|The Gareth Lockrane Big Band|
For their fifth TW12 Festival, Terry Collie and Janet McCunn have brought in what they rightly call an “eclectic mix.” Sebastian writes:
The festival uses three venues:
In Richmond, the new Queen Charlotte Hall, and the smaller “The Link” studio space at the Adult Community College in Parkshot (Friday 2 June)
In Sunbury, the Riverside Arts Centre (Saturday 3 June)
In Hampton Hill, the Theatre (Sunday 4 June)
The UK artists involved bring strong current projects, such as:
The full splendour of the Gareth Lockrane Big Band – in Richmond on Friday (DETAILS) .
On Sunday there is a full programme, culminating in an appearance by Los Angeles-based pianist Geoffrey Keezer – a major coup for this festival
GEOFFREY KEEZER – VITA
As a teenager, Keezer was in the last line-up of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers
He worked for three years as a member of Ray Brown’s trio
He has worked with Diana Krall , Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti, Sting, Wayne Shorter, Joe Locke, Tim Garland
He has recorded projects in his own name for Motema and Sunnyside, Dreyfus, Telarc…
I spoke briefly to Geoffrey Keezer. His last album was for solo piano, entitled Heart of the Piano. He has just finished recording a new album, partly a trio with bassist and also sound engineer Mike Pope from Baltimore which was also where the album was recorded, and drummer Lee Pearson. The trio expands into a quartet with Toronto-born singer Gillian Margot. The repertoire is new compositions by Keezer and new songs co-written with Gillian Margot: “That wa a fun process, it’s inspiring to co-write. When I was in my 20s I never thought I would ever let anyone touch my music…”
I asked Keezer about Gillian Margot’s music. It turns out she studied with Oscar Peterson. There is a symmetry there, considering Keezer’s role in Ray Brown’s trio… And as a singer? “She reminds me of Nina Simone and Roberta Flack, that soulful alto voice,” but she also has a deep knowledge of the jazz canon.
Gillian Margot and Geoffrey Keezer will be doing a workshop in Hampton on the Sunday afternoon focusing on the art of accompanying vocalists (away from the festival there is also a workshop at Brighton Jazz school).
I asked about other pianists who were currently holding his attention/admiration: “Chucho Valdes – he blows my mind.” (pp)