ENIGMATIC performer Earl Okin made a promise this week to potential audience members ahead of his appearance at the Rye International Jazz Festival.
He pledged: “I guarantee that people will go away feeling they have been entertained.”
A bold claim perhaps but Earl has the credentials and pedigree to back it up. A true original - Earl is an accomplished singer, pianist and guitarist whose wry sense of humour and quick wit has also seen him delighting The Edinburgh Festival with more than 500 musical comedy shows since 1983.
He is also a virtuoso in the Brazilian music style Bossa Nova and has given concerts in Brazil. “Bossa Nova is actually a Samba which adopted jazz rhythms,” he explained, “It can be traced back to one man in the 1950’s Joao Gilberto.”
He added: “I was lucky enough to grow up seeing the greats perform, people like Ella Fitzgerald,” says Earl. His performance at Rye is likely to include items from The Great American Songbook - pieces by Duke Ellington and Hoagey Carmichael as well as some of his own material.
Despite his long career the fire of creativity is still burning bright in Earl - he has just finished writing an entire musical - a sequel to Porgy and Bess. “The best is yet to come,” he says.
Earl Okin performs at the George Hotel on Sunday August 25 at 7.30pm. To book tickets and for the full programme go to www.ryejazz.com.