Feel good with a night of good music in Doncaster

Tina May plays Cast, Doncaster, on Thursday, October 15.
Tina May plays Cast, Doncaster, on Thursday, October 15.

Divas and jazz will be celebrated when an international singer takes to the stage in Doncaster.

Acclaimed vocalist Tina May will be singing and celebrating “the great jazz divas” when she performs at Cast on Thursday, October 15.

The 54-year-old says: “It’s a celebration of some wonderful divas I grew up with, that I grew up listening to.

“We have done original arrangements of some of our favourite diva songs. It’s a celebration with a very groovy band.”

Show-goers can expect an “eclectic, swinging mix of songs” made famous by stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Billie Holliday and Edith Piaf, among many others.

Tina says: “It’s people I have grown up with and music to feel good to. It talks about love and life and there’s humour too,

Jazz singer Tina May.

Jazz singer Tina May.

“People might have heard some of the songs, but maybe not like this.

“I also tell a few stories about the singers and how the songs come about.

“And there’s some great playing – it’s exciting, there’s lots of different tempos and a great band.”

Tina is backed by her “world-class” swing band featuring John Pearce on piano, bassist Dave Green, Freddie Gavita on trumpet, Frank Griffith on saxophone and clarinet and drummer Winston Clifford.

People love jazz, if they get the chance to get past the four-letter word, jazz.

Jazz singer Tina May

“It’s just great music to feel good to – and if people want to dance, they can,” she says.

“I played in Shanghai recently and by the end people were jiving in the aisles. It’s a real celebration.”

And Tina is keen to dispel the rather negative image jazz music has among a vocal cross-section of the population.

“I think we still paying for the 1970s with free jazz,” she says.

“People say they don’t like jazz, but I say Robbie Williams did an album of it and they admit they love that.

“You can say swing, but it’s essentially jazz. I do think people worry it’s something they don’t know, but that doesn’t matter.

“I have come to the conclusion that people love jazz, if they get the chance to get past the four-letter word, jazz.

“There’s so many different styles, but essentially its melody and groove and show me somebody who doesn’t like melody and groove.

“And you can put anything into jazz. You can take a folk song and give it a jazz feel, you can take a pop song and give it a jazz feel, like Paul Anka did. He took 90s songs and performed them with a big band.”

Anka reached number nine in the British album chart with his long-player Rock Swings, an album of swing jazz covers of popular rock and pop songs from the 1980s and 1990s, including Wonderwall by Oasis, Bon Jovi’s It’s My Live and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.

And Tina urged people to take a chance and head along to her show.

“Come along and feel good,” she says. “It’s music to feel good to. You can’t not love some of these beautiful songs. Ella never sang a bad song, neither did Billie Holliday.”

* Tina May is at Cast on Thursday, October 15, at 7.30pm. For tickets, priced from £16.50 for adults, call 01302 303959 or visit castindoncaster.com