About this event:
- Event type:
- Free | In-person
- Admission free
- Milton Court Concert Hall
You can access the digital programme for this event here:
You will also be able to access the Digital Programme by using your mobile phone to scan a QR code posted at the entrance to the Milton Court Concert Hall. Free Wi-Fi will be available at the venue. Please note that there will be no printed programmes provided.
If you wish to print a copy at home, you will also find a print-friendly version at the link above. Please note that this version is not intended for viewing on a mobile device during the performance, and does not include biographies or supplemental materials. Please access the Digital Programme for that purpose.
Guildhall Big Band are joined by special guests Tony Kofi and Miguel Gorodi for this tribute to the majestic and powerful music of composer, arranger and saxophonist Oliver Nelson, and a celebration of its ability to enlighten and educate.
Matt Skelton directs this special matinee performance, featuring selections from Nelson’s landmark suite for jazz orchestra Afro-American Sketches. This represented Nelson’s first full recording of original big band material and explores racial and political themes that galvanised much of his work. Sketches, composed and recorded in 1961, came out of Nelson’s time studying the musical traditions of nearly 200 African tribes. Its seven movements follow a story that begins on the African continent, suffers the evils of slavery, experiences the temporary joy of rediscovered freedom, expresses the pain of societal oppression, and looks with optimism toward a future that embraces equal rights for all people.
Free, no tickets required
Programme & Performers
Guildhall Big Band
Matt Skelton director
Tony Kofi saxophone
Miguel Gorodi trumpet
Nelson was a musician whose work was beloved by jazz fans, by his peers and the general public. So many of the era's greatest musicians clamoured for his arranging skills. Hollywood and television treasured his amazing compositional and arranging abilities on multiple levels – not only could he create memorable scores and soundtracks, but he could do it in the gruelling time frame required by that genre. His compositions were always unique, and often his style is instantly recognisable. He was grounded in the blues, but heavily influenced by classical music. He also left a great educational legacy, which is embodied by his landmark book Patterns for Improvisation: an exhaustive collection of improvisational jazz patterns in various meters and feels with his comments and suggestions, spelling out some of the basic building blocks of the 'jazz language.'
"In his penchant for melodic simplicity and inner complexity he is close to the secret of Duke Ellington's most enduring scores, and in his thick linear voicings there are echoes of Gil Evans at his best." Richard B. Hadlock for Down Beat magazine, June 1962
Milton Court, based across the road from our Silk Street building, provides the School with world-class performance and training spaces, including a state of the art concert hall, a lyric theatre, a studio theatre and several major rehearsal rooms.