Having spent his year successfully touring the countries most prestigious jazz venues and festivals, Alexander Stewart is steadily becoming one of the most talked about newcomers on the UK jazz circuit. Hailing from our rainy city, Stewart is being cited as “one of the most precociously talented vocalists of the new generation”.
“I never really thought I would make singing a profession, I play the guitar and wanted to accompany myself so I started singing along. I began performing at parties and joining in at jam nights, I’m just lucky it’s taken off”.
“Taken off” is perhaps something of an understatement or his attempt to remain modest, for during the past year alone, Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza On The Park and The Cheltenham Jazz Festival have all played host to the Mancunian crooner. His clever re-working of contemporary songs has gained him a reputation for combining the old with the new, but whilst his pop turned jazz arrangements are sure crowd pleasers, the self-confessed “old romantic” admits he prefers to sing the more melancholy songs.
“I love singing some of the great jazz standards. Within this genre there are a lot of great lyrics and melodies married together in a way that stands the test of time. The fact they are still being sang today shows just how beautiful and poignant these songs are”.
Singing with such conviction and energy, the 23 year-old’s smooth yet distinct vocals can be compared to artists such as Sinatra and Connick, the young man clearly inspired by a time gone by.
“Tony Bennett is a big inspiration for me. Although he worked with the Rat Pack, he wasn’t afraid to do his own thing and move away from that cliché, of being a crooner”.
Ironic he should give this reason for admiring Bennett, as it is something he himself does so well. Often being compared to other young artists such as Cullum and Bublé, Stewart is steadily moving away from the swing singer image and proving to be a modern 21st century act, unafraid of ‘doing his own thing’. As well as covering and re-arranging a plethora of timeless classics, including Blondie’s ‘Call Me’ and Paul Simon’s ’50 Ways’, he is busy establishing himself as a songwriter and has just recorded his debut album to be released later this year.
London have taken the singer to their heart, yet his hometown of Manchester is yet to catch on.
“In London there are many, many venues that host my style of music but that’s not to say there isn’t the same calibre of venues up North. Manchester is an extremely diverse city for arts and music so it’s just a case of continuing to harness a Northern audience, building up my fan base so I can comfortably fill a place I haven’t played yet, like Matt and Phred’s or Band on The Wall. It would be really nice to come and play at home more often!”
You can find Alexander singing regularly at Rosso.
For upcoming Manchester gigs visit: www.alexanderstewart.net