Having developed an obsession with her grandmother's old Ella Fitzgerald
and Billie Holiday
45s at a young age, critically acclaimed vocalist Clare Teal went onto become one of the biggest names on the U.K.
contemporary jazz scene. Born in Kildwick, a tiny village near Yorkshire, in 1973, Teal learned to play the piano, clarinet, and electronic organ before studying music at Wolverhampton University, where she discovered her vocal abilities during an impromptu exam. After stints writing jingles and selling advertising space, she signed a deal with jazz specialty label Candid Records
, where she released three albums, That's the Way It Is, Orsino's Songs, and The Road Less Travelled. In 2004, she landed the biggest-ever record contract by a U.K. jazz artist with Sony, and scored a Top 20 album with her major-label debut, Don't Talk. In 2005, she became a regular DJ on BBC Radio 2, hosting both the Big Band Special and Friday Night Is Music Night shows, and a year later, won the BBC Jazz Vocalist of the Year. Teal has since released three LPs, 2007's Paradisi Carousel, 2008's Get Happy, and 2009's Live at the Ebenezer Chapel, appeared on Helmut Lotti
's Time to Swing, and is set to release her new studio album, Clare Teal Sings the Great British Songbook, in 2011. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi