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Biography

London born South African singer, songwriter, pianist Estelle Kokot is planning to tour her new solo show The Jazz Feminine in Africa in South Africa during the month of August into early September 2016.

She performed at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival in 2015 with Chicago born saxophonist/composer Chico Freeman as her guest. They recorded an album called The Sound Of You in 2014 and negotiations are underway for a digital release with Sony ATV in 2016

“Such narratives demand thoughtful phrasing and perfect diction as well as a melodious voice. On all counts Kokot delivers. She has produced the kind of album that merits careful listening, and could become addictive.” Gwen Ansell Business Day – February 2015

Estelle recorded two singles of her own works for Warner Bros. South Africa, when she was 18. Kokot’s stage debut in 1987 with modern jazz super group Phambili at Kippies Jazz Club in down town Johannesburg caused a sensation and she went on to guest with South African World Music Stars Bayete, also appearing with SA Jazz greats Barney Rachabane and Victor Ntoni.

"South Africa, here is a real jazz singer” Don Albert, South Africa

In 1988 Estelle Kokot joined jazz fusion band Rush Hour and the group recorded their album ‘The Perfect Way’. It went on to top the charts on radio stations in South Africa and the band embarked on a successful tour of the club, festival and concert circuit.

"Nothing short of stunning” Bongani Hlatshwayo

After national success with Rush Hour, Estelle went solo working on various projects and collaborations in South Africa. Estelle has featured as guest vocalist at five Big Band Jazz Galas at Pretoria’s State Theatre and presented her solo show 'Beyond Belief' at the Windybrow and Grahamstown Arts Festivals.
Estelle moved to London at the end of 1993 and soon established herself as a solo artist on the live scene, performing at Pizza Express and The Vortex Jazz clubs regularly and out of town at the Cambridge Modern Jazz Cub and Band on the Wall in Manchester.

She has performed at the Cork, London and Soho Jazz festivals, as well as the Düsseldorf Jazz Rally and at theatres in Switzerland and Germany.

Estelle released two studio albums ‘Alternative Therapy’ (1999) and ‘Information’ (2006) with London based line-ups that include Mick Hutton, Alan Skidmore, Tristan Powell, Rod Youngs, Yaron Stavi and Gene Calderazzo.

‘Where Is the Rainbow’ from her SAMA nominated album ‘Information’(2007)featured on a popular South African TV series ‘A Place Called Home’ and South African Strictly Come Dancing winner, actor/singer Emmanuel Castis recorded one of the album tracks, 'I Don't Know You Anymore' on his CD ‘South of Nowhere’(2008).

On top of her collaborative work as an artist, current and future projects include mentoring up and coming singer-songwriters and composers. She also conducts workshops based on the art of song writing, jazz vocal phrasing and interpretation and more.

"Standards and originals perfectly compatible side by side, Kokot is an excellent arranger of her own and other peoples’ material" John Fordham, The Guardian, London

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