So Live Sessions Presents

Maria Grapsa Quintet + George Risk Sextet

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Monday 28 th March 2022

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

So Live sessions has arrived at PizzaExpress Live to bring our audiences the most entertaining and coveted rising stars of the UK’s pioneering and multicultural new Jazz era. So Live Sessions has a reputation for supporting many multi talented developing musicians who have gone on to great success in the live and recorded music industry. We are excited for our resident and groundbreaking show here with So Live Sessions of which this March will showcase the Maria Grapsa Quintet and the George Risk Sextet.


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Maria Grapsa Quintet featuring Emma Rawicz & Becca Wilkins

Maria Grapsa leads a quintet of young exciting musicians from the thriving UK scene and is set to release her debut studio album later this year. Her music is influenced by cinematic themes; pushing the limits of improvisation within the jazz idiom and beyond. Maria’s classical music background, Greek origins and world, folk, middle-East and Latin influences, all meet the jazz tradition in a unique way. She has performed in prestigious venues and festivals such as Southbank Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Jazz Café, Wilderness Festival and has shared the stage with Gary Crosby OBE, Daniel Rollins and Tim Berne. Maria is a Scholarship Jazz Masters alumna of Royal Conservatoire of Birmingham and a recipient of the Help Musicians Transmission Fund 2021. She won Alternative Act 2019 (LUKAS awards) with her bandmates at the time (Colectiva), while they released her tune (Under The) with Movimientos Record Label.

Featuring Liam Brennan (alto saxophone), Matthew Kilner (tenor saxophone), Kai Chaurensy (drums), Tommy Fuller (double bass), Maria Grapsa (piano, compositions & arrangements)- this band is already making an impact in prestigious venues such as Birmingham Symphony Hall and Birmingham Jazz Festival. On this occasion Maria invites Emma Rawicz, an award winning young saxophonist who has been described as 'a force to be reckoned with' (Jazzwise) and 'a fast rising star' (London Jazz News) and vocalist Becca Wilkins (London Vocal Project, Olivia’s Murphy projects), a versatile musician with an assured sense of style and a poised approach to vocal musicianship whose own project has been portrayed as ‘a real energy and joy in their performances – they will always captivate audiences’ (Tony Dudley Evans).

George Risk Sextet

The collective first emerged in South London when George Risk (guitarist) decided to put together an all star cast dedicated to exploring improvisation through groove based music. The project formerly known as 'Malika Collective' draws on many influences and genres while managing to solidify a unique sound through genres such as house, jazz, soul, funk and rock. Influential artists include Azymuth, Donald Bird, Headhunters, 4hero, Lional Loueke, Ebo Taylor, Nubian Twist, and Snarky Puppy.

Collective credits include, Jackson Mathod, Alfa Mist, Neue Grafik, Emma-Jean Thackray, Nubya Garcia.


Band Line Up

Maria Grapsa 

Liam Brennan (alto saxophone)
Matthew Kilner (tenor saxophone)
Kai Chaurensy (drums)
Tommy Fuller (double bass)
Maria Grapsa (piano, compositions & arrangements)
Emma Rawicz (sax)
Becca Wilkins (vocals)

George Risk Sextet

George Risk (guitar)
James Beckwith (keys)
Harry Pope (drums)
Matt Gedrych (bass)
Jonny Woodham (trumpet)
Greg Sinclair (sax)