PREVIEW: David Mossman Big Band Festival (Vortex, 13 and 14 April)

The London Jazz Orchestra at the Vortex
with Pete Hurt soloing on tenor sax

Poppy Koronka writes: 

The Vortex Jazz Club is staging a celebration in memory of its founder, David Mossman, who died in December of last year. Taking place on 13 and 14 April, the David Mossman Jazz Festival promises an entire weekend of big band entertainment with no fewer than four big bands taking part.

The main event is the debut of composer and saxophonist Josephine Davies’ big band, who will also premiere a number of brand-new pieces during their performance, including No Coward Soul is Mine. Josephine Davies said of the work, ‘[…]I wanted to pay homage to the courage of women over the centuries who have made their voices heard in the face of belittlement, indifference, or outright silencing. Although the poem is about religious faith, I also choose to interpret it in terms of faith in the human spirit, without which there would be no progress at all.’ (The full interview with Davies about this project marked International Women’s Day.)
Also making an appearance is composer, arranger, and jazz trumpeter James Brady and his big band. The big band consists of some of the UK’s leading young players and improvisors and promises the London premiere of Brady’s PRS Foundation-commissioned Jambone Set, for which the band will be joined by classically trained Mezzo-Soprano Cathy Phillips Brady.

One of Vortex’s resident ensembles, Calum Gourlay’s big band, opens the festival on the 13th April. Gourlay says of the band: ‘I want it to be an inclusive band that represents the London I know and love.’ LINK: Interview about the band with Calum Gourlay

Bringing the festival to a close is a Vortex resident ensmble for more than two decades, The London Jazz Orchestra, who will give a two-hour performance, as ever featuring original compositions by members of the big band – who in the past have included Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor.

Full festival passes, £30/£20 (members)/£15 (concessions)

Saturday 13 April
20:30-22:30, £15, Calum Gourlay Big Band

Sunday 14 April
13:00-14:30, £10, James Brady Big Band.
16:00-17:30, £10, Josephine Davies Big Band
19:00-21:00, £15, London Jazz Orchestra.

Links: Vortex Jazz Club.
Calum Gourlay.
James Brady.
Josephine Davies.
London Jazz Orchestra.

Categories: Previews

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