Charity EP casts Christmas cheer

Singer AJ Brown
Singer AJ Brown

AN acclaimed jazz musician is spreading a little Christmas cheer with a charity EP for the festive season.

AJ Brown, who is a former member of the award-winning Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra. has released his Little Stocking Filler EP to raise money for the NSPCC, which campaigns to end child cruelty.

The festive EP has a jazz-pop feel inspired by artists such as Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr, with Wigan Jazz Club regular AJ’s self-penned songs joined by a new arrangement of classic number It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.

The recording of the charity EP also has a close connection to the borough as three of the songs were recorded at the home of Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra founder Ian Darrington in Swinley.

Half of the sales will go towards the charity campaigning against neglect and poor treatment of young people, and AJ will also be selling copies of it at his various festive appearances throughout December.

AJ said: “Let’s hope my Little Stocking Filler can have an impact and we raise a good amount for the NSPCC this Christmas. They are an incredible charity and I am so proud to be able to support their cause with my music.”

The new EP also starts off with a version of Wrapped Up, which was previously released to raise money for the End Polio Now campaign.

The music features a four-piece band with AJ on vocals, saxophone and piano joined by keyboardist Martin Longhawn, bassist Simon Read and drummer and percussionist Steve Pycroft.

Helen Verity, NSPCC community fund-raising manager, said: “I’d like to thank AJ Brown for thinking of the NSPCC and vulnerable children this Christmas.

“We’re trhrilled that he has produced this wonderful Christmas EP and is donating 50 per cent to us. We wish him all the best with his forthcoming appearances and sales of his EP.”

The Christmas recording marks the culmination of a busy 2014 for AJ as he has been releasing a series of EPs throughout the year.

The recent releases include Spirit, which combines two original songs with a cover of a Carole King classic, and Matter of Time which was committed to disc at the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh.

AJ Brown’s Little Stocking Filler EP is out now, with 50 per cent of proceeds going to the NSPCC. To buy, search for him on iTunes.