News Archive

10 Years Louder

A benefit to celebrate 10 years of Sing for Joy with Carol Grimes, Dorian Ford, Annie Whitehead and special guests performing an eclectic mix of jazz, world, blues and improvised music. Compered by Pip Mayo.

Saturday 2nd November, doors open 7.00, music 7.30 - 10.00. Tickets (£25, concessions £18) include meze food.

Stoke Newington Town Hall, Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 0JR. Buses 73, 393, 476. Stoke Newington Station (13 mins)

Sing the Blues with Carol Grimes

Enjoy this exploration of blues vocal style and repertoire, including the challenge of writing and singing your own blues.

Click here for more information about Sing the Blues.

Garden Party for Sing For Joy Choir

A garden party and fund-raiser will be held for Sing For Joy Choir on Sunday 30th June. Food and drink and sunshine. If it rains, we shall move into the house!

For more information click here

Carol at The Vortex, 28th February 2014

An evening with The Singer’s Tale and The Singer’s Songs… Previewing extracts from her book and the songs that tell the tale.

With Dorian Ford (piano), Neville Malcolm (bass), Winston Clifford (drums) and Annie Whitehead (trombone).

The book is her autobiography, which is spoken rather than sung. With Dorian Ford on piano, her narrative flashes back and forth between her uncertain teenage years, when a fairytale future as a gamine rock icon was seemingly on offer, and now. This is a project to watch out for as it develops. (The concept is far from new. Schumann, as just one example, wrote spoken melodramas to words by Friedrich Hebbel.)

Grimes has a fascinating story to tell. She also has a command of shaping and delivering words, a performance sense, and the musical and human depth and warmth to really make something of this. The story pulls in songs which reference times of her life. This project has such a strong heart - it really could go anywhere as it develops. It could be a stage play or radio drama or album - or any combination of these. Dorian Ford has no music, just her words in front of him. His ability to match mood or word with chord or line, to evoke the ghosts of songs past, is a revelation too.

Friday, 28th February, 2014. The Vortext Jazz Club, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ. Doors 8pm, gig 8.30pm. £12.

Carol at Lauderdale House

With Annie Whitehead (trombone), Dorian Ford (piano), Neville Malcom (bass) &: Winston Clifford (drums)

Thursday, 21st November at 8.30pm

“Carol Grimes is a towering presence in the UK music scene; from busking in the streets as a teenager to touring internationally with contemporary classical group The Shout and her two solo rock albums in Memphis, it is safe to say Carol is a truly genre-busting artist. Having turned to jazz and blues, her music embraces drama and love. Her band lays down the subtlest of grooves, and also includes Annie Whitehead, another genre busting musician and one of the most thrilling brass players around.”

This concert is part of the London Jazz Festival. See for more information.

Tickets £9/£7.50. To book call 020 8348 8716. Or book online at

Anita Wardell, Mark Jennet and Carol Grimes at St James, 20 November 2013

Part of The EFG London Jazz Festival. Hosted by Dorian Ford. With Dorian Ford, Winston Clifford and Neville Malcolm.

We invite back three of our favourite artists from our jazz and roots season to play this LJF gig, celebrating London voices.

London blues legend Carol Grimes, is joined by supreme songstress Anita Wardell, and master storyteller Mark Jennett; plus the stellar rhythm section of jazz and roots host and pianist Dorian Ford, bassist Neville Malcolm, and everyone's favourite drummer Winston Clifford; and guests. Each celebrating new releases, expect stunning individual sets and barn storming joint numbers.

Find out more at Box Office: 0844 264 2140 or

Carol's Upcoming Gigs

Carol will be performing material from her new album CDAWN in October and November. CDAWN is now available to purchase direct. Go to the Purchase Page for details.

Sun, 8th September

Upstairs @ Ronnies
The Jazz Verse Jukebox (£8 on the door)

Wed, 2nd October

Studio, St James Theatre
with CDAWN

Wed, 20th November

Studio, St James Theatre
London Jazz Festival
with CDAWN and Mark, Anita and two of my students
Book Tickets

Thur, 21st November

Lauderdale House
with CDAWN

CDAWN @ the Vortex

Saturday 6th July at 8.30pm – CDAWN with Carol Grimes, Dorian Ford (piano), Annie Whitehead (trombone), Winston Clifford (drums) and Neville Malcolm (bass).

For more information visit The Vortex Jazz Club

Book tickets at WeGot Tickets

Photo: Kasia Hrybowicz

Ian Shaw writes about Carol

Outside the flabby arena of increasingly disposable pop singing Joni called "junkfood for juveniles", there has always been a welcome, often genre-busting, rich seam of music making. Within this (jazz, folk, blues, soul) seam, the singers can be routed to a certain era of popular song. Pastiche, touristy, sepia, anodyne and familiar.

Not Carol Grimes.

The writer, John Fordham called Carol a "British Jazz Soul legend". Blimey, she probably winced as she read that…

Read the full article here.

Message from Paul Romane

I received the following message from my friend Paul and wanted to share it with you.

On Valentine's Day 2010, my partner died at St. Joseph's Hospice. Our son and I were looked after superbly, as was she. I felt I wanted to give something back, as the Hospice mainly runs on donations. As writing and reading of poetry had been a comfort to me, I thought of producing CD with my poet and musician friends to raise money for the Hospice.

As Benjamin had read at Tersia's funeral, and Jenny and Annie had played as well, I started by asking them if they would help, and it snowballed from there.

Coincidently, all my singing teachers throughout my life ended up on the album: Carol, Gina and Terri.

Paul x

Carol at St James Theatre Studio

Listen to Dorian Ford chatting to Carol, plus excerpts from her gig at the St James Theatre Studio where she wowed the crowd. With surprise guest performances from singers Anita Wardell and Mark Jennett.

To listen click here

The Singer's Tale

I am writing a book… The Singers Tale… thank you Chaucer.

He coude songes make, and wel endite. Canterbury Tales, Prologue, Line 95.

He didn't write a Singer's Tale, so I have done it – how presumptuous of me! He spent time in Blackfriars and Kent and places in between, as I do…

I felt compelled to tell my life – my story…

Read more on my blog.

New album for 2012

Next year there'll be some new tracks from Carol, Dorian, Annie, Winston and Neville. The album is going to be called C.DAWN.

First night: Carol Grimes October 12th

"Oh dear, dizzy again." Photo Kasia Hrybowicz.

October 12th: Carol Grimes Quintet: Carol Grimes (vocal), Dorian Ford (piano), Annie Whitehead (trombone), Neville Malcolm (bass), Winston Clifford (drums)

Dorian Ford writes:

"Carol is like Dickens sings the blues. Where the Thames is the Mississippi.

"I first met Carol when I came to play for one of her jazz singing classes at the City Lit. I reminded her that her son Sam and I both worked as teenage actors together in Grange Hill. This is one of many personal strands of my life which seem naturally to intertwine with Carol's. Perhaps that's why she still likes me playing in her band. But not least of which is our shared love of all kinds of American roots music: blues, country, jazz, singers, songwriters and instrumentalists.

"Carol's current quintet I believe has a magical chemistry where the authentic sound of London in the twenty first century can be heard."

Music & Poetry on Radio Resonance

Women Walk On Water

Women Walk On Water — music and poetry on Radio Resonance 104.4 fm, 18th November at 3pm.

“Women walk a fine fragile miniscus between depths and highs, yell roll ecstatically in the waves.”

With Annalouise Oakland, Carol Grimes, Marianne Hyatt, Bex Marshall, CamTam Ringel, Linda da Mango, Kath Best and Jessica Burnett-Wain.

Interview in London Jazz, Sept 2012

For one of the opening gigs of their new 100-capacity performance studio space in Palace Street SW1, the programming team at the St. James Theatre have booked one of the most truthful, authentic singer-songwriters around, Carol Grimes. A legend. In the sixties she was performing alongside Cream, John Mayall and The Yardbirds.

Grimes explains she is very happy to be there at the birth of a new venue: "London needs more venues. If [music] is not live, it dies…"

Read the full interview here.

Interview in Jazz UK, March 2012

Jazz UK

During a recent Radio 3 Jazz Library broadcast Ian Shaw, discussing the free-flowing beat poetry aspect of Mark Murphy's work, made the observation that the only jazz singer in England who told a story in similar fashion was the 'absurdly undervalued' Carol Grimes.

Strange, because whenever I have seen her at North London's Lauderdale House, where I have been organising gigs for twelve years, or the Vortex, the rooms have been packed. So too was Ronnie Scott's on he Oscar Brown night, at the Club's first BritJazz Festival in 2010 and more recently when she presented her Songs of London programme.

In 2009 she was an enormous success on BBC TV's Soul Britannia package alongside Madeline Bell, Linda Lewis and Hamish Stuart.

Her website is peppered with enthusiastic postings sparked by a track from his mid-70s album Carol Grimes, with iconic cover of Carol with her young son. The set was recorded in Memphis with the Memphis Horns, including a young Michael Brecker and powered by the legendary electric bass player Duck Dunn.

Carol's back story is incredibly rich…

Read the full interview here.

Interview in Friars, Aylesbury Online, 2012

Carol Grimes is one of the music business' true survivors. A variety of styles over the years stretching back to the early 1970s Delivery (which also featured Aylesbury legend Lol Coxhill) and Uncle Dog and right through to 2012 where she still gigs. Carol played Friars in August 1976 with the London Boogie Band and as you will see has quite a story to her life.

Hello Carol and thank you for agreeing to chat to the Friars Aylesbury website. You may have seen we have some photographs of you on the site which was when you played Friars in 1976 supporting Curved Air as the Carol Grimes London Boogie Band.

I have a vague memory of it (laughs)

It was a long time ago! The London Boogie Band period. It's a great band name and reading up on that period you were getting great reviews and you were being compared to Janis Joplin.

I didn't name that band. I got a call from a guy called Stuart Lyons who was working for Nigel Thomas saying that a bunch of guys in various bands including Boz Burrell and Tim Hinkley (Jody Grind) had got together as the London Boogie Band and had cut some tracks…

Read the full interview here

London Songs

From London Pride to Waterloo Sunset

Sing for Joy Bloomsbury performs “London Songs” on Wednesday 9th October, 5.45pm to 8.00pm. Refreshments will be provided. There is no charge for entry, but please give generously.

The events will take place at the Chapel at National Hospital, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG. Nearest tube, Russell Square (Piccadilly Line).

Carol at the Vortex, 9th March

For her show on 9th March, Carol wil be joined by her band C.DAWN: Dorian Ford (piano), Neville Malcolm (double bass), Winston Clifford (drums) and Mark Hewins (guitar). Together they will be performing original and classic jazz songs, blues and roots.

The Vortex Jazz Club. £11. Tel: 020 7254 4097

Theatre Of The Voice

A Spring day singing workshop with Carol Grimes & Marta Rocamora

Explore how to be authentic in performance. This workshop helps you to overcome stage fright and be present in the music, the song and the lyric. Learn how to communicate with your audience, be it a large or small gathering or a workshop group.

Please note that his workshop will now take place on Saturday, 11th May 2013.

For more information, see the Theatre of the Voice page.