‘Celebrating Michael Garrick’ at Riverside Arts, Sunbury

11 November 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of the uniquely, irrepressibly creative figures at the heart of British jazz for over four decades, Michael Garrick (1933-2021). A concert held at Riverside Arts Centre in Sunbury just a few days beforehand, on Sunday 7 November, marked the anniversary.

It was given by the original four members of the Lyric Ensemble, Michael Garrick’s last group, formed in 2009: Nette Robinson, Matt Ridley, Chris Nickolls and Tony Woods – with the addition of Terence Collie on piano.

They performed a selection of Michael’s most poetic and moving songs, largely drawn from his last few albums, including Remembered Time (JAZA 18) and Home Thoughts (JAZA 20).

Sisi Burn‘s photos of the rehearsal and the concert tell the story (*)

Nette Robinson, Matt Ridley, Chris Nickolls and Tony Woods. Photo © Sisi Burn

These first photos shows Nette Robinson, Matt Ridley, Chris Nickolls and Tony Woods discussing the music they will play later on the Sunday in the concert….focusing on it… and remembering Michael Garrick… One of his last songs (full text below) contains the line “People whom we love, remain a shining light” (full text below) This was an emotional occasion.

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Chris Nickolls. Photo © Sisi Burn

Nette Robinson. Photo © Sisi Burn
Nette Robinson and Matt Ridley. Photo © Sisi Burn
Discussing the music…Photo © Sisi Burn

Then comes the concert. Nette Robinson is also a painter, and her portrait of Michael Garrick has centre stage in the next shot…

Nette Robinson, vocals, Matt Ridley, bass and Tony Woods, saxophone. Celebrating the music of Michael Garrick. Photo © Sisi Burn
Chris Nickolls, drums.
Terrence Collie, piano and Nette Robinson, vocals. Photo © Sisi Burn
Tony Woods, Alto Sxophone. Photo © Sisi Burn
Nette Robinson, vocals. Photo © Sisi Burn

And here are Nette Robinson, Tony Woods and Chris Nickolls receiving the final applause….

Nette Robinson, Tony Woods, Chris Nickolls. Celebrating the music of Michael Garrick. Riverside Arts Centre, Sunbury. 7 November . All Photos © Sisi Burn

Shining Light (words and music by Michael Garrick:

Beauty is truth; no more to say

People whom we love are like a shining light

As if, from a height,

They illuminate our way.

When a time of parting brings our regret

And tho’ the tear that springs to the eye

Forbids our hearts to sing.

(Time remembering grief)

Loss & the wastage we see

Are but the tricks of mortality.

Briefly, we have our day, suffer our youth’s decay

Cling to the old cliche ‘love cannot die’

Gracefulness fades; wrongs become right;

But people whom we love remain a shining light,

For beyond our sight

They illuminate our way.

(*) Sisi Burn is a specialist music and portrait photographer based in Richmond – WEBSITE

LINKS ‘Celebrating Michael Garrick’ was produced by Mood Indigo Events

Tributes to Michael Garrick MBE from 2011

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