The Speakeasy Sessions
Ali Affleck presents… The Speakeasy Sessions.
Featuring Scotland’s Leading musicians of authentic prohibition era and New Orleans flavoured swing and blues every Sunday!
Starts 5pm to 11pm
About Ali Affleck
Award-winning vocalist Ali is bandleader to The Copper Cats, Bedlam Swing and The Gin Mill Genies – all wildly fun old school blues and jazz bands.
Shortly after arriving back in the UK in 2009, Ali started working with her brand new Scottish based band ‘Vieux Carre’. Since then Ali became band leader to her three bands and has toured the UK and the USA working with renowned swinging Pianist, Gordon Webster, and other acclaimed musicians in NYC, Boston and San Diego.
Ali’s bands manage not only to stay faithful to the retro ‘prohibition era blues and jazz sound’ but they also manage to sound fresh, modern and unpretentious – always heavily improvised and organic with a controlled, lighthearted chaos, there is nothing stiff about any of the music and the fabulous chemistry within the band combined with Ali’s skill as a friendly raconteur create a truly beautiful and unforgettable experience!
“Affleck has a vivacious stage presence and a vocal style which owes much to Billie Holiday”… “her voice is sinuous, not least in the slinky poise of Stars Fell on Alabama…”
Jim Gilchrist – The Scotsman
The Gin Mill Genies, Bedlam Swing and The Copper Cats all have an energetic and lively Vintage Jazz repertoire, – a mixture of late 1800s and prohibition era blues through to 1950s jazz, with many of the Great American Songbook standards in the set. Due to her 16 years living in the USA, Ali has amassed an enviable collection of Jazz standards, along with some rare old Southern Blues – songs that are rarely heard outside of the Crescent City of New Orleans itself.
The Bedlam Swing repertoire is vast and covers both the well-known standards and more obscure jazz songs with sophistication and prowess. However, the band’s speciality lies with rare old forgotten gems from early Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Fats Waller, Annette Hanshaw and Ethel waters – delightful songs that have somehow been passed over for decades.
“Ali Affleck has a beautiful tone, whether in up tempo numbers, ‘With Thee I Swing’ or sadder slower tracks like ‘Stormy Weather’. What’s more, her stage manner as front woman is impeccable”
Tom King – Broadway Baby.
The Gin Mill Genies repertoire is centred around the friendly and cheeky piano-centric Gospel, Early blues and jazz from up to the end of the prohibition era.
The Copper Cats perform a larger amount of traditional New Orleans Blues in their repertoire with songs associated with Bessie Smith, Mildred Bailey, Louis Armstrong, Ma Rainey, Merline Johnson, Hattie Hart and The Memphis Jug Band.
Ali is a keen swing dancer (Balboa and blues mostly) and due to this she offers an unparalleled performance for any swing dance event – as a dancer herself she knows exactly what the swing dance community want to hear and due to this, the band have developed a strong swing dance community following.
“Ali Affleck is not a household name yet- but I think she soon will be” […] “Ali sings with the same kind of élan and swing that is very evident in the recordings of a certain Billie Holiday. Now this is high praise indeed but I can assure you that it is entirely accurate. I can think of no other young singer of Scottish Jazz who can deliver this kind of material with such authenticity and so swingingly as Alison- hence her award.”
Stephen Duffy- BBC Jazzhouse.
- STV – The Riverside Show
- BBC – Radio 3
- BBC – The Janice Forsyth Show
- BBC – The Culture Show
- BBC – The Jazzhouse – With The Brian Kellock Trio
- New York City – Metropolitan Room
- New York City – Swing 46
- San Diego, California – Panama 66
- San Diego, California – Seven Grand
- San Diego, California – Lafayette Club
- Boston – Beantown Swing Camp with the Gordon Webster big band
- Aberdeen Jazz Festival – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- Callander Jazz Festival – 2014
- Dundee Jazz Festival – 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival – 2013. 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- Fife Jazz Festival – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- Falkirk Jazz Festival – 2016
- Glasgow Jazz Festival – 2014, 2015. 2017
- Islay Jazz Festival – with Colin Steele and Graeme Stephen trio -2016
- Nominated for ‘BEST JAZZ VOCALIST’ in the 2017 Scottish Jazz Awards.
- Winner of the prestigious ‘BEST JAZZ VOCALIST’ award at the Scottish Jazz wards 2013/14. Annual award ceremony conducted by the Scottish Jazz Federation.
- Vieux Carre Album (completely self-funded and produced) ‘ Le Debut’ was one of the 12 shortlisted albums in the ‘Best Jazz album of 2013’ category.
- In addition to this Ali and Vieux Carre were also nominated in four other categories – Best Ensemble, Emerging artist and Services to Jazz.
The line up will vary each week, starting 28th January.