Continuing the topic of celebrating UK music for this month's Black British Music Month, this lady comes in my top 10 list of artists that I cherish!
"Born and raised in Birmingham, England, of Jamaican parents, Julie Dexter is a world-renowned singer / songwriter who has won numerous international awards.
A classically trained musician who writes, arranges, composes and produces, Julie is considered by many to be one of the most important female vocalists of her generation. Deeply influenced by legends such as Abbey Lincoln, Billie Holiday and Nancy Wilson, as well as popular icons such as Omar and Sade, Julie takes classic soul to the heart of artistry.
Julie Dexter's myriad musical manifestations have astounded fans and critics across the globe. Over the past seven years Julie's career has taken her through the circles of jazz, broken-beat, bossa-nova, and soul.
The dynamic voice of Julie Dexter was first heard in 1997 on Dune Records' release of J-Life, a UK group led by Jason Yarde, that sought to invigorate the public concept of Jazz as a dying tradition. While this debut recording showcased original instrumental compositions and stirring renditions of jazz standards, it also contained a swinging cover of Loose Ends' hit song "Gonna Make You Mine," which amply featured the soulful croon of Julie Dexter.
Julie gained her “chops” for cutting her vocals on this record by touring several continents with jazz wunderkind Courtney Pine as a lead vocalist of his ensemble. This musical school of tough-love learning would also give her the confidence to begin to perform and record as a solo artist, garnering the seven song EP, Peace of Mind (2000) and then later the full-length recording, Dexterity (2002), both of which were independently released on her own label, Ketch A Vibe.
These two recordings gained international acclaim for Julie's talents in addition to her collaborations with broken-beat innovator IG Culture ("The Plan" & "Free As") Da Lata founder Chris Franck ("Burning") and bossa nova composer Thomas Naim ("Like Ours").
For the past four years Julie Dexter has spent the millennium sharing the stage with this generation's cutting-edge soul artists, including Jill Scott, Bilal, Amel Larrieux, Donnie, Omar, Jaguar, Rachelle Ferrell, and Fertile Ground, to name a few.
While Julie Dexter is more than able to hold up against her peers, her music has also been praised by them. In time the world will hold Julie Dexter in the same regards as those stellar artists who regard her well."