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...

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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...

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Interplay at Stratford Jazz – new photos

Posted by on Oct 16, 2015

Interplay at Stratford Jazz – new photos

We had a lovely time at Stratford Jazz this week. A warm receptive audience, and of course we were well looked after and made really welcome by Jay Riley. Jay took these really atmospheric photos in between running the desk, making announcements, selling raffle tickets and more! What a guy! Thanks Jay. See them in our...

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International Jazz Day – Who Knew?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2015

International Jazz Day – Who Knew?

I’ve been talking to jazz musicians and promoters in the Midlands a lot recently in the build up to International Jazz Day 2015 and our concert with Claude Deppa, Interplay and Three Way Split on April 30th at the Pump Rooms, Leamington. I’m struck by how few of them have heard of IJD, let alone are preparing to play any part in it. This could be a case of good old British scepticism about anyone who sets out to blow their own trumpet. If so I think this is misplaced, and risks letting an important opportunity go unanswered. As I see it IJD is a fantastic development for jazz, a music that has been marginalised and neglected for decades. It allows us to present the case for jazz in a totally new light – with the full public endorsement of UNESCO,  a global organisation committed to the advancement of culture and education worldwide. Let’s look at this in a few headlines: Herbie Hancock, one of the most enduring and undisputed creative artists of the last 50 years, has been appointed to UNESCO as Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue. And he is a jazz musician – one of our own. How fantastic is that! Herbie has not only succeeded in persuading UNESCO to instigate International Jazz Day (in 2011) but he has brought the resources of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in behind it, to ensure that there is capacity to promote and coordinate IJD worldwide. Look at the Jazz Day website to see what I mean. IJD is totally inclusive. There are hundreds of events ranging from concert hall presentations to community festivals, workshops and broadcasts, many contemporary in content but also going right back to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (in Oman!) In many places jazz is being celebrated alongside indigenous and traditional music, truly in the IJD spirit of promoting  intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, and fostering international cooperation and communication. All this suggests to me that for at least one day a year the jazz world is setting the cultural agenda, not fighting for a place on it, and I love it. We know that jazz in the UK is under-exposed, under-resourced and poorly understood by many people and institutions. Despite that it survives, and some might say flourishes, as a music of persistence, of resistance against the homogenisation of culture, and the assertion of every individual’s right to be heard in their own way. Many people...

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New Year’s Eve is fully booked!

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014

New Year’s Eve is fully booked!

Just heard from Wagamama in Leamington that they are fully booked for Interplay’s gig there on NYE! Really looking forward to this one… We’d like to take this opportunity to wish a happy, peaceful and musical 2015 to all our friends and fans. Thanks for all your support and company in 2014. We truly appreciate it. May the groove go with...

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Symphony Hall Gig – late extra!

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014

By the way folks, our gig tomorrow at Symphony Hall is not in the usual foyer space. There will be signs to re-direct you to Hall 11. Best have a few extra minutes in hand to reach it comfortably. See you there!

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