Pianist Alex Wilson wrote to us about his new endeavour, curating the 1st Annual London Latin Jazz Fest which runs at Pizza Express from the 19-22nd of September.
In March of this year I was thrown into the world of extreme piano when I played at the Steinway Festival in London at the Soho Pizza Express Jazz Club. It was an amazing experience and I met many great musicians. One of them was the pianist, Jason Rebello, an inspiring player, whose formidable musical CV includes collaborations with artists as diverse as Phil Collins, Gary Burton, Madeleine Peyroux, Sting, Branford Marsalis and many more. Although our meeting was brief it sparked off an idea in my mind to try and find an opportunity to share the stage with him at some point in the future.
That opportunity came when I was invited to curate the The 1st Annual London Latin Jazz Fest – an exciting platform that will showcase some of the UK's foremost Latin Jazz artists over four nights at the Soho Pizza Express Jazz Club. That meeting will be on Saturday 22nd September, the final night of the festival
I'll open every night with a short solo piano set before the main acts: we will have
- Roberto Pla's 10 Piece Latin Ensemble (19th Sept) – mambo jazz in the wonderful exuberant spirit of Tito Puente.
- I will be featuring a host of virtuosi including: Venezuelan percussionist Edwin Sanz, Shanti Paul Jayasinha, Davide Mantovani, and Cuban vocalist René Alvarez (20th Sept).
- On the Saturday night (21st Sept) a second Steinway grand piano will be forklifted into the club and Jason and I will sit down to explore a musical meeting, accompanied by Edwin Sanz and Italian groove-meister Davide Mantovani on bass.
- Snowboy and the Latin Section (22nd Sept) – the UK's very own English Latin conga king – and …
...I can't wait!
More information and tickets HERE