Can you tell us about your new album and UK launch?

I’m excited to be releasing my new album THE RULES DON’T APPLY finally in the UK. This album has done very well in the US – it went up to #4 on the Jazzweek Chart and was #1 for many weeks on Amazon’s Hot New Jazz Vocal releases. Asthis is my 21st album (my first was released in 1982) and I’m in my 70s (Age is Just A Number) the heightened success I’ve been getting over the last few years has been a been a lovely surprise. And if I can be so blunt, I think one of the reasons I’m doing better is I’m not hiding or apologizing for anything- I write a lot of my songs and over the last two albums They’ve talked bout things only someone of a certain age would talk about- As a matter of fact the wonderful Lorraine Feather lyric to “The Rules Don’t Apply” which is the title song of my album is all about someone of a certain age being depressed and asking a friend if it’s too late for them to follow their dreams and the friend turning to them and saying-“ No, the rules don’t apply to you.” I also write about “Lessons I’ve Learned”- which is that with age can come wisdom—and in my case I can spot a toxic person in about 5 seconds, but I can also spot a lovely person too—and I’m smart enough to hold that person close. I’m also Gay and my husband/partner of 35 years died 8 years ago and on my last album I talked about that in “In Another Way” and my cover songs on this album are all some of the great writers from the 60s/70s that I grew up with like Paul Simon, Randy Newman and Of course the Beatles.

I’ve known Claire Martin since 1998 when she recorded one of my songs “Another Night” on her album “Make This City Ours” and she wrote me a letter, with a disc inside -which shows you how long ago that was. When I put on the record it was one of the nicest things that ever happened to me. Here’s this great singer doing my tune to perfection. She came to LA shortly after for a Radio convention which I attended and I’ve been great friends with her ever since. She loved my late husband Richard and through her I got to meet the wonderful Richard Rodney Bennett! He loved my songs and was totally charming and wonderful and dishy and I miss him greatly. So getting to do this show in London and having her as my special guest is the best!!

What other projects are you currently involved in?

Well, I’m a busy guy! I just finished an EP of standards that will be coming out sometimes near the end of the year exclusively on Streaming services and then I’ll be going back into the studios for a new record in 2025. I also have a book on lyric writing called “The Songwriter’s Handbook” coming out in August. It’s published by Rowman and Littlefield and I’m very proud of it. It takes my course on Lyric writing that I’ve been doing for almost 19 years at UCLA and interjects my life experience as a songwriter to illustrate my points. I’ve had over 250 of my songs covered or sung by everyone from Liza Minnelli and Dianne Reeves to Stepanie Mills, Dee Dee Bridgewater and of course Claire (who just cut two of my songs for her new album “Almost In His Arms”) And I think I’ve got some good tales to tell.

What are you currently listening to and what was the last CD or download you bought?

I’m a big fan of music. All kinds of music. The last album I bought was Tierney Sutton’s new one with The San Gabriel Seven. This one’s a little different, because she wrote all the songs and she’s good!! And I downloaded this excellent album by a student of mine who is an excellent Jazz Singer Angie Wells- called

“Truth Be Told” which is a lovely mix of originals and standards and the girl can sing!!! I also am a big Taylor Swift fan,so I’ve bought (I like CDs) “The Tortured Poets Society”- she’s an amazing lyricist.

What is your all-time favourite album and why?

I can’t pick one- I’ll pick three. Does this disqualify me?? I love “The Feeling of Jazz’ by Bobby Troup- I love his writing and singing and this has a lot of his best material- and have done two albums of his material, “Eli and the 13th Confession” by Laura Nyro- just the greatest Singer Songwriter of my lifetime and Mark Murphy’s “Bop for Kerouac” I love Mark Murphy. My other favorite Jazz Singer.

Who has caught you attention recently that we should be listening out for?

I love this question. Okay Leo Sidran. Ben Sidran’s son—his stuff is very cool. I love his dad and Leo’s also got that talk/sing thing Ben does- but is really a good writer too. As young people do he mixes genres and is totally great. I love Anthony Strong- what a voice! I wish his management wouldn’t try to make him Michael Buble —but he’s got the goods and I hope he comes to the States so I can see him– and Raye- who is sort of this Pop/rap/big band singer/songwriter- who’s very good.

For more information visit markwinklermusic.com

The Rules Don’t Apply by Mark Winkler is released in the UK on Friday 28 June 2024

UK launch concert is at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London on Tuesday 9 July 2024 – click here for tickets