In its 20th anniversary year, Will Todd’s Mass in Blue is celebrated for bringing jazz to choirs. Performing this ground-breaking upbeat jazz setting of the Latin Mass, plus his shorter Jazz Missa Brevis - embracing a variety of jazz styles - the outstanding Civil Service Choir is joined by stellar jazz musicians soprano Francesca Confortini, Rob Barron on piano, Tommy Andrews on saxophone and the Tom Green Jazz Orchestra; and the composer talking about his music. The concert also features Songs of Love and Amazing Grace.
The Civil Service Choir first performed at St John’s Smith Square ten years ago and has delighted audiences ever since including in the London Jazz Festival as a supporting act for the Swingles.
Composer and pianist Will Todd is known for his beautiful and exciting music. His work encompasses choral works, opera, musical theatre and orchestral pieces, as well as jazz and chamber works.
"Kyrie" from the concert's second half Mass in Blue
Just wonderful evocative sounds for people who just like listening to great music.
Francesca Confortini – Soprano
Born in Milan, Italy, Francesca Confortini has been living and performing in London for several years.
After graduating with a diploma in musical theatre in Milan, she achieved a bachelor's degree in music performance at ICMP and completed a jazz masters at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
She has performed in major European venues, including London‘s 100 and 606 clubs, Wembley stadium and Ronnie Scotts; the Blue Note in Milan and the Hotel de Paris in Monaco.
She is currently not only performing regularly with her own band, writing and arranging songs, but also teaching performance and vocals at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.
Tom Green – Leader of the Tom Green Jazz Orchestra
Tom Green, an alumnus of the Royal Academy of Music, is a leading trombonist on the London jazz scene, a writer of original arrangements for his Septet and also the musical director of his jazz orchestra.
Following the successful launch of their first album “Skyline” in 2016, the Tom Green Septet enhanced their standing as a new youthful force in the jazz world with a much talked about concert at London’s Wigmore Hall.
The original writing and compelling ensemble arrangements confirmed them as a unique group of talented musicians which led to their widely acclaimed sell out concert, in the EFG London Jazz Festival.
Tom’s orchestration skills were shown to the fore as band manager of the Royal Academy of Music Alumni All Stars 22- piece orchestra playing the original Gil Evans arrangements of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bass in the EFG London Jazz Festival at St Johns Smith Square.
Rob Barron – Piano
Rob Barron has played with a who’s who of American jazz musicians such as Al Jarreau, Patti Austin, Marlena Shaw, Phil Woods, Benny Golson, Grant Stewart, and John Marshall and leading UK musicians Dave O’Higgins, Claire Martin, Anita Wardell, Mark Crooks, Colin Oxley and Nat Steele. As a session musician he has played on many film soundtracks and has worked with the BBC Big Band, The Philharmonia Orchestra and The Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra.
His latest album ‘From This Moment On’, received numerous five-star reviews and accolades from both the UK and international press.
"This is classic piano trio jazz at its best” - Barry Withderden - BBC Music Magazine
He is currently on a U.K. wide tour supporting Claire Martin in her Remembering Richard concerts -playing the music of Richard Rodney Bennett
Tommy Andrews – Saxophones
Tommy Andrews is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator. A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a First-Class degree in jazz saxophone, he is already a recognised band leader and appears as a sideman with the BBC Big Band and many of our greatest jazz ensembles and musicians, including the Tom Green Septet. Tommy has performed at some of the U.K.’s most prestigious venues, including Ronnie Scott’s, the Purcell Room, London Palladium, Royal Festival Hall, Vortex and Cadogan Hall.
The Civil Service Choir performs under the leadership of its Musical Director Stephen Hall who also conducts the whole concert performance.
The full Band (which is full of huge Jazz stars in their own right) is:
Piano: Rob Barron
Bass: Alec Dankworth
Drums: Matt Skelton
Percussion: Dickie Horne
Soprano & Alto Saxophones: Tommy Andrews
Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone & Flute: Rob Cope
Bass Clarinet & Baritone Saxophone: Tom Smith
Trumpet 1: James Davison
Trumpet 2: Alex Ridout
Trombone 1: Tom Green
Trombone 2: Vij Prakash
Bass Trombone: Yusuf Narçin
Concert at 7pm
Tickets £30, £23, £15