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Jazz at The Ivors Academy: Remote Conversations

A new six episode video series has been launched to celebrate the works of jazz composers in the UK.

In February this year The Ivors Academy held a public call for works as part of a planned ‘New Music Forum 2020’ event at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Due to current event restrictions the Forum has been transformed into an online celebration of new works by British jazz composers.

Remote Conversations presents a new series of six 30-minute video interviews with six different jazz composers. The conversations showcase a selection of works by both emerging and acclaimed composers as they discuss one of their recent compositions with members of The Ivors Academy Jazz Committee.

These conversations will look at some of the ways that the group have continued to stay inspired in recent months, along with fascinating insights into their compositional concepts and processes, as they touch on subjects including orchestration and arranging techniques, improvisation and rhythm section focus.

The videos will be released over the course of three weeks beginning Thursday 23 July.

Billy Marrows (Patchwork Orchestra) with Ed Puddick and Tom Haines

View the score here
Listen to work ‘Genmaicha’ here

About Billy Marrows

Billy Marrows is a London-based guitarist and multi award-winning composer and arranger originally from North Yorkshire. He frequently writes music for his own projects and various large ensembles and won the 2019 ‘Eddie Harvey Jazz Arranger of the Year’ Award. He also plays in Patchwork Jazz Orchestra, a big band which has premiered new music by Billy in the 2018 and 2019 London Jazz Festivals and at Giardini La Mortella, Italy.

Most recently, his composition ‘Genmaicha’ was released by Patchwork Jazz Orchestra on their record ‘The Light That Shines’, recorded remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shanti Jayasinha with Ivo Neame and Orphy Robinson

View the score here
Listen to work ‘Sandunga Revisited’ here

About Shanti Jayasinha

Shanti Jayasinha is a highly sought after Jazz and World multi-instrumentalist and an extremely experienced educator. Based in London since 1986, he has worked in all types of musical situations at the highest level in the Jazz, Latin, Brazilian, African, other World music fields.

His latest project ‘Shanti Jayasinha’s Brazil Cello Trio’ features Guillermo Hill on Guitar (Mica Paris, Tom Jones, Mônica Vasconcelos, John Crawfurd, Negrocan, Ona Onabule) and Marius Rodriguez on drums (Luis Morais, Luna Cohen, Carnabrazil, Mônica Vasconcelos). The band play music from the Brazilian greats – A C Jobim, Egberto Gismonti, Dorivl Caymmi, as well as a fascinating Brazilian Chorinho interpretation of some Bach cello.

James Brady with Tom Haines and Jason Yarde

Listen to work ‘Darkmans’ and view the score here

About James Brady

Commanding a fluency in musical languages across genres and with a wide-ranging output, James’s music can be heard in classical concert halls, intimate jazz clubs and on festival stages.

Born in 1989 in London to Irish-immigrant parents, James followed study at the Royal Academy of Music with an undergraduate degree in Music from the University of Cambridge (specialising in composition) and a Masters in Jazz Trumpet from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

James is active as a composer, performer and music educator. Current projects include ECHO choir premiering Dunt in 2021, completing an collaborative audio-visual work during lockdown with East London Community Band and a second volume of violin duos, after the first was playlisted by Spotify in May 2020.

Josephine Davies with Paula Gardiner and Ivo Neame

View the score here
Listen to work ‘Aletheia’ here

About Josephine Davies

Josephine is winner of the 2019 Parliamentary Jazz Instrumentalist of the year and is a musical artist at the forefront of the UK contemporary music scene.

Originally from the Shetland Islands and now based in London, Josephine’s writing and playing is infused with a Nordic quality, notably in her use of traditional folk music elements and her haunting tone which is reminiscent of the late great UK tenorist Bobby Wellins.

As a saxophonist she is known for her melodic focus, versatility and unique style which has been described as “consistently inventive” (Jazzwise Magazine), “strong and authoritative” (The JazzMann) and “gifted and imaginative” (All About Jazz).

Nikki Iles with Orphy Robinson and Paula Gardiner

Listen to work ‘Wildoak’ and view the score here

About Nikki Iles

As a founder member of the hugely innovative Creative Jazz Orchestra in the early 90s, Nikki Iles came to prominence working with musicians such as Anthony Braxton, Vince Mendoza, Mark Anthony Turnage, Kenny Wheeler and Mike Gibbs.

Although well known as a pianist, composition remains a major part of her musical life. There have been several nominations for the Paul Hamlyn Award and many commissions have followed. These have included ‘In All My Holy Mountain’ with poet Roger Garfitt and the New Perspectives Ensemble. A collaboration with American dancer Mimi Cichanowicz ‘Distance No Object’, IOU Theatre company, ‘A Gentle Prayer’, London Sinfonietta , ‘Red Ellen’, Tim Garlands Underground Band, and ‘Carillion’, Renga the Contemporary group from the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Nikki has also been commissioned by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra for the 2012 Proms.

This year she won the piano category of the British Jazz Awards and was made an Honorary RAM from The Royal Academy of Music and a Fellow of Birmingham Conservatoire for outstanding contributions to music. With a parallel career as a widely respected teacher, Nikki is Professor of Jazz Piano at the Royal Academy of Music, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Middlesex University.

Ben Cottrell (Beats & Pieces Big Band) with Jason Yarde and Ed Puddick

View the score here
Listen to work ‘Banger’ here

Ben Cottrell is a composer, arranger, conductor and producer best known for his work with Beats & Pieces Big Band, which he founded in 2008. Since then the band has released 2 studio albums and a 10th anniversary live album/film while touring extensively across UK, Europe and North America. Ben also runs Efpi Records, an independent label releasing music primarily by artists working in and/or connected with the flourishing Manchester scene.

As an orchestral arranger, Ben has worked with and for a diverse range of artists including Laura Mvula, Esperanza Spalding, Everything Everything and Goldie, and his arrangements have been performed and recorded worldwide by ensembles including London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orkest (Netherlands) and The Heritage Orchestra.

He is a Principal Postgraduate Lecturer at Leeds College of Music, and has previously held teaching positions at Royal Northern College of Music and University of Manchester.


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