A lengthy press release from the BBC about jazz at this year’s BBC Proms. The new element here is a free screening of “Stan Tracey: Godfather of British Jazz” at 2pm on the same day of the Late Night (10pm) Proms performance of the Genesis Suite.
LondonJazz readers will form their own views as to whether Saturday 18th July thereby becomes the “jazz-related day” described below……
Jazz highlights at the BBC Proms 2009
17 July – 12 September
From Stan Tracey to the world premiere of a new commission from young talent Tom Arthurs
Stan Tracey brings over six decades of creative talent to the BBC Proms 2009 with a performance of Genesis on 18 July. This reimagining of the biblical creation story as a Big Band suite is celebrated as one of Tracey’s most accomplished pieces of writing, with each of the seven parts weaving a complex and gripping narrative. Genesis forms the second part of a creation themed evening at the proms, following Haydn’s The Creation.
Promising the special atmosphere for which the Late Night Proms are renowned, this performance sees Stan Tracey’s hand picked band join the former Ted Heath Orchestra member, and long time resident pianist at Ronnie Scott’s, to bring his 1987 ode to creation to the Proms for the first time.
To complement Stan Tracey’s performance there will be a FREE Proms Plus film screening of Stan Tracey: The Godfather of British Jazz on the afternoon of the concert. This illuminating portrait of the jazz legend is preceded by an introduction from BBC Radio 3’s Geoffrey Smith, and extends the evening concert into a Jazz devoted day at the BBC Proms.
Amongst other Jazz highlights are performances from rising stars Gwilym Simcock and Tom Arthurs; the first two Jazz artists selected for the Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme. Simcock and Arthurs play their own compositions on 31 August, including the world premiere of Arthurs’s And Distant Shore, specially commissioned by the BBC.
There is also a 75th birthday celebration of the great musicals of MGM, with songs from unforgettable movie classics, including The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St Louis, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, High Society, Gigi and Singin’ in the Rain. The concert on 1 August is performed by John Wilson and his hand-picked Orchestra, with soloists Kim Criswell and Curtis Stigers.
Stan Tracey and his Orchestra perform ‘Genesis’ (Stan Tracey) BBC Proms, Saturday 18 July 2009, 10.15pm – c11.15pm Royal Albert Hall Tickets £10/ £15
Stan Tracey: The Godfather of British Jazz (70’, awaiting classification) BBC Proms Plus Film screening, Saturday 18th July,
2.00pm Royal Geographic Society
A Celebration of Classic MGM Film Musicals BBC Proms, Saturday 1 August 2009, 7.30pm – c9.30pm
Royal Albert Hall Tickets £7 to £35
John Wilson and his hand-picked Orchestra celebrate 75 years of MGM musicals with songs from unforgettable movie classics, including The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St Louis, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, High Society, Gigi and Singin’ in the Rain. Amazingly, although all of the original orchestral parts were lost when the studio destroyed its music library to make way for a car park, Wilson has succeeded in reconstructing the scores by painstakingly transcribing each soundtrack by ear. He is joined by starry singers from the classical and musical theatre worlds, including Kim Criswell and Curtis Stigers.
BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Weekend: Tom Arthurs and Gwilym Simcock
BBC Proms, Monday 31 August 2009, 4.30pm – c5.40pm Cadogan Hall
Tickets £5 to £12
The BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme, which nurtures young talent on the brink of major international careers, celebrates its tenth anniversary at the BBC Proms with a weekend of chamber music concerts.
Amongst the selection of past and present members performing are Tom Arthurs and Gwilym Simcock, whose considerable talent resulted in the NGA scheme creating dedicated places for jazz musicians. The concert sees the artists perform their own compositions; Simcock’s 2008
Contours and the world premiere of a BBC and Royal Philharmonic Society co-commission And Distant Shore by Arthurs. This two trumpet and piano piece is one of only 12 major BBC commissions for the season, and pairs the Jazz trumpeter with classical trumpeter Giuliano Sommerhalder, resulting in the ‘seamless integration between improvisation and composition’ that Arthurs says he strives for in his work.
Royal Albert Hall Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP
From 26 May: Available in person from the Royal Albert Hall box office (no booking fee) from 9.00am to 9.00pm daily, or via telephone 0845 401 5040 and online at bbc.co.uk/proms (booking fee applies).
Up to 1,400 promming (standing) places available on the day at £5 each.
Cadogan Hall Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London, SW1X 9DQ
From 26 May: Available in person from Cadogan Hall or via telephone on 020 7730 4500 or the Royal Albert Hall box office (no booking fee) from 9am to 9pm daily, or via telephone 0845 401 5040 and online at bbc.co.uk/proms (booking fee applies).
Proms Films at the Royal Geographic Society Royal Geographic Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR
These events are FREE and not ticketed, entry on the day will be granted on a first come first served basis
I’ve never really understood the need to have jazz “legitimised” by appearances at the Proms. The Proms are basically a festival of composed music, and jazz is essentially NOT! Yes there are some good jazz composers and compositions, and its nice to see them appear occasionally – but jazz is about improvisation, and thats not something the proms are set up for. So we shouldn’t try to force jazz into a place where it doesn’t want to go.
Yeah, give me a cellar dive any time. However, by introducing jazz into the hallowed halls, we may entice some of the listeners into the dens of iniquity associated with jazz. Carnegie Hall didn’t do Benny goodman any harm!