Press releases x4

PRESS RELEASE                                                September 2013                      


Songwriters could go global



BRITISH songwriting team Gavin Sparks and Kay Shelley are hoping for international recognition after yet another singer from abroad pledged to record their songs.


The London-based musician and lyricist write in various genres, including jazz, Latin, R&B, soul, blues and country.


Since they released their album Pimp My Jazz – a collection of 14 original jazz and Latin songs – for sale on the Amazon UK website, tributes have flowed in and several artists have responded positively.


The duo hope Australia will be the next country where they can win some fans, with the help of a friend, Will Dillon.


Will has returned to Melbourne from London and hopes to get radio airplay for their jazz album and also for their unreleased album of mixed-genre instrumentals called Tripping Over Pebbles.


Gavin and Kay are not just songwriters – they launched a 7-piece band also called Pimp My Jazz which gigs in London, playing their own songs mixed with well-known jazz and Latin standards.


The band has a ten-minute video of a recent performance on YouTube, via this link:

Or Google: pimp my jazz live 2013


So which artists like Pimp My Jazz? Well, singing superstar George Michael emailed them out of the blue to say he was a fan.


International stage and recording artist Andy Walker, an Italian singer based in Monaco, recorded two songs from the album – Loving Love as a download, and Give Me A Song.


Now Reet Kromel, a top professional singer and recording artist in her native Estonia, plans to go into the studio to record two of their jazz/Latin songs for her new album.

Meanwhile, British band leader Al Reed - of 'Big Al' and the Blistering Buicks - has chosen one of their blues songs to record, Crazy Hannah, while the lead singer of the Anglo-American band Atlantic Soul Machine is considering using one of their new songs for a solo album.


Gavin and Kay are not signed to any company, so they have relied on their own efforts and contacts to publicise their material.


Both of them have relatives and friends in Australia – in Adelaide, Sydney and New South Wales – and hope to visit the country in 2014.


They also have a music link. Two earlier songs of theirs were released by Irish country singer Thomas Maguire - who has a following in Australia - on his “Best of Thomas Maguire” album.


Australia’s Greek community might like to know that the pair wrote an anthem called Athlete with a Greek flavour for the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. It was aired in Greece and on London Greek Radio.


A year later, they had a pop track released on a compilation album by a Greek-managed company.


New Zealander Will Dillon, who has lived mostly in Australia, said all the music had a broad appeal because it was easy-listening, yet featured some unusual chords.


“Sparks & Shelley are not widely known, but I feel they should be. Gavin writes songs non-stop, because he has a constant flow of ideas, despite having no musical training.”





The above is linked to the Facebook site: Gavin K. Sparks






PRESS RELEASE                                                                                     1 Aug 2012

Italian singer records

Sparks & Shelley

LONDON songwriters Gavin Sparks and Kay Shelley have had their latest jazz and Latin work honoured by top names in the business, including an Italian singer who has recorded one of their songs and released it worldwide.


The Hillingdon-based team, who formed the band Pimp My Jazz a year ago and have their Pimp My Jazz album on sale as a physical CD on Amazon UK, met swing, jazz, soul and R&B singer Andy Walker when he was appearing at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London last October and gave him a copy of their album.


Andy, who is based in Monte Carlo, Monaco, was so impressed that he immediately insisted on recording a couple of numbers - Loving Love and Give Me A Song.


It was too late to include them in his latest album, which is due for release shortly, but instead Andy has released the song Loving Love as his latest online single, now available as a download.


Before that, Andy played it to top international star George Michael, with whom he has collaborated in the past, and George sent an unsolicited email to manager and co-lyricist Kay Shelley congratulating the duo on their music.


“Gavin and I are delighted with Andy’s involvement and the interest of George Michael,” said Kay, who like Gavin lives in Hillingdon. “Gavin has been composing songs in all styles for many years, and now with the jazz and Latin genre he may finally have found the right niche to get his music widely known.


“The song Loving Love is actually about a spurned lover who feels suicidal but realizes that he or she was in love with the idea of love, and that there’s more to life than one failed relationship. Andy sees it as having a ‘film noir’ feel, a very London-style atmosphere reminiscent of old Soho and other European jazz quarters, especially with the smoky sax sound.


“On our album and at our gigs, the song is sung by our female vocalist Lonette Charles, who has a great mellow low toned voice, but we love Andy’s version also, because his personal interpretation and great vocal tone brings a different feel to the song.”


Andy Walker hopes to visit the UK in 2013 and perform with Gavin and Pimp My Jazz. He also wants Sparks & Shelley to write lots more songs for him.


He writes: “I loved these tracks from the first moment I heard them. They were my chords and they reminded me of London. I feel so natural when I sing these wonderful songs. One thing is sure – if we go on like this, we could work together.”


A well-known performer on the London music scene for over 25 years, Andy has toured in many countries around the world in concert, including Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Russia.  In December 2011 he appeared at the Blue Note Club in New York with his jazz quintet direct from Monte Carlo.  


His two 2011 albums – double album The Taste of Swing, and Jazz & Soul - can both be accessed on his website


His albums are sold in 240 territories around the world, with 12 distributors, including iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, SFR France, Spotify, Nokia Music Store, Fnac and Virgin Megastore. 


The single Loving Love can be heard in full on his Facebook site – accessible from his website – and can be bought as a download on the CD Baby or amazon UK websites.


  • Kay and Gavin’s band Pimp My Jazz will be performing at the George IV pub in Chiswick on Fri Aug 17, and at the Help for Heroes charity jazz weekend at The Plough, Northfields, Ealing, on Sat Aug 25. In September, they will perform in front of the Civic Centre, Uxbridge, at the borough’s annual Big Fest festival on Sun Sep 2.
  • In June, they were the headline act at Yiewsley Carnival and have already been invited back to appear next year.
  • For more details of Pimp My Jazz, see their website or their band website



Kay Shelley, Manager -

Mob: - 07748 662213, tel: 01895 252275
PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                          14 Dec 2011
                Album boost for songwriters


WEST London songwriting team Gavin Sparks and Kay Shelley have had an early Christmas present – news that two of their songs have been released on a new 20-track album by the Irish country singer and guitarist Thomas Maguire.


Called The Best of Thomas Maguire, the album went on sale December 9th-12th 2011 to mark Thomas’s 11th  year in the music business. It showcases the talents of the Fermanagh-born singer, who began as a solo artist and now tours the whole of Ireland extensively as a duo with his Wexford-born wife, singer Fhiona Ennis.


Gavin and Kay met Thomas in the late 90s when all three lived in Harrow. The two songwriters now live in Uxbridge, from where they founded their own jazz and Latin band Pimp My Jazz in spring 2011, and released an album of their original jazz and Latin songs – also called Pimp My Jazz – on Amazon UK. Click on:



The two songs chosen for Thomas’s new album – an old-style rock’n’roll/dance number called Maisie, and a country number called A Fool’s Heart - had an EP release to DJs in 2000 and 2001. But this is the first time they have appeared on an album for sale to the public, although Maisie was played live by Thomas and his band.


“We have watched Thomas’s career develop. He has won many awards, been regularly praised by Daniel O’Donnell and is often played on Irish radio stations, as well as radio in Denmark, Australia and the USA. So we are thrilled that he has included these songs on his latest album,” said journalist Kay, who co-writes lyrics to Gavin’s music and formerly worked as the press officer for the College of North West London in Brent.


“Although he is now based in Northern Ireland, every year he and Fhiona visit Scotland, Wales and England to perform in towns where there are Irish communities. He was always a big hit at the old Galtymore Club in Cricklewood. We hope to see him back in London before long.”


  • Sparks & Shelley have a second honour lined up. Italian singer Andy Walker has recorded two of their jazz songs in Monaco and hopes to include one on his next album, due for release shortly in Europe and via the internet.
  •  For details of Pimp My Jazz, go to  For details of the band’s gigs, go to
  • For more about Thomas Maguire, go to The CD is available from the site, or in local music shops that sell Irish artists.


CONTACT: Kay Shelley, 07748 662213 or 01895 252275

Email: OR 



PRESS RELEASE -  9 June 2011

Jazz debut for Uxbridge songwriters

UXBRIDGE songwriters Gavin Sparks & Kay Shelley have switched from pop to jazz for their debut album and have put together a seven-piece band with the same name as the album – Pimp My Jazz. 

The band’s inaugural gig will be at the Load of Hay, Villier Street, Uxbridge, on Sunday June 19 from 8.30pm. They plan to play all 14 original jazz and Latin songs from the album, along with covers of well-known standards, plus a couple of tracks composed by two of the band.

The album, Pimp My Jazz, will be on sale at the gig at a reduced price of £6. Kay plans to put it on the internet, where the price will be £7.99.   

Ex-press officer and journalist Kay, who once worked on the Uxbridge Gazette, has taken on the role of manager, as she is not a musician. But she co-wrote the lyrics and sings two verses of one song in French.

Four of the line-up live locally – rhythm guitarist/vocalist Gavin in Uxbridge, Kay in Hillingdon, lead guitarist John Spraggon in Hayes and main vocalist Lonette Charles in Yiewsley.

The other band members are pianist Phil Craddock from Slough, sax player Alastair Penman from Beaconsfield, bass guitarist Terry Peaker from Hammersmith and drummer Kweku Graves from South London.

The music is a mixture of swing numbers, ballads, and Latin styles including bossa nova, salsa and beguine. Two songs sung by Gavin were inspired by Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble. 

“Gavin and I decided over a year ago to form a band, but we had problems finding the right musicians. Gavin uses unusual chords which are not straightforward to learn, and some people just want to play standards,” said Kay.  

“So we thought the best policy was to mix the album first, so that everyone would get the feel of it – although the band sound is slightly different from the album.  It took Gavin and myself over six months of going into a studio with a producer almost once a week, but we were really pleased with the finished result.”

Gavin, a former pop guitarist who has written hundreds of songs, said he was happy with the album and the band.  He said: “Some really committed musicians have joined the project, and our singer Lonette has a lovely mellow low-register voice which seems to suit the material perfectly.  

“Although I never had much experience in the jazz world, the ideas just seemed to flow. Kay and I have had a few pop and country songs released on other singers’ albums, but this is the one we are proud of.”

The name Pimp My Jazz, chosen by Kay, was inspired by the American TV show Pimp My Ride, in which old cars are given a new lease of life. She said: “We like to think we are doing the same thing with jazz. Purists may find us uncomplicated, but the songs have a wide appeal, and the reaction to the album so far has been really positive.” 

Those who would like to hear a taster of the music can access an eight-track sampler on the website