Efpi Records is proud to announce that the Beats & Pieces Big Band have been named as the winners of the 2011 Burghausen European Young Artists’ Jazz Award in Germany. Their prize was a cheque for €15,000 and the honour of performing the opening concert of the 42nd Burghausen International Jazz Festival, taking to the stage before Chick Corea and Gary Burton in an event that was filmed and recorded for German national television and radio.
Ben Cottrell, the band’s founder and musical director, said “Winning this award is a massive achievement, particularly when the other groups in the competition were so strong, and I’m really proud of all of the guys. The lineup for the rest of the festival is amazing so it was an honour to be a part of that, especially supporting Chick Corea and Gary Burton which was really exciting for us!”
During the competition on Tuesday 22nd March, Beats & Pieces were selected by a panel of German jazz producers, promoters and journalists from five finalists, the others hailing from Germany, Austria and Denmark – these five groups were drawn from over 60 initial applications from across Europe. The 2011 Burghausen International Jazz Festival runs across a week with a lineup including Joe Lovano, Kurt Elling, Dan Berglund and Helge Sunde’s Ensemble Denada. Over its 42 years, the festival has hosted international jazz superstars such as Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Ella Fitzgerald and Esjborn Svensson.
The Beats & Pieces Big Band is grateful to the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, who generously supported this trip to Germany with an Ensembles and Groups Award.
Check out the Beats & Pieces website for more details and photos etc from the trip!
Both photographs by Robert Piffer
Posted: March 29th, 2011 | Author: Ben | Filed under: Beats & Pieces, General news | Tags: Beats & Pieces, beats & pieces big band, burghausen, european young artists' jazz award, germany | No Comments »
Hi there, here’s a bit of info about an up-coming tour I have out here in Skandinavia. It’s a double header with my very good friends in Dina kompisars kompisar (Your friends friend) and a new duo between me and a fantastic Norwegian guitarist Christian Winther. We’re gunna do a date in Oslo then a couple in Swedenbetween the 3rd and the 7th of April. Here’s a link to hear the kompisars and as soon as I’ve got some audio for the duo I’ll put it up somewhere.
Dina Kompisars Kompisar:
Mette Rasmussen : Alto Sax
Elsa Bergman : Bass
Ole Mofjell : Drums
Sam Andreae : Tenor Sax
Posted: March 28th, 2011 | Author: Sam | Filed under: General news | No Comments »
Christian Winther : Guitar
Next week all 14 members of the Beats & Pieces Big Band are off to Burghausen, Germany to compete in the final five groups in the European Young Artists’ Jazz Award – wish them luck! The competition is on Tuesday evening so keep an eye on their website, facebook and twitter channels to find out what happens… The trip is also being genereously supported by an Ensembles and Groups Award from the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, which covers the cost of the flights to and from Germany – many thanks to them.
Beats & Pieces will be playing at a favourite local haunt to send them on their way… The gig is this Friday (18th March) at the West Didsbury Club (M20 2LN), its free entry and I’m reliably informed that the beer is very cheap so there’s no better place to start your weekend! Their set starts at 8.30pm sharp so don’t be late…
Best of luck in Germany guys!
Posted: March 15th, 2011 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Beats & Pieces | No Comments »
Come send us on our merry way to Germany! We’re flying out on Sunday 20th for a Europe-wide competition, and thought it would be nice to give all our lovely friends in Manchester an opportunity to join in with our fun before we go so they don’t all have to come over there with us…
West Didsbury Club is an amazing little venue, right next door to the co-op on Burton Road – we played here last May which was a great night, and was listed as one of the top 10 northwest jazz gigs of 2010 by NWJazzworks. Don’t miss out this time!
Free entry, cheap beer, great music – what’s not to love?
BEATS & PIECES SET STARTS 8.30pm SHARP!
Posted: March 15th, 2011 | Author: Ben | Filed under: Beats & Pieces, Listings | No Comments »
So we set off on our second UK tour a couple of weeks back, here’s some photos, and the outcome of the Sam-Eero chess tournament (not much of a tournament as I’m rubbish and Fin doesn’t like chess, so we didn’t really play).
Rehearsals: I’d forgotten to bring all the old music, so we re-learnt them from the recordings instead. Turned out to be a great decision as we really opened stuff up a lot over the 7 gigs. In this photo here, Sam tries to explain to Fin what he thinks the drums should sound like while Eero looks enviously at Sam’s hair.
Kicked off in Leeds at The Wardrobe and already it felt really good to be playing together again. Here’s a photo of us eating dinner before the gig:
Afterwards we drove to Sam’s mum’s for the night. Here’s a lovely photo of Fin and another one of us eating, this time a cracking veggie soup that Eero had made (the secret was in the cumin and soy).
Coventry was great, only playing one set meant we could keep quite a high energy, and started us thinking about how cool it’d be to tour with another band. Afterwards we drove to Birmingham where the amazing Rob Anstey put us up for the night. Big debate the next day about what to do with all our spare time before the gig. Fin won and we ended up at…
…Cadbury World. Eero and Sam by this point had got quite into playing chess. In this photo, taken outside the Yardbird, Sam still has a series lead of about 5-2 (remember that for later).
The gig was great too by the way, we met a nice guy named Jake who’d never heard this sort of stuff before, and, being a man of great taste that he is, he bought the CD (which you can do too here). The next two days we had off, Fin and Sam went home, Eero and I watched Lethal Weapon 4. All normal there.
Newcastle, it turns out, is an amazing place, I’d never been but definitely heading back one day. The Bridge Hotel (where we played for Jazz Action’s Splinter night) is situated right by the river, next to some beautiful architecture. And Adrian, Andy and Zoe all made us feel very welcome. The first gig on the tour with a quiet room to play to, and they were appreciative too. Check out a video or two… ‘Da da da da da da da’ and ‘Bint’ and a review here.
The day off was spent productively, Eero drew level in the chess to 7-7, Fin unplugged our freezer without realising for a few hours, and most of us went to the pub.
There aren’t really any photos from London, Sheffield or Manchester, or at least not yet, Eero’s photographer friend nearly got himself run over taking shots of us outside The Forge in Camden. All three gigs went really well, to varying crowds, but the music has never sounded better, it feels very natural and open. We played a few new tunes all nights, ‘August’ by myself, ‘Da da da da da da da’ by Sam (as well as his arrangement of Bowie’s ‘Changes’) and Fin’s ‘Don’t You Know’ – all feel pretty exciting, and we’re already itching to get back together to play/write/drink more. Hopefully some gigs in Finland look like they might happen, but it’s far too early to confirm dates or anything yet.
The final chess score was Eero 9-7 Sam. Chess fans will wonder how Sam let a 5-2 lead slip away, winning only 2 of the last 9 games, but he’s been practising since. The final Fin vs. our flat score was one unplugged freezer, one smashed wine glass and two near misses with a teapot, but to make up for that he fixed the squeak on the front door and mending the curtain. So that’s a draw I guess.
And here are some photos of the HAQ trophy made by Angela Guyton for the cover art…
Posted: March 14th, 2011 | Author: Anton | Filed under: HAQ | 2 Comments »