Pee Wee Ellis
Hats off to a true heart and soul performer
Kim Cypher is creating quite a stir on the jazz scene at present. As one of the UK’s most exciting saxophonists, vocalists and composers, Kim has firmly secured a reputation for top quality, stylish, accessible jazz together with a vivacious stage presence and a performance full of warmth, energy, style, charisma and love.
“Hats off to a true heart and soul performer” – Pee Wee Ellis
“This is a band capable of appealing to jazz ‘newbies’ and hardcore aficionados alike. Fronted by the vivacious Kim Cypher the band’s music embraces a broad variety of jazz styles, combining good music and good humour and exploring a wide range of musical territory, yet always within a jazz framework. The standard of the playing and singing is excellent” – The Jazz Mann – Live Review November 2022
“Exciting stuff!” – Clare Teal – BBC Radio 2
“A bright, passionate performing light on the UK Jazz scene playing an enjoyable mix of Jazz, from classics through to real funky interpretations of modern mainstream music” Editor – Jazz In Europe
Inspired by the funkier side of jazz and having studied alongside US saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis and internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard, Kim’s style of performance is best described as ‘funky saxophonist meets 1940’s jazz singer’. Her all-round skills as a saxophonist, vocalist, composer, lyricist, band leader, front-person and radio host with a natural ability to connect with all audiences, set Kim apart as a unique ‘full package’ for the very best in jazz performance.
Kim has performed in New York and sold out the main stage at world-renowned Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club as well as being a regular performer at top venues on the London and UK jazz circuit. With Top-10 rated albums and award-winning music videos, Kim always delivers the highest quality performance with incredible style, warmth and passion.
Kim developed her own unique ‘funky’ style of saxophone playing, built upon influences by great players such as Pee Wee Ellis, Gerald Albright, Maceo Parker, Andy Sheppard, Barbara Thompson, Dean Fraser, Courtney Pine and Grover Washington. Kim’s vocal style has been influenced by the greats: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald together with a wide range of vocalists / performers including Liane Carroll, Annie Lennox, Gunhild Carling, Imelda May and Caro Emerald.
Kim’s debut album ‘Make Believe’ was released end of 2016, receiving glowing reviews and culminating in a highly successful album tour with sell-out shows across the UK in 2017/18 including Pizza Express ‘live’ Soho, The Pheasantry Chelsea, The Stables Wavendon, Cheltenham International Jazz Festival, Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival plus many more.
Kim’s 2nd album ‘Love Kim x’ (a collection of inspired original music and quirky takes on some well-known classics) was released on 3rd May 2019. ‘Love Kim x’ achieved many great reviews and was also listed in the Top 10 jazz albums of 2019 by online jazz magazine Bebop Spoken Here. The new album tour included sell-out shows with special guest Pee Wee Ellis. The tour included shows at many great jazz venues and festivals including an album launch at Pizza Express ‘live’ Soho, Toulouse Lautrec London, The Bull’s Head Barnes, Tetbury Goods Shed, the opening slot at Stompin’ On The Quomps Festival, Pizza Express ‘live’ Birmingham, Pershore Jazz Festival, Upton Jazz Festival plus many other great jazz venues. The tour continued into 2020 with many great performances including a sell-out show at Pizza Express Soho with special guest Jazz Giant Ray Gelato. This was part of Kim’s ‘For Mum’ project raising money for The Brain Tumour Charity. The project ran alongside release of a brand new original song ‘All For You’ in April 2020. The project raised almost £3000 for the charity.
Music from both albums and single releases have been featured on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM, BBC Radio London ‘live’ session, BBC Introducing plus other national, local and worldwide radio stations.
‘Love Kim x’ features some of the finest jazz musicians in the UK and overseas including saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, David Newton on piano (16 times winner of best pianist in the British Jazz Awards), Clive Morton on double bass (ex-tutor to Jamie Cullum and long-time sideman with Frank Sinatra) PLUS New York guitarist B.D. Lenz to name just a few.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kim and her drummer husband Mike continued to keep the music playing and remained firmly connected with their followers and supporters. As well as creating a series of ‘Twilight Music Session’ videos recorded remotely with musicians across the world, they were among the first musicians to set up a daily live broadcast on social media to bring some company, music and chat to those feeling isolated and alone. These ‘Coffee & Chat’ sessions led to a feature on local BBC Points West TV and subsequently to a Jazz Radio show ‘The Big Jazz Hullabaloo’ hosted by Mike and Kim worldwide four times every week on Jazz Bites Radio.
Kim also released new music during the pandemic – an original song ‘All For You’ as part of her ‘For Mum’ charity project (a tribute to her late mum), a beautiful track by South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim called ‘Water From An Ancient Well’, which has subsequently received much acclaim and an incredible amount of radio play considering it’s long length at over 11 minutes in duration. Most notably though, once lockdown lifted, Kim released an original track and music video ‘Crazy Times’ – inspired by lockdown and composed, performed and produced by Kim together with husband Mike. The track and video demonstrates the power of music to bring people together, raise spirits and create a moment of escapism during crazy times. ‘Crazy Times’ was declared “BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2020” by US Music Interview Magazine. You can view the video and find out about the incredible community story behind ‘Crazy Times’ here:
Kim has performed alongside some of the country’s finest jazz musicians including Pee Wee Ellis (saxophone), Ray Gelato (saxophone & vox), David Newton (piano), Clive Morton (double bass), Liane Carroll (piano & vox), Andy Sheppard (saxophone), Denny Ilett (guitar) with regular band personnel including highly acclaimed musicians Chris Cobbson (guitar), Mike Green (double bass), Raph Mizraki (double bass), Anders Olinder (organ and piano) and husband Mike Cypher (drums). Kim regularly collaborates with US guitarist B.D. Lenz and his band including Easter and Summer tours plus an original album track ‘Rising From The Dust’ released end 2018 and original gospel-inspired song and video ‘Bring Your Own Sunshine’ released in 2022 to raise money for cancer charity Maggie’s, both of which received credits from IMDb (online database of information relating to films, television programs and videos).
Recent and current projects include the vast ‘BRIGHTER TOMORROW’ project – A Tribute to The Arts which features a 300-page online magazine devoted to celebrating The Arts. You can view the magazine here:
The project also includes lots of new original music due for release in 2023 as part of Kim’s forthcoming NEW ALBUM featuring Liane Carroll and other very special guest musicians to be announced soon!
For the past two years Kim has been a very proud member of Women in Jazz Media, founded by Fiona Ross. The worldwide team work passionately and rigorously for an equal, diverse, safe and healthy Jazz Industry.
Other notable achievements include:
Being flown to New York in 2016 for a private jazz performance in Manhattan.
Being commissioned to perform a private event for the Prime Minister Theresa May in August 2017 with a repeat booking in September 2020.
Featured in the award-winning ‘Women In Jazz’ book by author Sammy Stein and published by 8th House where Kim is described as “one of the UK’s most popular players”.
Kim also features in the 2020 book by Sammy Stein (with Debbie Burke) called ‘Gender Disparity in UK Jazz’. This book gets inside the UK Jazz scene, looks at gender disparity issues and discusses the reality, the potential for change and the ways ahead.
Original music featured in the audio drama ‘The Humanist’ by William E Roberts.
Kim started playing saxophone at age 9 and achieved Grade 8 practical and theory of music with distinction by age 14. She studied Expressive Arts at St Paul’s & St Mary’s College in Cheltenham where she was awarded a First-Class Honours for her original musical composition for saxophone, clarinet, Peruvian pipes and percussion. Prior to turning professional as a musician, Kim was Head of Music at a primary school in Gloucester for 17 years. She has also been a saxophone tutor at the Cheltenham Boys College and a tutor at the Cheltenham Rock School.
Kim has appeared on national TV and Radio and has recorded as a session musician on a variety of recordings and is a resident performer at highly prestigious restaurant & venue The Ivy in Cheltenham.