Celebrating Steve Gray (1944-2008) at Kings Place on June 18th

Four central, vital and indispensable figures of the British jazz scene have been working patiently on a project for two and a half years. Norma Winstone, Nikki Iles, Pete Churchill and Julian Siegel will be showing the first fruits of this work at Kings Place Hall Two on June 18th. They will be celebrating the musical legacy of Steve Gray.

The revered composer/arranger Steve Gray died at the age of 64 in September 2008. Steve’s widow Heather has agreed to donate his archive to the Royal Academy of Music, and the four musicians have been working through it. The concert also marks the inauguration of the archive.

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Who was Steve Gray?

“Steve Gray is the finest jazz band arranger of his generation.”
(Thad Jones)

“His modesty hid his extensive contribution to modern music”
(John Fordham – in a Guardian obituary)

Pete Churchill who has catalogued the archive told me what it contains: .

-a Piano Concerto written for Martial Solal and a Guitar Concerto for John Williams

-Orchestral and vocal scores written for tours by Al Jarreau and Abdullah Ibrahim

-the Piazzola arrangemnts recorded by NDR players, the Requiem

-operas,a childrens opera written for W11 Opera, songs

-Songs arranged for the NDR Big Band and Norma Winstone (to be performed on June 18th)

-an arrangement of a composition by Julian Siegel (also tobe performed at the concert)

-big band charts,


-teaching notes for a course he gave three years running in Berlin with Jiggs Whigham

-books, scores and other source materials

-thanks to the painstaking work of Heather Gray, a recording matched to each score and set of source material

See three tributes in the comments to a piece I wrote on the first anniversary of Steve Gray’s death

Concert: Saturday 18th June, Kings Place, in The Base series, directed by Pete Churchill and Nick Smart, who – as ever… – has done a huge amount of work behind the scenes.

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