ISQ are vocalist Irene Serra, bassist Richard Sadler, pianist John Crawford and drummer Chris Nickolls.
“…Serra’s voice is graceful and sensual, an occasional added vibrato giving it a hint of the chanteuse. The sound is beautiful and melancholy…” – Bruce Lindsay – All About Jazz
Irene started studying Jazz at the age of 16 with the renowned Italian Jazz singer Tiziana Ghiglioni at the Academy of Music in Milan. She moved to London in 1999 to continue her music studies at the University of Surrey and Goldsmith’s College, University of London.
In 2010 she completed a Masters in Music Performance (Jazz) at The Guildhall School Of Music and Drama with a distinction in her final performance.
She has performed all over the UK and at many venues in and around London eg – the Barbican with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra, Ronnie Scott’s, Union Chapel Islington, Kings Place, the 606 Jazz Club, The Forge and the National Theatre.
She was a semi-finalist in The Brussels International Young Jazz Singer in 2008 and was the only European finalist at the Shure Montreux Jazz Vocal Competition 2009.
Irene works frequently as a session singer for various artists.
“Sadler’s playing is tight, powerful and positive—and a perfect complement for Serra’s vocals. Even when Sadler plays slowly and sparingly, as he does on “Walking Wounded” and “This Bird Has Flown,” – he’s an emphatic presence.” – Bruce Lindsay – All About Jazz
Richard moved to London in 1989, giving himself five years to succeed or fail as a musician… Since then he played regularly across all genres – jazz, pop, blues…even country! He continues to work as a musician, composer and sound engineer.
He was a founding member of the Neil Cowley Trio and recorded the first three albums and toured extensively with the trio, contributing to the writing and arranging. In 2006, they were presented with a ‘BBC jazz award’ and even made it to ‘Later with Jools Holland’ on the BBC!
He has worked as a studio session musician (eg Ray Davies (Kinks), Paul Weller, Tom Jones)
As a jazz musician, he has played and continues to play with many great players.
He has played at major festivals in the UK (Glastonbury, The Big Chill, London Jazz Festival etc) He has played in major venues in UK from Queen Elizabeth Hall to Ronnie Scott’s.
He has played at jazz clubs and festivals in USA (Rochester, New York), Canada (Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto), Australia (Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne) , New Zealand (Auckland, Queenstown) Thailand, most of Europe (not quite all tho!!)…
TV – Later With Jools Holland, RTE Eire
Radio – sessions for BBC Radio 3 and 6 (Jazz Line Up and Tom Robinson)
“A glorious piano solo…everyone there that night agreed that a man to watch out for is pianist John Crawford, a skillful and imaginative soloist” – Jazzwise Magazine
John was born in London of English/Spanish Parents. His father played Blues piano, his mother would later introduce him to Latin music of all kinds.
As a jazz pianist he has worked with – Tony Coe, Sax Appeal, Jason Yarde, Harvie S, Dave O’Higgins, Tony Kofi, US3, Roger Beaujolais, Gilad Atzmon, Byron Wallen, Annie Whitehead. In the Latin world – Airto Moreira and Giovanni Hidalgo, Eumir Deodato, Ed Motta, Tito Allen, Herman Oliveira, Henry Fiol, Luis Felipe Gonzalez, Snowboy, Guida da Palma, Negrocan, Roberto Pla, He is also a founder member of the popular band Grupo X.
With pop artists – Bjork, Tanita Tikarem, Lewis Taylor, Andy Williams, Kirsty McColl, Rui Veloso and Babyface.
John has performed around the world at venues such as Montreal Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Getxo Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scotts, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the 606 and Royal Albert Hall.
He is also the author of ‘Exploring Latin Piano’ published by Schott Music.
“Chris Nickolls played impossibly fast drum rolls, lightly, yet filling every space, using electronic drum styles to intensify the groove, firmly in the Tony Williams creative tradition.” – Alison Bentley, London Jazz (Pizza Express Album Launch)
Chris started playing the drums at the age of 15 influenced by rock and funk music. When he moved to London in 2001 he was introduced to jazz and world.
Since then he has performed and recorded with Andy Sheppard, Gilad Atzmon, Laurence Cottle and Jean Toussaint, Michael Garrick and many others, and has supported Jason Lindner and Mark Guiliana.
This has seen him travel the world and play at venues and festivals in the UK, Europe, Poland and Russia.