SONGSTRESS Liane Carroll was once England’s best-kept jazz secret.

Not any longer, because her career has been gaining a speedy momentum since the release of her first solo album, Billy No Mates.

Winner of the two major BBC Jazz awards, she has gathered up more silverware than Manchester United since her big breakthrough nearly a decade ago.

Liane combines a wonderful piano playing talent with enchanting vocals, and she tops the bill at the fourth Ribble Valley Jazz Festival with her own band, The Liane Carroll Trio, featuring Roger Carey on electric bass and Mark Fletcher on drums.

“The last decade has been brilliant, and I think I was the first person to win both BBC awards in one go and that was lovely because I hadn’t been expecting it all,” she said.

“I was deeply humbled, especially to be presented them by a hero of mine, Humphrey Lyittleton.

“It has just carried on from there really and I’m really glad it has happened that way because I can do all this without becoming famous which I’d hate.”

Liane’s diverse music act sets her apart as a free spirit.

Her collaborations range from work with US guitar legend Jerry Donahue to drum ‘n’ bass outfit London Elektricity and Scottish jazz pianist Brian Kellock.

Last year she appeared in New York and Montreux Jazz Festivals.

Liane’s life has been full of music from the word go, though. Taught piano by concert pianist Phyllis Catling from the age of three, she soon developed a deep passion for everything from jazz, soul and beyond.

“Phyllis was an old dragon,” recalled Liane. “She used to keep a pair of scissors handy to snip bits off your hair if you made a mistake so I used to turn up with my hair in a beret!

“She was a traditionalist and she didn’t like anything that bucked the trend. But it was jazz that I loved and that was it.”

Her parents were accomplished musicians too. “I was raised in a household full of love, encouragement and music, all kinds of music so that always seemed the way to go.

“No one was shy in our family.

“Good manners and discipline were important, but you were always encouraged to express yourself and to be never afraid to do that.

  • Liane Carroll Trio, tomorrow, Grand Theatre, Clitheroe, 8pm. 01200 421599.