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Nikki Iles

Over the last few years Bedfordshire born Nikki Iles has progressed into the front rank of British jazz musicians. From a musical family, she first became aware of jazz through her father's record collection, and began playing the harmonica and clarinet at her primary school. At eleven she won a Junior Exhibitioner's Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, studying piano and clarinet, and was soon a member of the Bedfordshire Youth Jazz Orchestra. It was at this time that the piano took over as Nikki's principal instrument.

During this period her involvement with jazz was deepening, prompting the decision to study at The Leeds College of Music between 1981-84 and eventually she settled in Yorkshire before finally moving back to London in September 1998.

The first platform for her own composing was the group Emanon, led by trumpeter Richard Iles, which also included the guitarist Mike Walker and saxophonist Iain Dixon

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Issie Barratt: Every Solo Is A New Invitation

Read "Issie Barratt: Every Solo Is A New Invitation" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Issie Barratt is one of the most significant jazz educators in Britain today. From 1999-2004, Barratt was head of Jazz at Trinity College of Music but her role as Artistic Director of the National Youth Jazz Collective has been of even greater importance in developing young jazz talent. Now in its, thirteenth year, NYJC goes from ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Yazz Ahmed & The Guildhall Jazz Orchestra

Read "Yazz Ahmed & The Guildhall Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Chris May

Yazz Ahmed / The Guildhall Jazz Orchestra / Scott Stroman Milton Court Concert Hall Yazz Ahmed & The Guildhall Jazz Orchestra London November 27, 2019 Performances by student orchestras rarely qualify as must-see events. Audiences tend to be composed of fellow students and friends and ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

NYOS Jazz Orchestra Featuring Yazz Ahmed @ The MAC

Read "NYOS Jazz Orchestra Featuring Yazz Ahmed @ The MAC" reviewed by Ian Patterson

NYOS Jazz Orchestra Featuring Yazz Ahmed The MAC jny:Belfast, N. Ireland July 22 , 2019 It was a pretty decent crowd for a Monday night. An older crowd, drawn to big-band jazz. Few, it seemed, were Belfast jazz gig regulars, at least, not the usual suspects who pitch up to ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Martin Speake: The Thinking Fan's Saxophonist

Read "Martin Speake: The Thinking Fan's Saxophonist" reviewed by Duncan Heining

British alto saxophonist, Martin Speake, is one of the most adventurous and articulate musicians in a music peppered with creative artists. That he is not a household name--even within the proscribed and marginalised world of jazz--says more about the times than it does about Speake or his single-minded approach to his art. Speake combines ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Martin Speake: The Unquiet Mind

Read "Martin Speake: The Unquiet Mind" reviewed by Duncan Heining

We have here three very fine CDs from British alto saxophonist, Martin Speake. Speake is classically trained and when I first heard him in the late 90s, he brought to jazz a tone that emphasised the clarity of each note and the purity of the melodic line that was quite unusual in a music more used ...

Take Five With Matt Ridley

Read "Take Five With Matt Ridley" reviewed by Matt Ridley

Meet Matt Ridley: I graduated from Trinity College of Music in Greenwich, London in 2005 and have been a full time bassist since then. Music has taken me all around the world and I've been very privileged to perform regularly with some of the finest jazz musicians in UK like Jason Yarde, John Turville, and ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Julie Sassoon: Dancing in the Shadows

Read "Julie Sassoon: Dancing in the Shadows" reviewed by Duncan Heining

It's been seven years since British pianist and composer Julie Sassoon released her first solo CD, New Life (Babel). Since then, she and her family have moved to Berlin and Sassoon has quietly established herself in Germany as an unusual and unique talent. It's been a long wait for fans but her new live album, Land ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Kenny Wheeler: The Making of "Mirrors"

Read "Kenny Wheeler: The Making of "Mirrors"" reviewed by Ian Patterson

It often comes as a surprise to people when they discover that trumpeter/flugelhornist/composer Kenny Wheeler is not British. Well, not British born, for although born in Toronto, Canada, in 1930, Wheeler has spent the last 60 years living in England, which surely makes him as English as Ploughman's Lunch or a pint of bitter. The recording ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kenny Wheeler / Norma Winstone / London Vocal Project: Mirrors

Read "Mirrors" reviewed by Ian Patterson

That trumpeter/flugelhornist/composer Kenny Wheeler is challenging himself at 80 is surely inspirational. Mirrors represents his first recording where poems provide the music's source, though he composed the music over 20 years ago. The project was then commissioned for five solo voices in 1998, but the combination of Wheeler, singer Norma Winstone and the London Vocal Project, ...


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