Junior Academy

Jazz With Special Guest Henry Lowther

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Last Show: Saturday 29 th June 2019

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

The Junior Academy Jazz course from the Royal Academy of Music has been a major force in developing the next generation of jazz musicians since the inception of the course in 2003. Returning to the PizzaExpress for their now annual summer concert, this will be a great chance to hear some of the finest young jazz musicians in the country aged 14-18 featured in three different groups. Led by course tutors Gareth Lockrane and Matt Anderson, the concert will feature a very special guest artist on trumpet, the legendary Henry Lowther. The programme will feature specially arranged versions of Lowther's distinctive compositions.  


Henry Lowther was born in Leicester, England, in 1941. As a child Henry learned cornet from his father and took private violin lessons before going on to study with Manoug Parakian at the Royal Academy of Music.

Influenced by sources as varied as Indian music, Karlheinz Stockhausen, King Oliver, Weather Report and the Average White Band, from the mid-60s on he worked with Mike Westbrook, the New Jazz Orchestra, John Mayall, Manfred Mann, Michael Garrick, Norma Winstone (in Edge Of Time), Art Themen, Alan Jackson (in the superb Kinkade), Barbara Thompson (Jubiaba), John Stevens, Mike Gibbs, Tony Coe, John Surman, Gordon Beck, John Taylor, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Brass Virtuosi as well as his own groups, Quarternity and Group Sounds Five. In 1969 Henry appeared at the famous Woodstock festival with the Keef Hartley band. Over the years Henry has worked in all areas of the British jazz scene and is one of only two or three trumpet players to have played lead trumpet for both Gil Evans and George Russell. In the sixties Henry was one of the first musicians on the British jazz scene to experiment with total free improvisation and also at this time began musical relationships with both Sir John Dankworth and Kenny Wheeler which lasted until the recent passing of both of these towering figures in music. In 1967 he played on the now legendary Wheeler album, “Windmill Tilter”. He has also worked extensively as a studio and classical musician.

That list is in itself a testimony to Lowther’s versatility and craftsmanship.

As well as playing trumpet, flügelhorn, cornet and violin Lowther has composed for jazz and orchestral groups. A rare solo album was completed in 1970 and issued on the Deram Records label. In the early 90s Lowther formed his own long-running band Stillwaters to enable him to pursue his interest in composition. The ensemble included bass player Dave Green, drummer Paul Clarvis, pianist Pete Saberton and saxophonist Julian Argüelles, released an album in 1998.

In 2017 Henry played on two tours, first with the Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra and then with Mike Gibb’s 80th Birthday Tour. He was nominated for a Parliamentary Jazz Award in the Services to Jazz category. Currently Henry composes for and plays in the London Jazz Orchestra and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.


Band Lineup

Lulu Whittington, Ashley Turner, Max Barnard, Flo Redmonds, Hugh Bowman, Jack Williams, Tamilore Awosile, Madeleine Coombs, Tom Waters, Henry Walcott, Alex Kingston (saxes)

Sidney Moon, Brinley Heywood, Joshua Short, Gabriel Taylor (trumpets)

Cody Moss, Billy Ford (piano)

Solomon Grimshaw, Ben Mindlin, Jamie Holman, Arun Thavasothy (guitar)

Kielan Sheard, Toby Yapp, Jacob Gryn (bass)

Jack Thomas, Stanley Wickham, Kai MacRae (drums)

Bands led by Gareth Lockrane, Matt Anderson

Special guest - HENRY LOWTHER (trumpet)