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Trumpeters Byron Wallen Mark Armstrong Tribute to Dizzy 606 Club Chelsea Live Music Jazz London UKTonight the 606 Club is celebrating the centenary of one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (born 21/10/1917). And for this celebration we have invited two UK trumpet greats of our own, Byron Wallen and Mark Armstrong, to perform music written by and associated with, Dizzy. One of Europe’s finest trumpet players, the multi-award winning Byron Wallen has been impressing with his fluent and dynamic playing since the early 1990’s. First coming to prominence working with the likes of Courtney Pine he has since been heard with the International stars such as Hugh Masekela, soul/groove icons Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronnie Laws and Chaka Khan and World class jazz artists such as Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Freddie Hubbard and McCoy Tyner. He is a composer of considerable note as well as awards and nominations from the BBC and MOBO. Mark Armstrong first came to prominence with Clark Tracey’s quintet in the early 2000’s before moving on to regular work with Stan Tracey, with whom he worked extensively. He was nominated in the Best Trumpet category of the 2007 Ronnie Scott Jazz Awards and still performs regularly with the Ronnie Scott Jazz Orchestra. He also performs with Pete Long’s “Gillespiana”, with the Times describing him as “pirouetting through Gillespie’s breaks quicker than a hummingbird’s wings”. So the right man for this gig! Mark has also been the Musical Director of NYJO since 2011 and is Jazz Professor at the Royal College of Music. The first set will feature Mark playing music from Dizzy’s early career. The second set will feature Byron with music more associated with Dizzy’s middle years and the last set will feature both Mark and Byron performing music from Dizzy’s Afro-Cuban canon. This promises to be a very special evening, dedicated to a very special musician, performed by some very special players!

“Byron Wallen…spectacular” Guardian; Armstrong.....consistently impressed with his.....fiery playing” The Jazzmann

Dizzy Gillespie 606 Club Chelsea Tribute Byron Wallen Mark Armstrong live music venue jazz club restaurant EFG London Jazz FestivalABOUT DIZZY: A trumpet virtuoso, Dizzy was at the forefront of the newly developing music that, in the 1940's, was to revolutionize how jazz was played and conceived. Along with other young musicians of the time, including the musical geniuses Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell, Dizzy was to play a pivotal role in developing the music that we now call Bebop. Originally influenced by 1930's swing trumpeter Roy Eldridge, Dizzy played in a number of high profile big bands, including those of Cab Calloway and Earl Hines, before joining the band of singer Billy Eckstine in 1944. Here he was re-united with saxophonist Charlie Parker and in 1945 they left to form the first of the small groups that would, eventually, ignite the world of jazz and move it forward in a way that no one could have predicted. Bebop popularized the idea of "substituting" existing harmonic structures with more complicated sequences to create intricate harmonic patterns, often on well-known jazz standards. At the same time these young lions also altered and extended the basic chord itself, to create new improvising patterns that for the folks of the 1940's sounded strange and exotic, Louis Armstrong famously describing it as "Chinese music". But it was all based on a solid foundation of theory and harmonic awareness that means the strength of the music and the range of its influence extends to this day. After establishing a name for himself with Parker, Dizzy went on to front his own small groups and in the 1950's his own big band, establishing himself unequivocally as "one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time". His influence on the music was immense and, along with his pouched cheeks, trademark "bent" trumpet that he adopted in the early 1950's, beret, horn rimmed glasses and mischievous humour did much to popularize a music that was not always easy to listen to at first hearing. He was also a great proponent of Afro-Cuban music, a Latin American-influenced style of performing that he first championed in the late 1940's and a style which he continued to dip in and out of for the rest of his career. Musicians that Dizzy taught and/or influenced read like a who's who of modern jazz and include the likes of trumpeters Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan and Chuck Mangione. Known affectionately as "The Ambassador of Jazz" Dizzy continued to perform well in to his 60's and 70's, leading his United Nation Orchestra through the 80's. In 1989 alone, at the age of 72, he gave 300 performances in 27 countries, appeared in 100 U.S. cities in 31 states, headlined three television specials, performed with two symphonies and recorded four albums. He was also crowned a traditional chief in Nigeria, received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France's most prestigious cultural award), was named Regent Professor by the University of California and received his fourteenth honorary doctoral degree from the Berklee College of Music. He continued to spread the word of jazz and world peace almost up until his untimely death, in January 1993.

byronwallen.co.uk/     markarmstrongmusic.com/

'Forwood' A Wallen Composition for the great Woody Shaw from twijag on Vimeo.