Victoria Wilson kindly asked me to accompany her in a concert with two of her star pupils at St Nicholas Church, Warwick on 19th June 2016. It was a really uplifting and beautiful programme with solos for all three singers alongside some duets (including a West Side Story medley) and trios. More details about Victoria can be found at her website http://www.vjwilson.co.uk/
Dr Ahmed Kazmi is truly a man of many talents – I recorded some songs with Ahmed a couple of years ago (see blog post March 2014 and the ‘listen’ page). He got back in touch with me earlier this year to tell me about his touring stand-up comedy show Doctor In The House which he needed some piano accompaniment for to play at the Brighton Fringe Festival and later this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to collaborate with Ahmed again and was thrilled to be part of a very successful show in 5 performances from 19th to 23rd of May at the Nightingale Rooms cabaret venue in Brighton. He’s a very funny man! Catch our next run of shows in Edinburgh at Spotlights Venue 278 from 4th to 14th August 2016.
It has been my great pleasure over the last few years to collaborate with accomplished singer Joyce Barrie in making recordings at the Wavelength Studios in Doncaster with sound engineer Keith Angel. This was probably the fourth or fifth time we have worked together and this time Keith’s input was especially valuable as we shaped some interpretations of a selection of jazz standards. The difference between the first take and the eventual recorded performance was startling in some cases. Here is one of the tracks from our session – The Nearness Of You.
19th March 2016 – The Handsworth Community Choir concert at St. Mary’s Church Handsworth conducted by Naomi Berry and accompanied by Iain Jackson. Featured in the programme was a specially commissioned arrangement of two David Bowie songs. The concert was a success and certainly has inspired me to work on more arrangements and compositions for choir – watch this space!
Over the weekend of 27th and 28th February I had the fantastic experience of working with some good friends and incredibly talented musicians and performers in a presentation of a very special work. According to the official website: ‘This stirring portrait of life illustrated through popular show tunes, memorable love songs and original inspiring music will entertain, inspire and delight those of all ages.’ I would certainly agree! It was an amazing and inspiring experience, so particular thanks go to my good friends Paul and Melanie Cartwright who brought me into the project and also Lisa Nyberg-Jackson who joined in with some impromptu violin playing at short notice. A special weekend.
The City of Birmingham Brass Band were fortunate to be asked to take part in this thrilling contemporary dance work based around the miner’s strike of 1984-5, created and produced by Gary Clarke Company. The band’s role (in a 5-piece format) was to play the role of a colliery brass band and provide traditional brass band music for several of the scenes including ‘Death or Glory’ and ‘The Floral Dance’. Everyone involved was thrilled to take part in the official world premiere of this work at the Dance XChange, Birmingham Hippodrome on 11th February 2016 and subsequent performances on 12th and 13th.
A Brassy Christmas
Christmas 2015 saw James Stretton and I set off on tour with our show ‘A Brassy Christmas’, bringing multi-instrument fun and festive favourite tunes to village halls in the North and North-East of England. Its a fun family show with entertainment to suit all ages and tastes. Click here to see the map of all the locations we toured to between 13th and 19th December 2015.