For our return to live music in front of a live audience, we are delighted to welcome the fabulous saxophonist Alex Clarke to Witney Jazz, with an exciting rhythm rhythm section comprising Jonathan Taylor (piano) , Paul Jefferies and Jonathan Silk (drums) . Finalist at this year’s BBC Young Jazz Musician competition, Alex is a musician of the highest calibre, a tone to die for and musical maturity that belies her age and experience. Witness her excellent, highly rated debut CD to see that - at her core she is influenced by the classics (Corcovado, What is This Thing Called Love and Almost Like Being in Love feature in the recording) but there’s a new fresh approach to be heard in her own compositions and playing style which seem to be inspired by saxophonists and composers form across 70 years of jazz music. Alex commands centre stage with her instrument, her determined stance and her wonderful playing - you won’t be disappointed…
If you don’t already know Enrico, think of the phrasing of Louis Armstrong and lush tone of Chet Balker rolled into one melodic package! This celebrated British musician was born in Leeds and has won 'best trumpet' category in the British Jazz awards on numerous occasions, certainly because his playing is first rate, but also because he has a habit of endearing himself to audiences everywhere he goes with great anecdotes and an infectious sense of humour. Enrico’s style errs towards American traditional, featuring the music and style of Louis Armstrong (with whom he had a friendship for many years). It’s the music from the 30s, 40s and 50s that he will salute in this concert. On stage with Enrico will be ever popular Denny Ilett (junior) on guitar, Paul Jefferies (double bass) and drummer Charlie Stratford. Take a listen to Enrico play and sing here
Ollie Weston - as his website says “plays, writes and records music”. He plays all the saxes plus bass and piano and is he’s a highly rated educator to boot! Ollie has a fabulous tone on the classic alto and tenor saxes, but he also plays a mean bass clarinet and he’ll be bringing as many of these as he can to our concert on 6th August, when he’ll present some of the music that Duke Ellington and musical collaborator pianist Billy Strayhorn made famous throughout the world of jazz and which is still regarded today as much in advance of its time. Playing with Ollie will be pianist Jonathan Taylor, bassist Paul Jefferies and drummer Euan Palmer.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more celebrated jazz vocalist in Europe, let alone Britain. Tina May has sung with some of the finest bands and band leaders in Europe and America and that’s in no small part due to her having a fabulous jazz voice and being one of the best presenters of jazz music in the business. Tina will no doubt bring a hint of French language and chanson to the occasion, as she’s very much the francophile and spends a lot of her performing time in France as well as England. Tina’s rhythm section for the night will be led by the award winning pianist Dave Newton, with Paul Jefferies (bass) and Mitch Perrins (drums).