Great interview with Denys Baptiste by the wonderful Robert Elms on BBC Radio London last week ahead of his show at Harrow Arts Centre. Lovely to hear Robert acclaim Denys’ album, Let Freedom Ring! (Dune Records, DUNECD010) as ‘one of the most eloquent statements to have come out of British jazz in years’. We agree! It is an extraordinary, very special piece of music that has become a modern-day jazz classic.
Denys Baptiste has been interviewed onBBC Radio 3 to provide a bit of a prelude to a new BBC Radio 3 drama, Bix: Singing The Blues by Robert Forrest to be broadcast this Sunday 17 November at 10.00pm. Set against a backdrop of racial and musical segregation in the 1920s, the play gives a fictionalised version of the one and only time Bix and Louis Armstrong played together in a private, after-hours session.
According to the BBC programme notes:
Apart from their genius, the musicians Bix Beiderbecke and Louis Armstrong had little in common. Armstrong was black and Beiderbecke was white and musical segregation was complete in the 1920’s. Armstrong would go on to be one of the first musicians to challenge this racial divide, and his life story is well documented. Beiderbecke was an alcoholic who died young – but perhaps his greatest tragedy was that he never got to play with the best – because in his view the best were black.
Set your reminder now! BBC Radio 3Sunday 17 November at 10.00pm
Through music we remember Martin Luther King, his words and the movements of peace and equality that he stood for.
Some shots from Now Is The Time…Let Freedom Ring at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank last month:
Look exciting? Theres still time!
And if you missed the gig last month – we’re still on tour and will be at the Harrow Arts Centre on November 21st with Denys Baptiste, the full 13-piece band (as seen above) and the stirring voices of Lemn Sissay and Ben Okri delivering poetry which not only underlines Yeast Culture’s archival Civil Rights footage, but also incites a united sense of social change among audience and performer alike. Tickets are now on sale for just £15!
Watch exclusive clips of poet Lemn Sissay’s ‘Civilize You’ and live music from Denys Baptiste’s touring jazz performance Now Is The Time…Let Freedom Ring! in SOUTHAMPTON Friday 25th, then coming to London 26th and to Harrow in November!
Another review just in of Now Is The Time…Let Freedom Ring!, this time from Rhythmaning who saw the concert at Usher Hall in bonny Edinburgh. Clearly, this show is having a real impact on audiences ‘Ambitious…heart-rending…spine-tingling…exquisite…moving…powerful stuff indeed’. This is a MUST-SEE show!!
“This was a concert of deep social significance…a masterful merge of composition and soloists which may ultimately be comparable with the extended works of Ellington, Mingus or Gil Evans.” – Lance at bebop spoken here
A wonderful review by Bepop Spoken Hereof Denys Baptiste’s wonderful Now Is The Time…Let Freedom Ring! concert at Sage Gateshead – click for the full interview. Four generations of Tomorrow’s Warriors appear in this fabulous band – testament to its impact and significant legacy over the past 22 years. After kicking-off the tour in Gateshead we’re moving to Usher Hall in Edinburgh – Tickets still available so don’t miss out! See you there tonight!
Our roving Lively Up! Festival photographer tuned into a conversation between saxophonist/composer, Denys Baptiste and poet/author, Lemn Sissay as they discussed Denys’ new work ‘NOW IS THE TIME’ for which Lemn has contributed his poetry.
‘We have to search through our past for inspiration that can take us through the traumas of the present’.
‘[Martin Luther King] is our hero, and he’s a hero to everybody’.