Jill Saward (singer)

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Jill Saward
2014-09-19 Shakatak 018.jpg
Saward performing in Wuppertal, Germany (2014)
Background information
Born (1953-12-09) 9 December 1953 (age 65)
London, England
GenresJazz, funk, pop
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocal, flute, percussion
Years active1969-active
LabelsSecret Records
WebsiteOfficial website
External video
Shakatak – Invitations: Do#Dj International Jazz Festival, April 22, 2008, Kyiv – Ukraine.. date July 12, 2012, Youtube (public video-sharing website

Jill Saward (born 9 December 1953) is a British singer, musician and composer, best known for being the lead voice of the English jazz-funk band of Shakatak.


She began her musical career at the age of 16, with the British progressive jazz rock band Fusion Orchestra, from 1969 to 1972.[1]

Jill Saward and the Fusion Orchestra gained a following of fans who secured a record deal with EMI music to produce their first album Skeleton in Armour, an album that immediately received critical acclaim upon its debut, and is now considered a collector's item which is highly sought after.[citation needed]

After the band Fusion Orchestra split, Saward became involved in a new all female group, called Brandy. The band, produced by Polydor, was active for about three years in the UK and Europe, before disbanding in 1976.

Saward was spotted later by the band leader Nicky North who invited her to perform in the 'Cats Whiskers' with his own big soul funk band. She also made a name for herself as one of the UK's session singers at that time. Saward also had a brief stint with a musical group of all women, called Citizen Gang, built by a French manufacturer of Orpheus Productions, and still managed to collaborate with the Nicky North Band. It was in this period she met band, Nigel Wright and Roger Odell, who are still components of jazz-funk band Shakatak.[2]

It was through Shakatak that Saward was able to record some vocals on an experimental track of a song called "Steppin'", and after nine top ten hits Saward was invited to be a permanent part of the group and started to tour worldwide.

Saward in 2014 in concert with Shakatak

She became the leading voice of Shakatak sharing success for more than 35 years. The band is still touring and recording and still popular around the world, especially in Europe and the Far East. They usually publish a new album every two years for JVC Records and Secret Records.[3]

Despite constant touring and recording, Saward has always managed to find time to develop new projects, and still continues to write and record new material.[4]

Private life[edit]

She has been married with the charismatic bass player George Anderson, also a member of Shakatak, with whom she had two sons, Luis and James. They divorced in 2001.[5]

In 2008 she became seriously ill after having a facelift for a new reality TV show [6] .

The Shakatak frontwoman had the procedure while taking part in Living TV's Pop Goes The Band, a show which sees former musical stars, as Bucks Fizz, Bananarama, Visage, Cleopatra, 911, Chaka Khan and more, undergoing surgery in a bid to relaunch their careers [6] .

A source from that show in 2008 said: "Jill's recovery was touch and go as to whether she would be healed in time for her 'reveal' on camera. She didn't heal very well and had a bad infection." [6]

When Jill Saward is not touring with her band Shakatak, she lives in Italy, in the small village of Martis in Sardinia, where she owns and runs a guest house with her current partner the businessman Chris Johnson.


Jill Saward (solo albums)[edit]

  • 1999: Just for You
  • 2016: Just for You (remastered with three bonus tracks)
Jill Saward: all lead and BV voices
Jason Rebello, Neil Drinkwater, and Chris Ingham: keyboards
Snake Davis, Aaron Liddard, Matt Sibley, Derek Nash: saxophone
Fridrik Karlson: guitar
George Anderson: bass
  • 2016: M Is for Manhattan
  • 2016: Endless Summer
Jill Saward: lead voice
Aaron Liddard: saxophone
Chris Ingham: keyboard
Chris Johnson: vocals
George Anderson: bass
James Saward Anderson: vocals
Mornington Lockett: saxophone
Patrick Hartley: trombone
Roberto Tola: guitar
Simon Allen: saxophone
Steve Dee: bass
Teresa Green: backing vocals

With Fusion Orchestra[edit]

With Brandy[edit]

  • 1977: Ooh Ya

With Citizen Gang[edit]

  • 1979: Citizen Gang
  • 1979: "Womanly Way"

With Shakatak[edit]


  • 1981: Drivin' Hard
  • 1982: Night Birds
  • 1982: Invitations
  • 1983: Out of This World
  • 1984: Down on the Street
  • 1984: Shakatak Live in Japan (live)
  • 1985: Live! (Febbraio 1985) (live)
  • 1985: City Rhythm
  • 1986: Into the Blue (pubblicato in Giappone)
  • 1987: Golden Wings (pubblicato in Giappone)
  • 1987: Never Stop Your Love
  • 1988: Manic and Cool
  • 1988: Da Makani (pubblicato in Giappone)
  • 1988: The Very Best of Shakatak
  • 1989: Niteflite (pubblicato in Giappone)
  • 1989: Turn the Music Up
  • 1990: Fiesta (pubblicato in Giappone)
  • 1990: Christmas Eve (pubblicato in Giappone)
  • 1991: Bitter Sweet
  • 1991: Utopia (pubblicato in Giappone)
  • 1993: Street Level
  • 1993: Under the Sun
  • 1993: The Christmas Album
  • 1994: Full Circle
  • 1997: Let the Piano Play
  • 1998: View from the City
  • 1998: Live at Ronnie Scott's
  • 2001: Under Your Spell
Saward in 2014
  • 2003: Blue Savannah
  • 2005: Easier Said Than Done (live album)
  • 2005: Beautiful Day
  • 2007: Emotionally Blue
  • 2009: Afterglow
  • 2011: Across the World
  • 2014: On the Corner
  • 2016 Times and Places

Compilation albums[edit]

With Shakatak in 2014
  • 1988: The Coolest Cuts
  • 1990: Perfect Smile (Issued in the US only)
  • 1991: Open Your Eyes (Issued in the US only, with one track, "Hungry")
  • 1991: Remix Best Album
  • 1991: Night Moves
  • 1996: The Collection
  • 1996: Jazz Connections Volumes 1–6 (Six compilation albums of their exclusive Japanese albums from the 1980s and early 1990s)
On stage in 2014
  • 1998: Shinin' On
  • 1999: Magic
  • 1999: Jazz in the Night
  • 2000: The Collection Volume 2
  • 2002: Dinner Jazz
  • 2003: Smooth Solos
  • 2008: The Best of Shakatak
  • 2008: The Ultimate Collection
  • 2009: The Coolest Cuts 12" Mixes Volume 1
  • 2009: The Coolest Cuts 12" Mixes Volume 2
  • 2012: The 12 Inch Mixes
  • 2013: More 12 Inch Mixes
  • 2014: Snowflakes & Jazzamatazz
  • A three-part compilation album set, compiled by Roger Odell:
    • Sunset Jazz
    • After Dark
    • Drive Time


Year Single UK Singles Chart[6]
1980 "Steppin'"
"Feels Like the Right Time" 41
1981 "Living in the UK" 52
"Brazilian Dawn" 48
"Easier Said Than Done" 12
1982 "Night Birds" 9
"Streetwalkin'" 38
"Invitations" 24
"Stranger" 43
1983 "Dark is the Night" 15
"If You Could See Me Now" 49
"Out of This World" 83
1984 "Down on the Street" 9
"Don't Blame It on Love" 55
1985 "City Rhythm" 76
"Day by Day" (with Al Jarreau) 53
1987 "Something Special"
"Mr. Manic and Sister Cool" 56
1988 "Dr. Dr."
"Time of My life"
1989 "Turn the Music Up"
"Back to the Groove"
1991 "Bitter Sweet"
1993 "One Day at a Time"
1997 "Let the Piano Play"
1998 "Move a Little Closer"


  • 1984: Twilight Sensation [Laserdisc]
  • 1986: The Purely Music Concert Series [Laserdisc]
  • 2004: Live at the Playhouse [DVD]
  • 2004: In Concert [DVD]
  • 2005: Live at Duo Music Exchange [DVD]


[7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

  1. ^ "Shakatak's Jill Saward discusses women in the music ahead of appearance at the Henley Festival". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Shakatak's Jill Saward discusses women in the music ahead of appearance at the Henley Festival". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Shakatak's Jill Saward discusses women in the music ahead of appearance at the Henley Festival". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  4. ^ "BBC Radio Oxford - Tim Smith, Tim meets Jill Saward from Shakatak & Mari Wilson". BBC. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  5. ^ [Jill Saward (singer)#cite%20note-6|[6]]
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 492. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ "Citizen Gang Discography". discogs. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Jill Saward". Shakatak.com. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Jill Saward". Smooth-jazz.de. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Jill Saward". Last.fm. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  11. ^ "SHAKATAK Interview (Jill Saward & Bill Sharpe) 2003". YouTube. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  12. ^ Gary Jackson. "Syndicated Radio Shows From Gary Jackson". Garyjacksonradio.com. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  13. ^ Rachel Dickerson (29 May 2015). "Interview: Shakatak gear up for Purley Festival headline slot (From Your Local Guardian)". Yourlocalguardian.co.uk. Retrieved 5 January 2017.

External links[edit]