Heather M Stewart is an extraordinarily talented vocalist and violinist in the international jazz scene. An Australian based in Paris, Heather performs a range of repertoire centred around traditional and hot jazz, ragtime and jug bands, acoustic blues, country and folk music.
Heather studied classical violin and voice (B.Mus.hons), Honours in cognitive neuroscience, an MA in pedagogy and a Graduate Diploma of Jazz. Though starting her career in semi-professional orchestras and operas in Melbourne and London, Heather had always sung and pursued her love for jazz by night. At 23, she decided to change from her classical career to the winding, unpredictable pathways of jazz and original music. Heather dedicated years to workshops, masterclasses, lessons and got solid training with the best swing and traditional jazz musicians in Australia, John Scurry, Peter Baylor, Eamon McNelis, Tim Stevens to name but a few.
Her rigorous classical training has provided regular chances to moonlight in chamber ensembles and orchestras, but once decided, Heather devoted herself artistically to 1900s-1940s jazz, acoustic blues, ragtime and country folk/fiddle music. Heather's singing and violin playing hold a depth and understated artistry that make her one in a million.
Dan Barratt: "I didn't like your singing. I loved it! Thank you. What you do is so special. It is so good."
Recent concerts have included Paris's illustrious Le Bal Blomet and Caveau de la Huchette (La La Land) with sold-out capacity crowds for The Dirty Ragtimers Orchestra, Leigh Barker Band, Orchestre Delmar and Collectif Paris Swing. Heather has toured throughout Europe, UK, USA and Australia and brings her unique style, warmth and skill to the grand repertoire of great jazz and songwriting from the 1900s to 1940s. Heather has won multiple awards for albums collaborating with husband Leigh Barker, and her self-titled Heather Stewart Band album of original songs and fiddle tunes. Heather also composes for theatre and dance projects.
In Paris, Heather Stewart shares concert stages with Orchestre Del Mar, Collective Paris Swing, Leigh Barker Band, Jake Sanders, Jason Marsalis, Matt Munisteri, Giacomo Smith, Nicholas Montier, Christophe Davot, Eamon McNelis, Lucas Montagnier, Mathieu Meyer, and many more. With a collection of quality music projects, a natural presence and joy on stage, Heather builds audiences wherever she performs.
Heather's quartet collaboration with Parisian fingerpicking guitarist Lucas Montagnier, pianist Mathieu Meyer and bassist Leigh Barker is called The Dirty Ragtimer Orchestra. Their first album "Fairytales of Montmartre" recorded at Hi Style Studios was a sold out performance exhilarated the crowd filling Paris' illustrious Le Bal Blomet and they are working on their second album to be released later in 2023.
Influences: Annette Hanshaw, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington, Lester Young, Bessie Smith, Jelly Roll Morton, Irving Berlin, Gene Aubrey, Bix B, Scott Joplin, Big Bill Broonzy, G and I Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael and so many more.