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Mike Westbrook - The Uncommon Orchestra


We are so pleased to welcome back to Birmingham, after what seems a very a long absence, Mike Westbrook in Orchestra mode – The Uncommon Orchestra. A 20-strong ensemble a very big sound for this Winter, in the studio space of the Blue Orange. Mike Westbrook was in his early 20’s when he first led a band and he has been doing it for the last 55 years. Like the great US bandleaders, he has continually gathered together powerful combinations of playing talent that have brought his often-ambitious compositions to vigorous life. His biggest and most impressive achievements have been collaborations with lyricist and vocalist Kate Westbrook, usually highly stylised jazz oratorios, often with a political edge and always staged on a grand scale that defies the economic logic of jazz

Mike has a long history of innovative visceral music. Straight Jazz bands, theatre, marching bands and the best Beatles cover ever “Off Abbey Road”. Now he has created ‘A Bigger Show mixing long time collaborators such as Alan Wakeman and Pete Wyman with younger (one is a Conservatoire student) players with Classical and rock musicians. A Bigger Show has been described as a Jazz/Rock Oratorio. Kate Westbrook’s scenario uses the image of the fairground to examine, with irony, humour and high drama, the lot of Humankind in the age of the World-Wide-Web. Mike Westbrook’s score for 20-piece ensemble involves 3 vocalists/actors, acoustic brass and saxophones, electronics and a rhythm section.

Uncommon Orchestra Line-Up: Kate Westbrook & Martine Waltier voice Billy Bottle voice & bass guitar Roz Harding, Sarah Dean, Alan Wakeman, Pete Whyman & Ian Wellens saxophones Jon Scott & Sam Massey trumpets Dave Holdsworth Sousaphone & trumpet Stewart Stunnell, Joe Carnell & Sam Chamberlain-Keen trombones Marcus Vergette bass Jesse Molins & Matthew North guitars Coach York drums Mike Westbrook piano Tim Goodwin dramaturge

Sunday 17 8.00PMDecember2017-12-17T20:00:00Z2017-12-17T21:50:00Z


The Blue Orange Theatre

118 Great Hampton Street

B18 6AD Birmingham GB

0121 212 2643

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