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Home > Kit Downes: British Music Abroad

Kit Downes: British Music Abroad


Jazzahead 2012

Event date:

19 - 22 April 2012

Event venue:

Congress Centre, Bremen, Germany

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After studying at both the Purcell School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music – Kit now plays regularly with his own Trio and Quintet, Stan Sulzmann’s ‘Neon’, Troyka, The Golden Age of Steam, Sam Crockatt Quartet and Seb Rochford – he has also played with Julian Arguelles, Lee Konitz, Paul Rogers, Leafcutter John, Micachu, Iain Ballamy, Gwyneth Herbert and Eugene Skeef. He has also performed with leading British bands Fraud, Asaf Sirkis’ Inner Noise, Gilad Atzmon’s Orient House Ensemble, Acoustic Ladyland, Nostalgia 77, 2000 Black, Silhouette Brown and Dennis Rollins’ Badbone and Co. He worked with composer/songwriter Micachu, with whome he recorded in Abbey Road for Matthew Herbert, recorded for BBC Radio 6 and played at the Sonar Music Festival ’07 in Barcelona. Kit’s work with Empirical took him to The North Sea Jazz Festival, The JVC Festivals in New York, Montreal and Newport, and Vancouver Jazz Festival. Empirical won ‘Best Album of the Year 2007’ in Jazzwise and the EBU Award at the North Sea Festival. Kit won the BBC ‘Rising Star’ Award in 2008 and was nominated for a British Jazz Award in both 2008 and 2009, he also won one of ‘Yamaha Jazz Scholarship’ Awards in 2009. In 2010 Kit’s debut album ‘Golden’ was nominated for a Mercury Music Award. Kit is also a member of the F-IRE Collective, an initiative set up by Barak Schmool, which is a musician-led collective to encourage shared learning and sharing of resources. He enjoys the music of Bill Frisell, Bjork and Bela Bartok, the films of Jim Jarmusch and David Lynch and the artwork of Alberto Giacometti and Joan Miro.

“This generous award from PRSF will allow us to showcase our work to most of the major promoters from all across Europe at the major forum for European Jazz, Jazzahead in Bremen, Germany which takes place in April 2012. In 2011 my  trio took part in the 2 week “Brit Jazz” tour around Germany and Austria which was very well received by audiences and media alike. At Jazzahead my quintet – Kit Downes piano, James Allsopp reeds, Semay Wu cello, Calum Gourlay bass and James Maddren drums will play the music featured in our album “Quiet Tiger”. With support from Basho Records and Air Management we believe we will be able to play to a wide and attentive audience and will be able to follow through with the promoters attending the showcase. Our objective is to secure bookings at major European festivals and clubs. The opportunity to develop our work in Europe will not only allow us to reach a wider audience, it will raise our profile and help secure the future of my work and that of the band.”

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