Thursday 19 September 2019, 7.30pm
Pleased to host a very special two-day residency with composer, saxophonist and leading light in British improvised music, Trevor Watts, in his 80th birthday year. For the first night of the residency we present the Trevor Watts Quartet, featuring Trevor Watts (saxes), Mark Sanders (drums), John Edwards (bass) and Veryan Weston (piano).
Trevor Watts on the Trevor Watts Quartet;
“The musicians within this group should need no introduction. All of them at the top of their game, and it was a recent superb performance at the Saarbrucken Free Jazz Festival in April that confirmed for us all that we should explore further this combination. The connections are indeed very strong, Veryan & I have been playing since the 70’s together in one way or another, Mark & John have played together on so many occasions and in such different musics, and Veryan also had a trio with Mark & John. So the wires are very much connected, but still within it we are looking for new connections and ways of allowing each other to contribute to the whole. The group is also playing at the London Jazz Festival’s Purcell Room on Nov 15th 2019. We play with energy and commitment, and it’s a pretty full on experience. So please don’t miss it”
The only founder member of The Spontaneous Music Ensemble still alive. He also founded Amalgam (which included Keith Rowe) and his 1980s Moire Music Group which included Veryan Weston & Peter Knight as well as Phil Minton/Pinise Saul/Lol Coxhill many more and The Drum Orchestra (1980-1997), which involved musicians mainly from Ghana (ECM 1449 CD “A Wider Embrace”). He instigated the 35 piece collaboration with the Drum Orchestra and Teatro Negro de Barlovento (Venezuela) which toured here and also in Venezuela in the 1990’s and around the World on every continent. Other prominent musicians he’s played with include Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Kent Carter, Rashied Ali, Steve Swallow, Bobby Bradford, Cyro Baptista and Stan Tracey. Currently (2016) his main involvement is one part of a long standing duo with pianist Veryan Weston. This duo have been highly acclaimed for their recordings and “live” appearances. They have toured in Brasil, USA, Canada, Australia & N Zealand together amongst many other places. They have formed a trio also with Cyro Baptista. Other important collaborations for Trevor are with Gibran Cervantes from Mexico and master Djembe player Adama Drame in Burkina Faso (W.Africa). Master Classes include Universities of Alabama and Arkansas, Leeds College of Music amongst others. Moire Music Drum Orchestra was the first group to visit Burma for around 15 years in the 1990’s and played a 2nd time there. Also in Cameroon, S Africa, Sarawak, Trinidad, Bahamas, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Botswana, the Khartoum Festival in Sudan with a large group of Sudanese musicians and so on.
Compositional commissions include the U.K. theatre production of "The Connection" by American playwright Jack Gelber (Hampstead Theatre) in 1973 directed by Michael Rudman who became director of the National Theatre in London; Welfare State Theatre and Same Sky Theatre Co. He was commissioned to write a composition by the Bracknell Jazz festival in 1984 for his Moire Music group. Watts is featured in "Jazz Brittanica" (a BBC4 film on British jazz and improvised music, 2005. A major DVD by film maker Mark French called “Hear Now” 2013. This is an interview with live performances, mainly from the Watts/Weston duo. He is featured in many other films on jazz/improv music, some for ARTE TV including filming of two visits to the Roaring Hooves Festival in Mongolia’s Gobi desert that had collaborations with Mongolian traditional musicians. Major Jazz Festival appearances include Womad, Glastonbury, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Freedom of the Plaza Festival July 4th in Washington DC, Singapore Arts Festival, Beijing & Shanghai Jazz Festivals, Berlin Jazz Fest, London Jazz Fest, Cervantino Festival, Mexico, New Zealand Festival of Arts, Wangaratta and Darling Harbour Festivals in Australia amongst very many more.2013 - Commissioned to write a composition for full choir “The Light Vessel” 2013 dedicated to the UK Light Ship communities. Three performances to date. New solo saxophone CD in 2014 called “Veracity” which has been highly acclaimed. Watts is listed in the Who’s Who in the World of Music dictionary.
John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.
"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment
Mark has worked with a host of renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Mathew Shipp, Evan Parker, Roswell Rudd, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker.
In situations using composition Mark works in a number of projects including Christian Marclay’s Everyday for film and live music and John Butcher’s Tarab Cuts - both projects have performed major festivals throughout Europe and Brazil. He has performed works by guitarist John Coxon in Glasgow and Sydney playing with the Scottish and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. With New York’s ICE Ensemble he has performed John Zorn’s The Tempest in London and at Huddersfield New Music Festival.
Mark also works in the groups of Paul Dunmall including Deep Whole Trio with Paul Rogers, and the ensembles of Sarah Gail Brand, including a long-standing duo. He has a lengthy discography including a solo album, has performed internationally and played at major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Womad and notably at Glastonbury with legendary saxophonist John Tchicai.
"ubiquitous, diverse and constantly creative, drummer Mark Sanders always outdoes himself, whether playing with restraint or erupting like a dynamo." Bruce L Gallenter, Downtown Music Gallery. NY
Veryan Weston (born 1950) was awarded ‘Young Jazz Musician of 1979’ by the Greater London Arts Association. In the '80s, Veryan worked internationally with Lol Coxhill (with whom he made his first recordings – Ogun 525 and Random Radar), the Eddie Prévost Quartet and Trevor Watts – an innovator who, in his band Moiré Music, used a unique combination of African rhythmic structures with the European musical tradition (Arc 02).
In the '90s, collaborations with Phil Minton included the Ways duos, Songs from a Prison Diary awarded the Cornelius Cardew composition prize, a quartet performing extracts from Joyce’s Finnegans wake (with Phil, John Butcher and Roger Turner), and 4Walls with Luc Ex and Michael Vatcher. And most recently - Ways for an Orchestra commissioned by the Angelica Festival (Bologna, Italy - 2017)
Collaborations with Jon Rose on the ‘Temperament Project’ use improvisation with different acoustic keyboards and violins with selected tunings derived from science, history and the imagination. Most recent project has included Hannah Marshall with the Tuning Out Tour (EMANEM double 4141).
He also collaborated with Caroline Kraabel (EMANEM 4048), John Edwards and Mark Sanders (EMANEM 4028, 4214, and 4205), the Trio of Uncertainty with cellist Hannah Marshall and violinist Satoko Fukuda (EMANEM 4141), Luc Ex in Sol6 (Red Note 15) which included saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and Hannah Marshall in a trio called Haste. (EMANEM 5025).
‘Tessellations’ is an ongoing composition project based around research on pentatonic scales and has produced: 1. Tessellations for piano (EMANEM 4095), 2 a commissioned piece for Austrian singers - the Vociferous Choir (EMANEM 5015), 3 a string quartet, and 4 'The Make Project' – a Toronto-based project commissioned by Canadian Arts (Released – January 2018).
Peripheral excursions: Carla Bley's Escalator Over the Hill big band project, and Cobra with John Zorn in Berlin, Lindsay Cooper memorial project with Henry Cow (2014).
Veryan has worked with Trevor Watts for more than 40 years; their paths have crossed frequently because of shared musical interests particularly in rhythmic ideas. Now their music has one focus – improvisation, also a thread throughout Veryan’s work which reveals new aspects of an ever-changing musical identity depending on who he is playing with. Website with links - http://veryanweston.weebly.com/