THE TOMMY EVANS ORCHESTRA
In 2010 Tommy Evans was commissioned by Marsden Jazz Festival (MJF) to write a suite of music for their festival. Tommy put together a brilliant 12-piece orchestra containing some of the very best musicians in the UK.
The Tommy Evans Orchestra is:
Ruby Wood, Anna Stott, Kari Bleivik – Vocals
Matt Roberts, Simon Beddoe – Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Russ Henderson, Simon Kaylor, Rob Mitchell – Saxes
Nick Tyson – Guitar
Jami Sheriff – Piano
Dave Kane – Bass
Kris Wright – Drums
This commission by MJF resulted in ‘The Green Seagull’, a 90 minute suite, which has since been performed at many of the UK’s most respected venues and for which Tommy was awarded the 2011 BASCA Award for Contemporary Jazz Composition. The orchestra was also named 'Big Band of the Year' at the 2012 Jazz Yorkshire Awards.
The Green Seagull is a suite of music inspired by the life of the composer’s uncle, David Partridge. The suite conjures up Partridge’s passion, humor, eccentricity and hope. Evans draws inspiration from his uncle’s deep belief in tolerance, diversity and equality as well as his life experiences. The album is now out on Jellymould Records.
“There are stamping military tattoos, poignant minglings of pub-piano twangs and slowly pulsing horn textures, free improv, churchy solemnities from flutes and low woodwind, and some delicious mixing of brass-band sounds with the fragile cooing of the singers.”
John Fordham, The Guardian
“I was standing at the back of The Mechanics Hall with tears streaming down my face! The density and intensity of sound Tommy gets from just twelve musicians is stunning – I found the inclusion of three mostly wordless vocal parts particularly affecting. The layers of sound built up into a mesmerizing epiphany of music totally fitting to “The Green Seagull’s” spiritual inspiration.”
Barney Stevenson, Director, Marsden Jazz Festival
“The Green Seagull, commissioned by the Marsden Jazz Festival and sponsored by PRS and Jazz Services among others, was not just a hugely enjoyable piece of music but also a remarkable achievement for a first extended piece. I look forward to hearing more from Tommy Evans.”
Paul Medley, Oxford Times
“The Green Seagull is a stunning piece of music, performed with absolute passion and commitment by some of the finest young musicians in the North.”
David Porter, Hull Jazz Festival
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