Kit Downes

LIJF Double Bill: Downes & Challenger and Watts & Grew

Saturday, 23 February 2019 Time: 4pm


NB: This concert takes place at the Great Hall, Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus, 17 Shaw Street, Liverpool L6 1HP


Kit Downes - piano
Tom Challenger - saxophone
Kit Downes is a BBC Jazz Award-winning, Mercury Music Award nominated, solo recording artist for ECM Records who has toured the world with groups such as Squarepusher, Troyka, Empirical and Nostalgia 77, collaborative projects such as ENEMY, Vyamanikal, and duo projects with Lucy Railton and Aidan O'Rourke. He has also collaborated with composers Matt Rogers and Mica Levi, electronic musician Leafcutter John, and drummer Seb Rochford. 
After being asked by the Southbank Centre in 2014 to write a new work for the opening festival of the recently refurbished Royal Festival Hall Organ, he went on to work with Aldeburgh Music and Tim Challenger on a project called Vyamanikal, a series of recordings documenting extended techniques on various local church organs (often in various states of disrepair). Very recently, in 2018, he released his first solo album for the ECM label, an album of music for solo organ entitled Obsidian. He is joined for this very special concert by saxophonist Tom Challenger. 
Trevor Watts - saxophone
Stephen Grew - piano

Since the 1960s, saxophonist Trevor Watts has been at the forefront of many innovations within Jazz, World and improvised musical areas, both as a saxophone player, percussionist and composer. He is the only surviving founder member of the hugely influential Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and has through the years formed bands and collaborated with musicians as diverse as Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Kent Carter, Rashied Ali, Steve Swallow, Bobby Bradford, Cyro Baptista and Stan Tracey. Currently his main artistic projects include a long-standing duo with pianist Veryan Weston, and work with the group Moire Music Drum Orchestra. 

Pianist Stephen Grew is one of Europe's most dedicated and imaginative pianists. His playing, free from the constraints of traditional harmonic, melodic and rhythmic structures, is a virtuosic tour -de -force of dynamic extremes, percussive effects and spontaneous atonal flourishes, by turn surprising, witty and breath-taking. In the mid-90s following a background in the visual and ceramic artists he decided to devote his full attention to music-making, producing tapes of solo piano music and promoting and supporting improvised music. In 1995 he formed his band Grew Trio which went on to tour Europe extensively. He has gone on to collaborate with some of the leading figures in free-improvised music including Pat Thomas, Paul Hession, Keith Tippett, Evan Parker and Clive Bell amongst many others.

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