We open our new season with a classic Quentin Collins five piece. Always popular, Quentin, born locally in Forest Gate, is
an outstanding trumpeter who graduated from the Guildhall School of
Music by winning the 'Best Finals' prize. Already with a wealth of
experience, he has worked with the likes of Fred Wesley, Gregory Porter, Jean Toussaint, Stan Tracey,
Norma Winstone, Roy Ayers, John Surman, Roy Hargrove, Tim Garland and
Ray Gelato. In 2007 Quentin released his debut solo album "If Not Now,
Then When?" on SunlightSquare Records to much critical acclaim. He is
now the regular trumpet player for the Kyle Eastwood band, with whom he
tours extensively. Quentin's most recent CD “Beauty in Quiet Places” where he
pairs with sax player Brandon Allen as QCBA, attracted rave reviews. "A
Trumpeter whose style is a sizzling update of the Morgan/Hubbard
approach" - MOJO.
Tonight's band should really raise the roof. Winston Rollins, Chris Storr and bandleader Derek Nash, are all members of Jools Holland's famed Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. Dave Ital's a top session guitarist and then some. Pete Whittaker is a leading exponent of the Hammond organ, Geoff Gascoyne the go-to bass player and Clive Fenner the hugely experienced host and resident drummer of the long established East Side Jazz Club in Leytonstone.
Derek Nash is a vibrant and charismatic performer on all four saxes from soprano to baritone. Derek is of course best known as leader and arranger, since its inception 30 years ago, of the award winning ensemble 'Sax Appeal'. His playing credits include David Sanborn, Mavis Staples, Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, Jools Holland and the late Spike Robinson with whom he recorded an award winning CD 'Young Lions Old Tigers'. Derek is also a respected recording engineer. He was awarded a gold disc for his work on 'Pointless Nostalgic' by Jamie Cullum and has recorded for Bobby Wellins, Dave O'Higgins, Martin Drew, Geoff Gascoyne, Georgie Fame and George Melly.
“Alan Barnes is the most reliably entertaining, multi-skilled reed virtuoso on the UK scene” - John Fordham, Guardian. Alan has enjoyed a prolific career, playing and recording for many bands. He has dominated the British Jazz Awards over the years, having won the alto sax section in 1993, 95, 97 & 99, the clarinet award for 94, 96 & 98 and being voted the top baritone player in 98, 2000 & 2002. In 2001 and 2006 Alan received the prestigious BBC Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year award and in November 2003 was made a fellow of the Leeds College of Music. 2003 also saw the inception of Alan’s own record label Woodville Records.
Unfortunately, our original billing Peter King is unwell. We wish Peter a swift recovery.
Simon won the Daily Telegraph Jazz Musician of the year at the
tender age of 16. He was lead alto in the Pendulum Jazz Orchestra,
before moving to London in 1998, playing tenor and alto in the National
Youth Jazz Orchestra and leading his own quartet. Simon studied at the
London College of Music and then at the Royal Academy. He has appeared
with Colin Towns' Mask Orchestra, for the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the
Matthew Herbert Big Band, the BBC Big Band, Clark Tracey's Quintet and
the late Stan Tracey’s various groups. Other musicians he's worked with
include Kenny Wheeler, Iain Ballamy, Django Bates, Wynton Marsalis, Alan
Barnes, Art Themen, Don Weller, Julian Joseph, Jim Mullen and Tina May.
“He knows how to produce a luminous, floating tone on alto sax, has an
impressive technique, and constructs his solos with maturity and
confidence” - Sholto Byrnes, The Independent. Martin Shaw has worked with many leading jazz artists including Cleo Laine, John Dankworth, Pete King, Dick Morrisey, Tim Garland and numerous big bands including the BBC Big Band; he has also recorded, performed live and toured extensively with various pop artists including Sting, Jamiroquai, Natalie Cole, Paul Young and the Brand New Heavies. In 2001 Martin was appointed professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
Rob Townsend started
playing the sax when he got fed up with carting drums around. A senior
lecturer in Jazz at Middlesex University, he has performed with a broad
range of leading musicians including Django Bates, Sam Rivers, Iain
Ballamy, Tim Garland, Mark Lockheart and Bill Bruford. Rob has been a
featured soloist with ex Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett for a number of
years, touring internationally and recording a number of albums and
DVDs. Head of Jazz at the Royal Academy of Music, Nick Smart is an
internationally renowned jazz educator, trumpeter and musical director.
In 2013 he was the winner of the prestigious Parliamentary Award for
Jazz Education. 2005, Nick released his debut album 'Remembering Nick
Drake' to critical acclaim. The album featured Smart’s arrangements of
Nick Drake’s music played by an all star line-up. It was described by
Straight No Chaser magazine as "..a future classic because it really
captures all that is best about British jazz.."
began playing saxophone at the age of 15. In 1984 he graduated from
Middlesex University with a degree in music, and for a while served an
apprenticeship as a street musician. He works in the UK and
internationally with a wide range of his own projects and
collaborations. Ed’s playing credits include George Benson, Horace
Silver, Jimmy Witherspoon, Dianne Reeves, Charles Earland, Clifford
Jarvis and Dr Lonnie Smith. “A formidable saxophonist. Ed Jones may have
hit his highest profile through his work with bands US3 and Incognito,
but he’s an improviser to his fingertips, a player of forceful
imagination and one of the UK’s most distinctive saxophonists.” - John
Fordham, The Guardian. “One of the most fluent and forceful saxophonists
in Europe” - Jack Massarik, Evening Standard.
is committed to swinging and exciting jazz and likes to bring in
influences from his different musical experiences. For around 15
years he has been resident drummer at The East Side Jazz Club in east
London where he has supported many of the country's top jazz musicians
including Kenny Wheeler, Peter King, John Etheridge, Alan Barnes, Jean
Toussaint and Tony Coe. He started playing in blues, pop and jazz-rock
bands supporting groups including Fleetwood Mac, Free and The Nice, but
always had a love of jazz since first hearing "Straight No Chaser" in
his early teens. He studied and became good friends with top American
drummer Clifford Jarvis (Freddie Hubbard, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders) and
Britains premier drum teacher Bob Armstrong. As well as organising the
East Side Jazz Club he is founder and Director of ‘Jazzsummerschool’
which offers jazz courses in France and Cuban music courses in Havana
Cuba. The Quartet’s first CD, recorded live in the club and aptly named
"Get It!" will be available this evening.
"Simon Spillett is the kind of big toned wailing tenor player
that I like. The influences of Tubby Hayes and Johnny Griffin are
clearly discernible in his sound, harmonic thinking and in his direct
no-nonsense determination in getting things swinging. This refreshing
attitude is also in evidence in his composing. He has written a whole
raft of catchy hard bop tunes which are great launching pads for the
soloist and that never fall into the trap of complexity for complexity's
sake. A great player" - Alan Barnes. "Those of us who have heard
him...have been left blinking in disbelief. It's not just his mastery of
the tenor saxophone, phenomenal though that is, but the absolute
conviction of his playing that is so impressive" - Dave Gelly, Sunday
Observer. "The world's leading Tubbiologist" - Jack Massarik, Jazzwise.
Byron began playing jazz around Brighton, then came to London at
the beginning of the 1990s to play with Jazz Warriors singer Cleveland
Watkiss and to work in the quartet of jazz drummer John Stevens. Later
he joined Gary Crosby’s band Nu-Troop and in 1995 formed his own band,
Sound Advice. Byron won the 2003 BBC prize for "Innovation in Jazz".
He's played trumpet in a huge variety of musical settings including The
Style Council, Charles Earland, Courtney Pine and Jean Toussaint. He has
also worked with Andrew Hill, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronnie Laws and
Chaka Khan. "..one of the most innovative, exciting and original trumpet
players alive" - Jazzwise Magazine.
Formed predominantly but not exclusively of year 1 & 2 undergraduates, the Ensemble is directed by trombonist Malcolm Earle-Smith plus Simon Purcell piano & Clive Fenner drums. The evening will include a set of swinging standards, originals and vocals by some of the great American writers, including Bill Holman, Bob Brookmeyer and Billy May.
Born in Vancouver, Canada 1982, Jay took up the trumpet at 11
years of age. At 15 he became the youngest artist to lead his own band
at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Keen to develop his career
further, Jay moved to London at the age of 17 where he immediately
attracted the attention of Gary Crosby who engaged him as a dep for Jazz
Jamaica All Stars and Nu Troop. In 2002 Gary offered him a place in the
core band of Tomorrow's Warriors. Formerly co-frontman of the much
admired band Empirical, Jay has been a featured member of Dennis Rollins’
Badbone & Co and has performed with Andrew Hill, Wynton
Marsalis, Ray Brown, George Benson and Hugh Masakela.
Barnes is the most reliably entertaining, multi-skilled reed virtuoso
on the UK scene” - John Fordham, Guardian. Alan has enjoyed a prolific
career, playing and recording for many bands. He has dominated the
British Jazz Awards over the years, having won the alto sax section in
1993, 95, 97 & 99, the clarinet award for 94, 96 & 98
and being voted the top baritone player in 98, 2000 & 2002. In
2001 and 2006 Alan received the prestigious BBC Jazz Instrumentalist of
the Year award and in November 2003 was made a fellow of the Leeds
College of Music. 2003 also saw the inception of Alan’s own record label
Woodville Records. Alan is joined by the co-leader of his award-winning
quintet - trumpeter par excellence Bruce Adams, himself a previous
winner of the top trumpet prize at the British Jazz Awards.
Born Birmingham 1964, Dave learnt trumpet, drums and piano at
school but was self taught on the sax. Dave’s playing credits include
Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Cleo Laine & John Dankworth, Martin
Taylor, Jim Mullen, Matt Bianco, Jason Rebello, Clark Tracey Sextet,
Peter Gabriel and Jamie Cullum. Winner of the 1995 BT British Jazz
Awards in the tenor sax and rising star categories. Dave’s most seen and
heard career moment (and arguably moment of least artistic merit!)...as
the busker in “The Return of Mr Bean”. "O’Higgins, well - does he know
just how good he is? When it comes to bop of any kind, on either soprano
or tenor saxophones, he is, live, one of our few world-class players,
capable of holding his own with the Americans" - Sholto Byrnes, The
we get in the Cuban groove with our good friend Omar Puente and I defy
anyone to sit still for long. The infectious cross rhythms from this
authentic combo are guaranteed to get the club cooking. Omar began
serious music studies at the age of 8. At 12 he left his family to take
up a place at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana. His
education was furthered by playing with fellow students and visiting
tutors such as Paquito d’Rivera and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1998 he formed
the group Raices Cubanas (Cuban Roots). Since arriving in England, Omar
has maintained an international profile, playing all over Europe, USA
and Africa with such musicians as Tito Puente, Kirsty MacColl, Jools
Holland, Courtney Pine and recently Nigel Kennedy 's new,
three-electric-violin "Chilling-est Violinists". Omar teaches jazz
violin at Leeds College of Music and conducts workshops in schools on
the cultural and musical development of Cuba.
Stepney born, raised on the Isle of Wight, tenor saxophonist
Mornington Lockett returned to London to attend the Guildhall School of
Music. As a member of the Ronnie Scott Sextet, Mornington worked
extensively in Britain and abroad. He has recorded albums with Ronnie
Scott, guitarist Jim Mullen, drummer Martin Drew, jazz singers Sarah
Jane Morris, Claire Martin and Ian Shaw and the rock band Oasis. In 2001
Mornington and the late Martin Drew formed the group 'Celebrating The
Jazz Couriers', recreating the classic 1950s group which featured Tubby
Hayes and Ronnie Scott. In 2004 the group disbanded, and reformed as the
'New Couriers' taking in the Tubby Hayes Quartet repertoire and also
the compositions of the great British pianist and vibraphone player,
Victor Feldman. "Saxophonist Mornington Lockett must be one of the most
complete masters of the instrument alive today" - Dave Gelly, The
Saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos was born in Athens and started playing
clarinet and piano at 9 years of age. He started on the saxophone at 13,
and continued his music studies at the Philippos Nakas Conservatory in
Athens. In 1999 Vasilis was awarded a jazz scholarship to the
prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston MA. By 2002 Vasilis had
moved to London and continued his studies under the guidance of Eddie
Harvey, Stan Sulzmann, Jimmy Hastings and Pete Cook. Vasilis formed his
first Quartet in 2005 and gradually established himself as one of
London’s up and coming jazz saxophonists. As a jazz musician he has
worked with some of the best musicians in the British jazz scene, such
as Jim Mullen, Steve Waterman, Alan Barnes, Derek Nash, Bruce Adams,
Martin Shaw, Nigel Price, Ray Gelato and many others. In 2009 he formed
his current ensemble “The Xtet" and their debut album “Loud City"
containing 8 original compositions was released on 33Jazz Records in
2011 to much critical acclaim.
Nathaniel is of course a founding member of the award winning and widely acclaimed band Empirical. His fellow band members tonight have a similar association. Born in London to Jamaican parents, Nathaniel cites his influences as Charlie Parker, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. He began his music studies at the age of 14 with a degree from London's Royal Academy of Music and has distinguished himself as a creative composer and lyrical performer with a massive future. As well as working with such names as Jason Moran, Jack DeJohnette, Hugh Masekela, Courtney Pine and Julian Joseph.
Chris Biscoe is self taught, starting on alto sax then tenor,
soprano, baritone, flute and alto clarinet. He started working with Mike
Westbrook in 1979 and has played in many of Mike’s projects. He has
also toured and recorded with George Russell, Andy Sheppard, Grand
Union, Chris McGregor, Didier Levallet and worked with Hermeto Pascoal,
Dewey Redman, Kenny Wheeler and the New York Composers Orchestra. A
recent venture for Chris (on baritone & alto saxes) along with
Allison Neale on alto has been a new band 'Two of a Mind' “Exploring
afresh the freewheeling, wonderfully melodic interpretations of standard
material recorded 50 years ago by Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond on
Blues in Time and Two of a Mind, this new band promises to evoke the
spirit of these classic recordings while giving free reign to the
personalities of the five musicians.”
“More than any other British jazz trumpeter, Pearce probably
deserves the mantle of heir to Jimmy Deuchar, offering a style that
contains a fractured lyricism reminiscent of his forebear...He has a
sophisticated command of harmonic improvising, although, as with his
self-confessed (and disparate) trumpet heroes - Chet Baker, Art Farmer
and Don Cherry - his playing comes across as anything but contrived.
Pearce had a lengthy association with Ronnie Scott which lasted from the
1970s until Scott's health forced him to abandon performing in the
mid-1990s, and some of his best recorded work can be found on the CD
Never Pat A Burning Dog (Jazz House, 1990), where his solos contrast
admirably with Scott's more forthright contributions, and contain a heat
and urgency never far beneath the cool surface" - Simon Spillett.
Chris Batchelor, trumpeter and composer, gained his first professional experience with Dudu Pukwana's Zila aged 17, at the suggestion of Harry Beckett. He subsequently became a founder member, composer and soloist with Loose Tubes, contributing many pieces to the repertoire of the band from 1984-1990. He was also very active at this time as a member of legendary world music trailblazers 3 Mustaphas 3, as well as enjoying a varied diet of gigs with Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Congolese soukous band Taxi Pata Pata and Ashley Slater's Microgroove. As a sideman, Chris has appeared alongside many international stars, including Michael Brecker, Sam Rivers, Hermeto Pascoal, John Taylor and the Jazz Passengers with Deborah Harry. As a saxophonist and composer, Mark Lockheart's work often defies categorisation and crosses the boundaries of the jazz, new music and folk worlds. Mark came to prominence in the mid 1980s with the influential and radical big band Loose Tubes, which he toured with throughout the USA and Europe and recorded with until its demise in 1989. In the mid-nineties Mark toured extensively with Django Bates' Delightful Precipice. Subsequent projects include Mark Lockheart's In Deep, Seb Rochford's Polar Bear, Perfect Houseplants, Disassembler and Robert Wyatt’s Soup Songs.