Follow Us on Twitter

Imelda May - Shaking up traditional jazz

Imelda May

Feature by Jack Foley

UNIVERSAL Music has announced the signing of Irish-born singer/songwriter Imelda May.

With her unique fusion of rockabilly, blues and jazz, Imelda has already made a huge impact on the live scene, performing frequently alongside Jools Holland who’s a big fan.

Imelda May has now released her debut album Love Tattoo on Blue Thumb/UCJ, home to other rising stars Teddy Thompson and Beth Rowley.

Love Tattoo is a timeless collection of jazz-a-billy, delivered in Imelda’s contemporary, direct and inimitable style.

Dublin-born Imelda got her first break through UK boogie woogie maestro, Jools Holland.

She firstly supported his summer tour, a huge honour for an as then unsigned artist. She has since performed on his BBC Radio 2 show as well as Later With Jools on which she performed Johnny Got a Boom Boom, one of the leading tracks on her new album. She received an incredible audience reaction to this, not to mention a Universal Music contract.

Imelda has also shared the stage with an impressive array of musical talent, including the late Kirsty MacColl, Alison Moyet, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, Van Morrison and Scissor Sisters. Her influences of Billy Holiday, Dinah Washington and queen of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson, can be heard in her unique, intoxicating blend of music.

Her sassy, burlesque-inspired style and performances last year earned Imelda the nomination of Best Burlesque Singer 2007, as well as an LA movie debut as the singing voice in the forthcoming American gangster move, Dark Streets.

2008 saw Imelda awarded Best Female Newcomer of the Year at the prestigious Irish World Newspaper Awards and, with her career really taking off, you can’t help but feel that 2009 will be the year when Imelda May achieves mainstream success this side of the Irish Sea.

You can catch Imelda as she performs at festivals throughout the summer, including Cheltenham Jazz, Glastonbury, Lovebox, Camp Bestival, and the Edinburgh Festival.