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The Sage Gateshead Interviews: Zoe Gilby

Posted on 27 February 2020

Jazz Family All Stars

An unmissable family friendly show, Zoe Gilby’s Family Jazz All Stars is 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.


Ahead of the performance, we asked Zoe to take part in a Q+A:


What was the first record you bought?

My first vinyl was Joni Mitchell “Blue”; I was at a record fair in Newcastle and I have always loved Joni’s music. It was CD’s in my youth and my first CD album was Cathy Dennis “Move To This” I still think Cathy Dennis is a great pop songwriter. She has written for Kylie Minogue, Kelly Clarkson and Will Young. I must have been into songwriters even when I was 9 years old.


Where in the world would you like to play that you have not already?

New Orleans. I’d love to visit but to perform there would be incredible. Just soaking up the jazz, the blues and the vibrant Mardi Gras scene.


Who was the first band/artist you ever saw perform live?

It would’ve been my dad. He was a professional jazz musician and my brothers and I would often go along to his gigs when we were kids.


What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Spending time with my husband. Relaxing with no stress and songwriting. Getting into my own space and creating.


Who are your favourite writers?

I love horror!! Can’t beat a bit of Stephen King. Cross over to thrillers too Steig Larsson. I also love the classics, Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott and The Bronte Sisters. I really like biographies too. I’ve just finished reading Carly Simon’s autobiography, fascinating and very inspiring


Who are your favourite painters?

I like more modern art and I love the work of Gina Southgate. How she captures the energy and the essence of a live performance and the musician.


If you could collaborate with any other artists, living or dead, who would you choose?

It would have to be Kate Bush. For songwriting and production there is no one like her. I want to get in her head and get lost in there!


What are you listening to at the moment?

For Christmas I was given some wonderful vinyl which I have been immersing myself in. Fleetwood Mac and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. I bought Andy for Christmas “Deja Vue” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Always trying to stimulate some creative songwriting ideas.


Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?

Whatever the weather or whatever the time of year the UK has such a varied expanse of experiences. Breathtaking scenery, captivating coastlines all with an absorbing, unique historical core.


Best advice you can give to emerging talent?

Perseverance! Do not give up and don’t be something that you are not just to fit in. Embrace your own sound and always remember to trust your instincts. Take chances and get out and about to as many live gigs that will inspire you.


Zoe Gilby will appear at Sage Gateshead on Saturday 21 &  Sunday 22 March (on the Sunday Free Stage with Andy Champion)