Elaine Delmar – Vocals
Monday 29 August 2022
“Among the multitude of jazz singers in Britain today, there is not one who can surpass Elaine Delmar.”
Born in Hertfordshire, UK, Elaine was raised in a strong musical environment, her father being the renowned trumpeter Leslie ‘Jiver’ Hutchinson, a leading influence in the jazz and dance band movement in Britain from the 1930s onwards.
After initially studying classical piano, Elaine found a natural progression in singing and became a vocalist in her father’s own band at sixteen. It was soon apparent that her vocal talent and natural affinity with the stage would lead her to triumph in many areas of the entertainment world.
Elaine’s experience is indeed wide and diverse. Her first theatre appearance was in a revival of Finian’s Rainbow in the late 50’s at the New Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool. She then became a member of a group called The Dominoes before starting her career on the London stage, appearing in Cowardy Custard at the Mermaid Theatre and No Strings at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Although best known for her later starring role in the musical Bubbling Brown Sugar at The Royalty Theatre, London, she also had notable success with Kern Goes To Hollywood, appearing in both the London and Broadway productions. Elaine also received critical acclaim as a straight actress for her role in A Map Of The World at the prestigious National Theatre. She has made many appearances on TV and radio and featured in Ken Russell’s film Mahler as the Bohemian Princess.
Elaine’s recording career began in the early 60’s when she recorded various albums for one of her early champions, producer Denis Preston of Lansdowne Records. The first was an EP titled A Swinging Chick featuring the wonderful talent of Victor Feldman. Amongst her other albums, Elaine has also released the highly-acclaimed Elaine Sings Wilder, a tribute to one of America’s lesser-known composers, Alec Wilder. This album has become something of a collector’s item. The pianist and musical director on this record was Colin Beaton, one of Elaine’s mentors and early musical influences. She later went on to make a double album for Denis Preston entitled Elaine Delmar and Friends featuring Tony Coe, Alan Branscombe, Eddie Thompson and Pat Smythe, another great influence on Elaine’s musical life.
Elaine’s more recent recordings ’Swonderful, Nobody Else But Me and But Beautiful – all feature Brian Dee; the much-respected jazz pianist and accompanist with whom Elaine worked for over 20 years. In 2013, Elaine received the APPJAC SPECIAL AWARD FOR JAZZ from Michael Connarty MP at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards at the House of Commons.
Elaine is equally at home whether entertaining a concert audience or performing in the more intimate cabaret/small theatre setting. For example, she has appeared in concert with Andy Williams (Free Trade Hall, Manchester) and Michel Legrand with the London Symphony Orchestra (Royal Albert Hall, London). In cabaret, her performances have included appearances at The Ritz Hotel, London, as well as on the QE2 and numerous other cruise liners around the globe. In recent years Elaine has been the star vocalist in such touring shows as Let’s Do It saluting the music of Cole Porter, and the musical celebration By George, It’s Gershwin.
Elaine’s popular appearances at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Club in London have shown her to be remarkably adaptable in a jazz setting, having worked here at different times with such jazz giants as Herb Ellis, Benny Carter and Stephane Grappelli. Her recent season and her live album at Ronnie Scott’s evidence a singer who remains in the prime of her performing life. By popular demand, she regularly headlines at the club.