Interplay Live Broadcast for Coventry Jazz Festival

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015

Interplay Live Broadcast for Coventry Jazz Festival

Interplay will be playing live on Coventry’s Radio Plus next Wednesday 25th November, to preview and promote the forthcoming Coventry Jazz Festival. The band’s set will form the climax of the evening which includes interviews and music from artists and organisers of the festival. With Interplay’s keyboard wizard Neil Hunter committed elsewhere, the band is delighted to welcome Al Gurr, one of the region’s outstanding performers, who will be more than equal to the challenge. The programme begins at 7.00pm, with Interplay’s appearance from 9.15 – 10.00pm. Radio Plus is at 101.5 FM or on line at Radio Plus The festival is organised by national jazz agency Jazz UK, (formerly known as Jazz Services), now operating from Leominster in the West Midlands. It is one of the organisation’s first forays into promotion following a period of...

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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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‘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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Swifts are back – cue the music!

Posted by on May 12, 2015

Swifts are back – cue the music!

May is eagerly awaited as the true start of summer – at least in this house – because it bring the return of the Swifts. Almost the last summer migrant birds to arrive, they animate the sky over towns and cities as well as over open country. The sight of them wheeling and darting high in the air is truly invigorating, while their screams as they swoop low around the roof-tops are an essential part of summer’s sound-scape. It was on May 5th that I saw my first swift this year, and now they are back in numbers. Amazing birds The more I understand about these birds the more amazing they appear. For example after fledging and leaving the nest a young swift may remain airborne for as long as three years before touching down to begin building a nest of its own! Feeding, drinking, sleeping, mating, all are done on the wing. ‘Sleeping’ is in fact hardly the correct term – somehow they are able to continue in flight for hours in a semi-comatose state, often at very high altitude, and well out of the range of predators. Nest-guests We live in a very old house, and have been thrilled to see swifts diving straight through a small opening into our roof-space on several occasions. We don’t know if they have bred there – there is no way for us to get up so high, let alone see inside. But we are happy to have them there, especially given that nesting sites have become much more scarce as construction methods have changed. Fortunately some house builders are beginning to recognise the importance of providing bird-friendly access to nest space in new developments, so hopefully this decline can be reversed. ‘Swift Return’ It is great to see the swifts back again, and to feel the year turning towards its summer peak. I feel a tune coming on! https://interplayjazz.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/swift-return.mp3 If you want to hear the full track why not head over to Spotify and type in Interplay Global? You’ll be able to savour our whole album!...

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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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Interview with BBC Coventry and Warwickshire

Posted by on Apr 26, 2015

Interview with BBC Coventry and Warwickshire

I did an interview earlier today about International Jazz Day with Marian McNamee on BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire. Here’s the link if you want to listen back. The item runs for 12 minutes and starts at 1 hour 12 minutes into the show – straight after Adele! You can still book tickets for the gig on line or by phone – see here – and also get them at 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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