Will Gresford, who has been manager of the new Vortex ever since it first opened its doors properly September 2005, will officially leave this role and complete the handover on March 2nd. The club will be run by Todd Wills, who will take responsibility for programming, working alongside Stephanie Knibbe, who has been Assistant manager for the past year.
A good profile of Gresford by his college contemporary Richard Godwin of the Evening Standard is HERE.
Gresford describes his past three-and-a-half years of running the club as intense, full-on, non-stop. He is definitely looking forward to drawing breath. It will be a relief for him not to be on constant alert for, or worrying about too many things to think about at once…. while simultaneously having that sixth sense of what might go wrong that you haven’t already thought of. While manning the bar too.
Gresford describes himself as having been a “custodian,” and as part of the team. Among many others, Oliver Weindling has also played a massive role from the start, as in recent months has Stephanie Knibbe. Gresford also pays tribute to the contribution of a legion of volunteers to the Vortex’s success.
Apart from taking a well-earned breather, Gresford will be working more actively with Nick Mulvey and Portico Quartet. But I will be flabbergasted if Gresford doesn’t get some other, very interesting approaches indeed!
Because in the period he has been running this club with a capacity of a meagre hundred souls, run on a shoe-string, it has steadily built major international recognition, profile and visibilty.
Let’s take stock of where the club now is. In past three to four weeks alone, there have been:
-two live Jazz on 3 recordings
-national newspaper reviews “easily into double figures”
-Buffalo Collision, Bobo Stenson, Marc Ducret
-the Loop Collective Showcase/Festival
-the only London gigs by Julian and Steve Arguelles brothers , returning from Scotland/Dresden and Paris respectively.
Congratulations, Will. Best wishes, Todd and Stephanie. On/upwards!