Starting Out

Jayne’s interest and participation in music go back to school days and gave an early indication of her versatility. At 7, she learned to play the recorder, but also began to sing, she would spend hours singing along with her records, often the much missed Karen Carpenter. Jayne practised and practised to get a pure sound somewhere closer to her heroine. At 9 she began to learn to play the cello with Mrs Bevan, and through her great generosity was very fortunate to be present at a master class run by Jacqueline De Pre. She learned the piano with the formidable but astonishing Mrs Smith who was at this point aged 70. At 11 Jayne’s  first clarinet teacher was Mr Bryce the second, was Trevor Emeny our own local and highly respected musician.

Jayne was always a star performer in school musicals both in the choir and orchestra. She played clarinet in the High School Rhythm and Blues Band and the ‘cello in the School and County Orchestras, moving happily between them. She still occasionally plays cello but more frequently the piano. But her main musical activity is as a singer, but one with a difference, a singer able to enhance her presence with some tasty tenor and alto saxophone and clarinet playing into the bargain.


Throughout her career she has worked in a range of musical genres. She’s been the singer / saxophone player in an all girl rock band, and a Bruce Springstein tribute band. Also a sax player in a number of big bands, including The Basement Band, which arose from the Blue Pearls Band. It is whilst playing in the Basement Band that Jayne is seen in the film ‘Silver Shine’, made as a tribute to the famous Midlands’ saxophone player Andy Hamilton. Jayne also plays as an orchestral clarinettist.

In more recent years Jayne has become a featured vocalist with a very individual and attractive approach and a huge repertoire. She can move convincingly from Old Time Jazz of the 1920’s through the decades of the golden era of the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee right through to today’s Fusion, Jazz Rock, Lounge and Cocktail Jazz and with some Soul, Pop and Latin for good measure. Her shining talent has been heard in many musical settings including large sized groups, playing and singing with The Bev Pegg Rock and Roll Band, in particular sharing one memorable night when Robert Plant was an unexpected and exuberant guest!

Pershore Jazz Festival

Jayne’s creative and imaginative personality resulted in her inspiration for there to be a Jazz Festival in her own town of Pershore. She went to a town council meeting in 1999 and asked if this would be looked upon favourably as a way to promote the town and jazz music at the same time. Raising over £10,000 in grants, cash and sponsorship she enabled the jazz festival to be a free to all festival with all the events based in the town’s pubs, restaurants, hotel  and Abbey. This festival continues to the present.

Jayne prefers to play and sing within the context of the smaller group, which can give a freer rein to her musical personality. Her own band, The Jayne Steele Quintet, gives constant excellent examples of this and perform for corporate events, large and small private functions, jazz festivals, in marquees, castles, restaurants, hotels, on boats and barges, in village halls and in Birmingham Symphony Hall. She frequently works with the Dutch Lewis Broadband, which makes huge demands upon this female vocalist with its ever-expanding repertoire of over 1000 songs. The songs; she makes them her own.