Harry Bolt + Sam Leak / Steve Melling + Wendy Kirkland

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Last Show: Saturday 23 rd March 2019

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Rapidly becoming the “one to watch” on the UK jazz scene, Harry regularly plays to sell out gigs across London, the UK and recently in New York.  In order to find a voice for his ever-growing portfolio of original compositions, he formed the “Harry Bolt Quartet” in 2017, which has included Benet Mclean (violin) and Mark Mondesir (drums) and currently enjoys a growing profile amongst peers and audiences alike. Sam Leak has been described as “one of the brightest young stars in the jazz piano galaxy, a heavenly improviser and a brilliant prospect for the future” by Helen Mayhew (JazzFM). He is most widely known for his band  'Aquarium,’ whose eponymous debut was one of MOJO Magazine’s 'Top Ten International Releases of the Year.’ 

Steve Melling – a Stan Tracey favourite, Elvin Jones and Georgie Fame collaborator and Ronnie Scotts’ stalwart, is joined by Wendy Kirkland, a rising star on the UK jazz circuit who burst onto the scene with her critically acclaimed debut album, Piano Divas, in 2017.

Steve Melling

Steve is particularity proud to have been one of Stan Tracey’s favourite pianists. They played several duet concerts together and Steve deputised for Stan several times including several performances of the Under Milkwood suite, Steve’s copy of which was autographed by Stan at a gig some 40 years previously. This was the first time Steve had experienced a concert involving what he thought of as  ‘real’ or ‘professional’ jazz musicians:- Stan, Art Themen, Bryan Spring and Dave Green, who he would later meet and work with.

Steve studied at Goldsmiths’ College in London, joining the National Youth Jazz Orchestra around that time. He began playing professionally in the late 1970s, touring with Harry Beckett and Elton Dean, and in 1986 received the first Pat Smythe Memorial Trust Award, presented to him by the late Ronnie Scott.

Steve has also worked with several American jazz luminaries most notably Elvin Jones’ Jazz Machine, Phil Woods and Benny Golson

In the 1990s, Steve appeared regularly at Ronnie Scott’s with his trio and with Alan Skidmore, Claire Martin and Peter King, recording albums with them all. In 1996, Steve recorded his own album ‘Trio Duo Solo’ for the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz House label. Other recordings in this period include ‘East To West’, and ‘After the Rain’ with Alan Skidmore and Colin Towns’ Mask Symphonic with members of the London Symphony Orchestra. He was also commissioned at this time by the Appleby Jazz Festival and wrote and directed a set for an 11-piece group. From 1996-98 he was Professor of Jazz Piano at London’s Royal College of Music.

In 2000 Steve joined The New Couriers, a band formed by Martin Drew and Mornington Lockett. He made four albums with them. Some years later Steve played with Georgie Fame at the world-famous Philharmonic Hall in Berlin.

Wendy Kirkland

UK born and bred Wendy Kirkland studied classical piano from the age of 9 and began to learn jazz from Dave Brubeck transcriptions at 14. Later she became a pianist in demand with singers and instrumentalists alike, before discovering her voice: inspired by Diana Krall, Shirley Horn and Eliane Elias she became a vocalist as well as a soloing pianist.

Her debut album 'Piano Divas' made such an impact when it was released in March 2017 that it was immediately snapped up for distribution by Discovery Records and was given four stars by the esteemed critic Dave Gelly in the Observer within weeks. It then made the Album of the Week slot twice in one year on The Jazz UK radio, shortly followed by further overwhelming critical acclaim from the national mainstream and jazz press. More airplay of the album followed on Clare Teal's Radio 2 show, Alyn Shipton's Jazz Record Requests on Radio 3, Helen Mayhew's shows on JazzFM and latterly BBC Radio Scotland by Clare Teal's Scottish counterpart Seonaid Aitken.

All have noted her swinging style, equally as adept with the Great American Songbook as with Brazilian bossa nova and her own original pieces

"Proper Jazz piano. A very classy debut" Dave Gelly, The Observer

“The unsung heroine of British Jazz" Ian Mann, The JazzMann

"Mellow and stylish" Clive Davis, Sunday Times