I’m a singer, writer and bandleader with a lifelong passion for old jazz and blues music.
I perform historical material with my quartet – and quirky original songs with my seven piece group, The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band – named after the blues troupe which once claimed Bessie Smith as a member, and the spasm bands that lined the streets of New Orleans playing homemade instruments.
Historic repertoire includes 1920s classics like “St Louis Blues”, “Careless Love”, “Gimme A Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer” and ’30s standards such as “On The Sunny Side of the Street” and “If I Had You”.
As well as Bessie Smith my musical heroes are Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, Ma Rainey, Jimmie Rushing and Champion Jack Dupree. I’ve also had the great pleasure to meet and spend time with a number of inspirational British jazz musicians – among them Nat Gonella, George Melly, Beryl Bryden and George Webb.
It’s my belief that jazz music should be performed in front of as wide a public as possible.
Recent gigs include Glastonbury, Bestival and Notting Hill Carnival as well as Ronnie Scott’s, The Royal Festival Hall and Cheltenham Jazz Festival. I’ve also appeared in session on BBC Radio 2 and Jazz FM.
I turned professional in 2012. Outside of music I work as a freelance writer and act as fundraising advisor to The National Jazz Archive.
Below is a small selection of tracks featuring Stuart –
Listen to “Old Man Mose” from the Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band’s new EP
Birdman of Barley Mo – Party Seven – Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band
Stuart writes for a number of different publications across a broad range of subjects. Please click on each image to read examples.