Beats and Pieces Big Band ‘couple gale-force collective energy and confidence to startlingly original material that acknowledges big-band traditions while radically modernising them’ according to the Guardian’s John Fordham, while Clive Davis of The Times has said their performances would ‘reassure anyone who wonders whether the big band tradition can connect with a twenty-something audience that knows its Radiohead but thinks Stan Kenton is probably a window-cleaner in Coronation Street’.
Beats and Pieces Big Band is a 14 piece contemporary jazz ensemble, based in Manchester and featuring some of the most exciting and in-demand young musicians from all over the UK. The band’s format is an adaptation of the traditional big band line-up with three saxophones or reeds, three trombones, three trumpets, piano or Rhodes, guitar, bass and drums as well as a laptop musician manipulating the sound of the live band in real time. All the charts are originals by the band’s musical director Ben Cottrell, specially composed and arranged to suit the individual characteristics of each musician in the band.
(By the way, for any twenty-something who did think Stan Kenton was a window-cleaner on Coronation Street, he was in fact a legendary band leader whose career spanned the 1930s to ‘70s, and whose music was the first to be described as a Wall of Sound.)
Musical Director – Ben Cottrell
Sax/Reeds – Sam Healey, Ben Watte, Anthony Brown
Trombones – Simon Lodge, Tim Cox, Paul Strachan
Trumpets – Owen Bryce, Graham South, Nick Walters
Rhythm – Anton Hunter, Patrick Hurley, Harrison Wood, Jim Molyneux