‘Man of Words and Music – Shake Keane (Pt. II)’ (Vortex Jazz Club, 30 September)

Vortex Jazz Club presents a night of jazz and poetry with Man of Words & Music: Shake Keane (Pt. II). Izzy Blankfield writes:

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As part of Vortex Jazz Club’s series celebrating the great contributions by Caribbean musicians who left their mark on the UK jazz scene, the venue will shine the spotlight on Shake Keane, the St Vincent-born musician and poet who came to the UK in 1952.

Philip Nanton

On the eve of Black History Month, Man of Words & Music will celebrate Shake’s lasting influence with a night of poetry and jazz. Philip Nanton, poet and author of Riff – the Shake Keane Story, will read a selection of Shake’s poetry, with free improvisations by jazz legends Henry Lowther (trumpet) and Dave Green (bass).

Shake was a renowned trumpeter in the UK and beyond and a member of the pioneering free jazz quintet led by Joe Harriott. Keane’s poetry, written mostly in St Vincent in the 1970s and in his later life in New York, was strongly influenced by jazz, and closely connected with his approach to improvisation.

Nanton says: ‘Shake wanted his poems to reflect joy and delight. He felt that they should both entertain and reflect his poetic technique. For him pleasure in writing poems came from solving the problem of words’

Bringing together playful, powerful poetry and improvised music, Man of Words & Music will paint a portrait of one of the most influential creative figures of the last fifty years.

Man of Words & Music – Shake Keane (Pt. II) will take place on 30 September. Tickets are free


Man of Words & Music Set 1 – 6pm

Man of Words & Music Set 2 – 7:30pm

Part III of the series, Man of Words & Music: Shake Keane (Pt. III) – Rowland Sutherland Quartet will take place on 17 November

Vortex Online premiered two short films under the title ‘Man of Words and Music – trumpeter and poet Shake Keane‘ earlier this year

Review of Philip Nanton’s Shake biography

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