Ma Bessie and her Pigfoot band

Thu 22nd August, 2019
8:00 pm - 10:30 pm (Doors: 7:30pm)
Ma Bessie and her Pigfoot band
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Tagged in: Blues, Jazz

Building on her passion for the Empress of the Blues, Julia Titus started to perform as Ma Bessie in mid-2015 to share the music of Bessie Smith and her contemporaries with a new generation of listeners. Mixing Julia’s rich, warm vocal sound with a dynamic group of musicians that look as well as sound the part, Ma Bessie combines classic blues and jazz tunes from the inter-war years with a selection of original songs and hand-picked covers from the last 50 years of popular music.

The Ma Bessie repertoire includes classics such as ‘Careless Love’, ‘Nobody Knows When You’re Down And Out’ and, of course, ‘Gimme A Pig Foot (And A Bottle Of Beer)’.

Julia Titus – VOCALS

Building on her passion for the Empress of the Blues, Julia Titus formed the band in mid-2015 to share the music of Bessie Smith and her contemporaries with a new generation of listeners. Mixing Julia’s rich, warm vocal sound with a dynamic band that look as well as sound the part, Ma Bessie & her Pig Foot band mix classic blues and jazz tunes from the inter-war years with a selection of original songs and hand-picked covers from the last 50 years of popular music. Whether you’re looking for a trio for an intimate club gig or a full five-piece band for a large festival stage, Ma Bessie has something for you. The Ma Bessie repertoire includes classics such as ‘Careless Love’, ‘Nobody Knows When You’re Down And Out’ and, of course, ‘Gimme A Pig Foot (And A Bottle Of Beer)’.

Matt Foster – GUITAR

Matt’s musical life began is his hometown of Kingston-upon-Hull, where he played guitar and bass in a number of local bands. Following 6th Form, his musical education continued at Bretton Hall College, where he studied Popular Music Studies.

After graduating, he moved to Berkshire and secured a music lecturing role at Reading College. More recently, Matt has started his own education-focused company, Creative People, and continues to teach, consult and run workshops from his base in Reading.

Alongside his work in education, Matt has maintained an active involvement in the music industry, performing on albums with artists including John Forrester and Mike Halliwell, engineering and producing recordings for Robb Johnson, Mike Halliwell and Julia Titus and playing live with Julia Titus, Mike Halliwell John Forrester, Jenny Lockyer and Critical Cover, a function band based in Berkshire

Chuck Lloyd – SAXOPHONE

Chuck Lloyd studied Jazz Performance at Arizona State University and earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies. During this time his teacher for classical saxophone studies was Joseph Wytko. He also holds degrees from Northern Arizona University – Music Education, and Grand Canyon University – Masters in the Art of Teaching.

Chuck Lloyd has performed with jazz groups throughout Arizona, California, North India and England. One of his teaching highlights was leading the seventy-six piece Woodstock International School marching band through the town of Mussoorie, India during a community parade.

He is currently a woodwind teacher with the Oxfordshire County Music Service, Music Development Leader, and director of the Oxfordshire Youth Big Band programme. Chuck Lloyd continues to perform with jazz groups in England.

Andy Wilkin – PERCUSSION/VOCALS

Andy Wilkin cut his performing teeth in folk music, with friend Richard Hannington, they later (much later) formed a Folk/Rock band, Beggars Belief. The band’s rock repertoire always leaned heavily toward Blues. Their gigs turned more to Country Blues and pre-rock Delta Blues for their inspiration and then they met Julia. It didn’t take too long to turn her to the dark (Blue) side and an unbroken association was formed. Andy collaborated with Julia on the creation of her Bessie Smith show and they continue to work together as often as possible.

Andy also plays with The Rag and Moan Men, Skyport Ade’s Potting Shed Band and guests with the Blues Troupe. His past credits include Folk/Rock alchemists Spriggan Mist, Gypsy Jazzers Disque Bleu and the ‘Dad’s and lads up our road band’ The Village (hall) People.

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