PRESS RELEASE: BABATUNDE LEA QUARTET
Thursday 18th September 2008 at Bridport Arts Centre, admission £12 doors open 7:30
Afro-Latin Jazz with The Babatunde Lea Quartet
One of the most striking figures in jazz, the dreadlocked African garbed Babatunde Lea, hits Bridport with his Afro-Latin quartet to play their thrilling, tight and melodic jazz. San Francisco based Babatunde has worked with world famous artists such as Van Morrison, Stan Getz, Pharoah Sanders, Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead) Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Hilton Ruiz and Leon Thomas (Santana) in his four decades in jazz.
Club Underground booked Babatunde Lea after seeing his scorching set at the Pizza Express jazz venue in Soho. The quartet are playing a Ronnie Scott’s residency in early October 2008 featuring BBC Jazz Awards “Best Instrumentalist” Tony Kofi. “We are lucky to get such a world class musician to play in Bridport,” says promoter Matt Hayden. “This promises to be Bridport’s jazz gig of the year, I have not been so excited about a promotion since bringing Avishai Cohen to Bridport.”A gifted composer, drummer and percussionist, the Babatunde Lea Quartet will be featuring rising UK jazz stars Tony Kofi (saxes and flute) who has just won ‘Best Instrumentalist’ in the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards, Trevor Watkis (piano) and Larry Bartley (bass).
The San Francisco weekly described the Babatunde Lea US quartet as ‘a fiery example of everything that’s not dead about jazz.’ The Los Angeles Weekly said; ‘What you get a tightly disciplined, tightly arranged, Jazz Messengers-inspired soulful post-bop that’s propelled, rather than ruled, by its leader’s formidable technique.”
“Harkens back to the classic late-1960s Impulse label sound, where heroes like Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders made some of the most soulful searching music ever… simply beautiful.”
– The Beat
“Not since Mingus and Blakey has music bristled with a sense of message like this.”
– Downbeat MagazineHear a sample of Babatunde’s music on motema.com or myspace.com/babatundeleaTickets £12 in advance (seated) from Bridport Arts Centre.
www.bridport-arts.com/booking Telephone 01308 424204Tony Kofi‘Best Instrumentalist’ 2008
BBC Jazz Awards. New album; ‘The Silent Truth’.Born in Nottingham of West African parents, Tony started his jazz education in Leicester and went on to study at Berklee. Experience in the Jazz Warriors in the 1980s led on to work with many of leading American musicians (including Branford Marsalis, Billy Higgins and Eddie Henderson, Andrew Hill and Sam Rivers) as well work in Gary Crosby’s Nu-Troop, Julian Joseph’s Big Band, Tim Richard’s Great Spirit, Byron Wallen’s Indigo and many others. His most recent CDs (All Is Know, dedicated to Monk, and Future Passed) have received widespread praise.
Trevor WatkisTrevor Watkis started off playing the guitar at 10 years old before later switching to the piano. At 21 years old he was awarded a scholarship to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts, USA, where, being so close New York City, he was able to study with, hear and meet some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians, such as Mulgrew Miller, Betty Carter, Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson and Freddie Hubbard.
Trevor has since established himself on the UK jazz scene as a highly respected pianist, band leader and composer, working with renowned artists from both the UK and USA (Courtney Pine, Jean Toussaint, Cleveland Watkiss, Ernest Ranglin, Gary Bartz, Kenny Garrett, the late Stanley Turrentine, Eddie Henderson, Betty Carter, Clifford Jarvis and many others).
Since studying at the Goldsmith College from 1988 – 91 with Howard Riley and Laurence Couty, Larry has become one of the most sought after bass players on the London jazz scene.
British based bands and musicians thathe worked with include Courtney Pine, Jean Toussaint, Denys Baptiste, Cleveland Watkiss, Byron Wallen, Steve Williamson, Julian Joseph, Andy Sheppard, Soweto Kinch, Juliet Roberts, Alex Wilson and Robert Mitchell.He has also toured with visiting musicians such as Stanley Turrentine and Steve Grossman, and performed with dancer Sharon Wrey’s at the Royal Opera House. Larry’s playing is featured on many recordings by some of London’s best-known jazz players.
Club Underground has a long history of bringing top flight musicians to Bridport. For more information call Matt Hayden 07957 550 232 or Paul Lashmar 07713 635 079 www.club-underground.co.uk
Thanks to Sean Geraghty from the SideKicks for sending us this information!