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2015 - A Bigger Show
Composition for a new 22 - piece ensemble The Uncommon Orchestra, with text by Kate Westbrook, involving three actors/vocalists, full big band plus double rhythm section. Based on the Waxeywork Show. Developed in workshops with students at the Grieg Academy, Bergen and the Guildhall School, London. Previewed Dartmoor August 2014. Toured West Country from Summer 2015. Featured soloists include vocalists Kate Westbrook, Martine Waltier and Billy Bottle, saxophonists Roz Harding and Alan Wakeman, Dave Holdsworth on trumpet and sousaphone. Album A Bigger Show - Live, recorded at the Barnfield Theatre, Exeter July 2015. Release on ASC Records February 2016.
2013 - The Serpent Hit
A composition for voice, saxophone quartet and percussion with texts by Kate Westbrook, music by Mike Westbrook. Based on a piece originally commissioned by the Delta Saxophone Quartet in 2009. Premiered by the Mike Westbrook Band in London, April 2011 and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
2012 - Five Voyages
Composition for voice and piano, commissioned by Peninsular Arts as Part of a series commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the foundation of Plymouth University as a School of Navigation. Performed by Kate and Mike Westbrook and released on a Commemorative CD by Peninsular Arts. Later Included in the repertoire of The Westbrook Trio.
2009 - Fine 'n Yellow
A studio album dedicated to the memory of Margery and John Styles, with texts by Kate Westbrook, music by Mike Westbrook. Recorded with Jon Hiseman. Released in a Limited Edition in 2009, and on the Gonzo label in 2010. First live performance by the Mike Westbrook Band - London April 2011
Information about the band and the work
Information about the CD
2008 - English Soup or The Battle of the Classic Trifle
A piece commissioned by the Bollwater Project with lyrics by Kate Westbrook music by Mike Westbrook performed by Kate Westbrook with The Village Band premiered at the Peninsular Arts Contemporary Music Festival, University of Plymouth February 2008.
Information about the limited edition DVD
2007 - Cape Gloss - Mathilda's Story
An opera for solo soprano voice and piano. Music: Mike Westbrook, Libretto: Kate Westbrook with Marie Vasilliou (soprano) and Brendan Ashe (piano) Carolyn Doorbar musical director.
World Premiere Sherwell Centre, Plymouth University, 25th February 2007.
2006 - The Waxeywork Show
A piece for voice and acoustic brass with lyrics by Kate Westbrook, music by Mike Westbrook. Written for the Mike Westbrook Village Band (West Country based sextet) and first performed in jazz clubs and arts centres in Devon and Cornwall Spring 2006 and a number of performances at the London Jazz Festival in November 2006.
Information about the CD
2006 - The Nijinska Chamber
A celebration of the life of the choreographer and dancer Bronislava Nijinska, lyrics by Kate Westbrook, music by Mike Westbrook. Performed by the duo Kate Westbrook (voice), Karen Street (accordion). Album produced by Jon Hiseman released on Voiceprint 29/05/2006
The Nijinska Chamber CD
2003 - Art Wolf
Commissioned for the re-opening on October 15, 2003, of the Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland, extended and re-designed by architects Herzog and de Meuron. Text by Kate Westbrook inspired by the life and work of the painter Caspar Wolf (1735-1783) and music by Mike Westbrook for quartet: Kate Westbrook (voice, tenor horn), Peter Whyman, Chris Biscoe (saxophones) and Mike Westbrook (euphonium, piano).
CD produced by Jon Hiseman, released on altrisuoni in 2005.
Art Wolf CD
2003 - Turner in Uri
A 7 part work based on the painter J.M.W. Turner's travels in Switzerland. Written for two solo vocalists, Kate Westbrook and classical baritone Claudio Danuser, choir (Schola Uriensis directed by Renaldo Battaglia) brass band (Brass Band Uri, conducted by Hans Burkhalter), jazz/rock group: Jon Hiseman (drums), Tim Harries (bass guitar), Mike Westbrook (piano), Chris Biscoe, Barbara Thompson (saxophones). Music: Mike Westbrook. Text: Kate Westbrook, including translations in the 5 Swiss languages, German, French, Italian, Swiss German and Rumantsch. Plus film projection of paintings by Kate Westbrook. Commissioned by Alpentöne Festival - Premiered in Altdorf and at Zurich Theater Spektakel, August 2003. Broadcast by Swiss Radio and TV. Documentary film directed by Charles Mapleston for Malachite Films, commissioned by Swiss TV.
2002 - L'Ascenseur/The Lift
A composition marking the 20th Anniversary of the formation of The Westbrook Trio, inspired by the groups geographical and musical travels. Music by Mike Westbrook and Chris Biscoe, texts by Kate Westbrook. Versions in German, French, Italian and Portuguese. European Touring. U.K. Premiere at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, November 13 2002.
Album: L'Ascenseur/The Lift CD on Jazzprint.
More information about The Westbrook Trio
2002 - Reich Durch Arm
A music-theatre piece, set in Berlin on New Year's Eve 1932, with libretto by Kate Westbrook, Music by Heribert Leuchter. Commissioned by WDR and performed by Kate Westbrook with the Lux Orchester.
Premiered Aachen, May 2002.
2002 - Cuff Clout
Remake of Kate Westbrook's neoteric Music-Hall EVEN/UNEVEN originally premiered May 1994 at London Jazz Festival and Chard Festival of Women in Music. Texts by Kate Westbrook, music by Eleanor Alberga, Barbara Thompson, Lindsay Cooper, Chris Biscoe, James McMillan, Jenni Roditi, Errolyn Wallen and Mike Westbrook. Album recorded by Jon Hiseman with musicians from the worlds of jazz, pop and contemporary classical music.
CD Released on Voiceprint, February 2004.
Cuff Clout CD
Films made for the album launch
2001 - Chanson Irresponsable
An 80 minute work taking as its starting point the song of the Sedge Warbler. Commissioned by BBC Radio 3. Music by Mike Westbrook, texts by Kate Westbrook with Italian, French and German versions by Sergio Amadori, Lucienne Droz and Tommy Bodmer. Performed by the New Westbrook Orchestra combining jazz and classical players including a string quartet. Featuring as principal soloists two vocalists (Kate Westbrook and Matthew Sharp) and two saxophonists (Peter Whyman and Chris Biscoe).
World Premeiere Auditorium di Milano, September 2001.
UK Premiere Cabot Hall, Canary Wharf, London, 9 May 2002
Broadcast Premiere 'Performance on 3', 4 June 2002.
Album Release: Chanson Irresponsable Enja Records (2003)
Chanson Irresponsable CD
2000 - Jago
An opera with libretto by Kate Westbrook, music by Mike Westbrook. Written for 4 principal soloists, with Wills Morgan in the title role, 12 soloists in supporting roles, children's choir, 60-piece chorus and chamber orchestra. Musical director Carolyn Doorbar, stage director Marilyn Johnstone.
Commissioned by Wedmore Opera. World premiere Wedmore, Somerset July 2000.
More information about Jago.
A jazz-cabaret with story and lyrics by Kate Westbrook and music by Mike Westbrook, performed by a new 5-piece ensemble Westbrook & Company, - Kate Westbrook, John Winfield/voices; Karen Street/accordion & voice; Stanley Adler/cello & voice; Mike Westbrook/piano, tuba & voice. From 2000 Wills Morgan and Chris Allan replace Messrs Winfield and Adler.
Album release on PAO Records (Austria) in January 1999, subsequently Voiceprint (UK) on Jazzprint label 2001, distributed by Discovery Records.
Commissioned by Blackheath Concert Halls, London Arts and Peter Fritz. Premiered at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge in June 1998. Touring in UK and Europe. Live TV in Poland and Czech Republic, radio in Germany and Italy.
1997 Love or Infatuation
A jazz cabaret based on on the Hollywood songs of Friedrich Hollaender devised and performed by the Kate Westbrook/Mike Westbrook Duo. First performed as part of a tribute to Hollaender's music at the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, 1996.
Album: Love or Infatuation, released on ASC Records.
ASC Records ASC CD20 - Limited Edition.
1995 Stage Set
A programme of music for voice and piano, performed by the Kate Westbrook/ Mike Westbrook Duo, comprising original songs, settings of European poetry, standards and popular songs.
Album "Stage Set" released on ASC Records, March 1996
1993 Good Friday 1663
TV opera commissioned by Channel 4 TV, with libretto by Helen Simpson, based on her short story. Music by Kate Westbrook and Mike Westbrook.. Scored for the multi-tracked voice of Kate Westbrook, classical bass Simon Grant, synthesisers, saxophones /piccolo / flute, percussion.
Sound track recording produced by Jon Hiseman. Film directed by Frank Cvitanovich. Screened Spring 1995.
Issued by Jazzprint on CD in Westbrook Music Theatre series May 2002.
1992 Measure for Measure
Composition for voice and jazz orchestra by Mike Westbrook. Text by Kate Westbrook after William Shakespeare. Commissioned by the Vienna Art Orchestra. World premiere Mike Westbrook Music Festival in Catania, Sicily, July 1992.
Included on the album "The Orchestra Of Smith's Academy"
ENJA RECORDS ENJ-9358 2.
1992 Good-bye Peter Lorre
A song album by Kate Westbrook, with pianists John Alley and Mike Westbrook and vocal group Fine Trash. Includes the Brecht / Eisler Hollywood Elegies. Produced by Jon Hiseman for CD release on Line Records Femme Label.
CD re-issued on Voiceprint 2005 with 2 new recordings.
An opera, commissioned by the Ensemble Justiniana, premiered at Saonora, Macon in April 1989, and subsequently toured in the Franche-Comte region. Directed by Charlotte Nessi with a libretto by Jean-Luc Lagarce that takes Cervantes’ Don Quixote as a starting point. Music by Mike Westbrook in collaboration with Kate Westbrook. Scored for four opera singers, a jazz vocalist (Kate Westbrook), a rock singer, a choir, four jazz instrumentalists and 80 piece harmonie (amateur brass band of the region).
No commercial recording available.
1987 Big Band Rossini
Composition for jazz orchestra and the voice of Kate Westbrook, based on the small group Westbrook-Rossini plus new material. Commissioned by Norddeutscher Rundfunk for the NDR Big Band. Premiered in Hamburg. Extensive touring in Europe with the Mike Westbrook Orchestra 1991-2.
UK festival premiere at the Royal Albert Hall, London in the 1992 BBC Promenade Concerts. Scandinavian tours with Swedish Tolvan Band 1991-2 and performed with Brisbane Biennial Big Band at Brisbane Biennial 1993 International Music Festival.
See also Westbrook Rossini.
No commercial recording available.
1987 London Bridge is Broken Down
A composition for Voice, Jazz Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, commissioned by LeTemps du Jazz, Amiens and premiered at the Maison de la Culture, Amiens. May 1987. Music by Mike Westbrook and settings of French. German and English texts, written and arranged by Kate Westbrook, including poems by Rene Arcos. Wilhelm Busch, Andree Chedid, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Bernard Lassahn and Siegfried Sassoon. Sung by Kate Westbrook, with a nine-piece jazz orchestra and classical chamber orchestra. Le Sinfonietta de Picardie, conducted by Alexandre Myrat.
7 LP sides, Double CD, Double cassette - London Bridge is Broken Down - released on Virgin Records’ Venture label June 1988 (now deleted).
Reissued in 2008 by BGO Records.
More Information and Reviews
Dance / Music Theatre piece based on the theme of the Greek muses, commissioned by Extemporary Dance Theatre and performed by a company of eight dancers and four musicians - Brian Godding, Peter Whyman. Kate Westbrook and Mike Westbrook - The Dance Band. Lyrics and original concept by Kate Westbrook, choreography by Emilyn Claid, designed by Jacqueline Gunn. Pierides toured thirteen English theatres in over sixty performances in the spring and summer of 1986. LP Pierides released on Westbrook Records (1986). LP & CD re-released on Core/Line (1987).
Re-issued by Jazzprint on CD in Westbrook Music Theatre series May 2002.
1985 The Ass
Music-Theatre Entertainment, by Kate and Mike Westbrook, commissioned by the D.H. Lawrence Centenary Festival, Nottingham, based on Lawrence’s poem. Set in Taormina, Sicily, it includes a traditional Sicilian song about a donkey ‘Lu Me Sceccu’. Produced by Foco Novo Theatre Company, with a company of six actor-musicians, including Stephen Boxer in the role of D.H. Lawrence. The Ass toured a dozen British theatres and arts centres in the autumn of 1985. It was directed by Roland Rees and designed by Ariane Gastambide, with choreography by Pat Garrett.
BBC Radio 3 recording directed by Derek Drescher.
Issued by Jazzprint on CD in Westbrook Music Theatre series May 2002.
1985 Revenge Suite
Sub-titled ‘Episodes in the Life of a Picaresque Heroine’. Music-Theatre piece incorporating songs, improvisation, costume, lights and slide projections of paintings. Devised and scripted by Kate Westbrook with music arranged by Mike Westbrook and performed by the 6-piece Kate Westbrook Ensemble. Commissioned by the Bloomsbury Festival and premiered at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, July 1985.
Songs from the piece are included on the double LP Love For Sale on the Hat-ART label. Also released as a single CD, November 1990.
(LP & CD deleted).
1984 Westbrook Rossini
Jazz and Rock variations on themes from the operas of Gioacchino Rossini, including arias form The Barber of Seville, Otello and William Tell. Arranged for a 7-piece brass band. William Tell material originally commissioned by the Festival International de Theatre Contemporain, Lausanne (1984). Full Westbrook-Rossini programme premiered at the Andre Previn Music Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London (1985). Extensive European touring, including numerous festival appearances.
Double LP recorded live at Zurich Jazz Festival, released on Hat-ART (1987). Studio version, also recorded in Zurich, released by Hat-ART on CD (1988).
See also Big Band Rossini
Studio CD - reissued 2008
Double LP re-issued on CD - Hat ART CD 6152 - now deleted.
1982 A Little Westbrook Music
A trio formed by Kate Westbrook, Mike Westbrook and Chris Biscoe. A jazz-cabaret of songs, theatre music, poetry and improvisation, including original songs and settings of poetry in various European languages, as well as jazz standards, songs by Brecht-Weill and Cole Porter and material drawn from such Westbrook works as The Cortege and Mama Chicago. Extensive touring and festival appearances in Europe; also in Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. LP & Cassette A Little Westbrook Music (Westbrook Records 1983).
Double LP Love For Sale (Hat-Art 1986). (LP now deleted).
Released on CD, November 1990. (CD now deleted).
1981 Hotel Amigo
A music-theatre piece, with music, lyrics and scenario by Kate and Mike Westbrook. Performed by the 6-piece Mike Westbrook Brass Band, with singers Kate Westbrook and Phil Minton. Premiered at the Tricycle Theatre, London, and subsequently toured in Britain and Europe. TV adaptation made for Television Southwest (1983), directed by Derek Fairhead.
Songs from the show are included in the LP album A Little Westbrook Music (1983).
(LP now deleted).
1979 The Cortege
A composition for Voices and 16-piece Jazz Orchestra including settings of poetry, arranged by Kate Westbrook, by Lorca, Rimbaud, Hesse, John Clare and other European poets, sung in the original languages by Kate Westbrook and Phil Minton. Commissioned by Bracknell Jazz Festival, 1979. and subsequently performed at the Edinburgh Festival and many European Festivals, including Camden, Angouleme, Vitrolles, Willisau and Santarcangelo. Selected material performed and recorded for radio with Big Band della RAI, Rome, in 1980, and with Sveriges Radio Jazz Group, Stockholm in 1987. Arts Council Contemporary Music Network Tour 1982.
Triple LP The Cortege recorded for Original Records (1982). Awarded Grand Prix du Disque, Montreux, 1982.
One hour TV documentary for BBC 2 directed by Tony Staveacre (1982).
Re-issued as double CD on Enja Records, 1992.
The Cortege - Enja Records ENJ 9587 2 Reissued 2011.
See our Cortege section for more information.
1978 Mama Chicago
A Jazz cabaret with lyrics by Kate Westbrook and Michael Kustow, music by Mike Westbrook. Included material originally commissioned in 1976 by the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, for a musical about Al Capone, ‘Mama Chicago’, by Roger Planchon and Michael Kustow. The Jazz Cabaret performed by the Mike Westbrook Brass Band, featuring the voices of Kate Westbrook and Phil Minton. Premiered at the Open Space Theatre, London, 1978. Edinburgh Festival Fringe Award 1978. Many subsequent performances in London and extensive touring in Britain and Europe.
Double LP Mama Chicago recorded in Hamburg (1978) for Teldec, with UK release on RCA (now deleted). TV version directed by Tony Staveacre (1980) for BBC series ‘A Little Night Music’.
CD Released 2007
DVD Release 2011
1976 Music in Progress
An Arts Council Film, directed by Charles Mapleston for Malachite Films. Focuses on the working life of the Mike Westbrook Brass Band (formed in 1973) - Phil Minton, Kate Westbrook, Dave Chambers, Paul Rutherford Mike Westbrook and Trevor Tomkins, recording and performing in London and on tour in France, playing in concert halls and in the streets. The Band’s repertoire embraced folk song, settings of William Blake, traditional jazz, popular songs, modem jazz, Brecht-Weill songs, Elizabethan music and contemporary improvised music.
Album, For The Record, originally released on Transatlantic, 1976.
Later released on CD and since deleted.