Mark Armstrong Big Band - Summer Solstice

Sunday June 23

Mark Armstrong Big Band
- Summer Solstice

At Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean St, London

With our growing reputation of presenting wonderful big band music on Sunday lunch times, this first appearance of the Mark Armstrong Big Band at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, Soho, with their Summer Solstice programme, is another “must get to” gem for our discerning audience. This Summer Solstice June 23rd concert celebrates the day when the North Pole has its maximum tilt towards the sun, making this the day with the longest period of daylight and the shortest night of the year. 

Mark Armstrong, Jazz Professor at The Royal College of Music, over many years one of the UK’s most inventive Jazz Trumpeters, has built himself an outstanding reputation as band leader, composer and arranger and most recently as music director of NYJO- The National Youth Jazz Orchestra, with performances across the U.K. and internationally with a brilliant NYJO appearance at the BBC Proms.

For this concert, the band will be performing Mark’s original composition, his “Solstice Suite”, which includes settings of two poems by the 16th century meta-physical writer, John Donne. First, “St. John’s Fire -The Sunne Rising” and second, a “Nocturne on St Lucie ‘s Day” plus charts from the course of the year from the longest day, the summer Solstice, to the shortest day, the winter Solstice.

Joining the band to sing the John Donne poems will be soprano Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, well known to vocal jazz lovers as a long-standing performer and musical director of the Swingle Singers.

The second half will feature more of Mark’ original big band compositions, along with his arrangements of jazz classics, including Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia” and Michel Legrand’s “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life”.

Please join us for this Summer Solstice concert - longest day of the year, and hear the remarkable Mark Armstrong Big Band, for this unique musical event on their Dean Street debut.

Music at 1pm

Tickets £35