Des de Moor
Pirate Jenny's Club.

Tuesday 6 April 2004: Und so kommt zum guten Ende...
Mike Westbrook (left) and Kate Westbrook

Des de Moor

Pirate Jenny's

Kate Westbrook
Mike Westbrook

and Des de Moor

Tonight's performance at the Vortex is very much a Happy End. Pirate Jenny is weighing anchor at last after almost a decade of bringing the best in international musical cabaret, chanson and badly-behaved music of all kinds to the denizens of Stoke Newington. The Vortex's imminent closure at its long-established home has forced our departure into unexplored waters, though hopefully we'll be back at the venue's new Dalston home in the Autumn.

Meanwhile, we're delighted to be able to celebrate this historic occassion in the company of British jazz cabaret legends Kate Westbrook and Mike Westbrook, who starred at Pirate Jenny's very first performance at the Vortex back in December 1994 but haven't been back for some years now.

The Westbrooks are especially known for their work with big bands and jazz orchestras with eclectic compositions that break the jazz mould by incorporating elements of avant garde, rock, chanson and classical music. But they've also found a voice in the more intimate context of the cabaret performance, exploring and reconstructing the work of songwriters like Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler and Friedrich Hollaender alongside breathtaking original compositions to multilingual texts, such as their most recent work for jazz trio, L'Ascenseur/The Lift.

Westbrook performances boast accessibility, intelligence and complexity with a laudable respect for text and meaning. Kate is a striking onstage presence and a witty and authoritative performer who uses her range of vocal effects with precise skill. Mike is a first class pianist and accompanist, and their duo shows have a special intimacy and magic born of long-term collaboration. Tonight's set features songs by Weill and Hollaender alongside original compositions.

"A showcase for the zestful, powerfully dramatic vocal style of one of the UK's most individual singers -- her extraordinary impact is best savoured live" - The Times

"Kate Westbrook emotes quite superbly, conjuring up the sense of cabaret from little more than looks, smiles and opera gloves, and a quirky series of deeply expressive personae...A continuously enthralling evening" -- Independent

English chansonnier Des de Moor draws on the great names of European cabaret and chanson such as Brel, Brassens and Brecht, along with other influences as diverse as Latin music, jazz, folk and German romantic Lieder, to create new English chansons in a style that is still uniquely his own. He's also an accomplished and intense performer with a distinctive and powerful voice, unafraid to confront the gamut of emotions on stage, and a renowned translator and interpreter of other people's work.

As founder and host of Pirate Jenny's, Des has provided at least a short performance at every evening. Tonight he's providing an extended set that explores the wide range of work and projects he's been involved with over the past decade: expect original songs from albums and shows and a covers repertoire that stretches from Schubert and Satie through Weill and Brel to Bowie.

Des is joined by one of London's leading accompanists David Harrod at the piano. Over the years David has become Pirate Jenny's de facto house pianist, and performed the second-highest number of times at the club, not only with Des but with a wide range of other artists we've brought to the stage over the past decade. We're delighted he'll be joining us on this unmissable final night.


More about the Vortex closure
Review and photos
Back to the Pirate Jenny's page
Back to Des de Moor's home page

Vortex Jazz Bar

139-141 Stoke Newington Church Street
London N16 0UH

+44 (0)20 7254 6516
Times 20:00-23:15 hrs
Admission UKP6.00/5.00 (EUR9.00/7.50)
Hot food, licensed bar

Rail Stoke Newington (WAGN Liverpool Street)
Underground Manor House 2km
Bus 73 past the door (Victoria, Oxford Circus, Euston, Islington); 67, 76, 106, 149, 243 to Stoke Newington High Street
Click here for map

 See also
Des de Moor's gigs page for a complete list of his forthcoming performances.