London-born Zoe Francis grew up in Northern Ireland in an artistic environment, her father John and grandfather Colin Middleton MBE were celebrated artists and encouraged a lifelong love of art.
When her parents separated she moved to Lincolnshire with her mum and sister. Zoe fell in love with dancing through films starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse and in her teenage years she toured with a contemporary dance company and acted in a local theatre group.
On a visit to New York while learning Tango and going to Jazz clubs, a musician introduced her to the vocal workshops of pianist Barry Harris. This was a turning point for Zoe. She discovered her love of great songs and lyrics and was encouraged to pursue singing. Alongside the weekly workshops Zoe began singing in the many jam sessions held around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Harlem. This led to her performing in local clubs with musicians of the calibre of Harry Allen, Joe Cohn, Warren Vache, and Chris Flory.
Although she loved her time in New York, a homesick Zoe returned to the UK and moved to Bristol where she began performing with award-winning pianist David Newton. In 2013 she recorded her first album “Looking For a Boy” with David Newton.
A move to London gave Zoe the opportunity to work with top players like Gareth Williams, Stan Sulzmann, and Jim Mullen, producing a live album at London’s 606 jazz club in 2014 which led to her performing with this band including Mick Hutton and Enzo Zirilli in and around the London area.
Zoe is joined by legendary jazz guitarist Jim Mullen. Famed for his Morrissey Mullen collabaration and having subsequently played at the highest level for decades, he has a distinctive self taught style and sound, is loved by audiences across the UK. Completing the trio is the wonderful hammond organist, Ross Stanley, a complete master of his instrument who has been a frequent visitor the Island with Nigel Price's organ trio and Dennis Rollins in recent years