The prayers paid off. No snow (on the lines anyway) so … good to be able to get on three smooth trains to St Leonards Warrior Square. I had been to Respond only once before with the trio last year – and that was after meeting Pablo and JC (the founders of the Academy) at Hastings Jazz Club several times beforehand. We had a amazing time , and i vowed to return. The work they do with young folks – is phenomenal (the media has definitely started to catch up with this – as i witnessed seeing them on BBC2 Newsnight last year. So deserved. Honors list soon please?).
Anyhow – there are a few firsts for me on this tour. This was a debut for the presentation on LH only piano (with references to Jazz and Classical piano history as well as some inspirations from different arts forms). It was great to share a score, play a tune of mine + some lh only improv, and several videos – and my view of a narrative linking CPE Bach through to Phineas Newborn Jr and more . The following q and a session – could have gone on longer – as this links several subject for me (so we veered from social history of left handers, wonderful creativity inspired by v.strict limits, L/R brain activity, attitudes to injury/disability and more). I look forward to developing this more during this tour and beyond…with many more video links (but probably never the time to fit them all in!)
A big shout out to Reg Hendrickse . I have known him since first going to Hastings with the band J-Life back in the 90s. And also via his strong link with the legendary musician Bheki Msleku. He is a fantastic authority on pianists – and the cherry on top today was just to find out he had actually met the composer Federico Mompou. I recorded one of his Preludes on the new album (a uniquely still piece – absent of barlines..) . And so hearing anything about him that can explain his originality and spirit – is amazing . His star is growing (slowly but surely). Thanks for usage of your great new keyboard and the upright piano Bheki used to play. (looking forward to the Mompou box set too :)
Anyhow it was a really wonderful turnout for the gig later – thank you all for making it. The room has a great acoustic, and it was great to go from acoustic to electric piano to a rhodes sound (which will be rare on this tour!) . Great to do an encore too ,and to be invited back to perform again so quickly! Thanks also to everybody who helped out (with cds/mailout list/Leftitude booklets) – the organisation was flawless. And also to Hannah who wrote the great preview article (see the photos..). And thank you to those who got a copy of the Glimpse (still pre-release!)
More photos from the night will be up here soon.
St Georges-In-The East (E.London) and Pound Arts (Wiltshire) next !
(Newsletter imminent too!)