PREVIEW - String Quartet Festival at Pizza Express Dean Street (2-5 June)

A set  of quartet bows by bowmaker Stephane Muller

FRANK GRIFFITH writes: 

The Second Annual String Quartet Festival at Soho's Pizza Express will be held on 2-5 June and will include four distinctive jazz ensembles with a string quartet.

2.6- Partikel - Launching their new CD String Theory, saxophonist, Duncan Eagles' music will also showcase the talents of violinist Benet McLean, also known to jazz audiences as stride pianist, vocalist and composer.

3.6- London Vocal Project with Bowfiddle (resident string quartet). The LVP has collaborated with Kenny Wheeler (2103 Edition CD Mirrors) and currently with vocalist/lyricist Jon Hendricks. A fresh batch of string quartet arrangements by leader, Pete Churchill, will be premiered.

4.6- Empirical with Bowfiddle. All the members of this award winning quartet formed in 2007 by Courtney Pine have penned original string pieces featured on their 2013 CD, Tabula Rasa. One looks forward to the alchemy between the shimmering steel melodia of Lewis Wright's vibes and Bowfiddle's resonant stringularity.

5.6- Gilad Atzmon and The Orient House Ensemble. This popular group is a fixture at Pizza Express and will feature the arrangements of Bowfiddle violinist, Ros Stephen. An eclectic mix of tangos and classic songs from Charlie Parker's Bird and Strings will bring this hearty festival to a close.

The format for these evenings will be a first set of 45 minutes with Bowfiddle, led by cellist, Laura Rose, and various guest soloists. These will include me, as curator, clarinetist and arranger (in quest of the "Brotherwood" clarinet and fiddles) as well as bassist and pianist, Steve Rose. The festival will see performances of premieres of pieces by Alex Webb, Steve Rose, Andy Hall, Nigel Waddington, Ros Stephen, and Duncan Lamont and myself, as well as Kenny Wheeler's String Quartet. The considerable longer second set (75 minutes) will be with the main act and Bowfiddle.

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