In association with Shades of Soul Ltd

Curtom Six 'Exclusive Showcase'

An intimate evening showcasing the music of ‘The Gentle Genius’ Curtis Mayfield

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Thursday 16 th February 2023

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Following the last ever performance of the legendary Impressions we are delighted to welcome an exclusive performance from the the Curtom Six for a very special show case at the club to relive these classic masterpieces. The Curtom Six as the name suggests is a Superfly, funky sextet, of drums, bass, percussion, rhythm guitar, ‘Wah’ guitar and vocals, the same format as Curtis Mayfield’s classic 1970 live line up. The show features many of Curtis’ hits from his solo career notably ‘Superfly’, ‘Pusherman’, Freddie’s Dead’ ‘Move on Up’ and also includes his earlier hits from the 60’s with his band The Impressions including ‘People Get Ready’ named by Rolling Stone magazine #24 of the greatest songs of all time! The evening promises a diverse selection covering ballads such as ‘We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue’ as well has psychedelic era ‘Check Out Your Mind’ and the 70’s underground funk masterpieces ‘Get Down’ and ‘Underground’ The show will showcase Curtis’ political lyrics, some still relevant today unfortunately, but also his sensitive loving side such as his cover of The Carpenters 1970 hit We’ve Only Just Begun!! 

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“Credit must be paid to ‘The Curtom Orchestra’ ... consisting of crack British musicians drawn from groups like The Brand New Heavies, The James Taylor Quartet and Jamiroquai – and what an excellent and sympathetic band they were.”

Barbican Review

The Curtom Six is the rhythm section and heart of The Curtom Orchestra, a band put together by drummer Nick van Gelder (Jamiroquai - Emergency On Planet Earth) originally to open for Curtis Mayfield’s band The Impressions at their 2011 UK debut ‘A Tribute To Curtis Mayfield’ show at London Barbican, and Manchester Bridgewater Hall respectively. As well as being the backing band for The Impressions themselves, The Curtom Orchestra opened the show with a slick medley of Curtis Mayfield hits, featuring the vocal talents of London Soul man Mazen Bedwei. Mazen’s vocal range, tone, and delivery have such a striking similarity to Curtis that original Impressions members Sam Gooden and Fred Cash were so ‘Impressed’ they gave Mazen the name ‘Little Curtis’ Perhaps the ultimate accolade!!

The Curtom Orchestra have since been The Impressions ‘go-to’ band on their subsequent UK showsincluding Jazz Cafe, Islington Assembly Rooms, and  The highly emotionally charged, unforgettable, farewell concert at Union Chapel. After the show  the Impressions conceded amongst themselves that it was their greatest ever show, and that the The Curtom Orchestra were their favourite backing band and the best they performed with since the days of Curtis band of the 60’s! 

Band Lineup

Mazen ‘Little Curtis’ Bedwei (vocals)
Nick van Gelder (drums)
Terry Lewis (guitar)
Kofi Kari Kari (percussion)
Shawn Lee (wah guitar)
Andy Tolman (bass)