Jazz singer-songwriter Rue from Devon/Cornwall shares five albums to listen to during lockdown. 

In these challenging times we need music more than ever. While live gigs are cancelled we want to shine a spotlight on the jazz community in the South. We’ve been in contact with artists, venues and promoters to ask them for their listening recommendations.

1) Jarrod Lawson – Jarrod Lawson

This gospel and soul inspired album reminds me of sunny days and happy times. I saw Jarrod Lawson live for the first time at Love Supreme Festival in 2015 and have turned to his music for inspiration ever since. If you’re a bit of a vocal gymnast, you’ll be super impressed at how effortlessly he plays with the natural rhythm of certain words and subtly puts in complex vocal runs here and there.

2) Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio

This was one of the first albums I really got into when I started my degree in Jazz. Not only is Glasper one my favourite pianists, Black Radio also has a stellar line up of guest vocalists including Lalah Hathway, Musiq Soulchild and Stokley from Mint Condition (who you should also check out!). As well as writing and performing, I love to paint and this is a great album to listen to whilst doing anything creative during the current lockdown. 

3) Esperanza Spalding – Esperanza

This album is beautiful and so is Esperanza Spalding. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried when I met her. This album is a real win for the female musicians of the jazz world and is definitely her best in my opinion. Esperanza plays upright bass and sings as though she has two brains.  

4) Ben Cipolla – Jungle Kingdom

Ben Cipolla is a hidden gem and a genuinely lovely guy! I discovered his music a few years ago when I played at Cheltenham Jazz Festival and was completely blown away by his songwriting. Jungle Kingdom has such a big sound and is beautifully arranged. Listen to this album if you need cheering up during these strange times. 

5) Snazzback – Hedge

I adore these guys and this album because they are both musically fresh and interesting but also a lot of fun to see live. I was going to go to one of their shows soon but it’s sadly been cancelled (like many of mine) due to the current pandemic, so go check them out and make sure to support up and coming local artists. This album will excite people of all ages and is a great one to put on in the garden whilst it’s sunny if you’re lucky enough to have that luxury at the moment!  

Our next Stay at Home Soundtrack will be by Trish Brown, Operations Director at St George’s Bristol and published on Wednesday 6 May. Follow the series on our social media and hear about it directly when you sign up to our mailing list.