grew up without television. As a family, we found other ways to entertain ourselves, often through music. I have a strong visual memory of records – actual vinyl LPs – everywhere in our home. Mostly jazz and blues, but no classical. We never quite bridged that divide. There was Ella Fitzgerald, Della Reese, even Joan Baez, all of whom I loved from an early age. And there was plenty of crooning, which was fun but led to bad habits. (As an adult, I took singing lessons for a few years and had to have all of that Dean Martin vibrato hammered out of me).

Both of my parents were handy on vocals and weren’t shy about bursting into song. They also revelled in throwing impromptu parties. So, you can imagine how that always ended up turning into a carousing, late-night singalong at the piano. Mum never took a lesson but taught herself rudimentary chords, some...

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