Bio

Zoë Gilby is a vocalist and songwriter, making a stunning impression on the music scene today.

Her compelling original compositions are written with double bassist husband Andy Champion. Her stockpile of music reaches a wide range of more contemporary material from composers such as Pink Floyd to Kate Bush, with influences from Sheila Jordan and Joni Mitchell.

Touring the UK and internationally, she continues to perform at prominent jazz festivals and venues.

AURORA Vocalist and songwriter Zoë Gilby has teamed up with jazz trumpet/flugelhorn player Noel Dennis, double bassist Andy Champion, guitarist Mark Williams and drummer Russ Morgan for this exciting new project. “Aurora” Inspired by the compositions of Noel’s trumpet and flugelhorn hero, Tom Harrell. This melodic, sharply conceived music has been augmented with lyrical interpretations written by Zoë. Illustrating further Harrell’s intricate ideas and serene delivery. Tom Harrell is widely recognized as one of the most creative and dynamic jazz instrumentalists and composers of our time with a career spanning nearly 50 years. The innovative unparalleled harmonic and rhythmic sophistication within Tom Harrell’s writing will be performed and lyrically heightened by this stellar line up

FAMILY JAZZ ALL STARS An unmissable family friendly show, ideal for children to grandparents. It showcases the stunning vocals of Zoe Gilby. In this 50 minute jazz-tastic performance, Zoe lends her captivating style to this fun-filled tribute to jazz singers past and present, sharing the stage with a line-up of highly accomplished jazz musicians. Including songs from jazz down the years, as well as her distinctive take on popular classics, this promises to be perfect for all the family. Fun and upbeat with lots of opportunity for interaction and participation. Bring the whole clan and enjoy an energetic whistle-stop journey through jazz like no other! Originally curated by Serious London music producers. Performances of this project include at the London Jazz Festival, Sage Gateshead International Jazz Festival, Cleethorpes Jazz Festival and Hull Jazz Festival.

PANNONICA Performing lyrical interpretations of the quirky, complex compositions from the legendary pianist and composer, Thelonious Monk. Originally inspired by the 1988 Carmen McRae album “Carmen Sings Monk” with lyrics penned by Jon Hendricks, Abbey Lincoln, Mike Ferro and Bernie Hannighen. This compelling tribute is sensitively delivered with character and exhilarating improvisation by Paul Edis on Piano, Andy Champion on Double Bass and Richard Brown on Drums. Along with Zoe Gilby’s unique vocal phrasing, a distinctive deep understanding and appreciation of Monk and McRae’s work is the highlight of this exceptional project. Zoe details this performance with an informative, fascinating time line of Thelonious and Carmen’s career including the story behind ‘Pannonica’ written in honour of the Jazz Baroness, patron of bebop, Kathleen Annie Pannonica de Koenigswarter.

ZOE GILBY ANDY CHAMPION VOICE AND DOUBLE BASS DUO Zoë has teamed up with her husband, the innovative and powerful double bassist Andy Champion for a voice and double bass duo. This exceptional and unprecedented pairingcreate an electrifying soundscape in this beautifully integrated music. Breathing fresh life into the familiar as well as heading off to the unchartered. The well-honed duo know each other by heart. Their approach is bold, hypnotic and mesmerizing. Interacting and infiltrating one another’s sound. Removing the boundaries, exploring space and time with just voice and double bass. Inspired by the legendary Sheila Jordan, this exciting project has been taking audiences by storm throughout the UK and Europe and highlights her ingenuity in interpreting a lyric.

BEATLES BOSSA AND BEYOND This beautifully orchestrated duo with pianist Alan Law and vocalist Zoe Gilby includes a special selection of Beatles‘ repertoire with a delicate jazz and improvised treatment. Interspersed with a mix of bossa nova compositions. The Beatles created a new rich and varied songbook. This duo represents a stylish sophisticated take on these iconic songs. An innovative reimagining of these classic Beatles tunes, in a natural jazz direction. Alan and Zoe also portray the seductiveness, irresistible warmth and penetrating rhythm of the Bossa Nova with songbook classics penned by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Throughout “Beatles Bossa and Beyond” Zoe and Alan flow effortlessly using different textures, creating different harmonic shades. Both piano and voice are exploring the improvisational avenues within this particular Beatles and Bossa Nova song book, experimenting gracefully with time and harmony

 

Zoe’s international touring has continued. Showcasing her original material, often collaborating with local musicians. Koktebel International Jazz Festival and also throughout the Ukraine at Kiev and Odessa. Changsha International Jazz and Blues Festival, China. Pakkasukko Jazz Festival, Finland. Jazz Au Chellah Rabat, Morocco. Jazz in July, Crete

Zoe was commissioned to run a series of workshops for the post graduate music students of Newcastle university, culminating in a final performance for the students “History of Jazz” module. Also as part of the Women Make Music series, this composition “Constellation Jam” marks out the evolving nature of jazz. Notwithstanding any boundaries, the constant progression of this fascinating genre of music has entertained and inspired modern popular music and beyond. The concept of this piece highlights the importance and integral need for jazz to be always changing. Often not to everyones taste, but never compromising, always a curious adventure.

DUKE ELLINGTON SACRED CONCERTS. Sage Gateshead invited Zoe to be the featured soprano soloist for the spiritual work of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert. With youth ensembles Jambone and Quay Voices, saxophonist Matt Anderson and tap dancer Colette Serrechia. This project was performed at Sage Gateshead and Ushaw College in July 2017

COMMISSION for GIJF 2017 with Jambone. Zoe was commissioned to write and perform at Sage Gateshead Jazz Festival April 2017 was youth jazz orchestra Jambone. ‘The Tunnel’ was inspired by Zoe’s experience of a jam session held in a disused Transylvanian train tunnel. It also included the re-arrangement of Gilby/Champion original “Is It Me”

Zoe and her husband, Double Bassist composer Andy Champion, were commissioned to write as part of suite marking the 50-year anniversary of promoters Jazz North East for the very first ‘Fluid Orchestra’ A 15-piece ensemble including Vibraphone, Theremin and Viola.

Zoe Gilby Quartet have been performing rural tours facilitated by National Rural Touring Board, Live and Local (Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire) and Arts Alive (Herefordshire and Shropshire) .

Zoe has been selected as a participant in the acclaimed Take Five Initiative Edition XI for 2016, ran by creative London music producers, Serious. The Take Five initiative is aimed at British and UK based composer-performers and is designed to give some of the UK’s most talented emerging creative jazz musicians the opportunity to develop their craft, build their careers and get their music out into the world.

“Watching Sideways” was showcased in the 2015 Women Make Music Series. With a vocal loop station and a vocal harmonizer, Zoe has produced a collection of solo vocal arrangements. Ranging from composed song based textural pieces to free improvisation, demonstrating the dexterity of the human voice. She has since performed this project and collaborated alongside free-improvisers, UK drummer Charlie Collins and Japanese pianist Yoko Muira in Newcastle on their UK tour.

In 2014 her quartet was selected for Jazz North’s Northern Line Scheme. Being a “Northern line Ambassador Artists” offered northern based promoters the highest quality musical experience with low financial risk. This opportunity enabled Zoe to continue touring and promoting her third album “Twelve Stories”

December 2013 “Twelve Stories” was released. A powerful collection of songs with a strong narrative. The original material on this album is an engaging repertoire of story telling and atmosphere, with the contemporary covers adding an adventurous blend, completing this unique story-book.

Zoë has teamed up with her husband, the innovative and powerful double bassist Andy Champion for a voice and double bass duo. Inspired by the legendary Sheila Jordan, this exciting project has been taking audiences by storm throughout the UK and Europe and highlights her ingenuity in interpreting a lyric.

Spring 2010 Zoë recorded “Looking Glass” on the jazzaction label, featuring her quintet. With a 10 date UK album launch tour from Jazz Services Touring Support. The composers range from Ellington to Tom Waits with the beginning of Zoe’s original material. This is “The Great American Songbook” and beyond.

In 2007 Zoe’s first album was recorded and released. “Now That I am Real” With arrangements from the legendary Tony Faulkner. A launching pad for Zoe’s since sparklingly career.

Zoë’s father, Mike Gilby worked professionally as a jazz trumpet player and arranger for over 40 years. She studied music for two years at Newcastle College and later developed her sound at Fionna Duncan’s Vocal Jazz Workshop in Glasgow.