Drayton & Taverham

Joe’s belting out the Buble

Just Regional
Jul 21, 2016 5 mins read

Norwich chap Joe Ringer grew up listening to swing and jazz and his love of the big band.

Now the popular vocalist, who turned professional three years ago, is set to perform on the region’s biggest stage as he brings The Joe Ringer Band and Swingin’ With Bublé to Norwich Theatre Royal on August 9.

Joe is promising an evening to remember with a 28-piece orchestra, guest soloists and a 40-piece choir of locally-recruited singers. “We will have a 28-piece orchestra and everything is especially arranged for this line-up. So we will have the standard big band which is 18 musicians, and on top of that we have added a seven-piece string section plus percussion.  That’s a massive amount of orchestra making a beautiful sound.”

Also joining him on stage will be international jazz singer and recording artist Claire Martin OBE, a seven-times winner at the British Jazz Awards, and locally-based Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute band Frankie’s Guys.

Joe has been working on the arrangements himself, alongside arranger Mike West.  “The songs are beautifully written and to be able to do the true arrangements is brilliant. The lyrics are beautiful, which I feel a lot of the time today you don’t get in modern songs. I like singing pop music like anyone else, but there is something about these well-crafted songs from Cole Porter and Irving Berlin that I really love.  They are a pleasure to sing.”

On the programme on August 9 will be numbers from Michael Bublé with songs ranging from Cry Me A River and Haven’t Met You Yet, to Home and Feeling Good, as well as some of the all-time greats from Frank Sinatra, the Rat Pack and Ray Charles. Joe said: “We have some arrangements being specially written for the choir like Georgia on My Mind, so these will be bespoke arrangements and the first time you will ever hear them.”

Joe spent his childhood listening to his mum’s favourite swing and jazz music before joining the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre at the age of 16. “My mum was a massive fan of Sinatra and the Rat Pack and Nat King Cole, so that was always playing throughout the house, so I grew up with it and became that kind of singer. I’ve always had a passion for it and about ten years ago when Bublé came in, Jamie Cullum and the Robbie Williams swing album, it re-ignited that thing.

“I get to sing these beautiful songs from shows like Anything Goes.  Some of the lyrics are so beautiful and so clever you can get really lost in the story when you are singing them and listening to them too. They have a beautiful core structure and beautiful melody.  Add on top an 18-piece band and a string section and it is as it should be.”

The show in the Theatre Royal’s 1300-seater auditorium will be a long cry from Joe’s very first public gig which was at the Maid’s Head Hotel in Norwich when he was asked to fill in for another singer. Soon he was appearing with the Jonathan Wyatt Big Band and doing shows at The Norwich Playhouse and King’s Lynn Corn Exchange.

“Before I knew it I was ‘dep-ing’ in the industry, filling in with other bands around the area. And I’ve gone further afield around the region and to the Midlands and London as a solo singer with other bands. I saw what they were doing and thought I could do this, and with a background in design and marketing I thought I could do it better, so I put together my own band.

“We now run various sizes of band from six up to the full big band size and we do corporate events and a lot of weddings around the region and further afield. We go everywhere and are really busy and we work with some amazing musicians. I love the music side and the creative side. I think we have 100 events organised this year – weddings, shows, events – we’re out multiple times per week. It’s hectic.

Joe feels his time with Norfolk Youth Music Theatre was invaluable. “I did quite a few shows with them. It gave me good diction and a good vocal grounding and it helps you to sing in your own way.  A lot of people have beautiful voices, but you have to be able to perform too. You have to be likeable to the crowd. You have to endear yourself to the audience in the first five minutes.

“I can cover most things. I class myself as a musician as well. I take quite a lot of interest in the musical side because I do a lot of arranging. I think the voice sits in as part of the band and I’m using my voice as an instrument.”

He is pleased with the arrangements for the show. “They are sounding great. It will be a really superb evening for everyone who loves Michael Bublé, the Rat Pack, Sinatra, all those great singers from those days, a little bit of Ray Charles too – I’ll be paying tribute to all those guys.”

The Joe Ringer Band is at Norwich Theatre Royal on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, at 7.30pm. Tickets £7-£18. Call the box office on 01603 630000or book online www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

Joe Ringer

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