Jazz preview: Stacey Kent takes a brief break from her busy globe trotting

stacey Kent does not make as many appearances in Yorkshire as she once did, which makes her concert at York Theatre Royal next Wednesday something of a rarity. A glance at her itinerary shows why. At the beginning of May the singer and her saxophonist husband Jim Tomlinson will embark on a dizzying series of overseas dates, taking in Brazil, France, Germany , the US and Hungary before the end of the year.

This beguiling interpreter of quality material has acquired a global audience, with a particularly strong following in France where she was decorated with the national Order of Arts and Letters in recognition of her contribution to the arts.

Pieces from her latest album Raconte-Moi will be in the programme at York, along with songs with a Brazilian flavour and, of course, classics from the American song book which inspired her initial breakthrough. All performed with the immaculate assistance of Tomlinson.

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Meanwhile, tomorrow night in Huddersfield, Kent’s pianist for ten important years in her career, David Newton, appears with his trio in the cellar bar at the Lawrence Batley Theatre.

A perennial award winner, Newton carries the support of many jazz aficionados as Britain’s finest pianist. Freed from the demands of accompanying singers – he worked with Carol Kidd, Marion Montgomery, Tina May, Annie Ross and Claire Martin as well as Kent – he is now able to enjoy a free rein to his keyboard skills.

The result is absorbing and frequently electrifying. Bassist Andy Cleyndert and drummer Steve Brown complete a hugely enjoyable group.

Stacey Kent Quintet, York Theatre Royal, April 20. 01904 623568, www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk