Jazz Orchestra as Unique as Its Music

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Byline: By CLAIRE HILL Western Mail

TAKING its infectious brand of jazz across the country, the Wales Jazz Composers Orchestra sets out for the first time. Having played at Brecon Jazz 2004 to high acclaim, this exuberant and anarchic big band is playing 10 dates nationwide, starting with SwanseaAEs Taliesin Arts Centre on Saturday, April 8. Wales Jazz Composers Orchestra plays entirely original music composed by various members of the band, including a new four-part song cycle especially commissioned for this tour, The Garden of Unearthly Delights u featuring the extraordinary vocals of Li Harding.

With two double basses, two drummers, a violin, vocals and an accordion, as well as the usual trumpets and saxophones, the orchestraAEs 17-piece line-up is as unique as its music.

The members of the orchestra are hand- picked from the best of the Welsh jazz scene, mixing several promising young jazz musicians with other Welsh musicians of international standing and reputation such as Paula Gardiner (bass and compositions), Huw Warren (piano, accordion and compositions) and Lee Goodall (saxes).

Huw Warren, winner of the prestigious BBC Jazz Award for Innovation in 2005, is an established artist on the international jazz scene. As a composer and multi-instrumentalist, his work is difficult to categorise; refusing to accept conventional musical barriers, but finding fans and admirers in the worlds of jazz, new music and world music. …