Preview of Richard Turner – A Celebration

Richard Turner. Photo credit: Guy Hatton
Richard Turner: A Celebration
Tuesday 10 July 2012, 7:30 pm
Royal Academy of Music, Duke’s Hall


On 10th July, the Royal Academy of Music will host a concert to celebrate the memory of Richard Turner. Richard died tragically and suddenly in August last year, and the sudden loss dealt a terrific blow to musicians and music lovers across the U.K. The combination of Richard’s tender age (he was only 27), with the sheer amount that he had achieved and contributed to the music in the short time that he was with us made his death all the more difficult to bear.

As a trumpeter, Richard was undoubtedly one of the most impressive and prolific around, playing with countless amazing musicians and bands. His own group, Round Trip, with Michael Chillingworth, Tom Farmer and Josh Morrison, had only recently released their debut recording to an outstanding reception. I cannot recommend the record highly enough : his music sounds incredible, and is so beautifully played by all that it simply deserves to be heard as much and as often as possible.

Richard was valued just as much for his commitment to the music scene, through his curation of Jazz at the Con Cellar, a night in the cellar of the Camden pub, which Richard ran for over four years on his own. As somebody who promotes a jazz night myself, the sheer scale of what he achieved at the Con – with consistently bold and excellent programming, two festivals featuring international performers, and special events like the performance from the FLY trio in September 2008 – is simply mind-boggling.

And he didn’t stop there. Richard always gave a stage to the younger generation of musicians, allowing them a space to try out new music and ideas. The Con was not just for the young crowd though, nor just a place with consistently great music; Richard created a night with real heart.

The concert on the 10th July will bring together a varied and dazzling cast. Round Trip will be performing, joined by original member saxophonist Tom Challenger, and there will also be performances from Barak Schmool and members of the F-IRE collective, and a band comprising contemporaries from Richard’s year at the Academy, including Zhenya Strigalev, Pete Cochrane and Adam Betts. The second half of the concert will feature an all-star big band comprised of Richard’s friends and contemporaries, performing pieces from Gil Evans’ ‘Porgy and Bess’ suite with guest soloists including Julian Siegel, as well as compositions by Richard, arranged by Calum Gourlay, Michael Chillingworth and Reuben Fowler. Amazing music, played by amazing musicians.

Money raised from this evening of music will be going towards a jazz scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, in Richard’s name. I can’t think of a more fitting way to commemorate somebody whose music inspired so many, and who invested so much for the good of others.

Tickets for and details of the concert on July 10th can be found HERE

Jazz at The Con Cellar
still runs on the first Friday of the month.

Categories: miscellaneous

3 replies »

  1. Thank you for a lovely preview of what will be a very special evening….. only one thing to add which is just in the last day or two, pianist JOHN ESCREET has confirmed that he will be coming over and performing on the evening as well, meaning all of Richard's class mates from '06 will be present.

    It will be a great night, please come and support…

    Nick Smart – Head of Jazz, Royal Academy of Music

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