'Reach For It' - The Genius of George Duke

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Last Show: Wednesday 15 th March 2023

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

A Celebration of a widely loved and admired, now much-missed musical genius of great integrity  George Duke. 

Tracing his work from the Zappa years though a multi-album jazz and funk solo career plus numerous heavyweight collaborations (Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke, Rachelle Ferrell), and Montreux triumphs, Duke's music provides the melodic canvas for these outstanding players to express themselves. Expect impeccable ensemble musicianship, friendly funk, Brazilian vibes and very groovy jazz. Trademark keyboard wizardry  both musical and technical  from one of George Duke’s greatest admirers, Carl Hudson. On the evening joined by Oli Savill (Jamiroquai, Roy Ayres, Annie Lennox) on percussion, with a Special Guest singer Imaani (lead singer Incognito, Chaka Khan).

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George Duke was  a Jazz-funk keyboard star of the 70s who became a hit-making music producer

The George Duke credit turns up in the small print of countless jazz, soul and R&B records – he played with Michael Jackson, Airto, David Axelrod, Chaka Khan, Flora Purim, Shuggie Otis, Sonny Rollins, Nancy Wilson and hundreds more.

Duke was a member of several jazz-fusion supergroups, including a band with the former Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer Billy Cobham and a power trio with the bassist Stanley Clarke.

The success of Duke's album Reach For It (1977) attracted a more funk- and R&B-oriented audience to his gigs, and eventually enabled him to develop a parallel career as a hit-making producer – he made albums with Dee Dee Bridgewater, the duo A Taste of Honey, Jeffrey Osborne, Deniece Williams and many more artists, including Take 6 and his cousin Dianne Reeves.

Band Lineup

Carl Hudson - keyboards (Leroy Hutson, Sister Sledge, Dexter Wansel, PB Underground)

Tim Cansfield - guitar (Bee Gees, Stevie Winwood, Seal, Swing Out Sister)

Phil Mulford - bass 

Oli Savill - percussion (Jamiroquai, Roy Ayres, Annie Lennox) 

Geoff Dunn - drums (Van Morrison, Incognito, Joe Cocker, Donna Summer)

Imaani - vocals (lead singer Incognito, Chaka Khan)