TODD GORDON: turned his passion into a profession

Todd Gordon stands as the guardian of all that is good in the music I love. I only wish there were more like him” – Sir Michael Parkinson

Todd Gordon has established himself as “one of Britain’s most popular singers and entertainers” (Scottish Television). An avid Beatles fan until the age of eleven, his musical horizons were broadened when he first heard a Frank Sinatra album. From that moment, he collected almost every recording by Ol’ Blue Eyes and, from there, his interest expanded to jazz and swing, encompassing numerous other renowned singers and instrumentalists.

Further inspiration came in 1975 when he met Ella Fitzgerald prior to one of her shows and then, during the concert, she invited him on stage and sang specially to him. Since then, Gordon has been fortunate enough to meet many more of his idols – including Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Count Basie, Woody Herman, George Shearing and Tony Bennett, motivating him to immerse himself in the Great American Songbook genre.

“Todd strips away all the cabaret and show biz veneer and gets to the very heart of the lyrics of the American Songbook” – David Jones, London Jazz Festival

Gordon’s interest in music and singing was passionate, yet always private. But in 2000, he took part in a week-long vocal jazz workshop and that changed everything. His stage debut came in 2001 at Scotland’s top jazz club and from that moment on, as the cliché goes, he’s never looked back. In 2003, aged 44, he was booked to open for Dionne Warwick during her UK tour, which prompted him to give up his day job organisng exhibiBons. Since then, Gordon has performed frequently at Britain’s top jazz venues, including The Pizza Express Jazz Room, The 606 in Chelsea and the world- renowned Ronnie Scott’s. He’s also performed at The Plaza and The Algonquin hotels in New York – where he even did a duet with actor Christopher Walken, singing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

He also features regularly at major jazz fesBvals and concerts. In fact, he was the first Scottish male jazz singer to be booked for the London Jazz Festival, with his first appearance at the prestigious Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

“I can’t think of a current American singer who sings beCer in this swing-era style” – James Gavin, acclaimed US journalist and author of the definitive biographies on Chet Baker, Peggy Lee and Lena Horne

Todd’s audiences range from intimate jazz clubs to large-scale shows (he regularly compèred and performed at “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle – Britain’s biggest jazz event with an audience of 20,000-plus) and he was also one of four nominees for a national music award alongside Texas and Annie Lennox.

Gordon works with the very best British musicians (Alan Barnes, Alec Dankworth, Steve Brown etc) and has also performed with top US players including Jay Leonhart, Ted Rosenthal, Joe Cohn and Butch Miles. He’s also joined forces for concerts with Barb Jungr, Ian Shaw, Claire Martin, Elaine Delmar, Janet Seidel, Clare Teal, James Tormé and, most frequently, Jacqui Dankworth.

“Doing it his way, Sinatra’s ghost lives on in the work of one of his most polished admirers”
– Clive Davis, The Times

He has released four albums with Ian Shaw in the producer’s chair: Love’s Illusions, Ballads from The Midnight Hotel (with Guy Barker and featuring a duet with Jacqui Dankworth), and Moon River to The Days of Wine and Roses – an album celebrating the work of the legendary American Songbook lyricist Johnny Mercer, with the acclaimed Mel Tormé pianist, John Colianni.

Two more recent releases have followed: a big band swing album with the chart-topping Royal Air Force Squadronaires with several duets with guest singers (Clare Teal, Eddi Reader, Carol Kidd, Janet Seidel, etc) and Love dot com – an album Gordon recorded in Seoul after one of his tracks was used as the theme song in a top-rating Korean TV drama series.

“Gordon has made the great American songbook his own” – The Guardian

Further capitalizing on his passion for music, Gordon set up a concert promoBon business, Jazz International, which staged over 100 events at Scotland’s leading music venues as well as the British Vocal Jazz Festival. In addition, his smooth speaking voice is ideally suited to his engaging and accessible radio shows which are syndicated on some 20 different FM and internet stations around the world. Entitled Todd’s Turntable (www.toddsturntable.com) each week there’s a different theme and they provide an impeccable showcase for the very best in vocal jazz, swing, blues and easy listening.

He has also been commissioned by the BBC to write and present two-hour radio specials on Bille Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.

As a live performer, Gordon’s concerts appeal to a wider audience than purely jazz lovers. He has created several crowd-pulling, audience-pleasing, concert themes which have won five-star reviews. The line-up for these range from a top-flight trio to the superb BBC Big Band and award- winning Back to Basie Orchestra with his acclaimed Frank & Ella Show and a Sinatra-Basie project plus his Tony Bennett songbook show entitled Going Gaga over Tony! which celebrates the wonderful songs popularised by the legendary singer.

“Fantastic performance. You’re far too good for this lot!” – Sir Sean Connery

Along the way, many respected songwriters have praised Gordon’s interpretations of their songs, including the legendary Mike Stoller, the hugely successful Gilbert O’Sullivan, the co-composer of Sinatra’s “Watertown” masterpiece, Jake Holmes, as well as fêted composer, Stephen Sondheim.

For further details, visit: www.toddgordon.com

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