Louise Balkwill is a jazz singer living and performing in London. She was born in Tooting and raised in Leicester by her hard working single mum of three, Vanessa, who encouraged and inspired her to pursue her interest in music from a very early age. Born into a family of musicians, Louise has never been short of inspiration and was raised as a multi instrumentalist before turning her interests to singing at the age of 16.
Louise formed her first jazz ensemble at the age of 17 and later obtained a scholarship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
"Totally bowled over by Louise Balkwill’s incredible vocals and engaging stage presence"
- Sarah Chaplin, Jazzwise Magazine, 2015
Since moving to London in September 2012, Louise has had the pleasure of learning from and working with musicians such as Leroy Jones, Barry Harris, Pete Churchill, Trudy Kerr, Brigette Beraha, Malcolm Earle-Smith, Ofer Landsberg, Simon Purcell, Liane Carroll, Sophie Bancroft, Sara Colman, Barry Green, Tina May, Nia Lynn, Anita Wardell, Nick Weldon, Martin Speake and Phil Peskett.
"If the 606 seems miraculously and unusually flooded with light in these pictures, then that must be something to do the combination of Trevor Clifford's artistry as a photographer... and Louise Balkwill's character."
- Sebastian Scotney, London Jazz News, 2018
In the autumn of 2015, Louise formed her quintet, who play fortnightly at Oliver's Jazz Bar in Greenwich where they host a Sunday afternoon jazz jam.
“Louise’s happiness on stage is contagious!”
Louise has performed in top venues all over London, such as Pizza Express Jazz Club, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, 606 Club, The Archduke, Charlie Wright's and Oliver's Jazz Bar to name a few. In addition to her UK ventures, Louise has performed overseas and has won the hearts of audiences in New York, New Orleans, Japan and all over Europe alongside household names such as Kermit Ruffins, Leroy Jones and Michael Kanan.
“A true new talent, shining right here…”
– Ian Shaw
Currently, Louise directs and sings with The Old Jelly Rollers, a New Orleans style second line band that she founded in 2016 whilst in her final year of studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. The group maintain an exciting blog and education resource that illustrates their pilgrimage to New Orleans and features interviews with some of the most celebrated jazz musicians in the western world.
An avid composer, arranger and lyricist, Louise has worked with the likes of legendary trumpeter Leroy Jones among other internationally critically acclaimed artists and bands.