Norma Winstone with Interplay for JazzDay ’17!

Posted by on Feb 5, 2017

Norma Winstone with Interplay for JazzDay ’17!

Interplay’s guest for international Jazz day this year is none other than the great British jazz singer Norma Winstone! Norma’s career spans a good five decades, since she emerged with the explosion of original British jazz in the 1960s. Her celebrated partnership with pianist John Taylor and trumpeter Kenned Wheeler produced some of the most elevated jazz of its time. Since then Norma continues to work in Britain and abroad making new music with many different artists and gathering awards. It is therefore really exciting that Norma will be in Leamington on May 1st to join Interplay. Songs by Adrian Litvinoff will feature in the programme as well as carefully selected standards and instrumentals. The event, an In The Moment promotion, will take place as last year in The Restaurant, Jephson Gardens. For further information and tickets please go to http://interplayjazz.co.uk/event/international-jazz-day-concert/...

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‘Truly exciting music embracing global influences’

Posted by on Jun 13, 2015

‘Truly exciting music embracing global influences’

These were jazz pundit Alan Musson’s words describing Interplay’s International Jazz Day gig with Claude Deppa and Three Way Split. Alan has reviewed the gig in SLAP (Supporting Local Artists and Performers), the multi-arts magazine based in Worcestershire. See the whole review here, or find it on page 29 of the June issue of...

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Interplay celebrates International Jazz Day – a moment to savour!

Posted by on May 1, 2015

Interplay celebrates International Jazz Day – a moment to savour!

Interplay’s gig with South African trumpet star Claude Deppa was everything that the event organisers, In The Moment, hoped it would be: well attended, well appreciated and highly enjoyable! The genteel setting of the Leamington Pump Rooms proved no obstacle to engaging the audience in music that appealed to the body and emotions in equal measure. Over 140 people turned up to share in the Leamington celebration of UNESCO’s fourth International Jazz Day, founded by Herbie Hancock in his role as UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Relations. Three Way Split Three Way Split began the evening with their fresh arrangements and original treatments. Their deployment of saxophone (Ian Hill), bass (Wayne Matthews) and drums (David Anderson) was both relaxed and inventive, giving each player space to stretch, while the ensemble passages were attractive and simply stated. Ian’s light, expressive singing on their re-interpretation of ‘All Blues’ was a bonus, and the audience responded with real warmth to their set. Interplay and Claude Deppa Claude Deppa hit the ground running on Interplay’s opener ‘Spanish Step’, to the crowd’s audible delight. The whole band reacted to his presence with energy and creativity that produced some very special moments.  There were many inspired individual solos, with Richard Baker in exceptional form, Neil Hunter as inventive as ever and Alan Wakeman ranging from sublime to steaming. However it was often the group improvisation that took things to a different level, from the hi-octane good times of ‘No Trouble’ to the reflective ‘Live Our Life’. Claude’s duet with Dave Balen on tabla on ‘Weightless’ was also especially memorable. Several of the tunes, which were all by Adrian Litvinoff, were being played for the first time and this may have added an extra edge to the band’s performance. Finalé The finalé was truly celebratory as Three Way Split returned to the stage. David Anderson took his place at the congas next to Dave Balen’s drums, Wayne Matthews joined Adrian Litvinoff on electric basses and Ian Hill extended the front line. The resulting performance of ‘The Shuffle’ featured exhilarating group playing from the horns, tasty duets from the percussionists and bassists and a harmonically adventurous solo keyboard excursion, before the horns returned and the band tore the place apart. It was a truly fitting end to this ‘Momentous’ event in recognition of International Jazz Day 2015, and surely raises the hope that In The Moment will return with further events in the not-too-distant future. Visit our Gallery for pictures from the...

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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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International Jazz Day – coming together for Interplay!

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015

International Jazz Day – coming together for Interplay!

Things are really starting to motor for our special concert on April 30th! With the artists all confirmed – Claude Deppa, Interplay and Three Way Split (Hill / Anderson / Matthews) I am turning my thoughts towards producing new musical arrangements. There will be familiar and new material too, featuring Interplay, Claude and Three Way Split all together for the finalé. The word is also getting out! Jazz Journal has already picked it up and other media outlets have also shown real interest. Tickets are starting to move, so don’t delay! – make your way to http://tinyurl.com/ouy5h9x...

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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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‘Global’ – Interplay’s new album out in October!

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013

‘Global’ – Interplay’s new album out in October!

Two years in the making ‘Global’, Interplay’s second album, is finally released on 21st October 2013 on Silvery Records (SRCD0065). Musical scents of Cuba, North Africa, India and elsewhere infuse the jazz-rooted repertoire, powered by the fine musicianship of Alan Wakeman, Richard Baker, Neil Hunter, Dave Balen and Adrian Litvinoff. To celebrate this milestone Interplay are having a special event at the Live Arts and Music Project (LAMP), Leamington’s newest and grooviest venue. Join us on Sunday 20th October at 8.00pm for music, drinks and good times to celebrate this milestone. Bring a horn or join in on percussion. Please follow the link http://tinyurl.com/o87z2ys and confirm your attendance. Even if you can’t make it, send us a message to read out on the...

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