London Lantern

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Jazz Plus at Victoria Embankment Gardens

07/05/2008, By

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 3212 votes


The whole idea behind Jazz Plus is to feature bands made up by the many outstanding contemporary Jazz musicians playing in london. They often put together their groups especially for the Jazz Plus summer season featuring virtuoso players for everyone to enjoy.

The concerts are free and held in the open air at Victoria Embankment Gardens which are highly accessible, right next to Embankment Tube Station, and there's a lovely Italian cafe.

The audience sits on blue and white striped deckchairs or on the grass and live bands appear on a stage with a semi circular apron. The audience is very informal with a mixture of local office workers, residents and visitors relaxing to the music during their lunch hour.

There is not more information about the bands as most of them are specially assembled for this season. All the musicians are highly regarded in their field and put bands together depending on what's appropriate and who is available. They are not like rock bands or folk bands. The only band that is fairly permanent is Keith Waithe's Jazz Odyssey.

Keith Waithe – is an award winning flautist, composer, teacher, expert proponent of vocal gymnastics and leader of The Macusi Players. In addition to working on radio, theatre and television pieces Keith ‘s 7th Album “Diverse Canopy” and new DVD “ Now is the Time” has had rave reviews. Amongst many others Keith has worked with Nitin Sawhney, Courtney Pine and percussionist Bosco de Oliveira.

Keith Waite

As part of his 2007 collaborative project “Across”, Keith returned to New Delhi, India, to conduct research and to work with Kathak Dancer Sushmita Ghosh creating new rhythms and melodies based on the complex structures of Kathak Dance, Jazz improvisation, African Caribbean and western musical styles.

In November 2007 Keith travelled to Uganda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in Kampala. His work featured in concerts, workshops and Commonwealth ceremonies, some of which were attended by various heads of state. This trip involved bringing together classically trained British musicians with traditional Ugandan music players, as well as working with The African Children’s Choir Uganda.

All concerts from 12.30 to 2pm, completely free!

Tues 3rd June - ROB HUGHES QUINTET – Rob Hughes/sax & flute, Dave Ital/guitar, Sam Edwards/piano, Paul Carmichael/bass, Martin Johnson/drums

Thurs 5th June - ED JONES QUARTET - Ed Jones/tenor sax, Mike Gorman/piano, Neville Malcolm/double bass, Keith Michael/drums

Tues 10th June - MARTIN SPEAKE GROUP - Martin Speake/alto sax, Barry Green/keyboards, Sam Lasserson/ double bass, James Maddren/drums

Wed 11th June- BILLY JENKINS BLUES PICNIC - Billy Jenkins/guitar, shouting, Steve Morrison /guitar, singing, Dylan Bates/violin

Tues 17th June - KEITH WAITHE'S JAZZ ODYSSEY – Keith Waithe/flutes, Helen McDonald/vocals, JoJo Yates/Kora, Eustace Williams/bass, Darryl Lee Que/percussion

Thurs 19th June - BYRON WALLEN BAND – Byron Wallen/trumpet, Tony Kofi/sax, Larry Bartley/bass, Tom Skinner /drums

Tues 1st July - THE GROOVE ROBBERS – Gerry Hunt/flute, sax, guitar, Steve Lodder/keyboards, Kevin Dunford/bass, Adam Riley/drums

Tues 8th July - ROGER BEAUJOLAIS QUINTET – Roger Beaujolais/vibes, Mark Lockheart/sax, Robin Aspland/piano, Simon Thorpe/double bass, Winston Clifford/drums

Thurs 17th July - DEIRDRE CARTWRIGHT QUARTET – Deirdre Cartwright/guitar, Alison Rayner/double bass, Sarah P/vocals, Buster Birch/drums

Tues 22nd July - CHRIS BISCOE QUARTET – Chris Biscoe/sax, clarinet, flute, Tony Kofi/sax, Larry Bartley/bass, Stu Butterfield/drums

Images credit/copyright Alternative Arts.

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