Friday, 10 July 2015

Beats and Pieces Big Band All You Need to Know

about
Led by composer and conductor Ben Cottrell, Beats & Pieces Big Band see themselves as a band that happens to be big, rather than your average ‘big band’. They’re an extremely tightknit bunch, meeting as students in Manchester and growing up and developing musically individually and collectively within the city’s exciting scene. First playing together as Beats & Pieces in 2008, today these fourteen musicians know each other inside out socially and musically, and this familiarity is part of what sets them aside from a lot of other big bands today. The music is an expression of the band’s members and their varied musical backgrounds and activities, all brought together in Ben Cottrell’s inspired writing. His compositions reflect the diversity of music that people of their generation have grown up surrounded by, and as such are influenced as much by Michael Jackson, Bj√∂rk or Radiohead as they are Duke Ellington, Gil Evans or Loose Tubes.
The band’s debut album Big Ideas was released to critical acclaim in March 2012 on Efpi Records, a small Manchester-based label also run by Ben. Since then, Beats & Pieces have performed in Ireland, Germany, France and Norway; received airplay on BBC Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6music; and received awards for Best UK Newcomer at the 2013 Jazz FM Awards and Ensemble of the Year at the 2014 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Now the band’s eagerly awaited follow-up ALL IN is set to take their music to an even wider audience.

They couple gale-force collective energy and confidence to startlingly original material (most of it by its rising-star leader Ben Cottrell) that acknowledges big-band traditions while radically modernising them” The Guardian
“Their performance would have reassured anyone who wonders whether the big band tradition can connect with a twenty something audience that knows its Radiohead but thinks that Stan Kenton is probably a window-cleaner in Coronation Street” The Times
“There hasn’t been a ‘live’ British big band since Loose Tubes with the same degree of energetic spontaneity and enjoyment of performing as this one” Jazzwise
members
Our current touring lineup is as follows (with links to twitter where available):
Ben Cottrell : director
Anthony BrownSam HealeyBen Watte : saxophones
Owen Bryce, Graham South, Nick Walters : trumpet
Ed Horsey, Simon Lodge, Rich McVeigh : trombone
Anton Hunter : guitar
Richard Jones : piano/Rhodes
Stewart Wilson : bass
Finlay Panter : drums
other collaborators
There have been many many more amazing musicians that have played with us, including:
Sam Andreae, Rob Cope, Kenji Fenton, Jo McCallum, Sam Rapley, Helen Wilson : saxophones/reeds
Paul Burton, Nick Conn, Tim Cox, Mark Francis, Louise Godfrey, Alex Hambleton, Alex Kelly, Owain Roberts, Paul Strachan : trombone
Jamie Brownfield, Adam Chatterton, Aaron Diaz, Dave Greenland, Chris Snead, Nick Walkley : trumpet
Mick Bardon, Nick Blacka, Grant Russell, Harrison Wood : bass
Chris Illingworth, Patrick Hurley : piano
Jim Molyneux, Alex Tod, Rob Turner : drums
George Dennis, Tullis Rennie : electronics



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