Geoff Eales: ‘Cornucopia’. An evening of jazz and poetry with Maggie Nicols et al.

Sebastian writes: Welsh pianist Geoff Eales has alerted us to one of those extraordinary one-off evenings of music and poetry, involving Maggie Nicols – a UK artist who is perhaps only properly appreciated in Continental Europe (see brief biography below). One is bound to ask afterwards: why didn’t I make the effort to go?? Geoff gave me some more detail.

LondonJazz News: When and where is this jazz and poetry evening with Maggie Nicols and Paul Jolly happening

Geoff Eales: Saturday 13 May at The Playground Theatre, 8 Latimer Road London W10 6RQ, at 8pm

LJN: …and it’s in a series?

GE: The Roughler Club happens 2 or 3 times a year and is a showcase for both upcoming and established creative spirits living in the Notting Hill/Ladbroke Grove/Portobello Road areas of West London. It is run by local legend, the Swansea-born bon viveur Ray Roughler Jones.

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LJN: And your evening is called Cornucopia?

GE: Yes, that’s right. It’s a very eclectic mix of poetry, jazz, blues and dance.

LJN: Tell us who is involved in the performance

GE: Ray Roughler Jones (he is an excellent poetry reader), Maggie Nicols, Paul Jolly, Brenda Ford, Faradina Afifi, Ben Waghorn, Ashley John Long, Bird Superior, Jennifer Nadel, Hugo Martin, Gwendolyn Kassenaar – and myself.

LJN: And whose poetry will they be reading?

GE: There will be a section dedicated to the works of the sadly neglected Beat Poet, Bob Kaufman. Then there’s the more well-known Beat Poet, Allen Ginsberg. Also, the Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes. And there will be poems by Dylan Thomas, Jennifer Nadel and Geoff Eales.

LJN: And is there a poem you particularly like??

GE: I particularly like “Hold Fast To Dreams” by Langston Hughes which will be rendered by Maggie Nicols. (poetry text here)

“Jazzonia” is a favourite too.

I have composed music to these as well as a few of the Kaufman poems.

LJN: Thanks Geoff

Biographical note on Maggie Nicols from Sound and Music: Maggie Nicols is a singer and a pioneer of free improvisation in the UK. She joined London’s legendary Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1968 and began running voice workshops, using the techniques of the SME’s John Stevens. She also worked in local experimental theatre. Later she was a member of the large ensemble Centipede, led by Keith Tippett. In 1977, with musician/composer Lindsay Cooper, she formed the remarkable Feminist Improvising Group. Maggie continues to perform worldwide and record challenging and beautiful work. When she is not performing solo she collaborates with a wide range of artists including Joëlle Leandre, Irene Schweizer and Phil Minton. (Interview on YouTube)

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