Thursday, June 07, 2018

Beats & Pieces Big Band From Manchester, U.K., Release 10th Anniversary Live Album Ten

2018 marks Beats & Pieces' 10th anniversary and their busiest year to date. Following a major European tour in November 2017 (including a sold-out show at Amsterdam's legendary Bimhuis), the band kicked off 2018 with a completely sold-out three night residency at Ronnie Scott's and a January UK tour. They have just performed a prestigious showcase at Jazzahead! in Bremen, and will embark on their debut North American tour in June before a hometown 10th birthday party at the Manchester Jazz Festival in July. 

The Manchester gig will also mark the release of an anniversary live CD/DVD package, ten (release date is July 20, 2018-UK & August 3, 2018-U.S.), recorded in January 2018 in the same rehearsal space at the Royal Northern College of Music where the band had first played together, 10 years to the day. Further UK dates for October 2018 will be announced in due course.

Beats & Pieces Big Band take the big band sound to places it's never been before, with a distinctive blend of rocking energy and precise dynamics, infectious floor-filling rhythms and widescreen arrangements, and generous individual freedom and tight collective interplay. Embracing modern textures and techniques while acknowledging and celebrating their big band lineage, they've earned a reputation for a joyful interaction between audience and band, with songs to make you think, dance, laugh and cry.

This exciting ensemble led by composer/conductor Ben Cottrell boasts 14 musicians, many of them bandleaders in their own right, with each player's distinct musical background and individual voice being key to the collective band identity. Now in their 10th year, Beats & Pieces are a rarity in keeping a fairly consistent lineup for so long - especially remarkable for a group this size. Such is the level of trust and friendship across the group that they perform entirely from memory, effortlessly switching between super-tight ensemble playing and generous soloistic expression in the same way as a trio or quartet.

A driving force of the vibrant Manchester music scene and one of the most striking ensembles of its kind, the group continues to win new fans and friends across Europe and beyond. Beats & Pieces is not an average 'big band' - rather a band that's big.

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