Judith Owen, a performer whose stylistic range spans rock, pop, classical, jazz, blues, and musical theatre, Owen is also a comedic actress and master storyteller.
Born into an overtly musical Welsh family, Judith Owen grew up in London surrounded by classical music, ballet, theatre, and the fine arts. Owen was also exposed to many jazz icons and Broadway musicals that her parents loved (the mixture would become her signature sound).
Owen quickly began performing at a variety of different venues around London. Her unique hybrid of classical/jazz-influenced styled sound soon affirmed a regular slot at Ronnie Scotts.
The latest iteration of Owen began with the arrival of her 13th album, Come On & Get It. The project is rooted in her childhood fascination with the jazz music of some of the ballsiest women of the Jazz and Blues world, including unsung trailblazers – Nellie Lutcher and Julia Lee – whom she discovered hidden on the shelves of her father’s record collection.
Captivated and enchanted by these “unapologetic” chanteuses of the 40’s/50’s (along with Pearl Bailey, Dinah Washington, Blossom Dearie, Peggy Lee, Julie London), Owen made it her mission to dig deep and find out more from both a musical and historical perspective.
The album was recorded at Esplanade Studios in New Orleans – the city Owen now calls home – with a stellar cast of musicians, including Jason Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Charlie Gabriel, Nicholas Payton, David Torkanowsky, Kevin Louis, Evan Christopher, Ricardo Pascal and many more.
The result is the most joyful, uplifting, and empowering project. With the London Times calling it ‘one of the most joyous releases of the year’, and garnering support from flagship Jazz radio stations Jazz FM in the UK, TSF in France, and plays across NPR stations in the US.
Owen kicked off 2023 performing to thrilled audiences at sold out shows in Paris and Milan, followed by two ‘home-coming’ performances for the New Orlean’s Jazz Fest and a 5 night residency at New York’s McKittrick Hotel. She headed back to Europe for a series of summer festivals before she ’tore the roof off’ London’s Jazz Cafe in a packed-out show hosted by Jazz FM.
Accompanied by her New Orleans All-Star Band, Owen’s live shows are an ‘exercise in confidence’ as she “lights up the room with her red hair and her charisma.”
“In a snap of her fingers, she takes her .. audience with her, and dictates the tempo to her musicians with a naturalness that is almost divine.” [Toute la Culture]
NY showbiz critic Roger Friedman exclaimed ‘If you love real music, you can’t miss this show’.
Headline shows are planned for the fall which will take ‘Judith Owen & her Gentlemen Callers’ to select cities across the US and back to Europe.
Judith Owen is co-creator and co-host of the annual “Christmas Without Tears” charity variety show, alongside husband Harry Shearer, that has featured guests including Steven Merchant, Tim Minchin, Catherine O’Hara, and many others.