This year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Jacqui thought it would be most appropriate, therefore, to visit the musical settings of Shakespeare’s poetry inspired by,and taken from, the seminal 1964 album “Shakespeare and All That Jazz” composed by her late father, Sir John Dankworth, for her mother, Dame Cleo Laine. This new incarnation of “Shakespeare and All That Jazz” will feature the incomparable Jacqui Dankworth on vocals, accompanied by an all-star jazz combo and a symphony orchestra (orchestrations have also been adapted for jazz big band plus string section). The ground-breaking arrangements include settings such as “Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day”, “O Mistress Mine”, ” Fear No More The Heat O’ The Sun”, the story of “Macbeth” and a comical setting of Shakespeare’s complete works! The brilliance of the music, the genius of Shakespeare’s poetry and world class musicians combined with Jacqui’s emotional and virtuosic voice will make for a very special concert.
This material has not been performed in completion by another songstress since Dame Cleo Laine recorded the album “Wordsongs” in 1978. Jacqui did however perform some of the settings at The Bear Garden Museum 30 years ago, having been invited by Sam Wanamaker himself to help raise money for the Globe Theatre on the river Thames, London. The time is “right” for Jacqui to revisit the material she grew up with and to sing these poems that are embedded in her DNA!
Featuring film classics like On My Own (Les Misérables), Almost Like Being in Love (Brigadoon), What I Did for Love (A Chorus Line), Windmills of Your Mind (The Thomas Crown Affair), Speak Softly Love (The Godfather) and Nature Boy (Moulin Rouge). With these, many others which started life on the silver screen and have now become jazz standards: The Folks Who Live on the Hill, Pure Imagination and many more.
The show features some of Jacqui’s favourite songs stunningly arranged by her husband Charlie Wood for big band and strings. Mike Dixon, one of West End and Radio 2’s most highly respected and sought after conductors is at the helm. The show was first performed with the RPO at Cadogan Hall in spring 2013 with a smaller band and string section as part of the Cadogan Hall Jazz Diva series. The concert was a great success and the RTE concert orchestra invited Jacqui to perform for their New Year celebration Gala Concert at Dublin’s Concert hall. Last year Jacqui was delighted to have been asked to perform the program with the RLPO Orchestra at The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on New Year’s Eve.
Mike is established as one of the leading figures in the West End, Television and Radio as Musical Supervisor, Musical Director, Conductor, Arranger and Composer.