CLARE Teal is a musician who needs very little introduction.

From signing the biggest ever recording contract as a British jazz singer, winning a whole host of awards and her own successful show on the BBC 2, there’s not much Clare hasn’t managed to achieve.

A Yorkshire girl born and bred, Clare now lives in Glastonbury, but feels quite at home with the rural feel of the town.

“It’s funny, because I’ve lived here now for nine years, but I actually spend very little time in Glastonbury so I don’t really know many people but they all seem lovely,” she said.

“I have done Glastonbury quite a few times now though and it’s great.

“I think music festivals are really good for the soul and so important to musicians because you have a crowd of people who might not necessarily listen to your music who can come and listen to you.

“I love Somerset, I’ve always lived quite rurally because I grew up in rural Yorkshire but I do really love it here.”

Clare is refreshingly down to earth despite her continued success – she celebrated her successful signing with Sony by buying herself a new hoover.

She now has her own record label MUD where she has released six of her successful albums.

She added: “I’ve always had a passion for music.

Somerset County Gazette:

“It started when I was growing up, I just used to absolutely love listening to my parents’ records, records from Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. I just loved the sound of them and I have quite a record collection of my own now.

“I tried working in an office for a while but I struggled because it wasn’t really what I wanted to do.

“I was quite a shy, geeky child and I would have died if someone had said to me that I would grow up to be a singer.

“But when I did start in my 20s, I never looked back and I realised it wasn’t all that awful singing in front of people.

“I love having my own label because it brings so much freedom with it and it is quite liberating.

“You don’t have anyone telling you what you can or can’t sing, and there’s no one telling you what to wear or when you can or can’t bring out an album.

“It’s hard work but it’s also a lot of fun.”

And Clare has certainly had her work cut out for her this year.

As well as performing across the UK, in May she also released her latest and most ambitious album to date – Twelve O’Clock Tales.

“With the album I worked with a 93-piece orchestra and on top of that, a big band, and we only had them for two days and it didn’t really sink in about how much of a task it was until after we recorded it.

“It was astonishing, and I had to call in a lot of favours but it was so much fun to work with.

“As well as writing my own material we do do a lot of covers, but the thing with jazz is that it is so versatile, meaning you can take a song like Chasing Cars by the Snow Patrol and really make it your own.

“There’s over 100 years of history with jazz as well with so many amazing songs, you never run out of inspiration.”

And with all that history, who does Clare look most to as an inspiration?

This is something she doesn’t have to think too hard about.

She said: “It’s definitely Ella Fitzgerald.

“Next year would have been her centenary year so I will be playing a lot of her on the show.

“She was just such an amazing singer, and there wasn’t anything that she just couldn’t do.

“She made jazz sound amazing and just so accessible and readable.”

Clare will be performing a Festive Fiesta at the Brewhouse Theatre on November 26, and while there’s only three musicians on stage, she promises it will still be a loud and enjoyable evening.

She added: “As it’s November we’ll call it more of a winter warmers evening with a little bit of the white stuff thrown in there.

“We’ll also be performing some of the best bits of the year so I hope people will enjoy it.

“We do try and have a good laugh on stage and we perform sort of how we would all talk and behave normally, there’s just a few instruments chucked in too.”