Kay Grant is a vocalist whose work is informed by experience in a range of styles including jazz, opera, rock and pop. Considering the voice as an instrumental component rather than a privileged expressive vehicle, she uses her far reaching vocal range along with a wealth of stylistic elements, tones, colours and noises, playing with imagination, energy and sensitivity.
Discovering the avant garde and free improvisation, she became increasingly drawn to contemporary music and composition, and began a series of collaborations with a range of downtown New York figures – including performances of Cobra and free improv group workouts with John Zorn, recordings and live appearances with Elliott Sharp’s Carbon and combinations with instrumentalists such as cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and percussionist Michael Evans.
Grant has collaborated in groups of various sizes with many talented musicians including Alex Ward, John Russell, Martin Speake, Liam Noble, Mark Sanders, Ntshuks Bonga, Marcio Mattos, Olie Brice, John Edwards, Hannah Marshall, Steve Noble, Gail Brand, Eddie Prevost, Oren Marshall and (the late great) Lol Coxhill.
In addition to free improvising groups, Grant joined the Apartment House Ensemble in Aldeburgh performing Schumann : Entropic Song Meditations by Anton Lukoszevieze. She sang as a lead voice in pianist Veryan Weston’s opera The Mayfly and joined Phil Minton’s Feral Choir for live appearances at the Royal Opera House and the Hard Rock Calling festival. She has been heard on Resonance104.4FM as performer, programme host and interviewee. As part of Resonance Radio Orchestra she performed in several radio plays, singing Tina Tuner’s Nutbush City Limits in Tales Of Tthe Great Unwashed. She is also been a member of the Hauntological Orchestra, singing well-loved pop classics like Bacharach’s Anyone Who Had A Heart. In Autumn 2014 she participated in a two-day exploration of a disused library’s potential as a sound-source in A Call From the Library by artist Lisa Skuret. She continues to sing classically and is currently with Ad Libitum Chamber Choir.
“An extraordinary vocal talent, one of London’s finest free-thinking virtuosos” – Time Out
“Totally in the here and now… intimate and musically flirtatious” – The Wire
“There is something ethereal and beautiful about listening to the vocal gymnastics of Grant’s voice as she cuts loose; as if leaping off a proverbial cliff, she allows her voice to be led where the heart desires… with spectacular wit and the choicest of musical wisdom.” – All About Jazz