Norma sings for her 75th birthday

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Norma Winstone has kept her place at the front rank of UK jazz singing since she first came to notice at Ronnie Scott’s in the late 1960s.

Her renowned technical ability earned her this plaudit from ‘The Times’: “There is no jazz singer in the country to touch her . . ”

She will mark her 75th birthday with a special concert with her regular collaborators The Printmakers at the Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax, on Thursday, September 15 at 8pm.

Mark Lockheart on saxophones, Nikki Iles on piano, Mike Walker on guitar, Steve Watts on bass and James Maddren on drums will join Norma in what promises to be a stunning performance.

While working in an office in the early 1960s, Norma started her career singing in local pubs in the London area.

She was offered her first stint at Ronnie Scott’s in 1966, initially cutting her teeth on jazz standards before developing her own improvisational style and working with the likes of Mike Westbrook, Michael Garrick, John Surman, Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor.

Norma was ‘top singer’ in a Melody Maker Jazz Poll in 1971 and released her first solo album ‘Edge of Time’.

In the late 1970s she joined forces with Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor in the trio Azimuth whose recordings became a by-word for excellence over the next 17 years. Even while collaborating with others, she kept her individual profile and her 1986 album ‘Somewhere Called Home’ is hailed as a classic.

In recent years she has been credited as a lyricist and worked with pianist Glauco Venier and sax/clarinet player Klaus Gesing, releasing ‘Distances’ in 2007.

Tickets for the Dean Clough gig are £15/£12. Tel: 01422 255266 or visit www.deanclough.com