The Vortex Jazz Club has announced the first in a series of online events in which one featured artist is given carte blanche to invite the others who will take part. The first event will be hosted by Suffolk-born pianist Olly Chalk and will be streamed from the club on 20 December.
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The Vortex Jazz Club launches Rough Takes, a series of online events where a featured artist invites other artists to make music. The first in the series will be streamed 20 December 8pm (via the Vortex Youtube channel and Facebook page) and features pianist, composer and improvisor Olly Chalk. Artists will have one day to develop and record original spontaneous music, while for audiences it is an opportunity to see the elusive creative process laid bare.
In keeping with the innovative history of the Vortex as a home for musicians to try out new ideas, improvised music has always been at the core of its programming. Continuing this tradition, Rough Takes is an opportunity for musicians to experiment – take risks and demystify the creative process for audiences and fledgling musicians alike. Taking place over a day during which musicians invent, create, interact and play, there is no prescribed ‘process’ as the art comes out of the moment and each time the process is different. What emerges could be the capture of new exciting collaborations, insights, and music.
Kickstarting the series is emerging talent on the UK jazz scene – Olly Chalk. Having first played at the Vortex with his trio as part of the Shape of Jazz to Come series (curated and developed by the bassist Dave Holland and the Vortex’s Kathianne Hingwan), Olly invites three musicians who are amongst some of his favourite improvising musicians – Tom Challenger, Will Glaser and Daniel Kemshell – to join him on this adventure that Rough Takes promises to be.
Commenting on participating in Rough Takes, Olly says: “I’m quite obsessive about pushing myself musically, especially when it comes to new projects and this one definitely signifies that.”
Olly Chalk (piano, compositions)
At the age of eighteen, Olly won a scholarship to study Jazz Piano at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, graduating four years later with a First Class Honours. During these formative years, Olly developed his voice as a pianist and improviser studying the music of McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock and Kenny Kirkland. His trio released Scathed Citizens ft. American saxophonist/composer John O’Gallagher, and was launched at the Vortex. Since moving to the big city Olly has been making his mark on the London Jazz scene and quickly making a name for himself not just as a pianist of note but as one of the major voices of his generation.
Tom Challenger (tenor sax)
Tom Challenger is a Saxophonist, Composer, Educator, Band Leader and Sideman. With an output characterised by its musical breadth, he leads ‘Brass Mask’, which performs music inspired by the traditional street-musics and collective improvisation; ‘Wedding Music’ with Kit Downes in a Church Organ/Saxophone duo; Dice Factory, a jazz quartet exploring alternative methods of composition; and ‘Ma.’ the electro-improv outfit who have released 3 acclaimed albums.
Will Glaser (drums)
Will was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. In 2010 he moved to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since Graduating from Guildhall in 2014, Will has become a highly in demand sideman to a vast array of the British Jazz scene; performing with broadly ranging musicians such as Soweto Kinch, Dame Cleo Laine, Stan Sulzmann, Kit Downes, Nikki Iles, Dinosaur, Alex Garnett, Martin Speake, Josephine Davies, Yazz Ahmed, Eddie Parker, Freddie Gavita, Henry Lowther, Babelfish, Liam Noble, Rick Simpson, and Sam Leak to name a few.
Daniel Kemshell (guitar)
Daniel Kemshell was born in Aberdeen, studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and in Berlin and has had a broadly based career since moving to London in 2018
Quotes about Olly Chalk
“Olly is without doubt one of the most gifted players of his generation. he has everything: sound, groove, vibe, detail, intellect, intention, invention, energy, delicacy…above all, he plays from the heart” – hans koller
“beautiful playing…you evoke John Taylor’s spirit” – dave holland
“super creative and different” — john escreet