Women in Jazz Media presents: Maxine Gordon: Sophisticated Giants
A celebration of the inspirational work of award-winning legend Maxine Gordon
Artists: Hannah Horton, Camilla George, Emma Rawicz, Tony Kofi, Wendy Kirkland, Vimala Rowe, Laura Impallomeni, J Steps and Maxine Gordon
This incredible event features some of the most exciting saxophonists in the UK today, Hannah Horton, Camilla George, Emma Rawicz and Tony Kofi performing the music of Dexter Gordon along with a rare opportunity to celebrate the music of Shirley Scott, Maxine Sullivan, Velma Middleton and Melba Liston with UK’s leading jazz artists pianist Wendy Kirkland, vocalist Vimala Rowe and trombonist Laura Impallomeni. This special night also opens with a tribute to Dexter Gordon from J Steps, the fantastic new initiative in jazz led by UK jazz saxophonist Hannah Horton as part of Guildhall Young Artists, with its main aim being to tackle the historic lack of representation of women in jazz. Women in Jazz Media is a not for profit global organisation, founded by Fiona Ross that was created to support and create an equal, diverse, safe and healthy Jazz Industry. It was announced on International Womens Day, March 2022 that Maxine Gordon is their patron
Doors open: 7.30
J Steps: 8.30
Emma Rawicz, Camilla George, Hannah Horton and Tony Kofi: 8.50
Q&A with Maxine Gordon and Fiona Ross: 10.00
Laura Impallomeni, Wendy Kirkland and Vimala Rowe: 10.30
‘Maxine Gordon is a force in her own right, advocating for the music and musicians in many capacities, as a partner, friend, manager, and scholar.’ All About Jazz
Award winning Arts Advocate, Jazz Historian, Archivist, Scholar, Manager & Producer and Legend. Author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, and forthcoming book, Jazz Quartette: Shirley Scott, Velma Middleton, Melba Liston, Maxine Sullivan. President of The Dexter Gordon Society, consultant at the Bronx Music Heritage Centre, Jazz Researcher at the Bronx African American History Project, archivist for The Dexter Gordon Collections, Library of Congress and so much more…
‘Passionate… superb… heartfelt’ The Guardian
Tony Kofi is a British Jazz multi-instrumentalist born of Ghanaian parents, a player of the Alto, Baritone, Soprano, Tenor saxophones and flute. Having 'cut his teeth' in the “Jazz Warriors” of the early 90’s, award-winning saxophonist Tony Kofi has gone on to establish himself as a musician, teacher and composer of some authority. As well as performing and recording with Gary Crosby's “Nu-Troop” and “Jazz Jamaica”, Tony’s playing has also been a feature of many bands and artists he has worked/recorded with include “US-3” The World Saxophone Quartet, Courtney Pine, Donald Byrd, Eddie Henderson, The David Murray Big Band, Sam Rivers Rivbe Big band, Andrew Hill Big Band, Abdullah Ibrahim, Macy Gray, Julian Joseph Big band, Harry Connick JR, Byron Wallen's Indigo, Jamaaladeen Tacuma's Coltrane Configurations and Ornette Coleman.
His fluent and fiery hard-bop style makes him constantly in demand. He currently leads his own Tony Kofi Quartet, Tony Kofi Sphinx Trio, Future Passed Trio and is also the co-founder with Jonathan Gee of the Monk Liberation Front, a group that is dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk. Tony’s latest project sees him performing with Alex Webb’s Café Society Swing, Arnie Somogyi’s Jump Monk, Larry Bartley’s JustUS Quartet, Larry Bartley Trio featuring Tony Kofi, Adrian Reid Quartet, a double leaders project with Alan Barnes called Aggregation, Orphy Robinson’s Bobby Hutcherson songbook project, Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet, Jo Harrop’s Fever, Portrait of Cannonball (Music dedicated to Cannonball Adderley)
Tony Kofi and the Organisation, a recent project which he co leads on the Baritone Saxophone.
‘Rising multi-reeds star Hannah Horton’s convivial sound is turning heads in London’ BBC Music Magazine
For jazz saxophonist, composer and rising star of UK Jazz, Hannah Horton’s journey and love with her sax and music started at the age of 10. For her, an only child, living in the countryside with music mainly for company, her saxophone became her lifelong best friend.
A natural born improviser and now accomplished on flute, bassoon and clarinet as well as saxophone, Hannah attended the prestigious Junior Guildhall School of Music and later at Trinity College of Music, where she was inspired by prominent British jazzers including Mark Lockheart, Tim Garland and Paul Bartholomew and contemporary saxophonist Gerard McChrystal. During her teens she was an integral member of the National Youth Music Theatre and later on with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Today Hannah provides inspiration of her own by running ‘J Steps’ – a new band initiative designed to nurture the talent of musicians who identify as female or non-binary (its main aim being to balance a historic lack of representation of women in jazz).
In sept 2021 Hannah released her highly acclaimed second album Inside Out to a full house at the intimate 606 Jazz Club, London. Her carefully curated selection of her own compositions alongside several iconic songs that she holds close to her heart result in an intriguing and diverse listen and strikes the perfect balance between exciting new music and timeless classics.
‘The Golden Girl of Jazz’ The Evening Standard
Born in Eket, Nigeria, Camilla has been interested in music from an early age and particularly in the fusion of African and Western music. She grew up listening to Fela alongside Jackie McLean and Charlie Parker. She began playing the saxophone when she was 11 years old when she won a music contest and as a result won saxophone lessons. Camilla went on to study with many jazz greats such as saxophone giant, Jean Toussaint (of Art Blakey fame), Julian Siegal and Martin Speake at Trinity College of Music where she gained a Masters in Jazz Performance as well as in 2011 being awarded The Archer Scholarship for Outstanding Performance.
In 2009 she joined award winning band, Jazz Jamaica and performed with special guest, Ernest Ranglin at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club. In 2013 they were nominated for a MOBO award for Jazz Performance. They continue to perform extensively all over the world. In 2014 Camilla formed her own critically acclaimed project showcasing the stars of the new UK Jazz Scene. Dubbed “The Golden Girl of Jazz” by The Evening Standard, Camilla’s debut album, ‘Isang’ (pronounced E-SANG which means journey in Ibibio her native language) received huge critical acclaim. Her follow up album, “The People Could Fly” which was released in September 2018, featuring special guest Omar as well as in demand guitarist of the moment, Shirley Tetteh, has already gained substantial critical acclaim with 4 star reviews from the Financial Times and Jazzwise to name a few. The album and Camilla have been featured on several key playlists such as State of Jazz and Camilla was the poster girl for Tidal’s British Jazz playlist.
Camilla’s love of fusing African and Western Music to make her own unique style is a key reason why she is a firm fixture on the new London Jazz scene alongside peers such as Nubya Garcia and Shabaka Hutchings. Her music is a hypnotizing blend of Afrofuturism, hip hop and jazz. Camilla’s music is politically minded and heavily linked with African history and slavery in particular. Her 2018 album looked at tales that slaves passed onto their children through generations and, whilst full of sorrow, is essentially a story of hope for black people and mankind that we can one day live together in harmony.
In addition, Camilla has been nominated for an Urban Music Award for Best Jazz artist in 2017 and 2018 as well as being nominated for a Jazz FM award for best instrumentalist 2019. She performed in the Jazz Re:freshed showcase for SXSW which was filmed at Abbey Road studios in 2021, as well as the Jazzahead showcase in 2021 and reached the final in the DC Jazz Prix in 2021.
She has most recently been awarded the Momentum Award (PPL) in order to complete her third studio album, Ibio Ibio which is a tribute to her tribe the Ibibio people of South Eastern Coastal Nigeria. The album features Daniel Casimir, Sarah Tandy, Winton Clifford, Renato Paris, Sheila Maurice-Grey, Rosie Turton, Shirley Tetteh, hip hop drummer, Daru Jones, Birmingham based rapper, Lady Sanity and Sam Jones. The album will be released in Autumn 2022 on Ever Records.
‘A force to be reckoned with’ Jazzwise
Emma Rawicz is an award-winning young saxophonist and composer, already making waves on the UK music scene. She has been described as 'a force to be reckoned with' (Jazzwise) and 'a fast rising star' (London Jazz News). At the age of 20 she has already recorded her eagerly awaited debut album featuring Ant Law, made up entirely of her original compositions, the first single Voodoo was released in February and the second Mantra in April. The album Incantation is due to be released in May 2022. Emma has also created a name for herself both as a bandleader and a sideman. A new arrival on the scene, she has already made an impact, regularly playing at major London jazz venues with a wide range of established musicians. Emma is a recipient of the 2021 Drake Yolanda Award.
Emma's influences range from modern jazz and fusion to folk and soul, key figures in her musical development including Chris Potter, Ari Hoenig, Kenny Jarrett, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea and more.
Growing up in rural North Devon, Emma didn't discover jazz until the age of 15, and didn't pick up a tenor saxophone until a year later, but had spent her childhood otherwise immersed in largely folk and classical music. Emma is a natural performer. Her music has a unique sound, fusing all her many influences, and her compositions range from lilting Afro Cuban inspired grooves to hard hitting modern jazz and funk numbers.
‘Kirkland impresses on every level. Superb’ Kind of Jazz
Pianist and singer Wendy Kirkland has been a mainstay of the UK Jazz scene since the late noughties, but it was her first album, Piano Divas, released in 2017 that began her ascent to wider recognition as a “Singing Pianist”, as dubbed by Jazz Journal. The ability to sing at the same time as comping and craft solos on the piano or unison piano/voice scat lines is her forte, with influences such as Diana Krall, Eliane Elias and Dena DeRose. Further accolades were given for her 2019 release The Music’s On Me, dubbed “a huge leap forward” by Jazz Views. Both albums prompted ACE funded tours all over the UK and constant radio airplay ever since. Current projects include Piano Divas, a tribute to the female pianist singers of jazz; hammond organ jazz outfit Organik Fource featuring Pat Sprakes on guitar and guest saxophonist; Organik Trio Goes To The Movies and The Organik Cookbook celebrating the early soul-jazz albums of George Benson.
During lockdown from March 2020, Wendy and guitarist/bassist husband Pat Sprakes entertained with a daily dose of Latin American music on Facebook which they entitled Latin Lockdowns. After 86 such performances they decided it was time to move on to other musical endeavours, but were amazed and pleased to receive daily messages from people who described the videos in such terms as “a ray of sunshine” in their lockdown situations.
Wendy’s musical career began at age 10, when she started taking piano lessons. She won a scholarship to have all her lessons paid for by Derbyshire Music, and continued to take her ABRSM piano grades. Switching to jazz in her late teens, Wendy continued her playing career as a dance class pianist, accompanist to singers and as a keyboardist in club bands. After being persuaded to sing by a great friend and guitarist, Bill McCreath, Wendy learned to reach people who are perhaps turned off by instrumental jazz, as she learnt to communicate with the audience through the songs. Wendy’s voice has been likened to Blossom Dearie with hints of Diana Krall.
‘A wonderful singer with a passionate delivery which completely captures the audience ‘John Etheridge,
World Jazz vocalist Vimala Rowe has had musical projects such as a highly successful duo with guitar legend John Etheridge, a show as Billie Holiday with Café Society performing at the Theatre Royal in London, writing and blending the blues with flamenco legend Paco Pena and performing at Sadler's Wells, and has just had successful sold out appearances at Ronnie Scott’s 2022 and London Jazz Festival 2021 including her interpretation of the famous 1956 Billie Holiday at Carnegie Hall. Her self-titled EP Vimala of original work earned her an Indy Music Award.
Her range is from big band to intimate duo, Jazz and blues through to International folk and Northern Indian Classical - which she studied for a year in Nagpur, India. ‘I love to make music that can be a shared heart opening experience, especially when performing live. The musicians, the audience coming together in moments of love and clarity and in pain, it’s what I live for’. - Vimala Rowe
Laura completed an MMus in Jazz Trombone at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance 2020 with Distinction, during which she regularly performed in venues such as Ronnie Scotts with Mark Lockheart’s Contemporary Big Band, and various other smaller jazz ensembles.
Laura plays in a plethora of other musical projects and genres including ‘Barnacles’, an experimental jazz quintet, and Latin Jazz ensemble 'The Voodoo Love Orchestra'. She has toured with the renowned ‘Giffords Circus’, where she played trombone in their orchestra, and runs 11 piece afro-jazz band ‘Yamäya’ that recently reached the final 8 bands (out of 5600 entries) in the Glastonbury emerging talent competition.
Laura has just received the Arts Council England ‘Develop Your Creative Practice’ grant to explore her own contemporary jazz compositions and to continue studying under various renowned UK trombonists and composers
J Steps is a fantastic new initiative in jazz led by UK jazz saxophonist Hannah Horton as part of Guildhall Young Artists, in Saffron Walden, England. Hannah has formulated a band of motivated and inspired musicians with its main aim being to tackle the historic lack of representation of women in jazz. Open to anyone who is 18 and under and identifies as female or non-binary, the musicians are already experienced musicians, but they may not all have experience of playing jazz or improvising as soloists. Rehearsals include genre specific guidance from Hannah, and the band plays and explores standards, originals and improvisation. Each member brings their individual sound and vibe to this ever-evolving group.
Celebracja inspirującej pracy wielokrotnie nagradzanej legendy świata jazzu Maxine Gordon!
WYSTĄPIĄ: HANNAH HORNTON, CAMILLA GEORGE, EMMA RAWICZ, TONY KOFI, WENDY KIRKLAND, VIMALA ROWE, LAURA IMPALLOMENI, J STEPS i MAXINE GORDON!
W tym wyjątkowym wydarzeniu wezmą udział jedni z najbardziej ekscytujących saksofonistów dzisiejszej sceny jazzowej w Wielkiej Brytanii: Hannah Horton, Camilla George, Emma Rawicz i Tony Kofi, którzy zagrają muzykę Dextera Gordona!
Będzie to także rzadka okazja do świętowania muzyki Shirley Scott, Maxine Sullivan, Velmy Middleton oraz Melby Liston w wykonaniu czołowej brytyjskiej pianistki Wendy Kirkland, wraz wokalistką Vimalą Rowe i puzonistką Laurą Impallomeni.
Ten specjalny wieczór rozpocznie się od muzycznego hołdu dla Dextera Gordona w wykonaniu J Steps, fantastycznej nowej inicjatywy jazzowej prowadzonej przez brytyjską saksofonistkę jazzową Hannah Horton w ramach Guildhall Young Artists, której głównym celem jest rozwiązanie historycznego braku reprezentacji kobiet w jazzie.
Women in Jazz Media to globalna organizacja non-profit, założona przez Fionę Ross, która została stworzona w celu wspierania i tworzenia opartego na równości, zróżnicowanego, bezpiecznego i zdrowego przemysłu jazzowego. W Międzynarodowym Dniu Kobiet w marcu 2022 ogłoszono, że ich patronką jest Maxine Gordon.