Mike Westbrook 'The Piano and Me'

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Last Show: Sunday 12 th March 2023

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Following Mike’s sold-out solo piano show in 2021 to celebrate his 85th birthday, Mike returns to PizzaExpress for an exclusive London performance. Internationally acclaimed as ‘one of the UK’s most creative, experimental and daring jazz composers’ (The Times), Mike Westbrook improvises on themes from his musical history. In this rare solo performance, remembered show tunes, pop songs and jazz classics are interwoven with originals from the Kate and Mike Westbrook Song Book.. Andy Robson, reviewing the album Starcross Bridge wrote “Chords, Messiaen-like, hover and decay, melodies elide and fall: some songs are vividly deconstructed like Lennon/McCartney's Because, some split apart before us like the extraordinary take on Strayhorn's Johnny Come Lately And beneath it all, the blues, as on For Terenzi, roll and tumble.” Jazzwise

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“Westbrook’s playing is intimate, restrained, reflective, and deceptively simple, moulding disparate sources into a beautiful and beguiling whole”

Barry Witherden BBC Music Magazine

In a musical career spanning over fifty years Mike Westbrook has written for, toured and recorded with a great variety of ensembles, from Trio to Jazz Orchestra. His compositions for voice, many written in collaboration with his wife, vocalist/librettist Kate Westbrook, range from cabaret songs to opera. They include large-scale orchestra works combining jazz and classical ensembles and settings of European poetry, as in The Cortège, and his latest album London Bridge Live in Zurich. Current projects include Kate Westbrook’s Granite Band; the WestbrookTrio+2, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Trio with Kate and Chris Biscoe. As well as The Westbrook Blake, settings of the poetry of William Blake; performances with his West Country-based big band The Uncommon Orchestra of his much loved Ellington tribute On Duke’s Birthday and a revival of the popular Big Band Rossini, variations on themes from the operas of Gioacchino Rossini, the first jazz work ever to feature in the BBC Proms and recently played to great acclaim in Rossini’s home towns of Pesaro and Lugo.

"Whether he is writing for a trio or a 20 piece orchestra, Westbrook's style is unmistakable. He combines instruments in unique ways, twists conventional jazz forms into surprising new shapes and seasons it all with delicate touches of humour and irony." Dave Gelly The Observer