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Jess Kemp heading on first European tour thanks to Salford charity

Unsigned local singer Jess Kemp is packing up her guitar and going out on her first European tour thanks to Irlam and Cadishead charity Hamilton Davies Trust (HDT).

The 21-year-old Irlam girl is looking forward to a summer of international success with her first gig in Amsterdam this August.

The charity’s financial help means that supporting band members Sam Butterworth, Matt Royle and Luke Finch will be able to join Jess on the road, a key factor in securing gigs.

Jess has been performing in and around Salford and Greater Manchester since her young teens.

She’s released a charity single for Francis House children’s hospice and has performed in hundreds of gigs across the nation.

A former Irlam and Cadishead college student and teaching assistant, she now studies music business at the The British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Manchester.

Jess got her first instrument at the age of six, a battered old acoustic guitar passed down by a family friend, and grew up listening to the likes of Elton John, Queen and The Beatles.

Neil McArthur, Chairman of Hamilton Davies Trust, said: “We were inspired to help Jess out after listening to her song ‘Stars’ and appreciating her super voice.

“HDT normally provides funds to support local community groups and drives regeneration in the area but we decided to make an exception and to support Jess’s first tour.

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“We are hoping that in return for our support, Jess can help us raise awareness regarding what HDT does in the community so that we can attract even more partners to work with us and thus to achieve even more for the area.”

Hamilton Davies Trust offers support to communities in Irlam, Cadishead and Rixton-with-Glazebrook.

Since 2004, they have invested £6 million of private funds into the area.

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Jess and the band will perform live in the heart of Amsterdam. They’ll play shows at Cafe De Graal on Sunday 7 August, The Water Hole and Vodelpark on Monday 8 August finishing up with acoustic slots on the Amsterdam bridges before returning home.

Jess said: “I’ve played in different venues across the UK but when the opportunity came up to perform across Europe I had to take it; touring and playing overseas has always been something I’ve wanted to do.

“Without the support I’ve received, such as the marketing grant from HDT, I wouldn’t have been able to take my band with me and the shows just wouldn’t have been the same as a soloist.

“I’m sure we’ll make so many memories during the tour and the aim is to spread my music outside of the UK. Hopefully, this is the start so thank you HDT!”

Jess has already gained huge exposure, with the release of her debut single and music video ‘Stars’ being well received by critics and audiences alike, followed by her first EP ‘Camden’ in April 2016.

This led to Jess being invited to perform a live session with ‘BBC Introducing’ in 2015 and more recently regular spot plays on BBC Radio 2.

HDT was founded by Neil McArthur – a founder of the Talk Talk group – and wife Anne in 2004, with the aim of supporting the local communities of Irlam and Cadishead in Salford, with additional support given to Rixton-with-Glazebrook (Warrington).

Find out more about Hamilton Davies Trust here

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.