Mike Gibbs at 85 (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire concert, 1 Dec)

The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire jazz department’s 85th birthday gift to one of its most esteemed Fellows, Michael Gibbs, takes the form of a special concert on Thursday 1 December at the conservatoire’s Eastside Jazz Club.

For MIKE GIBBS 85, four RBC jazz course alumni have been commissioned to write new arrangements of Mike’s distinctive compositions for an enthusiastic 14-piece student ensemble, featuring special guest saxophone soloist and another RBC Fellow, Julian Argüelles.

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Mike Gibbs at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2018, Photo credit: John Watson/

The four arrangers, all beneficiaries of Mike’s generous teaching, are Alcyona Mick, Charlie Bates, Olivia Murphy and Liam Brennan, with additional arrangements from another Mike Gibbs disciple, newly appointed RBC lecturer, Ed Puddick, and the current holder of the RBC Mike Gibbs Prize for Composition and Arranging, Ben Partridge.

Mike Gibbs has been a regular visitor to the conservatoire down the years and has inspired many of its students with his master classes, as will be heard in the arrangements made by the evening’s contributors.

Ed Puddick paid tribute to Mike Gibbs in the recent LJN Birthday Greetings: “Dear Mike – It’s an honour to have been part of the most recent twenty of your eight-five years. I don’t want to make you feel old, but that’s half my life! Happy Birthday!!”

The concert, which includes a support band, starts at 6.30pm on Thursday 1 December. Eastside Jazz Club, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, is at 200 Jennens Road, Birmingham B4 7XR

LINK: MIKE GIBBS 85 Booking details

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