Spring 2018 has been one of the most diverse and strongest seasons in music for me so far in London with my musical scope set to LET ALL THE MUSIC IN AT ONCE (!) and it has been a challenge. With what now must be 200 Re:Imagine shows under my belt, we start the next in our orchestration of popular albums with the inclusion and expansion non other than 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’. With our well trained band and arrangers we hit the stage 26th May at the infamous XOYO, Old Street, and run this show until people have gotten their fill. This album is very special to me being as it was basically the sound track of my youth and to now be able to perform this album to the best of my ability is truly special.
A few weeks back we had a commission by one of the biggest company/agencies in the north of England to put to gather a show dedicated to the music, sound and heritage of the 80’s iconic band The Police. This band lineup was slightly different to our other incarnations of groups we put together being that we now needed 3 singers to fill the frontline. Now, us at Rogue Symphony never ever ever try and be a “cover” band in which i mean, we never try and be the band we are covering at the time. To do this would undermine the whole ethos of what our shows and productions are about. Instead, just like the name suggests, we “reimagine” the sound and show and bring it into the present setting alongside it a full string section. Sometimes, when time permits, we take the visual aspects as well of what actually made the album/band/group so iconic in the first place. We arrange and score new and exclusive string parts for each individual song and that is what makes this so unique and special. I really do enjoy this! Getting to play and perform albums by bands that don’t even exist yet to audiences that may have not heard this music in over 10-20 years previous.
Swapping hats now for just a second, i had the pleasure of performing with the lovely and talented Alto saxophonist and composer Camilla George off the back of her critically acclaimed album Isang (reviews here https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jan/19/camilla-george-quartet-isang-review-jazz-alto-sax-pianist-sarah-tandy). This wonderful musician has rave press from all over Europe and has just blown up from 2016-2017. With this first album now complete, do listen out for this amazing woman and all the great and big things to come her way. Performing music written by original composers on original compositions is such a joy, purely because it is so rare in todays world to get a chance to do so. It’s a unique opportunity to perform o.g works yet it is even more of a thrill to do so in a true artistic setting that only truly creative and free jazz music can offer. There is no other medium where you can get this feeling and for that, i am grateful to be a musician. The UK for Contemporary jazz is where it is at today and never has it been so driven and fruitful with people from ALL backgrounds, not just a certain type, like it has been for a while. Staying with contemporary jazz, Etienne Charles will be in the UK doing a few dates with one being at the Tabernacle (https://www.tabernaclew11.com/events/2018-06-03-etienne-charles-creole-soul-the-tabernacle). Etienne is someone who has been on my radar for a while but never had the chance to actually play with until now. Being Caribbean born, he holds a different kind of energy unique to that part of the world with the music and lifestyle he brings with him being fresh and is a pleasure to be around.
That brings spring to a close leaving only the best time of the year, summer! Thanks for visiting my blog guys and be sure to check back in soon for the next instalment. Until then, see you on the next one!