B i o g r a p h y
Earl Okin is one of the world’s finest Jazz singers.
In addition, he is probably the finest performer of Bossa Nova
outside of Brazil.
Though occasionally performing with a trio,
he normally performs solo, accompanying himself
at the guitar or piano as most appropriate for the song.
Last but not least, he’s renowned for his legendary
‘vocal trumpet’ solos.
Based in London, Earl has given concerts around the world in theatres,
clubs and festivals, and regularly performs at
London’s premier Jazz Club, Ronnie Scott’s and
cabaret and concert venues such as
Les Crazy Coqs and the Royal Albert Hall.
Over his career, he has worked alongside such legends as
Adelaide Hall, Benny Carter, Stephane Grappelly,
Barney Kessel and Dame Cleo Laine among others.
To sum him up – the perfect sophisticated Jazz vocal cabaret!
"To my talented friend, Earl Okin. May your great gifts not long escape wider recognition".
NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL – Holland.
If you ever have an opportunity to organize a musical event,
invite Earl Okin.
It had been a long time since I witnessed an artist
win a crowd's favours in two minutes.
This happened last night at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague.
His music? You have to find this out for yourself.
He sings (with a beautiful voice, perfect for the Brazilian/Jobim type of
Bossa Nova songs he provides).
He plays guitar and piano.
(He didn't play piano at North Sea, but I have his
Pitter Panther Patter
and Blood Count on CD. Brilliant.
Delivering the message, with good taste and ample technique).
A real treat is his 'vocal trumpet': he can make those
fantastic sounds that helped make the Mills Brothers famous.
Earl's inspiration here is clearly the early Ellington horns.
He can do an astonishing Whetsol.
But he also did a brief Cootie, Brown and Bigard.
Earl's instrumental imitations are to my ears art -
not just 'funny' or a novelty-type trick.
They're too good for that.
It's quality, for lack of a better word.
How to incorporate Ellington in your music
and make it work?
Check out Earl.
And yes, he does wear spats in public.
Review of Earl Okin by Sarah Ellen Hughes
(Pizza Express Dean Street)
I was struck at first by Okin's ability to sing
to every member of the audience -
not with a fixed stare but with a knowing look -
especially to the noisy table who had, it seemed,
misinterpreted the 'silence' policy.
They soon quietened down.
He was wonderfully engaging.
His Portuguese was faultless, and truly charming
within the context of Bossa Nova.
And then there's that vocal trumpet.
It was every bit as good and as musical as I'd heard.
In fact, it was better. I found this instrument to be as integral
to Earl's performance as his singing, or piano or guitar playing.
He has an extraordinary ability to sing a solo
which really sounds like a trumpet,
with accurate pitch and timbre,
vibrato, even half-valve sounds,
and a characterful attack and articulation.
It was so appropriate to each particular style -
whether it be a haunting ballad or swinging standard.
At one point my guest turned to me and said,
"He can play the trumpet better than I can!"
And she's a professional trumpeter.
Okin is a wonderful singer.
He sings effortlessly, with a captivating subtlety.
If he'd been on for a second night
I'd definitely have been queuing up to hear him again.