Clare Teal

Clare Teal grew up in a tiny village near Skipton in Yorkshire listening to her grandmother’s 78rpm records - ‘I was obsessed with the singers of the Thirties, the Forties and Fifties,’ she says. She also trained to play the organ, piano and clarinet, and went on to study Music at the University of Wolverhampton. 

On graduation she came second in a national best ‘Billie Holiday soundalike’ competition and one of her first jobs was writing jingles. ‘I’d sing them in the manner of Julie Andrews, Madonna, my old favourite Billie Holiday and, well, anybody, really,’ she recalls.

But then pianist she had met during her Billie Holiday episode called, requiring a singer for one night only… would Clare be interested? It proved to be the night of her life, where everything suddenly felt natural and right. "This was my toe in the door of the industry," she says, "and I was going to make the very best of it." en Making a selection of demos and guesting with jazz bands, she began making a name for herself.

In 2001, she signed with independent label Candid, writing and recording the albums, That's the Way It Is, Orsino's Songs, and The Road Less Travelled.

Clare signed with the Sony Jazz label in 2004, and her breakthrough album Don't Talk, an exquisite record of tender jazz, exemplified what a talent she was. Critical acclaim poured in from the broadsheets and magazines. Don't Talk topped the British jazz charts and cracked the UK Top 20, selling 60,000 copies and winning several awards.

Clare’s fifth studio album Paradisi Carousel moved towards a more mainstream pop style, but in 2008 she returned to jazz with Get Happy on the Universal imprint W14 Music.

Clare also has a successful broadcasting career on BBC R2, presenting Clare Teal, Sunday night at 10pm and Big Band Special, Monday night at 11pm. She also contributes a weekly column to her beloved Yorkshire Post.

Clare made a welcome return to recording in 2011 with her tenth album, Hey Ho, a celebration of the Great British Songbook, spanning a period of almost 120 years from Yeats to Snow Patrol and including two of her own compositions. She also appeared at the Royal Albert Hall during the Proms, with the John Wilson Orchestra.

Clare won British Jazz Singer of the year in both 2005 and 2007, and BBC Jazz Singer of the Year 2006.

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