PREVIEW: TW12 Jazz Festival (Richmond, Sunbury and Hampton, 2-4 June)

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:

Brandon Allen’s very assured tribute to Gene Ammons with Ross Stanley (INTERVIEW) which is the main act on Saturday in Sunbury (DETAILS).

The full splendour of the Gareth Lockrane Big Band – in Richmond on Friday (DETAILS) .

Geoffrey Keezer

On Sunday there is a full programme, culminating in an appearance by Los Angeles-based pianist Geoffrey Keezer – a major coup for this festival


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
Grammy Nominations
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)


Categories: miscellaneous

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