For this session too there will be five bands featuring some of Britain’s top jazz musicians. Each band will play a 40-minute set, followed by a 20-minute break to allow the stage to be reset for the next band.
1pm Art Themen Quartet
2.10pm Robert Mitchell ‘True Think’
3.20pm Laura Jurd Dinosaur
4.30pm Orlando le Fleming and Romantic Funk
5.40pm Elaine Delmar Quintet featuring Jim MullenBuy Tickets
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ABOUT THE ARTISTS
ART THEMEN QUARTET
Described by Dave Gelly in The Observer as “One of the tiny handful of undeniably perfect jazz musicians”, Art Themen has been a much loved figure on the British jazz scene for over 50 years, famously combining jazz with his duties as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon.
He first made an impact in the ‘60s as a member of the pioneering band Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated. Then in 1974 he began an association with Stan Tracey that was to last for 25 years and showcased Themen’s consistently creative saxophone playing in bands ranging in size from quartet and sextet to full jazz orchestra.He has continued to work at the highest level both in the UK and on the international stage. His most recent album with this current quartet, Hanky Panky, was launched last summer to rave reviews. On drums is veteran Dave Barry, whose work with various ensembles and big bands has taken him all over the world. He was a member of Don Weller’s Quartet and his big band for 16 years. On bass is Dave Green, whose first public performances were with his childhood friend Charlie Watts. He played with Humphrey Lyttelton for 20 years and went on to work with Stan Tracey. He has regularly backed visiting American stars at Ronnie Scott’s, including Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Roland Kirk and Sonny Rollins.Completing the line-up is pianist Gareth Williams, who has been receiving increasing critical and public acclaim since becoming a professional musician in the 1990s. He has worked closely with jazz singer Claire Martin as well as with a range of major international greats and top British musicians. Together, these four pack a highly experienced punch.
ROBER MITCHELL ‘TRUE THINK’
Robert Mitchell is an award-winning pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader and published poet who has built a formidable reputation for working across creative genres. Over his 30 plus years entrenched in the art of music, Robert has released 12 albums of his own projects, participated in over 100 projects as a sideman, has performed/toured in 40 countries and is achieving a growing reputation as an inspirational educator. He was recently appointed Professor of Jazz Piano at the Guildhall School of Music.During his career, he has worked with an extraordinarily wide range of jazz artists, including opening for Wayne Shorter at the Brighton Dome and Branford Marsalis at the Barbican. In 2019 he was Musical Director of a BBC4 tribute to the great ‘60s TV programme Jazz 625 Live: For One Night Only, which won Best Music Programme at the 2020 Broadcast Awards.He always has a range of projects on the go. For this session he’ll be appearing with his new electronic/song ensemble TRUE THINK (Truth inc / Truth Ink), which features Swedish vocalist and songwriter Liselotte Östblom on vocals, award-winning Zayn Mohammed on guitar, multi-genre bassist and keyboard player Tom Mason and renowned drummer and percussionist Saleel Raman.
They’ll be performing music from their new double album Hold The Light / The New Resistance, featuring powerful songs of protest, love and peace. They blend electronic, jazz, RnB, spoken word, film and folk influences together to create a unique sound. One observer described a recent performance as “absolutely incredible – searing musicianship and precisely declaimed poetry combined with a rich instrumental palette and impeccable ensemble playing, all punctuated by epic, euphoric improvisation. Life changing stuff.”
LAURA JURD DINOSAUR
Multi-award-winning trumpeter and composer Laura Jurd has made a huge impact on the British jazz scene since she emerged a decade or so ago. She’s been a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, won the Worshipful Company of Musicians Dankworth Prize for Composition in 2011 and Young Jazz Musician award in 2012 and was ‘Instrumentalist of the Year” in the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
Her music celebrates and innovates the rich traditions of jazz and folk music, whilst often reflecting her love of two very distinct influences, The Beatles and Stravinsky. Her compositions dig into something primal, earthy and human, whilst taking twists and turns that both invite surprise and evoke the inevitable.For this session, she’ll be playing with her regular band Dinosaur, which first came together ten years ago. It features Elliot Galvin on keyboards, Conor Chaplin on bass guitar and Corrie Dick on drums. Together, they have earned a reputation as some of the best UK jazz musicians of their generation.Their first album, Together as One, was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2017. Since then they have produced two further albums which have been lauded with huge critical praise. Their most recent, To The Earth, was described by Jazzwise as “a memorable meeting of eclectic contemporary musicianship and jazz’s deepest roots”.Having played at some of the world’s most iconic jazz festivals including North Sea, Molde and Montréal, the band goes from strength to strength as they enter their 11th year of trumpet-led, improvisatory magic.
ORLANDO LE FLEMNG AND ROMANTIC FUNK
World renowned bassist Orlando le Fleming was born in Birmingham but brought up in Devon. Both of his parents are professional musicians, his mother a cellist and his father a composer. But his first ambition was to be a professional cricketer, an aim he realised by playing for five years in the minor counties. But when he was offered a place at the Royal Academy of Music, his lifelong passion for music won out.
While based in London, his virtuoso technique, boundless creativity and powerful beat led to him touring and recording with the likes of Jason Rebello, Julian Joseph, Jean Toussaint and Ian Ballamy. Then in 2003 he moved to the United States, where he became one of the most in-demand bass players on the New York jazz scene, playing and recording with many of New York’s finest bands. Orlando has also had great success as a leader. His drum-less OWL trio (with long term associates Will Vinson and Lage Lund) gained plaudits across the board for its hushed, intimate atmosphere. One of his more recent projects, Romantic Funk, presents a pastiche of classic fusion sounds and ideas, updated by Le Fleming’s signature palette of polyrhythm and abstract exploration. This session will feature the latest incarnation of that band, including long term collaborator Will Vinson on saxophone, together with a couple of UK heavyweights, sought-after drummer James Madden and former Pater Gabriel keyboard player Tom Cawley. They’ll be playing excerpts from the band’s most recent album The Unfamiliar, which was described by one critic as “Superb… a fresh mix of energy, intelligence and groove”.
ELAINE DELMAR QUINTET featuring JIM MULLEN
Elaine Delmar is a “Grand Dame’ among British female jazz singers and has been recognised as such by some of the great and the good: “One of the ageless, evergreen singing stars that we have …as beautiful and talented as ever …she’s marvellous”, is how Michael Parkinson described her. Humphrey Lyttelton said that she “Truly defines the word class…”
Born in Hertfordshire, UK, Elaine was raised in a strong musical environment. Her father was the renowned trumpeter Leslie ‘Jiver’ Hutchinson, a leading influence in the jazz and dance band movement in Britain from the 1930s onwards. After initially learning classical piano, she followed a natural progression towards singing and became a vocalist in her father’s own band at sixteen. It was soon apparent that her vocal talent and natural affinity with the stage would lead her to triumph in many areas of the entertainment world. As well as singing, she’s had a successful career on the London stage and on Broadway. She received critical acclaim as a straight actress for her role in Map Of The World at the National Theatre. Her stellar recording career has spanned some 60 years. She’s equally at home in the concert hall – she appeared with Andy Williams at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester and Michel Legrand and the LSO at the Royal Albert Hall – and in smaller venues. She makes regular and very popular appearances at Ronnie Scott’s.
For this event, she’ll be supported by guitar legend Jim Mullen, a major figure on the UK scene in his own right. With him will be three more musical luminaries: Barry Green on piano, Bobby Worth on drums and Simon Thorpe on bass.