AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS
Pain Relief Beyond Belief
The Wigan International Jazz Festival, has for 23 years provided a stage for some of the world’s greatest big bands.. 11.07-18.07.2008 Great names such as The Count Basie Orchestra, Charles Mingus Big Band, Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau, Lester Bowie’s ‘Brass Fantasy’ and the BBC Big Band have entertained Wigan audiences and enabled the festival to establish itself as one of Europe’s foremost Big Band showcases. However, the last few years have seen the festival venture into new jazz music territories, adding a contemporary element to the more traditional programme. ‘The 2008 programme is probably our most adventurous to date’, says Festival Chairman Pete Gascoigne. ‘In the past we have dipped our musical toe into the contemporary jazz pool but this year we have taken a deeper plunge with Avishai Cohen and Guy Barker booked to play’.’ ‘We are not moving completely away from our Big Band roots, but simply looking to satisfy changing audience needs. There is growing demand for festivals to offer a more contemporary and progressive jazz slant’. Leading the new way is seemingly the man of the moment – Guy Barker, who will be offering his acclaimed and award winning Amadeus Project on Sunday evening 13th July. Top ranking trumpeter Barker, has created and will be performing two swinging jazz suites, one inspired by characters in Mozart’s Operas and the other a radical update of ‘The Magic Flute’. Guy Barker and The Amadeus Project have together won high acclaim this year. As well as being Number 5 in GQ’s 100 Best Things in the World, the musician and his album were described as ‘consistently impressive and occasionally brilliant’ by the London Evening Standard and The Amadeus Project has been nominated in the up and coming BBC Jazz Awards for Album of the Year. The innovation continues with Avishai Cohen. Cohen, who has previously performed with the likes of Paquito D’Rivera, Roy Hargrove and Joshua Redman will play Wigan on the evening of Wednesday 16th July. The Israeli born musician now playing out of New York is one of the most progressive bassists and composers around today and was recently described by Downbeat Magazine as “a jazz visionary of global proportions”. Performing with his trio, Avishai will be playing original compositions from his album ‘Gently Disturbed’, released in May. Pete Gascoigne is excited at the prospect of giving Wigan festival audiences something new. ‘It should be terrific. Both artists are wonderful musicians in their own right but their compositions are not just original and inspiring but delightful on the ear’. The full Wigan International Jazz Festival Celebrity Series includes; Elkie Brooks (Saturday 12th July). Matthew Ford and the Guy Barker Amadeus Project (Sunday 13th July). Synthesis – The big band of Brigham Young University (Monday 14th July). Multi instrumentalist - James Morrison and the Wigan Jazz Club Big Band (Tuesday 15th July). World-renown bass player Avishai Cohen (Wednesday 16th July). Dennis Rollins, Empirical and the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra (Thursday 17th July). Liane Carol and Ian Shaw (Friday 18th July). Plus many other performances and artists as part of the Dinner Jazz and free Fringe programmes.