Becca Wilkins' Gestalt
Becca's latest project is a collaboration with some of London’s most exciting young jazz musicians. Her writing explores varied themes from mythology to philosophy, with a soundscape incorporating electronics, FX and improvisation. This project presents the voice in a dynamic role, as both a textural and lyrical force, taking influences from artists including Leila Martial, Jen Shyu and Brad Mehldau. Gestalt, loosely translated as an object greater than the sum of its parts, is true to its name; the rhythm driven, heavy grooves of Becca’s writing are elevated by the musicianship of the band to create a fully captivating musical experience.
Becca Wilkins // vocals, composition
Christos Stylianides // trumpet, electronics
Olly Chalk // keyboard, synth
Daisy George // bass
Jack Robson // drums
photography: Ellie Koepke
wilkins/harris are a captivating piano-vocal duo, bringing together their multiple influences from folk, classical and jazz musics to create mesmerising wordless landscapes, virtuosic improvisation and heartfelt songs. Having released their debut EP and accompanying UK tour in autumn 2018, the two combine original music, re-worked jazz standards and short interludes to display their individual talents as both performers and composers, with a varied programme that maintains a consistent joyful and engaging character. Most recently, the two supported Kandace Springs at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2019, where they showcased their new material that continues the thread from their first EP and promises exciting developments for the future of this duo.
Becca Wilkins // vocals, composition, lyrics
Tom Harris// piano, vocals, composition
Olivia Murphy's Paper Shaped People
Paper Shaped People is Olivia Murphy’s latest project of original compositions and arrangements for jazz sextet. Her music showcases the bespoke frontline of soprano saxophone, trombone and vocals.
In April 2020 Olivia released the first EP for this project afterglow of a dream suite, recorded from Eastside Jazz Club, Birmingham.
olivia murphy - soprano saxophone, composition
becca wilkins - vocals
joe carnell - trombone
stella roberts - piano
james owston - bass
jim bashford – drums
Curated by Bex Lycett, Impasto is a collection of ten new commissions inspired by poetry and exploring the world of synaesthesia. The immersive concert, in March 2020, explored the visual world of synaesthesia to understand what synesthetes can see when listening to music, with live painting alongside an exhibition and the debut of the new works.
I was involved in two of these new works; Impressions (a poem by Oscar Wilde) by Joseph Spinoza, in three movements for voice, piano and saxophone; and Eucalyptus Trees (a poem by Chris Beckett), a six movement suite for jazz quintet, harp and strings by Olivia Murphy.
The entire set of compositions is now available to watch on YouTube and artwork available online.
Olivia Murphy's Almost Big Band
Olivia Murphy is a saxophonist, composer and improviser from Peterborough, UK. Twice the winner of the RBC Jazz Composition Prize and composition chair-holder for NYJO, Olivia's large ensemble project Almost Big Band features 13 of the strongest musicians in the Birmingham jazz scene and beyond.
'a bold and challenging work close to the music of Maria Schneider and the late, great Kenny Wheeler'
Olivia Murphy // soprano saxophone, composition Dave Sear // trombone
James Romaine // alto saxophone Becca Wilkins // vocals
Dan Spirrett // tenor saxophone, flute Dan Kemshell // guitar
Alicia Gardener-Trejo// baritone saxophone, flute Stella Roberts // piano
Percy Pursglove //trumpet, flugel James Owston // bass
Gareth Howell // trumpet, flugel Jim Bashford // drums
Richard Foote // trombone