Kate has released six albums, sold out the Festival Hall, toured internationally at arts and music festivals and appeared regularly on national radio. Her 6th solo album entitled SONGBIRDS, was released by Folkstock records in February 2017 and is a unique collection of self-penned a capella “soul” songs. The album was critically acclaimed as “ground-breaking” and Kate was featured on Radio 2 and Radio 6 Music as “An artist absolutely at the top of her game”.
Kate’s wit and charisma, gained through 25 years of live performance, comes through strongly in these grounded tracks, which seep into the subconscious and tell the tale of someone searching for their own story whilst inviting the listener to share their journey.
“I wanted to go in with just my voice and without instruments,” says Kate “so avoiding any of the usual associations that may spring up. It allows for an element of surprise and fun – room for people to interact by stepping into the space where the instruments would normally be – and hopefully even joining in.”
The live show Songbirds has been chosen for the United Solo Festival in New York and is currently touring the UK. The show weaves songs from the album with a personal story. Using techniques inspired by her work with virtuoso Bobby McFerrin, directed and devised with Katy Carmichael from Theatre Damfino and using a vocal looper to layer her voice and interact directly with her audience. The result is a unique and engaging audience experience, different at each performance.
Described by the Times as “One of the most versatile singers..opening up her own Third Way, part-cabaret, part pop concert”, Kate has estabished a reputation as one of the UK’s leading interpreters of song. Her critically acclaimed live shows (Who is Dory Previn?, I’m a Woman, Music to Watch Boys By and Fever! The Making of Peggy Lee) were all devised and produced by her in collaboration with “One Man Two Guvnors” director Cal McCyrstal and writers (Amy Rosenthal, Emma and Beth Kilcoyne and Lucy Powell) and have become a trademark for a unique blend of singing, storytelling and entertainment. With a new vlog “Just Show Up”, Kate plans to develop this in broadcast to an online audience.
Her show about the 70’s songwriter Dory Previn premiered in New York at 59E59 Theatres in New York after a world premiere at the Matcham Room, Leicester Square Hippodrome in 2013. The album “Beware of Young Girls : the songs of Dory Previn”, a collaboration with Uk pianist Naadia Sheriff was chosen as one of Sunday Times Top Ten Records of 2012 and the duo have played on Jools Holland’s Radio Show (R2), Woman’s Hour (R4) and In Tune (R3). The production toured the UK through 2014/2015 and Kate and Naadia are featured in Nick Murphy’s thriller “Blood” starring Paul Bettany.
Kate was signed by jazz label Black Box Music in 1998 and has worked with some of the UK’s finest jazz musicians. Her first album was produced by Richard Niles and toured the UK. Her second album, Ain’t This Cosy, inspired by the life and music of Peggy Lee and recorded with the Geoff Eales trio, was released in 2000 to accompany a 50 date sell-out national tour of her one-woman show Fever! The Making of Peggy Lee. The show went on to tour Australia and New Zealand and Kate was asked to create a show with the BBC Big Band at the Festival Hall in 2003. Kate went on to devise the live cabaret shows Music to Watch Boys By and in I’m a Woman with One Man Two Guvnors/Cirque du Soleil director Cal McCrystal. Both shows were critically acclaimed and had extensive runs in the UK and toured internationally.
Her debut album of original songs “Things As They Are” was re-released in 2014 by Proper Music. The album features Kate’s original band, Malcolm Edmonstone on piano, Jonty Fisher on bass and Ben Reynolds on drums with songs inspired by her time living on Vancouver Island in Canada.
As part of her own musical education, Kate decided to combine performing with three years in training as an Alexander Technique teacher at the Constructive Teaching Centre in Holland Park, London. After graduating, she worked for several years at the West London Centre for the Alexander Technique, with a particular interest in working with the voice and performance anxiety. Last year, she completed an intensive “Circlesongs” workshop with the reknowned vocalist Bobby McFerrin. She currently lives in Bristol with her husband and 2 daughters and continues to enjoy a balance of being a mum, performing, writing, teaching and leading workshops.
Kate grew up in a family where performing and telling stories was the norm. Her father is the broadcaster David Dimbleby, and her mother Josceline is a trained classical singer turned cooker writer. Her uncle on her mother’s side played jazz piano, trumpet and blues harp, and inspired her with his collection of gramaphone records.
“Stunning vocal virtuosity.” BBC 6 Music Tom Robinson
“Part concert, part confessional. A project that is anything but conventional” **** The Times
“Halfway between pop and spirituals. Crystalline and credible” ****Mail on Sunday
“Subtle, fresh and at times gently startling” The Guardian
“Artist of the Week” Clive Davis in the Sunday Times – the “uncatagorisable Kate Dimbleby
4* review of SONGBIRDS Live show in Pop section of The Times
This project has surprised me at every turn – with how it grows and changes and the audience it has attracted. I am feeling thoroughly moved and grateful. First Radio 6 music and now a POP review in the Times!
Here is the review of the live launch at NOW gallery
REVIEWS : WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT “SONGBIRDS”
Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music, Sat 4 Feb 2017:
“When we’re choosing the tapes, the only thing that counts is what comes out of the speakers. And what came out of the speakers with this next track completely blew me away. This is an artist called Kate Dimbleby – the track is Musical Boxes…
“It’s been a very good week for the BBC Introducing Mixtape. And that one is a stunner.
“She studied with Bobby McFerrin in New York and, you know, she’s put in the time. Those 10,000 hours have been applied to honing that craft. And that is a woman, an artist absolutely at. the. top. of. her. game.”…
Singing with the audience at previews of Songbirds at Bath Ustinov