GRANITE FOR TEIGNMOUTH FESTIVAL
Kate Westbrook and The Granite Band will perform GRANITE in the Teignmouth Jazz Festival on the afternoon of Sunday 20th October. See Diary for details
The line up is: Kate Westbrook voice, Roz Harding saxophones, Jesse Molins, Matthew North guitars, Billie Bottle bass guitar, Mike Westbrook piano, Coach York drums and Olly Wickes sound. This is one of a number of performances supported in partnership with Jazz South as part of Platform South, with funding from Arts Council England.
THE CORTEGE- NOW ON FILM
Tony Staveacre’s documentary of the 1982 tour of the Westbrooks’ masterwork featuring Kate Westbrook, Phil Minton and a star-packed Orchestra can now be seen on YouTube
Part One Part Two
A stunning performance on a stormy night at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis brought to a close the current tour by this contemporary music ensemble featuring the voices of Kate Westbrook and Sara Owen in music by Berio, Walton, Weill, Vaughan Williams, Morton Feldman, Bartok, Donatoni and Judith Weir. We look forward eagerly to the group’s return.
More information about Lavolta
Also of Current Interest
LOVE FOR SALE
The complete version of the Westbrook Trio's take on the Cole Porter classic, filmed live in St Etienne in 1993:
SERPENT HIT NEWS
What they are saying about THE SERPENT HIT
Some of our foremost Jazz writers respond to the album.
See the the articles by
Richard Williams, Chris Parker, John Fordham, Dave Gelly, Stephen Graham, Duncan Heining, Andy Robson and Chris Searle.
More information about The Serpent Hit & The CD
MICHAEL FINNISSY - TRANSGRESSIVE GOSPEL PAGE
We have a page about Michael Finnissy's Transgressive Gospel which was premiered at Wilton's Music Hall in London as part of the Spitalfields Music Summer Festival in June 2009. Kate Westbrook joined Richard Jackson and Finnissy's favourite ensemble IXION. Michael Finnissy conducted the piece.
FINE 'N YELLOW
The CD version of Fine ‘n Yellow is now re-issued on ASC Records (ASC CD 149) with UK distribution by Proper Note. The album is also available from Westbrook Records.
Following rave reviews in the French Jazz Press the Fine ‘n Yellow album was selected by staff reviewers of the Italian magazine Musica Jazz as one of the top albums of the year. CDs will now bear the sticker ‘consigliato da musica jazz’ recommended by Musica Jazz).
ENGLISH SOUP DVD/CD
Now available exclusively from Westbrook Records, in a Special Limited Edition for collectors, comprising DVD, audio CD and Recipes.
See here for details
Selected Westbrook recordings can now be purchased online direct from Westbrook Records with payment being made via PayPal. (It's possible to pay using PayPal without opening an account with them). It's also possible to pay by cheque if you wish.
Further information on the CDs available and how to pay
are on the main Westbrook Records page.
We've added CDs of The Cortege, Chanson Irresponsable and The Orchestra of Smith's Academy to the list of CDs and DVDs that you can buy direct from Westbrook Records. The price of the DVD/CD English Soup has also been dramatically reduced!
Take a look.
BBC JAZZ ON 3 MARKED THE CENTENARY OF THE OUTBREAK OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR WITH THE WESTBROOKS’ “PICARDIE”
On Monday August 4th 2014 BBC Jazz on 3 broadcasted in full The Picardie section from the album London Bridge is Broken Down by Kate and Mike Westbrook.
Details of the London Bridge album
The BBC Radio 3 interview with Kate and Mike can be heard on SoundCloud.
KATE AND MIKE WESTBROOK
The Paris Interview 'Passent a Table ' Jazz Magazine
Download a PDF copy in French
KATE WESTBROOK ON FACEBOOK
Kate Westbrook joins Mike Westbrook on Facebook.
Kate's Page: http://tinyurl.com/6g7orom
Mike's page: http://tinyurl.com/66ufq7z
The Uncommon Orchestra Page: http://tinyurl.com/j2gkoqs
ALL CHANGE AT SMITH’S ACADEMY
For over 30 years the Smith’s Academy Informer, founded by John and Margery Styles has chronicled the activities of the Westbrook Band. Originally a printed, quarterly newsletter circulated by post, latterly published online more
sporadically, the SAI has kept track of tours, recordings and new projects.
Now that the relaying of up-to-date information is provided by the Social Media and the Diary and Latest News pages on the website, the Informer is free to concentrate on its other function, that of providing a space for reportage and background information.
Re-invented as the Smith’s Academy Notice Board, it will in future set out to give a platform to comment, analysis and in-depth writing on relevant topics. The Notice Board will be published on the website and each new edition notified to a mailing list of subscribers. Join Our Mailing List to be kept "Informed".
Back issues of SAI will continue to be available on the website.
Keep up to date with Smith's Academy Notice Board
NEW ALBUMS BY DAVE HOLDSWORTH & ROZ HARDING
Dave Holdsworth, featured trumpet soloist with many of the most important jazz units in the UK, and the imaginative and distinctive alto saxophonist Roz Harding, who are both currently members of Mike Westbrook's Uncommon Orchestra, have recently released new albums of their own. We feature both albums here with sound samples and information on where to purchase them.
KATE AND MIKE WESTBROOK ON TWITTER
Kate and Mike now have independent accounts on Twitter. These accounts will eventually replace the @westbrookjazz Twitter account, so to be sure of not missing the increased activity from them both on Twitter please follow their respective Twitter feeds.
DIANA & ACTÆON AT STASH
Kate’s recent paintings on this classic theme were exhibited recently at the Stash Gallery, Vout-O-Reenees in London.
See Kate's paintings here
Kate Westbrook took The Granite Band into the Studio in July to record the follow-up album to GRANITE, with the same wonderful team of Roz Harding saxophones, Jesse Molins and Matthew North guitars, Billie Bottle bass guitar/vocals, Mike Westbrook piano and Coach York drums. Once again the producers will be Jay Auborn and Callum Godfroy. Kate’s latest songs and Mike’s new writing take The Granite Band in surprising directions. The album is supported by Airshaft Trust.
CATANIA – THE ALBUM
July 2017 saw the 25th anniversary of the three-day Mike Westbrook Music Festival in Catania, Sicily. Presented by the Associazione Catania Jazz the Mike Westbrook Orchestra performed, on consecutive nights BIG BAND ROSSINI, AFTER SMITH’S HOTEL and THE EUROPEAN SONG BOOK. Westbrook Records, in conjunction with Proper Music Distribution have released a double CD of selected highlights from the festival, entitled simply CATANIA. The album is drawn from various live recordings of the concerts, some of them only recently discovered, expertly assembled by the late Jon Hiseman with additional work by Jay Auborn and Callum Godfroy, of dBs Sound, producers of GRANITE. The UK release of the Catania album was celebrated with a sell-out performance at Ronnie Scott’s in February. The 24-piece Uncommon Orchestra, fresh from its Italian tour, presented the first UK performance of PURE GOLD, a cornucopia of Westbrook classics from the mid 70s to the present day, - from Citadel/Room 315 to A Bigger Show. More information on the PURE GOLD page.
WESTBROOK DOWNLOADS & CDs NOW AVAILABLE FROM BANDCAMP
Our growing catalogue of digital downloads is now available from Bandcamp. Over the coming months we will be adding more titles. The downloads are available in Lossless FLAC, WAV, mp3 and more. See here to access Kate's albums and listen to tracks & purchase. Some CDs are also available.
FALLING IN LOVE – AGAIN
Kate and Mike Westbrook present their jazz cabaret Love Or Infatuation, based on the Hollywood Songs of Friedrich Hollaender, in the company of Roz Harding saxophone and Marcus Vergette bass. The date is Sunday October 6th, the venue Marcus’s Jazz Club at The Globe, Chagford.
See diary for details
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABBEY ROAD
Thursday September 26th was the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album. To mark the occasion Westbrook Records are releasing on-line the Westbrook Band’s version “After Abbey Road” recorded live in Nuremberg in 1996. John Winfield and Kate Westbrook are on vocals, with Brian Godding on guitar, Pete Whyman and Alan Wakeman on saxophones, Andy Grappy on tuba, Mike Westbrook on piano and Peter Fairclough on drums.
The AFTER ABBEY ROAD album is now available to stream and download from online retailers
You can also support the artist directly by buying the download on Bandcamp
ROSSINI ON RAI
On October 16th at 20.30 Italian Radio RAI 3 will broadcast Rossini Re-Loaded by Mike Westbrook and The Uncommon Orchestra. Presented by Fano Jazz Network the concert was recorded on November 17th 2018 at the Teatro Rossini in Rossini’s hometown Pesaro.
Radiotre Suite Jazz
Mercoledì 16 ottobre 2019
Fano Jazz Network: Mike Westbrook The Uncommon Orchestra
Jazz and Rock variations on themes from the Operas of Gioacchino Rossini
Registrato al Teatro “G. Rossini”, Pesaro, il 17.11.2018
To listen to the concert as it goes out click on ‘ascolta la diretta’ the start button at the bottom of the screen, (UK listeners please beware the time difference):
NEW FACEBOOK DISCUSSION GROUP
We have launched the Kate and Mike Westbrook Facebook group. You are very welcome to join and contribute. https://www.facebook.com/groups/westbrookgroup/
ELLINGTON’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATED in LONDON & TORQUAY
A special Preview performance of Mike Westbrook’s “On Duke’s Birthday” will be given at the Grand Hotel, Torquay on Sunday April 26th, prior to The Uncommon Orchestra’s appearance at Ronnie Scott's in London on April 29th – Ellington’s actual birthday. The regular line-up of the Orchestra will be augmented by guest soloists Chris Biscoe (saxes), Dominique Pifarely (violin) and Frank Schaefer (cello).
The Grand Hotel concert is presented by Fougou Music in association with Westbrook Jazz, and both performances are supported by Airshaft Trust.
See Diary for full personnel and booking information.
DUKE’S BIRTHDAY AT RONNIE SCOTTS SOLD OUT
With over two months to go all tickets have been sold for the Uncommon Orchestra’s performance of Mike Westbrook’s Ellington tribute ON DUKE’S BIRTHDAY at Ronnie Scott’s club on April 29th.. Anyone unable to get a ticket for Ronnie’s might like to catch the performance three days earlier at The Grand Hotel, Torquay, on Sunday April 26th.
Kate Westbrook, Mike Westbrook, Roz Harding, Jesse Molins, Matthew North, Billie Bottle and Coach York, aka THE GRANITE BAND are planning more performances, with the support of Jazz South and the Airshaft Trust, starting with Exeter Phoenix in June and Swanage Jazz Festival in July. Details in the diary.
CELEBRATING THE GRANITE TRAMWAY
This summer marks the 200th anniversary of the building of Dartmoor’s Granite Tramway, the stone railway by which granite was transferred in horse-drawn wagons from the Moorland quarries down to the River Teign. Thence the granite was transported by barge to London where it was in great demand for building work, notably London Bridge.
The Moor, the quarries and the image of the quarry worker were the inspiration for Kate’s GRANITE piece, premiered in Ashburton in May 2018 as part of the Dartmoor Resonance Festival. A performance this September near Haytor, a stone’s throw from the tramway and within sight of the main quarry, is under discussion.
KATE’S NEW GRANITE BAND ALBUM SCHEDULED FOR JULY
After a number of delays producer Jay Auborn has completed the mixing and mastering of the new album, at dBs studios in Bristol. Recorded in the depths of the Devon countryside last July the album, entitled EARTH FELT THE WOUND will be released this July on Westbrook Records, with distribution by Proper Music. The album is supported by Airshaft Trust and by a patronage scheme whereby patrons are invited to buy the album in advance and be credited in the CD booklet. Details of the scheme, and a sound sample, may be found here.
TAKE YOUR SEATS FOR THE WESTBROOK JAZZ MOVING PICTURE SHOW
In an attempt to fill the gap left by the cancellation of ‘live’ performances during the current crisis and to keep in touch with friends and supporters in many countries, we will be screening films from the WestbrookJazz archive. These will include films of concerts, theatre and TV shows and documentaries, many of them rarely, if ever made public before. From the Brass Band of the 1970s to the Uncommon Orchestra of the present day, MOVING PICTURES will build up a picture of the musical adventures and many configurations of the Westbrook Band over four decades.
Each screening will be on the WestbrookJazz Moving Picture Show pages.
THE WESTBROOKJAZZ MOVING PICTURE SHOW
No. 37. TORCH SONGS - THE WESTBROOK TRIO
ST ETIENNE 1993
Friday 27th November from 11.30 am UK time
Latest and previous films are shown on the WestbrookJazz Moving Picture show pages
Please Note: A new film is added to the Moving Picture Show every Friday. All films then remain available to view on the Moving Picture Show pages indefinitely.
See below for more information about the series of films.
ONCE UPON A TIME AT RADIO 3
A track from Kate Westbrook’s new album Earth Felt The Wound will be featured on BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast show, presented by Petroc Trelawny on Wednesday July 22nd between 8am and 9am. The featured song will be “Once Upon A Time”, the Rossini ballad from La Cenerentola, sung by Kate with Billie Bottle on piano. Matthew North recorded and filmed their performance ‘live’ at the Uncommon Orchestra’s concert in the Teatro Rossini, Pesaro in November 2018.
Matthew’s film will be shown in the Moving Picture Show on Friday July 31st, the official release date of the album.
OUT NOW! NEW GRANITE BAND ALBUM
Kate Westbrook’s Earth Felt The Wound is now officially released on Westbrook Records, supported by Airshaft Trust and the album’s patrons, with international distribution by Proper.
Produced by Jay Auborn it features the Granite Band:
Kate, voice, Roz Harding saxophones, Jesse Molins and Matthew North guitars,
Billie Bottle bass guitar and vocals, Mike Westbrook piano and Coach York drums.
For full information, including films by Martha Shepherd and Matthew North, see here
The films are also on YouTube
Threat Of Natural Disaster
Once Upon A Time
The Streams of Lovely Lucienne
THE LOCKDOWN CHARCOALS - Kate’s new work on Diana and Actæon
In the lockdown months, my love of charcoal has deepened. The medium is as old as Art itself. A versatile drawing material, charcoal is made from Willow that is burnt slowly. When worked on paper, it will smudge, stipple, make the finest of lines, and the crudest. When erased, the black/ grey paper surface becomes almost luminous. The story of Diana and Actæon fascinates me and I have made many large oil paintings on the subject, as well as work in other media. Ovid’s tale describes the goddess Diana bathing in a woodland pool, Actæon the hunter spying on her, and the consequences. To explore the relationship between the nude figure and landscape, I have re-imagined this classic confrontation. My most recent version of the story brings the two protagonists to the open sea. These charcoal drawings have run in parallel to the release of my Granite Band album Earth Felt the Wound. Kate Westbrook
To the Gallery
SHINING A LIGHT
The latest recording by Kate Westbrook and THE GRANITE BAND is featured in a podcast by Jazz South on Monday 30th November. A tribute to Ellington “Says The Duke”, the 19-minute track is one of six works commissioned by Jazz South with funds that, but for Covid 19, would have been used to subsidise gigs this year. Entitled JazzSouthSpotlight, introduced, with interviews by Kevin Le Gendre,
the full series is:
November 2 Iain Ballamy IBQT
November 9 Fourth Page
November 16 Hexagonal
November 23 We Are Leif
November 30 Kate Westbrook & The Granite Band
December 7 Sara Colman Band
each podcast will start at 5pm
All information about the bands on www.jazzsouth.org.uk/spotlightpodcasts
From November 30 “Says the Duke“ will be available for sale on Bandcamp.
Details on the “Says The Duke” page.
LOVE YOU MADLY
A new recording by Kate Westbrook and The Granite Band will be launched by Jazz South in a podcast on Monday November 30th at 5pm. Thereafter it will be available as a download on Bandcamp. Entitled Says the Duke, with lyrics by Kate, music by Mike Westbrook, the work is dedicated to Ellington. An extended Blues, it is inspired by the memory of the Ellington Orchestra’s last UK performance, at The Rainbow, London, in December 1973. The 19-minute track was recorded ‘remotely’ by the Graniteers;
Kate (voice) Roz Harding (alto sax) Jesse Molins and Matthew North (guitars)
Mike Westbrook (keyboard) Billie Bottle (bass guitar) Coach York (drums)
and produced by Matt.
Jazz South podcast 5pm, Monday 30th November begins with Kate talking to journalist Kevin Le Gendre about Says the Duke.
Information about the new recording:
Podcast available from 5pm Monday November 30th here.
(Scroll down that page to 30th November date).