Bands

Rob Luft Band

Having won The 2016 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize in association with The Royal Academy of Music, Rob formed this project in order to record an album of his original compositions for Edition Records. Opting for the format of a power trio, the rhythm section consists of rising stars Corrie Dick and Tom McCredie, and the album features an expanded quintet line-up with the addition of Joe Wright (tenor saxophone) and Joe Webb (Hammond organ). Drawing influence from artists such as Ali Farka Toure, Bill Frisell, and Radiohead, the band can be seen as Britain’s answer to The Wayne Krantz Trio! Their debut album will be launched on 14th September 2017, at King’s Place, London.

Big Bad Wolf

Big Bad Wolf is a London-based band featuring washy guitars, ambient vocals, brassy hooks and deep grooves. This distinctive sound arises largely from the band’s consistently egalitarian process of group composition, where all 4 members are present from conception to completion of each song. Starting each writing session by recording an open-ended group improvisation, they then listen back, pick out the best ideas and develop them into intricate and concise pieces of music. Big Bad Wolf have developed a unique way to bridge the gap between improvised music and contemporary pop/rock styles. All four band members have a strong grounding in jazz from their studies on the prestigious jazz course at the Royal Academy of Music and at Leeds College of Music. From this background, the band strives to constantly push the boundaries and blur the edges of the genre through a wealth of influences, from Bjork to Derek Bailey, brought to the table by each member of the group. From the band’s first experimentations in late 2014 there has always been a primary focus on the instrumental blend within the slightly unconventional line up (trombone, guitar, bass VI and drums) and how to work that into forging an individual, contemporary sound whilst still honouring the improvisational element of the jazz tradition. Big Bad Wolf are proud recipients of a Help Musicians UK Development Grant and are also winners of the 2015 Zealous X Music Category.

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Deco Ensemble

Encuentro

Rob co-founded the tango quintet The Deco Ensemble in 2013 whilst studying at The Royal Academy of Music and has performed with them at The National Philharmonic (Warsaw), The Purcell Room (London), Salle Cortot (Paris), Ministry of Culture (Bratislava), Palazzo Brancaccio (Rome), as well as in many other major European cities.

‘Encuentro’ is their debut album, released in July 2015, in which the members of the Deco Ensemble have combined their spirit of fearless exploration to re-imagine the Tango Nuevo Quintet, combining classical, jazz and traditional music influences.

‘Encuentro’ features works by a handful of the foremost Argentinian composers of tango music, including Astor Piazzolla & Gustavo Beytelmann, as well as compositions by the Belgian contemporary classical composer Frédéric Devreese.

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Enzo Zirilli

Zirobop

Drummer Enzo Zirilli moved to London in 2004, from his native Turin. Over the last decade he has become one of the most sought after drummers on the London scene and beyond, working with the likes of Jim Mullen, Stan Sulzmann, John Etheridge, Tom Harrell and Jason Rebello, to name but a few. In 2014 he formed the band “ZiroBop” with Italian guitar maestro Alessandro Chiappetta and two English rising stars: guitarist Rob Luft and bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado.

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Mafarowi

A newly formed project that is a pared-down version of Martin Speake’s previous 7-piece group ‘Fever Pitch’. This group was originally formed to reflect Martin’s interest in rhythmic music from around the world, including Arabic, Indian and Turkish influences. The concept of this band is to play music that is very immediate for audiences, and is harmonically simple, with the improvising consisting of primarily melodic and rhythmic development rather than being based on chord changes.

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Byron Wallen’s Four Corners

Four Corners is the latest project from celebrated British jazz trumpeter, Byron Wallen. The music takes its inspiration from the human soul from all corners of the earth. Landmarks of blues, mode and groove are explored and re-invented. Byron’s written pieces are systematically broken down into spaced-out jams, almost telepathically abstract and Grateful Dead-like at times, where you’re left wondering (in the best possible sense)  “are they even playing music now, or…?”. The group also features American drummer Rod Youngs and rising UK tuba player Theon Cross.

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Phelan Burgoyne Trio

The trio have been close collaborators since early 2014 when Burgoyne and Luft were both students at the Royal Academy of Music in London where Speake is a professor. Unquiet Quiet is the debut recording by the trio, and it was recorded in the space of a single, cold February afternoon in a small, acoustically beautiful studio on the south coast of England. Comprising of predominantly first takes, the music is heavily improvised and sculpted around the nucleus of Burgoyne’s strong, sketch-like melodies, inspired by particular characters, landscapes and memories. At just under thirty-four minutes long, the recording can be interpreted as a miniature sonic triptych in three parts, punctuated by two fleeting solo percussion interludes. From the cryptic “Imubasam” to the ardent and brooding “Afterthought” the recording features Speake at his most rhapsodic, against the backdrop of Luft’s warm, glowing harmonies and Burgoyne’s abstract rubato drumming. Unquiet Quiet captures a raw and intuitive performance from the Phelan Burgoyne Trio and stands as an amalgamation of the last two years of collaboration, growth and searching together.

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Luna Cohen Group

Originally from Belo Horizonte in Brazil, Luna Cohen has been making quite an impact on the UK world music scene of late. In 2016 she launched her 4th album “November Sky”, featuring both Rob’s guitar playing and three of his original compositions, as well as several leading exponents of Brazilian jazz, including Gabriel Grossi, Jurandir Santana and Anthony Cruz.

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Patchwork Jazz Orchestra

Winners of the 2015 Peter Whittingham Award, Patchwork Jazz Orchestra are a collective London-based ensemble dedicated to championing big band music in a contemporary setting. The 17-piece group made its debut at the 2014 London Jazz Festival to a sell out audience at The Forge in Camden, and since then has been turning heads with the sound of fresh original compositions written exclusively by its members. Having performed at venues from London’s Vortex Jazz Club to abroad at La Mortella in Ischia, Italy, the orchestra are setting up their own night “Patchwork” aided by the funding received from the Peter Whittingham Award.

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Baltika

Baltika is a London-based band exploring traditional East European music, whilst adding improvisational elements and their own unique instrumentation. Their repertoire covers Balkan, Gyspy, Klezmer and Baltic music. Inspiration for their unconventional line-up is derived from Turkish Cocek and Serbian Kolo groups, and the individual members of the group come from jazz, classical and world-music backgrounds.

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Third Stream Trio

The Third Stream trio is an exciting and energetic jazz trio that was formed in 2014 by New Zealand expat double bassist Tim Robertson. Based in London, they are currently working on their debut album, featuring an eclectic mix of musical styles.

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