Selected Works 1
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Vocal and Instrumental Works for Big Band and
Combined Jazz and Classical Ensembles
Small Group Projects - Jazz Cabaret and Music Theatre
2014 - 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.
2007 - Empress Concerto
Composition by Mike Westbrook for improvising pianist and Harmonie (French Wind Band) dedicated to to Bessie Smith. One of a series "Portraits de Femmes" by eight contemporary composers. Featuring pianist Francois Raulin with L'Harmonie du Personell de la R.A.T.P. directed by Martin Lebel commissioned by La Forge, Grenoble. World Premiere Salle Gaveau, Paris, December 2007.
2006 Wasteground Concerto
For soloists and Big Band. Commissioned some 20 years ago but not performed until 2006 in London as part of Mike Westbrook's 70th birthday celebrations, with soloists Pete Whyman and Chris Biscoe and the Guildhall School of Music Jazz Band directed by Martin Hathaway.
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.
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
1998 The Orchestra of Smith's Academy
Album on ENJA Records. Compositions by Mike Westbrook recorded ‘live’ by the Mike Westbrook Orchestra at the Outside-In Festival, Crawley in 1992, and by the Steve Martland Band at the Cheltenham Festival in 1995. Soloists include Dominique Pifarely (violin), Kate Westbrook (voice), Anthony Kerr (vibraphone), Pete Saberton (piano), Chris Biscoe, Peter Whyman, Alan Barnes (saxophones). Titles are: Checking In, I.D.M.A.T. (based on Ellington’s "It Don’t Mean A Thing"), Measure for Measure, So We’ll Go No More A’Roving, Blighters, Viennese Waltz, and Blues For Terenzi.
Album release: The Orchestra of Smith's Academy
ENJA RECORDS ENJ-9358 2
1997 Glad Day
A new recording, comprising all Mike Westbrook’s settings of the poetry of William Blake. Sung by Phil Minton and Kate Westbrook with the Mike Westbrook Brass Band,- Chris Biscoe, Alan Wakeman, Dave Barry, and Mike Westbrook, plus Peter Whyman and Steve Berry and the 30-piece Senior Girls Choir of Blackheath Conservatoire of Music and the Arts directed by Lucy McAlary.
See also Westbrook Blake
Performed at Greenwich Festival 1996, Salisbury Festival 1997,
Radio 3 Festival, Antwerp 1998, and UK touring in 1999.
Album release: GLAD DAY ENJA Records, June 1999.
1995 Bar Utopia
A song cycle with lyrics by Helen Simpson, music by Mike Westbrook. Scored for the 19 piece Mike Westbrook Orchestra and the voices of Kate Westbrook and John Winfield. Commissioned by Bath Festival and BBC Radio 3. World premiere Bath, Summer 1995. European Festivals. Contemporary Music Network Tour 1996. Performance with U.M.O. Jazz Orchestra, Helsinki Festival, 1997.
Album release: Bar Utopia on ASC Records 1996, on Enja Records, November 1997.
ENJA RECORDS ENJ 93332.
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.
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
1984 On Duke's Birthday
Dedicated to the memory of Duke Ellington. Composition by Mike Westbrook for 11-piece Jazz Orchestra. Commissioned by two French festivals: Le Temps du Jazz, Amiens, and Jazz en France, Angouleme. Premiered at the Maison de Ia Culture, Amiens, May 1984. Other festival appearances include Le Mans, Willisau, Florence and Santarcangelo.
Double LP On Duke’s Birthday, recorded live, released on Hat-ART (1985). First released on CD on Hat-ART (1989). (Now Deleted)
Hat-ART CD 6021 Distributed in the UK by Harmonia Mundi. - now deleted.
Reissued in July 2007 on hatOLOGY 635 (more information)
1983 After Smith's Hotel
(The Young Person’s Guide To The Jazz Orchestra)
A composition by Mike Westbrook for 17-piece Jazz Orchestra, with spoken introductions by the composer to the various sections of the work, with musical illustrations. Commissioned by Aldeburgh Festival - Snape Maltings Foundation.
Premiered at Snape Maltings, October 1983. BBC Radio 3 Broadcast 1984.
1980 The Westbrook Blake
Settings of the poetry of William Blake, with music by Mike Westbrook, texts selected by Adrian Mitchell Much of the material originally commissioned by the National Theatre for the 1971 production of Adrian Mitchell’s Tyger, directed by John Dexter and Michael Blakemore. The Blake settings, sung by Kate Westbrook and Phil Minton, were an integral part of the repertoire of the Mike Westbrook Brass Band from its formation in 1973. The Westbrook Blake (Bright As Fire), a programme entirely devoted to Blake’s poetry, was first performed in 1980 and has been widely performed throughout Britain and Europe, in New York (1983) and at the Adelaide Festival (1984).
See also the updated version of this work - Glad Day.
LP The Westbrook Blake recorded for Original Records (1980).
Released in USA on Europa Records (1981).
LP & cassette re-released by Impetus (1987) and on CD (1991) all now deleted.
Available as a download from Westbrook Downloads
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.
1974 Citadel / Room 315
Composition for Big Band by Mike Westbrook commissioned by Sveriges Radio and first performed in Stockholm in March 1974 by the Swedish Radio Jazz Group with soloist John Surman. Toured by the Mike Westbrook Orchestra (plus Surman) and recorded by RCA on LP in 1975, re-issued 1979 and again on CD on BMG's Novus 70 series (1991 - since deleted), and again on CD in 2006 on BMG BGOCD 713. CD Information
1971 Copan / Backing Track
A seven and a half hour composition based on overlapping time cycles, inspired by the Mayan Calendar. Seven musicians improvised over a pre-recorded backing track on which they had also played.
A programmed light show by Cyberdescence paralleled the musical cycles. Performed at University Festivals in Guildford and Essex.
A multi media work, commissioned by Sir Bernard Miles. Its premiere at the Mermaid Theatre coincided with the Apollo 11 moon landing. A collaboration with John Fox and the Welfare State theatre group, involving 25 piece rock orchestra, singer Norma Winstone, film projection and lighting effects.Touring version with The Cosmic Circus, including clowns, acrobats, magicians, film projections, mixed media and jazz/rock group.
A composition initially performed in a quartet form, then sextet, then with a 17-piece orchestra combining jazz and rock rhythm sections.
Written with an Arts Council Bursary (the second ever awarded) and premiered by the Jazz Centre Society at the Mermaid Theatre, London on May 18th, 1969. Recorded with 25 piece orchestra in 1971 for RCA ‘s Neon label. Available on BGO Records.
Composition for 10-piece Mike Westbrook Concert Band; Dave Holdsworth trumpet, Malcolm Griffiths, Paul Rutherford trombones, Mike Osborne, Bernie Living, George Khan, John Surman saxophones, Harry Miller bass, Alan Jackson drums, Mike Westbrook piano. Premiered at Ronnie Scott’s Old Place. Recorded for Deram.
1967 Marching Song
A two - hour composition on the subject of war developed with the Sextet and expanded for the Concert Band., with double rhythm section and additional brass and saxophones. Included sections by John Surman, Premiered in Plymouth, performed at the Camden Jazz Festival and Bath Festival. Recorded with a larger band - totalling 26 musicians - for Deram.
Re-released with a bonus disc in 2017
An extended work, including pieces by John Surman, for which the sextet: Mike Osborne, John Surman, Malcolm Griffiths, Harry Miller, Alan Jackson, Mike Westbrook was augmented by additional brass and saxophones to form the 12 piece Mike Westbrook Concert Band. Premiered at Liverpool University and in London at Ronnie Scott’s Old Place. Sections from the work were recorded for the Deram album.
2015 Sonnet for Stephen
A piece dedicated to the memory of Stephen Hewitt, with words by Kate Westbrook, recorded by Kate with Roz Harding, Sarah Dean, Gary Bayley, saxophones Marcus Vergette bass, Coach York drums and Mike Westbrook piano.
Issued as a limited edition CD.
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
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
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
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
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 - 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
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
1988 Off Abbey Road
Based on The Beatles’ Abbey Road album. Arranged for 8-piece band featuring vocalists Kate Westbrook and Phil Minton. Commissioned by Comune di Reggio Emilia for a festival in Reggio Emilia in December 1988 celebrating the music of The Beatles. Recorded live at Willisau Jazz Festival in August 1989.
Released as CD and cassette Off Abbey Road on Enja/Tiptoe Records in February 1990.
More information about Off Abbey Road
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.
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).
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
1977 White Suit Blues
Score for Adrian Mitchell’s music /theatre show about Mark Twain and “ his adventures in the after life”. Commissioned by Nottingham Playhouse. Directed by Richard Eyre with Trevor Peacock as Mark Twain. Premiered in Nottingham and staged at the Edinburgh Festival and the Old Vic in London. Later broadcast in a radio version by BBC Radio 3, directed by Jeremy Mortimer.(1983).
(LP now deleted).
1972 Man Friday
Music score for Adrian Mitchell’s re-telling of the Robinson Crusoe story from Man Friday’s viewpoint. First recorded for BBC TV production, then adapted for the stage and toured the UK with the 7:84 Theatre Group, with the participation of Solid Gold Cadillac.
Score for Adrian Mitchell’s stage musical about William Blake. Commissioned by the National Theatre, co-directed by John Dexter and Michael Blakemore. designed by Jocelyn Herbert. Cast included Gerald James, Jane Wenham, John Moffatt, Denis Quilley, Bill Fraser, Isabelle Lucas, Norman Beaton, Maureen Lipman, Staged in repertory at the New Theatre, St. Martin’s Lane (now the Noel Coward Theatre ). Original Cast recording released on RCA. TV adaptation, Glad Day, with Jonathan Pryce and Zoe Wanamaker, filmed for Thames in 1977. Updated version Tyger Two staged by RADA in 1996.
Opera, Music for Classical and Contemporary Music Ensembles and Music for Film and TV on
Selected Works Page 2
On Selected Works Page 2
Opera, Music for Classical and Contemporary Music Ensembles and Music for Film and TV