs for her Grandfather's church choir at the age of seven. She won several scholarships to study Music Education and Classical Voice at the University of Southern California and was planning to be a music school teacher until the US President Ronald Reagan deleted the arts from the national school system.

In 1989, Carleen's mother, Vicki Anderson, (reputed to be James Brown's favorite singer), and her stepfather, Bobby Byrd, (musician/singer/childhood friend and band mate of James Brown), asked Carleen to be the opening act for the London premiere of the Bobby Byrd and the JB All Stars Show, which included Maceo Parker, Lynn Collins, Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley and Marva Whitney. Carleen's younger brothers, and her mother, Vicki Anderson, were also in the band.

At this gig, Marco Nelson and Femi Williams, who later formed the Young Disciples band that Carleen joined, which had music chart success with the track, 'Apparently Nothing', suggested she move to the UK to begin a singer/songwriter career. With her young Son in tow, Carleen did just that. She's been a UK resident since 1990.

In 1992, the Young Disciples were shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize, for their album, Road to Freedom, which Carleen wrote most of the music and lyrics, as well as sang all the lead and background vocals.

Her critically acclaimed major record label album releases, True Spirit, in 1994, for which Carleen was nominated for Best International Newcomer at the Brit Awards in 1995, and, her Blessed Burden CD, (co-produced and co-written with Paul Weller), in 1998, was followed up with her being the lead vocalist for the Brand New Heavies from 1999 to 2000, to promote their best hits global tour.

Throughout her career, Carleen has been a guest soloist and/or collaborated with Paul McCartney, Dr. John, Ramsay Lewis, Courtney Pine, Guy Barker, Incognito, Nigel Kennedy, the London Community Gospel Choir, and a variety of luminous others.

Carleen's first independent album release was in 2002, Alberta's Granddaughter, co-produced and co-written with saxophonist, Ben Castle, famed trumpeter, Roy Castle's son. She followed up with a LIVE DVD/CD, Grace & Favors, in 2003. EMI released a Best of Carleen Anderson, Up to Now CD in 2004 and the UK label, Dome Records, released her CD, Soul Providence in 2005.

In 2004, Amy Winehouse shared the stage with Carleen at several events and was filmed in her documentary, saying, "For live performances, everyone should see Carleen Anderson, at least three times in their lives. I'd hang around all day just to hear her sound check."  

In 2006, Carleen was introduced by Dame Cleo Laine, to perform with Sir John Dankworth and his band, at their venue, The Stables, which, since then, Carleen annually performs to sold out shows with her residencies at the Ronnie Scott's Jazz club.

In 2013, Carleen won Jazz FM's Best UK Vocalist Award.

Now working on a musical theater production set for its premiere later in 2014, which spans over 100 years, from the birth of her sharecropper Grandfather in Mississippi, to her relocation to the UK, Carleen, alongside the spectacular Ronnie Scott's All Stars band, will begin 2014 with a sneak preview of the some of the tunes from her musical.

And, for her loyal fans, of course she will include some of her popular tunes as well.

The soundtrack album for Carleen's musical is also set to be released in 2014.


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