Sophie Bancroft’s music has been used on American hit TV series ‘Six Feet Under’ and recorded by various award winning artistes including jazz vocalist Liane Carroll and pianist Louis Durra. A confident musical voice that is distinctly jazz-based, Sophie writes and performs with an inspirational folk expression, alongside the wit, sensuality and expressive minimalism of a jazz vocalist.
“Her glorious tonal intonation – both as a guitarist and vocalist, and her articulation of the lyric – draws you in, deep inside the song’s stories and emotions of the characters she brings to life with such vividness. By digging into the meaning of words and phrases and then letting them live again in the floating lyric, Sophie Bancroft seems to suggest that music speaks to her in the intimacy of her heart. And she pays it forward by making the songs come alive with uncommon poise and elegance.”
JAZZ DA GAMA
Sophie is songwriter and musical director for the new musical Dementia: The Musical written by Ron Coleman from Deepness Dementia Media which will tour Scotland in Autumn 2024 after receiving funding from Creative Scotland’s touring fund.
Awarded a Masters with Distinction in Creative Writing in 2019 she is a published writer of personal essays and poetry and has recently been exploring filmmaking. Her short film poem (S)kin was screened at the Women Over Fifty Film Festival (WOFFF) in 2021 and Italian film festival Cinema D’Idea in 2022 and her short film-song Old Mother Blackbird was screened at WOFFF in 2023.
She has designed a series of greetings cards featuring her landscape photography, lyrics and songs, written a childrens book and created greeting cards to accompany her Old Mother Blackbird film-song and recorded and released three podcast series.
Alongside her writing and performance career, she is a busy music educator with an extensive online and in-person workshop and private lessons schedule as well as teaching music students at the Reid School of Music at Edinburgh University.
Some of my creative work
MONDAY NIGHTS released on Lisaleo Records Nov 2020
Listed as one of JAZZVIEWS albums of the year in 2020
“An album of the highest class, superbly produced, and entertaining” JAZZVIEWS
“Jazz and folk, delivered with an intimacy and joy”
MICHAEL’S MUSIC LOG
This is music to chill to, possibly over a nightcap. Bancroft’s lyrics are thoughtful and poignant, the overall sound calming and warm – just the ticket for the present, Covid times.”
LONDON JAZZ NEWS
“An album to absolutely die for” JAZZDAGAMA.COM
“Bancroft & Lyne are first-class jazz performers, improvisers and songwriters. Their performances here are upbeat, musical and subtle.” THE WHOLENOTE
Film Song ‘Old Mother Blackbird’
Screened at the ‘Women Over50 Film Festival‘ 2023
Official selection at the ‘Toronto International Film Festival’ 2022
Essay ‘A Mother’s Tale’ included in a compilation of poems written by sufferers of the BRCA gene mutation and associated cancers called ‘Steel Petals.’ Compiled by CL Monaghan, Published by Hudson Indie Ink, Publication Date 1st October 2021.
Poem ‘Courage’ commissioned by singer-songwriter Sara Colman to feature on the CD cover of her album ‘What We’re Made Of,’ released in September 2018
Article ‘Womb Talk’ published in the Shiatsu Society Journal, Issue 146, Summer 2018 – pages 25 to 27
SONGS released on Lisaleo Records Apr 2015
“Bancroft’s best album by some distance. Her voice as beautifully recorded as I’ve heard it.” THE HERALD
“If Dolly Parton was from Scotland and sang jazz for a living then that’s exactly how Jolene would have sounded.”
Roddy Hart, BBC Radio Scotland
“Nothing short of completely captivating. This is perfect late-night listening for a bright spring day (if you get my drift!).” FATEA MAGAZINE
“Folk-inflected jazz. Mellifluously jazz-informed vocals with a certain folk sensibility. A jazzy languor with rootsy warm-heartedness.” THE SCOTSMAN WEEKEND LIFE MAGAZINE
YOU TURNED THE TABLES ON ME released on Lisaleo Records Oct 2012
“A warmly intimate husband-wife singer/acoustic guitar-bass duo set made up of standards, scats and self-penned originals.” JAZZWISE
“Their intriguing new duo album”
Alyn Shipton, BBC RADIO 3
“Theirs is new jazz from Scotland, and sounds amazingly full and powerful. You don’t miss the other instruments at all!” THE GUARDIAN
“ Great late-night listening.” FATEA
BIRD OF PARADISE released on Lisaleo Records Oct 2010
“Completely captivating. She has a knack of wrapping that voice round the lyrics in a way that speaks directly and personally to the listener.” FOLK AND ROOTS
“An impressive set of songs that deserve to be heard by a wider audience.” MAVERICK MAGAZINE 4 STARS
“An excellent reviewer of the human condition with song as the medium for her writing. ” FATEA
“Over the years she’s drawn comparison to several world-class artists, including Peggy Lee, Alison Krauss and Norah Jones. That sort of information comes as no great surprise once you’ve had the chance to hear Bancroft sing. Her voice is a perfect instrument, and when partnered by her own songs, the effect is both moving and incredibly life affirming.“ LEICESTER BANGS
“She channels her jazz raising into folk intimacy. ” NETRHYTHMS
HANDWRITTEN released on Lisaleo Records June 2008
“Nice how a jazz singer uses folk influences to create her own, unique style. I love it.” FOLKWORLD
“The female element in the Bancroft clan, (brothers Tom and Phil are, respectively, drummer and saxophonist) turns her family jazz influence down low on her latest album, allowing folk, blues and contemporary singer-songwriter styles to weave inside her compositions.” SUNDAY HERALD
“More than almost any artist in the winsome nouveau folk sphere of current fashionability, there is something utterly disarming about the transparency and straightforwardness of jazz singer Sophie Bancroft.” THE HERALD
“There is a cheekiness and a hint of a Gallic shrug to Ms Bancroft’s light jazz style. Her songs tend towards the observational often with a wry sense of perspective. Like chasing butterflies on a summer’s day.” FATEA
HOT AND COLD released on Lisaleo Records April 2005
“This elegant and meticulously produced CD inhabits the border territory between jazz and folk-country-pop, which suits Sophie Bancroft’s cool, rather ethereal voice to perfection. “ THE OBSERVER
“Sophie is without a doubt a jazz singer, but to this brings via her own song-writing talents influences from the world of pop and country. She has a light a clear delivery that is immediately appealing, and has a knack of writing a catchy melody that she is able to arrange in a way that keeps the interest not just for the listener, but also the first class band that she has retained for the last couple of years.” JAZZVIEWS
“ Her voice is heavenly. She could sing about opening a bag of crisps and it would feel spiritually uplifting. With her new lo-fi jazz album, Hot and Cold, Sophie does the impossible. She makes jazz accessible and reaches people who wouldn’t normally touch jazz with a barge pole. A blissful album that has elements of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. Play it on your way out and let it rescue you from the ceiling when you get home. This album is hip, cool and simply beautiful.” THE BIG ISSUE
MODERN LOVE released on Lisaleo Records 2003
“Echoes along the way range from Peggy Lee to Joan Armatrading, Alison Krauss to BjÖrk, in a a boldly achieved balance of the classic and the contemporary”. SUNDAY HERALD
“Sophie Bancroft has an impressive CV that covers jazz, pop and folk. She draws on all these diverse skills, weaving them through a captivatingly moody set of songs just right for staring out of the window on a rainy day.
One of the great problems a jazz singer faces is the weight of tradition (Ella, Billie, Sarah, Carmen, Betty) and being boxed into a corner by the standards repertoire. As soon as you sing Gershwin or Kern or Rogers and Hart you are immediately in competition with the past, which is great if that’s what you want to do. There’s a whole nouveau school of jazz singers emerging doing just that and audiences are apparently clamouring for more. But standards tend to swallow a singer’s individuality whole because they plug into a range of audience expectations that have to be met. Originality is hard to find, craftsmanship is what audiences want the good old songs sang the same old way.
The way to get around this road block is to write your own material. Since the rise of singer songwriter in pop this seems an obvious route to take, but few have. But by doing so you create your own scene, play by your own rules and that’s what Sophie Bancroft has done, and it works. There’s an openness and transparency in her songs that communicate, and after all, that’s what it’s all about.” JAZZWISE
THIS UTOPIA released on Guidance Recordings, 2002
“Sophie Bancroft’s voice will send shivers of sensuality down your spine.” Massive Magazine
“The melancholy lyrics, carried by Bancroft’s sweet, soulful whisper of a voice, nail you.” Propeller Magazine
“To keep this a national secret would be nothing short of criminal.” DJ Magazine
“Original trip-hop tunes elevate further with the dreamy, white-soul vocals of Sophie Bancroft. Persuasively terrific.” NZ Herald