New Jazz Conceptions: History, Theory, Practice

Posted by on May 14, 2014

‘New Jazz Conceptions: History, Theory, Practice’ is the theme of a one day open conference at Warwick University Humanities Research Centre on Saturday 31st May. The brainchild of Roger Fagge and Nicholas Pillai, both lecturers at Warwick, the event reflects a move to place jazz more centrally within the cultural curriculum of the University. Arguably jazz is one of North America’s greatest contributions to global culture arising in the 20th Century, and by now we are familiar with its many offshoots and manifestations emanating from almost every continent. This one-day conference will bring together Warwick, Midlands and National speakers to discuss current research in jazz, share ideas about methodologies for future study, and explore the link between academics and the practice of jazz in the wider community. Speakers: Tony Whyton, Catherine Tackley, Andrew Hodgetts, Roger Magraw, Katherine Williams, Adrian Litvinoff, Simon Barber and Vic Hobson (National Jazz Archive) The Conference is open to everyone including musicians, promoters, jazz activists and enthusiasts, and booking is now open. For further details and to book your place just visit the conference page. Let’s...

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Global Jazz Double Header at Warwick Arts Centre

Posted by on May 7, 2014

Global Jazz Double Header at Warwick Arts Centre

Lovers of globally-inspired world music and jazz are in for a special night at Warwick Arts Centre on June 8th, when two of the region’s best bands join forces. Sonrisa brings its joyous blend of mainly Latin rhythms while Interplay casts its net a little wider, taking in African and Indian sounds as well as expressive modern jazz. Despite their musical common ground this will be the first time the two bands have appeared together.   Interplay and Sonrisa are both well established across the Midlands, playing to concert and festival audiences, in clubs and on rural touring circuits for several years. Each band released an album last year too. ‘Global’, on the part of Interplay, was hailed by Gilles Peterson as a ‘beautiful record’, while Sonrisa’s ‘Taste Of Latin’ has resulted in the band being taken up by Tom Robinson for BBC Introducing on 6Music.   The gig is presented on the ‘Under The Radar’ strand, through which the Arts Centre gives exposure to artists thought deserving of a wider audience. The evening promises an uplifting musical journey infused with different cultures, with rhythmic excitement and instrumental creativity to the fore. Details and booking link here...

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International Jazz Day in Leamington

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014

International Jazz Day in Leamington

Can’t make it to Osaka for International Jazz Day? Don’t despair – IJD is also coming to Leamington Spa! Interplay Duo will be on hand at Wagamama on Wednesday evening with a special programme of jazz from around the world. Pianist Neil Hunter and bassist Adrian Litvinoff draw on a huge repertoire to ensure the evening has a genuinely global flavour. Get the details here. Meanwhile click ‘read more’ to see Herbie Hancock’s inspirational message on video, our very own UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Jazz!...

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Jazz lunch with Interplay

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014

Jazz lunch with Interplay

We are off to Market Harborough Jazz Club this Sunday for a lunch-time gig. Word has it the crowd there are a bit ‘serious’, but that’s not how I remember our last visit. I think we played plenty of Latin stuff and may even have equipped the audience with shakers and other things to hit! I do know that we sold more albums there than at any gig before or since. Roll on Sunday! Join us?...

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Adrian on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014

Adrian on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire

I’ve been in to the Priory Place studio of BBC Coventry and Warwickshire today to talk about our Interplay Duo gig at Wilde’s tomorrow night. This will feature me and Richard Baker (trombone) exploring more of those gorgeous low frequency tonalities. The invitation came from Marian McNamee – just after I said that mainstream radio didn’t show much interest in the regional jazz scene! Marian presents the Sunday afternoon show from 1.00 – 3.00pm. This looks like being a good outlet for local music information from here on, and of course we will make sure that Marian has all the information she could need in future. If you’d like to hear the broadcast it runs from about 8.00 minutes in, duration 14 minutes approximately. You can also hear ‘Swift Return’ – enjoy!...

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Interplay back at Symphony Hall

Posted by on Feb 9, 2014

Interplay back at Symphony Hall

Interplay has been booked to play at Birmingham’s prestigious Symphony Hall in the popular Jazzlines series of Friday foyer concerts. This marks our return after a gap of some four years. This has prompted me to reflect on how the jazz scene in the city has evolved in recent times. The return of the Town Hall to major jazz events, and continuation of excellent programmes at places like the CBSO Centre, have set a high bar at their level, while exciting developments such as the jazz promotions at the Hare and Hounds and Spotted Dog have added something more ‘street’.  The growing presence and impact of the jazz course at the Conservatoire, also, stimulates a lively self-help scene among young and emerging musicians.. Creatively things are really buzzing. Is there a down side? Well, the lack of a really coordinated approach to jazz promotion in the city and the region could be one. Compared to other parts of the country we don’t seem to have the ability to pool energies or resources the way some of our neighbouring regions appear to do.  The ‘jazz community’ here thus provides a somewhat fractured and polarised environment in which to work, and this is not helpful at any level. The absence of a recognised broadcast platform for the music might be another. With notable important exceptions such as internet radio The Bridge’s Alan Musson or Theresa Kellegher at Seclow Sounds we are hardly overwhelmed by broadcasters thirsting to share our music or experiences. Outside the city itself the jazz picture is also mixed, but certainly not disheartening. Warwick Arts Centre still offers a varied programme although Jazz Coventry is but a shadow of its former self and Stratford Jazz has, understandably, scaled back its activities. At more local level Leam Jazz is still hanging in there after three years of unsubsidised promotions and only this week the new Kenilworth Jazz Club got off to a flying start, while Spa Jazz at The Clarendon is going from strength to strength.  There are no shortages of players or listeners at jazz jam sessions either – Rugby now has two – and there seems to be a steady flow of people wanting to learn to play jazz, of all ages and stages.  Much of this activity of course comes as a result of dedicated voluntary effort. So it’s clear that jazz in this region is not ‘dead’, that it has...

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