Anita Wardell‘s singing is exciting and breathtaking. She is noted for her mesmerizing and captivating vocal improvisations and vocalese lyrics to instrumental solos. Anita is a musician who uses the voice as her instrument, displaying precision and agility, mixed with heartfelt emotion.
Born in Guildford, Anita moved to Australia with her family as a child. Her formative years were spent soaking up the Rodgers and Hammerstein and Cole Porter classics and exploring her father’s collection of big band albums by Duke Ellington, Count Basie and many more. During her teens, she started to get to grips with the complexities of modern Jazz when she discovered Clifford Brown, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. At the same time she learned her vocal craft from greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Mark Murphy, Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, Jon Hendricks and Eddie Jefferson. After completing her degree in Music at the Adelaide University she relocated back to the UK in 1990 where she studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Anita’s recording career began in 1995 with her CD “Why do you Cry?” featuring pianist Liam Noble. In 1998 she released “Straight Ahead” with international star pianist Jason Rebello. Her longstanding musical relationship with pianist Robin Aspland started with the release of “Until The Stars Fade” in 2001 also featuring the US drummer Gene Calderazzo and Jeremy Brown on bass. Jazzwise Magazine called her “energetic and inventive” while The Guardian proclaimed her “a model of the Jazz singer’s art”, highlighting her clarity, improvisational skills and emotional resonance.
In 2004 she teamed up with tenor saxophonist Benn Clatworthy, and recorded “If You Never Come to Me”; she was signed to Proper Records in 2006 and recorded “Noted” (2006) and “Kinda Blue” (2008). Anita received the prestigious BBC Jazz Award for Best of Jazz category in 2006 and her latest album, “The Road”, was released last year to excellent reviews, including a 4 star review from The Guardian.