Shireen Francis & Tim Richards’


A new project featuring London-based jazz vocalist Shireen Francis in collaboration with pianist Tim Richards, in a quintet setting with saxman Dave Blackmore.

The band was put together for a one-off gig in Algiers in January 2008, when they became the first jazz group to be invited to perform in the capital by the Algerian Ministry of Culture. The chemistry between the performers and unbelievable audience reaction made the musicians determined to get together more often.

Shireen Francis is a warm, engaging and soulful performer who has developed her own unique blend of jazz, gospel, blues, calypso and reggae. The combination of Shireen’s stunning, expressive voice coupled with her natural musicianship has delighted audiences all around the world, with recent performances at jazz festivals in Venice, Ingolstadt, Bratislava, Slovenia and Jamaica.

A consumate professional, she has sung at most of London's top venues (Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza on the Park, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall), but can also be found entertaining European royalty and heads of state in clubs in the South of France (Provence, Cannes and Antibes), where she is regularly featured with the Château de Berne Big Band.

“A brilliant vocalist whose beguiling performance left me wanting more” - Jazzwise magazine

Tim Richards has been a performer on the UK and international jazz scene since the early 80s when he formed his jazz group Spirit Level, expanded in 1999 to the nine-piece Great Spirit.

Both outfits recorded several CDs and toured extensively in the company some of Britain’s best jazz musicians, including Pete King, Jason Yarde, Ed Jones, Gilad Atzmon, Tony Kofi, Chris Biscoe, Dick Pearce, Denys Baptiste, Roger Beaujolais, Seb Rochford, and many others.

A versatile pianist, composer and educator, his playing combines modern jazz with elements of blues, gospel and funk.

Dave Blackmore (tenor sax) has worked with David Murray, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Mike Gibbs, Dave Cliff, Liam Noble, Dylan Bates, Great Spirit and many others. His discography includes two CDs with Hans Koller’s New Memories, including the recently released ‘London Ear’ (featuring the late Steve Lacy).

In 1994 Dave won the MCPS ‘Best Original Composition’ Award in the BBC Radio Big Band Competition. Commissions followed for John Dankworth and the Walsall Jazz Orchestra.

Dave’s own quartet CD ‘Fields Of Fire’, released in 1994, features Phil Robson, Paul Clarvis and Tim Wells playing eight of his original compositions, in a mix of European Jazz and English folk music. Three national tours followed.

Dave and Tim also have an ongoing Duo project, for which they both compose special material featuring Dave on alto sax and bass clarinet.

Bassist Nick Pini studied at Trinity College of Music and has become an in-demand bassist on the Lndon jazz scene, recently touring the world with the famous Puppini Sisters.

Kenrick Rowe was the original drummer with Gary Crosby’s Jazz Jamaica. His Caribbean roots and solid but swinging grooves lend themselves perfectly to this project. He also has a long association with Tim Richards, having played in the final line-up of Spirit Level and with Tim’s trio for many years.

Tim Richards Homepage

For performance details please see the Gigs page