Derby Browne

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					Derby Browne

Irish born Derby Browne studied music at the Royal Academy in Ireland, and was then awarded a coveted place at the Conservatory of Music in Dublin. She studied singing, piano, harpsichord and drama. During this time, she got her first paid singing job, in Bunratty Castle, Co Clare, Ireland, where she was part of a group of Medieval Irish Singers performing nightly in the world-famous Bunratty Castle. During this time, she was asked to tour Australia with the company. Finishing her studies at The Conservatory, she decided on following an acting career, and moved to London, where she was a successful actress in the West End, acting in many T.V. productions and stage plays. However, she enjoyed singing jazz and French/Italian café music in the little café’s of Soho and Covent Garden, feeling most at home here, as it was to be the breeding ground for her musical and theatrical ideas that were to come later. It was during this time that she was playing in clubs and cafes, that she was noticed performing in Covent Garden by Bruce Wooley, co-writer of ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ and other hits, and was invited to perform and co-write with his group ‘The Radio Science Orchestra’. She then proceeded to graduate up to such prestigious venues as The Royal Festival Hall, Café de Paris. Missing her homeland, relatives and friends, Derby decided to return to Ireland, resuming her career. She developed a show called ‘Café Mediterranea’, a blend of the most romantic French and Italian music from Europe, evoking its charm and quaintness; with a beautiful selection of bossa-nova songs from the Brazilian guitarist, Antonio Carlos Jobim. She toured throughout Ireland, with resounding success, and has currently had sell-out concerts in Ireland’s premier venue, The National Concert Hall in Dublin. She has also made guest appearances, performing live on RTE and Radio One. In 2005, she had the honour of being invited by the French Embassy’s Cultural Attaché, to headline their music festival – La Fete de La Musique. After several more concerts around Ireland, she was asked to perform at the Chichester Festivities, along with such company as Paul Young, Hot Chocolate, Bill Wyman, Jools Holland, Cleo Laine and Blondie. Her performance was reviewed as the ‘favourite show of the Festivities!.’ This has opened the door to many invitations to perform at other festivals in the UK.

Derby Browne’s genre of music is French and Italian Café Music combined with the Brazilian Bossa-nova. Predominately influenced by artists such as Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, Sacha Distel, Jacques Brel and Antonio Carlos Jobim, she not only covers their songs in her unique style, but also writes and performs her own material. In 2005, Derby got the chance to indulge in a long-awaited passion - to write her own show! The opportunity arose when asked to take part in the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2005, and the birth of her debut self-penned show ‘Café Boheme’ began! It was a quirky love-story set in Soho, with naughty, colorful characters, wrapped in a coffee scented ribbon of French and Italian Café music. ‘Highly Recommended’ – The Irish Times She has written and performed several new shows since:

‘La Dolce Roma’
- A show of Italian Cafe Interlude music and a cocktail of jazz, by Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, Domenico Modugno (Volare), Franco Migliacci (‘Meglio Stasera’ from The Pink Panther) other Italian composers. The most beautifull Italian film music ever, including the Fellini films and The Godfather Trilogy. Two girls go to Rome for a weekend break, and with a naivety as green as freshly scented basil, become tangled in the spaghetti loops of vespa scooters, ice-creams by the Trevi fountain, mandolins serenading under the stars and the charming Italian 'la dolce vita'!

‘Boulevard Belleville’
- Two girls (a singer and an accordionist) leave Dublin for Paris, to discover the romance and adventure of the city, the birth place of Edith Piaf and the Eiffel Tower, and to perform the French music they love so much in the cabarets and cafes of Pigalle and the Left Bank. Embracing the bohemian life, their stories unfold, leading them to Boulevard Belleville (the birth place of Edith Piaf - the legendary lamp-post outside No 72 Boulevard Belleville!), and blossoming romance in the Parisian markets and squares, sewn together by gems of French cabaret music by Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Sacha Distel, Michel LeGrand, Charles Trenet and French café songs from Derby’s debut album, ‘Sweet Pea’. Chique et Fantastique!

‘The Andrew Sisters Show ‘
The Story of The Andrews Sisters with such hits as Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Apple Blossom Time, In The Mood, etc. A concert of War time romance and nostalgia, beautifully delivered with closely sung harmonies and the eight-to-thebar boogie beat! 1940’s three-girl Boogie- Woogie show, beautiful harmonies, fun lyrics, gorgeous outfits! Not to be missed - a visual and musical delight!

‘Café Music from Prague’
Music from the Cafes and Castles of Prague, featuring a selection of the most romantic Czech café music and jazz, mingled with Dvorac’s Song to the Moon and passages from ‘Don Giovanni’ by ‘Pragues adopted Son’ - Mozart. As a girl makes her way through Prague on a chilly October weekend, she tells the story of the music, people and places she discovers on every bridge and cobbled street corner and she passes. Featuring heart-rendering, sophisticated songs by ‘The Piaf of Prague’ Hana Hegerova - Torch Songs about a lady who goes to a cafe to have some cake. She is well known by the head waiter, as is a frequent visitor. As she takes out an old photograph to smell it, it brings back love-lorn memories.. Another lady in a café sings of her daddy who goes to the cinema all the time to see May West, because he is in love with her. Like all the other men at the cinema. Her mother stays at home doing the shopping and housework. Her name is May too, but it's May West that he loves.. Songs sung mostly in English, some in Czech! Especially translated for Derby by Petra Lexova. The only Czech café music show in Ireland! Anyone who loves Italian, French or German Café music, will adore this!

‘Winter Café’
Winter Café tells the story of Francesco, a paparazzi photographer, who returns home on Christmas Eve, to his family home in an Italian mountains village …

A beautifull story with Italian Café Music by Nino Rota and Franco Migliacci (‘Meglio Stasera’ from The Pink Panther) sewn together with the silver thread of other songs of a wintery nature, Christmas delight and a Disney winter wonderland style. Songs that brings to life the sparkling starry mountain skies above him, the frosty snow and the woodsmoke rising from the chimneys...On the eve of Christmas, as he leaves his uncle Marios Café, returning home through the cobbled streets, to help with the preparations . . .and reflecting over the year, as it draws to an end.

In 2004 Derby recorded and produced her debut album ‘Sweet Pea’, a collection of French café style music with bossa nova, and included her own composition “L’Anniversaire du Mon Pere’ – a song about her fathers’ Birthday Party. It was recorded in Dublin and London. The vocals and guitar in the Jacque Brel song ‘If you go away’ were recorded late at night by candle-light, in the basement of her old family home, Beverley Hall. The sleeve design was by Shaughn McGrath of Four5One Design Ireland, (the award-winning designer of several U2 album sleeves). 2006, Derby recorded her first Christmas album, called ‘The Winter Café’ – a gorgeous, dreamlike selection of Christmas and Winter music. Twinkling, Magical and Enchanting. She wrote the title track ‘The Winter Café’. The concept of the album is based around a snow-bound cosy log café-bar in an Italian alpine village at Christmas time. The album was recorded during the winter months in Solitaire studios in Co. Cavan, and she fondly remembers driving home late at night, alone on the pitch black country roads, and seeing how bright the hundreds of stars were in the sky, the frost glistening on the farm house roofs like diamonds, in the full-moon moonlight, the slow turfy-smoke coming from the chimneys of the isolated houses she passed, like a genie from a bottle, and the Christmas fairy lights in cottage windows, looking so magical and delicate, a reminder that there were other people out on this night also, maybe asleep in their beds, or watching tv. It would have been just so perfect if it had been snowing! This is the setting to which the album lends itself best!

2007 Derby has recently begun recording her new Italian CD, a collection of Italian Cafe Interlude music and a cocktail of jazz, by Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, Domenico Modugno (Volare), Franco Migliacci (‘Meglio Stasera’ from The Pink Panther) and other Italian composers. The album will consist of some of the most beautifull Italian film music ever, including the ‘A Time For Us’ from Franco Zeffirelli’s ‘Romeo e Guillietta’, capturing the colourfull quirkiness of the Fellini films, and the macabre darkness of ‘The Godfather’ ( il Padrino). Derby’s song, ‘The Chip Shop’ (very popular at all her Italian concerts!), inspired by an Italian Chip shop owner in Soho, will be debuted on this album also. It will be completed by end of April this year, and the official launch of the, as yet untitled, album, will be Tuesday 28th August 2007at 8pm, in The Main Auditorium at The National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, Ireland. Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone 00-353-1-417 0000 The concert will be called ‘Derby Browne and Italian Café Music’.