Jazz singer Imogen Banks talks about moving north, her South Shields routes and her love for Ella Fitzgerald

Imogen Banks.

Vintage jazz singer Imogen Banks effortlessly exudes a haunting sensuality that is as charismatic as it is bewitching.

Her stunning image is enhanced by her platinum hair which softly adorns her bright eyes and deceptively disguises a character of aesthetic sensibility and artistic intellect.

Banks is undoubtedly bewitching, but there is a vulnerability that makes her passion for performance so compelling.

Register to our daily newsletter

The newsletter mute the noise

Imogen Banks.

“Now is the time to create. People have an appetite for culture and the North is such a creative center – it’s full of passion, hard work and authenticity. The future is up north,” says Imogen, who is also a professional actress and voice-over artist.

“I love it up North,” she admits, explaining how she fell in love with her partner Geordie and the seaside town of Tynemouth, where she now resides.

“I love her unique beauty.”

Her father, a retired mechanical engineer, was born and raised in South Shields and it was here in the North East that Imogen says she found “greater accessibility to the arts and more respect as that interpreter”.

Imogen Banks.

She said moving from London to Tynemouth in 2019 was a hugely rewarding experience.

“I can access fully funded work here whereas in London I found many jobs to be non-profit and underfunded,” she said.

Imogen’s partner Edwin runs puppet and street theater company Theater Illumiere, and the couple were hit hard when the pandemic hit shortly after they moved north.

Fortunately, Imogen was able to access government support, but she adds, “I still think a lot more can be done to help those who work in the arts.”

Imogen Banks.

Imogen is a graduate of the East 15 School of Acting and the Royal Academy of Music where she studied acting and musical theatre, so she invested thousands of dollars in creating her act.

Imogen laments, “I found drama school to be a rich man’s game.”

It is Imogen’s love for jazz music that is the overriding impetus to overcome the hurdles of being a creative through these difficult times.

She particularly enjoys the music of Regina Spektor, Diana Krall and Billie Eilish, but her strongest influences remain the nostalgic undertones of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and her idol Ella Fitzgerald – whose musical arrangements she is particularly drawn to.

“I appreciate that jazz is playful and goes against the beat while being heartbreaking with a real sense of authenticity,” she said.

Imogen’s parents told her that when she was three, she draped herself on a couch and said she wanted to be an actress.

“I couldn’t tell you a time when I wasn’t interested in being on stage,” she said.

Imogen has performed in concert halls, festivals, theaters and on television, but it is her undying love for jazz music that has remained constant.

“For me, jazz is exciting. It’s a way to connect with others by expressing yourself in such a personalized way,” she adds.

Imogen said she loved 1940s clothing, hairstyles and makeup – a style she says takes hours to perfect.

Yet she said she also found traditional fashion from the Golden Jazz Era to be very restrictive, and was abandoning the glamor of skin-tight, skin-tight dresses for a more androgynous, chic tuxedo style.

Currently starring in acclaimed dance artist Mathieu Geffre’s highly anticipated tour, The Monocle, which takes place in a 1930s lesbian nightclub in Paris, Imogen encourages people to come and see the show, describing it as “exciting, thrilling and titillating”.

You can catch Imogen in The Monocle at Dance City in Newcastle on February 26, and she also has gigs at Crowne Plaza in Newcastle on March 26 and April 2.

She is also the voice of Theater Space North East’s Girl in the Machine, which appeared at The Customs House earlier this month, and has dates scheduled at the Gala in Durham on February 19 and the Northern Stage in Newcastle on February 25. February. .

Support your Gazette and subscribe today.

Enjoy unlimited access to all our news and sports, see fewer ads, enjoy faster loading times, test your brain with daily puzzles and access to exclusive newsletters.

Comments are closed.