MARTIN SPEAKE (sax) with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio at The Cherry Tree Sunday 19th August 2012

Martin has developed a personal musical voice that expresses a deep understanding of the history and language of jazz with individuality as an improviser that is intelligent, melodic, cool, complex, direct, beautiful and profound. ‘One of the most interesting and rewarding alto saxophonists now playing jazz on any continent.’ Jazz Times.

Martin SpeakeInitially Martin was attracted by pop and rock music and the first band he saw live was Led Zeppelin. Throughout his early teens he attended many concerts and festivals and saw bands such as Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, The Faces, Hawkwind, Frank Zappa, Faust, Van Morrison, Can, Stevie Wonder, Spirit, Kevin Ayers, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yes and many others.

After studying some music theory he first went to Southgate Technical College and then to Trinity College of Music to study classical saxophone from 1977-81. At that time there were no jazz courses in London. He met some other musicians at the college who were playing jazz, such as pianist Simon Purcell with whom he formed a group, and saxophonist Mark Lockheart. Also during this time he met the musicians who were to form the saxophone quartet Itchy Fingers. Martin toured Europe, South America, Africa and the USA with this group, appearing at most major jazz festivals and playing on their first two cds. In 1986 they won the Schlitz Young Jazz Musicians of the Year Award which was televised by the BBC.

Martin has been (and continues to be) influenced by many musicians and styles of music. Apart from these projects of his own, Martin has also performed with Paul Motian, Bobo Stenson, Loose Tubes, Stan Tracey, Bhavani Shankar, Billy Jenkins, Django Bates, Bob Wilber, Conrad Herwig, Don Weller, Ronan Guilfoyle, Alison Bentley, The Style Council, Ann Pigalle, Kadam, John Williams, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, Jim Mullen, Dave Cliff, Julian Arguelles, Ephie Resnick and the Royal Shakespeare Company among others. He is very involved in jazz education and is saxophone professor and contemporary music co-ordinator on the Royal Martin Speake 2Academy of Music Jazz Course and saxophone teacher at Middlesex University. Martin has also taught in schools, adult education classes, weekend courses and summer schools throughout the country. He has also composed music for the Associated Board jazz piano syllabus and a solo saxophone piece for Faber Music.

Martin will be playing with the Jazznights Trio featuring Roger Odell on drums, Mal Maddock on pian0 with Bernie Hodgkins on bass. Vocals will be by Larraine Odell

See for further details and future gigs.

Reservations on 01787 237653 or email Admission £8. Music 8pm-10.30pm. Food is available before or during the performance. Check for details including location, map and future gigs

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