Interplay – 10 years together!

Posted by on Apr 3, 2019

Interplay – 10 years together!

Interplay Jazz Group – 10 years Together Creating Music! In our fast-moving world it can be hard to find something that has been allowed enough time to mature and develop.  Interplay is a band that has taken that time, reaching our current state of evolution through a journey of ten years. The band brings together the talents and experience of five exceptional musicians, each fuelled by diverse musical influences. Together we work on performing largely original material to make it our own.  Alan Wakeman, (saxes, flute), and Richard Baker (trombone) form an unusual and well-balanced front line. Coming from very different starting points and bringing contrasting styles they have evolved a close musical understanding.  Neil Hunter (keyboard), Adrian Litvinoff (basses) and Dave Balen (drums, percussion) weave together all kinds of dynamics – assertive, fluid, spacious and energetic, as the music requires.  All the band are striking and expressive soloists. The tunes, mainly by bassist and leader Adrian Litvinoff, provide hugely varied settings for the band’s invention and spontaneity.  He says “It is a serious privilege to have had these guys’ attention, musicianship and support over such a long period.  It means I can draw on our mutual understanding to produce music that reflects each individual’s creativity, and also aim for musical realms that more temporary bands are unlikely to reach”. From Village Hall to Concert Hall Also striking about Interplay is the range of audiences we have encountered over the years. In Jazz clubs, concert rooms and festivals, sure, but we have also played in churches, village halls, community centres, even the occasional stately home!  We love playing to people who are enthusiastic and knowledgable about jazz, of course, but there is a different vibe and job to do when the audience has no real idea what they are going to hear.  It’s our chance to help them savour something completely new! We try to do so without compromising the music in any way, and we find that people appreciate and respond to that. In recent years we have had the good fortune to perform in memorable concerts with some great guest artists. These include Claude Deppa, John Etheridge, Norma Winstone and Annie Whitehead, and thanks for this are mainly due to In The Moment, a voluntary promotions group based in Adrian’s home town, Leamington Spa.  In May 2019 the band is appearing there with Alina Bzhezhinska and Tony...

See More

Double bubble! Tony Kofi joins Alina Bzhezhinska for Interplay gig.

Posted by on Feb 28, 2019

Double bubble! Tony Kofi joins Alina Bzhezhinska for Interplay gig.

We are very excited to confirm not one but two guest artists for IJD 2019! Alina Bzhezhinska, the acclaimed harpist, is coming with the marvellous saxophonist Tony Kofi. Their recent album ‘Inspiration’ has been a fantastic success as a tribute to Alice and John Coltrane  and a showcase for Alina’s unique sound and style on the harp. Now based in London, Ukrainian Alina Bzhezhinska is an internationally renowned, exciting and accomplished harpist. She has performed with leading classical and jazz musicians and her critically acclaimed Quartet, with saxophonist Tony Kofi, led the 80th Birthday celebrations for Alice Coltrane around the UK in 2017. Their appearance at the EFG London Jazz Festival in a special triple bill featuring Denys Baptiste and Pharoah Sanders – ‘A Concert for Alice and John’ – was nominated for Best Live Experience of the Year at the 2018 Jazz FM Awards. The Quartet’s album, Inspiration, was released in June 2018. “I set myself on a mission to tell Alice and John Coltrane’s story in my own words, through my own interpretation of their music and my compositions,” explains Alina. Having ‘cut his teeth’ in the “Jazz Warriors” of the early 90’s, award-winning saxophonist Tony Kofi is well established on the international jazz scene. He has worked with many leading bands and artists including The World Saxophone Quartet, Donald Byrd, Abdullah Ibrahim, The David Murray Big Band, Ornette Coleman and Jazz Jamaica. His fluent and fiery hard-bop playing is constantly in demand and his recent projects include A Portait of Cannonball Adderley and Tony Kofi & The Organisation. This combination will give Interplay some challenges, as well as opportunities to explore the sound qualities of the harp. At the same time the three horn front line will create a richer ensemble and bring some added excitement. The tunes will be by Alina and other composers as well as from Adrian’s repertoire. Alina will give a short informal Q & A session at 6.30pm prior to the concert. Admission to the talk is free. We are also trying a different venue this time. Victoria House is a period mansion close to the centre of Leamington. It is easily reached, fully accessible and with a friendly atmosphere. Details of the gig including ticket availability are here....

See More

Annie Whitehead for International Jazz Day

Posted by on Mar 4, 2018

Annie Whitehead for International Jazz Day

Annie Whitehead is to be Interplay’s special guest for In The Moment’s International Jazz Day concert, on April 29th this year. A truly individual trombonist, Annie has worked with top international and UK jazz ensembles. She also has an enviable portfolio of partnerships in other genres including with Robert Wyatt, Joan Armatrading, Elvis Costello and Charlie Watts. Annie has a special affinity it for African Jazz, and that will feature within the concert programme. There will also be some two-trombone action with Interplay’s Richard Baker, who describes himself as a big fan of Annie’s playing. As if that isn’t enough, the evening will also feature the marvellous Coventry singer Letitia George. Letitia has had an enormous impact at in The Moment’s Blues Revues last year, and now we are really looking forward to welcoming her into the world of jazz. For details of the gig and booking information look...

See More

Alan Wakeman – another ‘milestone’!

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017

Interplay saxophonist Alan Wakeman recently reached a milestone birthday this year. Matthew D. Wright has written about his considerable track record and his continuing contribution to jazz, and this appraisal appeared recently in Jazzwise Magazine. http://www.jazzwisemagazine.com/breaking-news/14735-westbrook-and-wakeman-line-up-with-the-uncommon-orchestra-for-a-bigger-show               Many Happy Returns...

See More

Alan Wakeman – on the mend!

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016

Alan Wakeman – on the mend!

Some people may have heard that Alan Wakeman is off the scene at the moment. In fact he has been under par for quite some time, and in the summer was diagnosed with a significant heart problem. Recently Alan had the surgical procedure he needed, and he is now convalescing.  He has been advised not to play the saxophone for at least three months, but in other respects he is hoping to be out and about within that time. We all wish him a full and steady recovery. Please send Alan any messages via his Facebook page In the circumstances we felt that Interplay should take a holiday until Alan is ready to gig again, which we hope will be not too far into 2017. At the very least we are planning something special for International Jazz Day 2017 at the end of April. Thanks for your...

See More

Interplay – more Jazz Day videos!

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016

Here’s another video from our Jazz Day concert with Claude Deppa in 2015. This time it’s our tune ‘Weightless’ featuring Dave Balen on tabla. After a beautiful soprano solo by Alan there is an amazing duet (or maybe duel) between Claude and Dave. Check it out! There are more videos in the pipeline, so please keep visiting 🙂...

See More