Arts Q&A: Jazz singer Siobhan Pettit on Paul Simon, Roddy Doyle and Randy Newman

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Belfast-based jazz singer Siobhán Pettit

Belfast-based jazz singer Siobhán Pettit

When did you think about a career in music and what were your first steps into it?

I suppose I didn't really believe I could make a living singing until other people started telling me I could. I moved up from Dublin in 1993 and started gigging with my husband, Rod Patterson, expanding my jazz standards repertoire and learning how to interpret a song in my own way.

Best gigs you’ve been to?

Shawn Colvin in a little venue in Dublin sometime around the millennium – just her and Larry Klein on bass. David Byrne, in big suit with Rei Momo band in Central Park in 1990 and Randy Newman at the National Stadium, Dublin in 1995. I don’t get out much these days.

 Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Paul Simon and his band.

The record you’d take to a desert island?

Janis Ian's At Seventeen. To listen to her voice is the most soothing experience. As a teenager, it was the first time I’d heard cello being used in a folk/contemporary setting and it was, and is, sublime.

And the book you’d take to a desert island?

Four Letters of Love by Niall Williams.

Top three films?

Perfume: I loved the evocative atmosphere that was created through the sound and the visuals, along with a great yarn.

La La Land: A lovely score and I loved the stylised look of the whole film. Limitless: What a great concept. If only these pills existed (without the side effects).

Worst film you’ve seen?

The Greatest Showman. Dreadful dialogue. Uninspiring music. It just felt shallow. I hated it. However my six-year-old daughter loves it.

Favourite authors?

Tana French and Roddy Doyle.

Sport you most enjoy and top team?

I used to love playing hockey at school, but haven’t played in years.

Ideal holiday destination?

France or Italy.

Pet hate?

Election posters.

What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Moules frites (mussels and chips).

Dessert? Tiramisu.

Drink? Pimms cocktail.

Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

I have a relatively new one – my six-year-old daughter. No-one makes me laugh like she does.

Is there a God?

There better not be. I cashed my chips in on that a long time ago.

:: Siobhan Pettit will be singing as part of Mount Stewart’s Jazz in the Gardens series on June 30 from 2pm to 4.30pm. Bring your picnic or enjoy some of our on-site catering and settle down on the lawn with your family and friends to enjoy an afternoon of jazz in the beautiful gardens at the County Down National Trust property. This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: