This week on Art of the Song, British-American singer/songwriter Sarah Gillespie is highlighted.
About the artist:
Sarah Gillespie is a British-American singer songwriter and guitarist based in London. She is known for combining poetic lyrics with gritty folk, blues and elements of jazz and for writing songs that explore and satire numerous political themes.
Sarah Gillespie was born in London to an American mother and British father. She grew up in Norfolk, England – interspersed with numerous trips to Minnesota, where she soaked in the sounds of Bessie Smith, Bob Dylan, Cole Porter and early blues and jazz. From the age of 4, Sarah composed songs on piano, and then at 13 began playing guitar. At 18, she moved to the USA, busking in the streets and playing gigs.
On returning to London, she gained a first class degree in Film and Literature and an MA in Politics and Philosophy from Goldsmiths, University of London. Supporting Ian Dury‘s band The Blockheads at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club one night, Gillespie met the saxophonist and composer Gilad Atzmon, who produced Gillespie’s albums Stalking Juliet (2009), In the Current Climate (2011) Glory Days (2013) and her anti war narrative suite The War on Trevor (2012).
Gillespie plays festivals, jazz clubs, arts centres and theatres in the UK and Europe. She has performed live on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Loose Ends, BBC London and Jazz FM, and received airplay on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3 and local stations in Europe and America. On November 21, 2011 Gillespie was interviewed by Andrew Marr on BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week on the emerging role of politics in the arts. She was awarded by the British PRS for Music ‘Women Make Music Scheme in 2012 for her narrative music project The War on Trevor which she launched with 2 headline shows at Ronnie Scott’s.