(Thursday 17 March – Pizza Express Jazz Club, preview by Georgia Mancio)
On Thursday 17 March the Pizza Express Jazz Club will present three voices and one pianist, all of equal musical standing. This super-group will produce world-class performances and truly jaw-dropping improvisation.
The ensemble was created for last year’s Cork Jazz Festival, was immediately rebooked by Pizza Express Jazz Club’s music manager, Ross Dines. This is another opportunity for Londoners to hear the ever wonderful Norma Winstone MBE, alongside the breathtaking talents of two artists lesser known in the UK: Italian vocalist, Maria Pia de Vito and Belgian singer/composer, David Linx. Holding them all together is Welsh pianist and composer, Huw Warren, long established as a highly sensitive accompanist to folk legend, June Tabor, alongside a string of impressive jazz credentials (Kenny Wheeler, Peter Herbert, Mark Feldman). They will perform Neapolitan, Brazilian and English songs including special commissions, a touch of a cappella and a few surprises.
In a world obsessed with the Next Big Thing, it is easy to take for granted Norma Winstone’s 40 year career among the elite of European jazz. The last time Maria Pia de Vito and David Linx performed in London was for the Voice Festival which I curated at the Pizza Express in September last year. European vocalists in the UK tend to be overshadowed by their American contemporaries but these two artists deserve much wider recognition; sharing a uniquely broad palette of influences (from scat, opera, folk, samba, world music to human beat boxing) with pure and heartbreakingly beautiful voices and a rare rhythmic sensibility usually only employed by drummers and percussionists.
Winner of the ‘Beyond Artist’ Category in the 2001 Down Beat Critics Poll, Maria Pia de Vito, has collaborated here in recent years with Colin Towns’ Mask Orchestra, John Taylor and Ralph Towner.
Belgian singer/composer, David Linx, has been nominated three times for the Django d’Or in France for Best Jazz Singer and is the 1998 winner of European Vocalist of the Year by the Belgium Jazz Referendum. Although still only in his forties he has already recorded some 15 albums as leader/co-leader and worked in an astonishing range of settings: with Johnny Griffin, Clark Terry, The Count Basie Orchestra, Eric Truffaz and John Cage.
www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk 8:30pm / £25
Georgia Mancio’s next Pizza Express Voices Festival is scheduled for October.