‘Musical Exchanges’ is Under Way

Posted by on Aug 5, 2022

Our collaboration with In The Moment, ‘Musical Exchanges’, is under way. We are exploring links between Jazz and several other cultural traditions from South Africa, Jamaica and North India.  This ties in with the Commonwealth Games currently in progress. ‘Jazz Meets Dancehall’, (August 6th) features Annie Whitehead, trombone, and Byron Wallen trumpet, a late substitute for COVID-struck Claude Deppa.  The set will feature South African tunes and Jamaican classics in the Ska and Reggae traditions, all with an Interplay twist. ‘Indian Jazz Fusion’ (August 10th) will feature Kathak  (Classical Indian) singer and dancer Awantika Dubey in a programme of cross-fertilisation between the traditional virtuosic and sacred Indian material and Interplay’s rhythmically flexible approach to Jazz. The approach is well summed up in the Leamington Courier and tickets are on sale now! Hit these links for tickets ‘Jazz Meets Dancehall’ ‘Indian Jazz Fusion’ And to have a go yourself, why not join our Music Improvisation workshop with Alan Wakeman and Adrian Litvinoff, or try the Bollywood Dance Taster with Awantika Dubey and Dave Balen?  No experience necessary and fun...

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Alan Wakeman – a tribute to himself

Posted by on Mar 14, 2022

Alan Wakeman – a tribute to himself

Alan Wakeman is so unassuming that one can lose sight of what a creative presence he is and has been for many years on the British jazz scene. Fortunately other people have contrived to bring him into the spotlight where he richly deserves to be.  In this ‘tribute to himself’,  his groundbreaking recordings for BBC Jazz Workshop (1969) and Jazz In Britain (1979) are the focus.  They were re-issued in 2020 on Gearbox Records and have won a fistful of encomiums, not least featuring in the Critics’ Polls of New York City Jazz Record and Jazzwise magazines. Chaturanga Suite Now Alan has assembled a high-powered band to take this music out on the road.  The band comprises some of the original performers and others of the calibre required to do the music justice.  Henry Lowther (trumpet) and Art Themen (saxophone), John Horler (piano) and Paul Nieman (trombone) are the veterans.  Asif Sirkis (drums), Arnie Somogyi (bass), Peter Whyman (clarinet) and Miguel Gorodi (trumpet) complete the ensemble, billed as Alan Wakeman’s Octet. Dates so far include Ronnie Scott’s (May 8th), Exeter Phoenix (May 10th), Birmingham Jazz Festival (May 13th) and Dorking Watermill (May 17th). We at Interplay wish Alan the very best for the tour and are booking our seats right now to experience this unique and very British jazz live in person....

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Kenilworth gets on its feet

Posted by on Sep 21, 2021

Kenilworth got on its feet on Saturday night when Interplay appeared in party mood. With balmy temperatures, the rain mercifully scarce and a comfortably relaxed crowd in Talisman Square we were all of one mind – to groove! Venezuelan pianist Edgar Macias, sitting in for Neil Hunter, brought a truly authentic touch to our Latin set. Not only that, his vocal rendition of ‘Chan Chan’ was really romantic, according to at least one female audience member! As the gig coincided with the 25th anniversary of the great Buena Vista Social Club recordings this was very timely indeed. Our other guest was trumpeter Carol Whitworth, standing in for trombonist Richard Baker, and herself from Kenilworth. Carol’s initially cool playing got hotter and hotter as the night went on, especially on funkier numbers like ‘Memphis Shout’. Interplay stalwarts Alan Wakeman (saxes and flute) and Dave Balen (drums and percussion) were in fine form too, whether on the Latin repertoire or some of the band’s more off-the-wall numbers like ‘Norbert Dentressangle’ and ‘No Trouble’. Thanks very much to Kenilworth Arts Festival for having us, and we look forward to making the Square move again at a future festival! Bohemia After Dark? No its...

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Interplay for Kenilworth Arts Festival

Posted by on Sep 4, 2021

Interplay for Kenilworth Arts Festival

Interplay will be appearing at Kenilworth Arts Festival on Saturday 18th September at 7.30pm. This is an outdoor gig so the emphasis is very much on lively, groove-filled music to get you moving – in your seat or on your feet! After our long lay-off we are delighted to be appearing in the Warwick district again. This follows our highly enjoyable outing at All Saints Church Leamington in August. Check out the gig details here. Information about Kenilworth Arts Festival is here. Dress warmly...

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Looking Forward to Live Music?

Posted by on Jul 20, 2020

Looking Forward to Live Music?

Are you looking forward to live music again? Who isn’t! Please take this very short survey to help us plan for returning to live music. It will take less than 5 minutes, and there’s a free prize draw too… https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PBMQQBV

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New video – ‘Pearly Light’.

Posted by on Oct 8, 2019

New video – ‘Pearly Light’.

Our new video – ‘Pearly Light’ – is now up to watch! It’s been a while since we videoed ourselves. This track is a lucky combination of some super shots by photographer Mark Ludbrook (@sportsshots) and some live recording, both caught while we were at Chesterfield Jazz Club in March 2019....

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Harping On About Alina…

Posted by on May 10, 2019

Harping On About Alina…

Pardon me for harping on about Alina (Bzhezhinska) and Tony (Kofi), but our concert with them on Sunday 5th May was too good to let it simply disappear into ‘past events’. We knew Tony of course – Neil and I had both worked with him before. Alina and the harp as an instrument were much less familiar, although preceded by her fulsome reputation. We listened to her music, went to see her perform, and dusted off our Alice Coltrane CDs. Tony and Alina kindly agreed to play some Interplay tunes as well as bringing their own material. I proposed numbers that might suit a Coltrane-inspired programme. ‘Gratitude’, ‘Spanish Step’, ‘Slow Flame’ and ‘Rising on Thermals’ all made the cut with McCoy Tyner’s ‘Contemplation’, leaving me with the delightful task of re-arranging them for the expanded line-up. We rehearsed the new charts and studied Alina’s parts, some of which were a few notes with one-line instructions. They would depend entirely on our finding the right feel on the night. On the afternoon before the gig we worked through the whole programme – and were delighted to find there was a natural sympathy between us. Alina was clear about what she wanted and we were happy to provide it. Tony’s virtuosity in the front line seemed to throw Alan and Richard’s abilities into sharper relief, not leave them in the shade. Before the concert Alina, prompted by Matthew Wright from In The Moment, talked engagingly and humorously about her musical development and growing engagement with jazz. It is integral to In The Moment’s approach to offer insights into the music alongside its performance, and the audience enjoyed Alina’s openness and honesty. Then came the concert. Alina and Tony set out their stall with the opening sequence; ‘Wisdom Eye’ and ‘Blue Nile’ by Alice Coltrane, and Alina’s tenderly hopeful tune ‘Spero’. We supported them in our characteristic way, with Dave’s percussion in particular laying out textures and colours differing from their usual arrangements, and to which Tony and Alina readily responded. Several Interplay tunes followed, memorable for me especially for Tony’s storming solo on ‘Gratitude’, before the first set culminated with a moody and muscular ‘Dahomey Dance’. A different vibe opened the second set: Dorothy Ashby’s bright Soul-Jazz anthem ‘Action Line’, featuring electric bass and Alan’s flute. Alina then gave an ethereal aura to ‘Rising On Thermals’, sensitively accompanied by Neil with...

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