Becoming a jazz singer seemed an unlikely prospect for Juliet who discovered her natural talent for singing at a local music workshop whilst studying for a degree in economics . She had never sung in public before but it wasn’t long before she was completely hooked.
Within a year she had auditioned for and been accepted on to the postgraduate jazz course at London's prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since then, Juliet has worked with many outstanding musicians and performed in venues around the UK as well as in Ireland, Italy, Germany, Israel and Australia.
Juliet recorded her debut album Aphrodite’s Child (33 Records) in 2003. It featured Juliet’s original songs and garnered excellent reviews from critics in the UK and the US as well as widespread radio airplay. A successful UK tour followed with sell-out and capacity audiences at venues across the country. Her songwriting ability has also been widely praised and she took honours in the jazz category of the 2004 International Songwriting Competition.
In 2005, Juliet performed with top UK jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine in a live broadcast for BBC4’s Jazz Britannia season at the Barbican. This was followed by two successful sell-out concerts in Russia and her debut US performance that took place at New York’s Sweet Rhythm jazz club.
Juliet’s second album, Delicious Chemistry (Chantiko), further showcased her talents for writing laid-back, accessible jazz. The album – which was released at the end of 2005 - featured her regular band that included Mercury award-winning drummer Seb Rochford and a guest appearance from Courtney Pine. Juliet also appeared as a guest vocalist on Courtney Pine’s album Resistance in the same year.
In 2006 Juliet opened for the Grammy-award winning vocal group Take 6 as part of the London Jazz Festival at the Barbican and saw demand for her accessible jazz spread overseas leading to more sell-out shows in Germany, Greece and Russia.
Licorice Kiss (Purple Stiletto) was released in May 2009 and is Juliet’s third album. Referencing influences as diverse as Soul II Soul, the Eurythmics and Soft Cell, she offers up her own take on some 80’s classics alongside her own creations that range from toe-tapping grooves to latin-inflected ballads.
Juliet’s newest project entitled ” Inspired: Celebrating the Divas of Jazz” is a tribute to the jazz singers past and present who have inspired and influenced her. Including songs from Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, this performance not only showcases some popular favourites but also introduces some lesser-known gems.
"Every now and then a new voice with a fresh attitude arrives on the jazz scene. That voice is here within the soul of Juliet Kelly ... The new voice on the UK jazz scene." COURTNEY PINE
"Soulful, dignified" THE GUARDIAN
"One of those rare singers that tells a genuine story with her music, through her passionate performance and naturally warm voice, it's a beguiling combination that's hard to resist. One of the UK's finest singers in any genre" TIME OUT