Tails for Wales is a new project from internationally acclaimed pianist Huw Warren featuring saxophonist Mark Lockheart, and an ensemble combining established players with some of the brightest young prospects on the Welsh jazz scene. Showcasing his inventive and eclectic compositions, Tails for Wales will include new music alongside pieces from Huw’s debut release in 1997, A Barrel Organ far from Home.
Touring Wales March 2014!
March 11th – Ucheldre Centre Holyhead
March 12th – Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon
March 13th – Gwyn Hall , Neath
March 14th – RWCMD, Cardiff
May 27th – Vortex London
Huw Warren Piano, Composer
Mark Lockheart -Saxophones
Maria Lamburn – Viola/Bass Clarinet
Huw V Williams – Bass
Zoot Warren – Drums
Greg Byatt – live projection and digital imagery
Tales for Wales (much like A Barrel Organ far from Home) focusses on unusual instrumentation, virtuoso improvisation; and a writing style that combines jazz with contemporary music without ever losing its sense of humour! It also reunites Warren and Lockheart, who have been regular collaborators for over 20 years in projects such as Perfect Houseplants, June Tabor. The Orlando Consort, The Scratch Band, Barrel Organ far from Home, 100′s of Things a Boy Can Make and the Welsh Hymn project Duw y Wyr
Where the unpredictable meets the unclassifiable. This might get filed under jazz, folk or classical, but it’s basically right out on it’s own little daydream.’
Colin Irwin – MOJO
‘One of the most talented musicians in the UK, Huw Warren has created music that is rich in surprise and invention. It’s an album of imagination which combines subtlety and complexity with accessibility.’
Trevor Hodgett – Irish News
“Combining inspired sonic innovation with a lyricism so pretty that sometimes you feel like you’re in a fairy tale …………a milestone work of quiet genius”.
Chris May, All about Jazz
“a slow tune called “Still Hearing You”, which I think is the single most ravishing melody I have ever heard in my life.” Miles Kington, The Independent
Listen to A Barrel Organ far from Home
Welsh pianist and composer Huw Warren has achieved an international reputation for innovative and eclectic music making over a twenty year career. Equally at home crossing the often exclusive worlds of Jazz, World and Contemporary music, he has a distinctive and personal voice.
His compositions move between quirky rhythmic grooves and a simple yet profound melodic beauty; but even at his most experimental his music is always fun and approachable. A uniquely soft toned and understated approach to song accompaniment has led him to perform and record with some of the worlds greatest singers.
His best known projects are Dialektos (duo with Italian singer Maria Pia de Vito) Hermeto+ (A reworking of the music of Hermeto Pascoal with drummer Martin France and bassist Peter Herbert) 100s of Things a Boy Can Make (with NY violinist Mark Feldman) Infinite Riches in a Little Room (a solo piano set centred around a beautiful reworking of a melody by John Dowland) Perfect Houseplants (Huw Warren, Mark Lockheart, Dudley Phillips, Martin France), A Barrel organ Far From Home (a nine piece mixed line up with strings and penny whistle) and a long standing collaboration with singer June Tabor. He has also performed and collaborated with a wide array of musicians including Mark Feldman, Peter Herbert, Joanna Macgreggor, Iain Ballamy, Kenny Wheeler, Jim Black, Theo Bleckmann , Neil Yates, Pamela Thorby, Mose Se Fan Fan, Erik Truffaz and Thomas Strønen .
Awarded the BBC Jazz award for Innovation, and the ACW Creative Wales Award, he has also written for many ensembles including Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Welsh Chamber Orchestra, RSC, LPO Renga ensemble, The Orlando Consort, Ensmble Plus, Koch Ensemble and Tango Siempre. Recent activity has seen him working with artists from other fields such as choreographer Chloe Loftus, visual artist Catrin Williams and photographer David Woodfall.
Currently artist in residence at Brecon Jazz and part of the Jazz department at RWCMD,Cardiff; Huw’s next recording (Quercus with June Tabor and Iain Ballamy) is released in March 2013 on ECM.
Mark Lockheart is one of the most distinctive and creative musicians on the current British music scene. As a saxophonist and composer, his work often defies categorisation and crosses the boundaries of the jazz, new music and folk worlds. “Lockheart is a consummate saxophonist and a original and versatile composer” The Rough Guide to Jazz.
Mark came to prominence in the mid 1980s with the influential and radical big band Loose Tubes and after the demise of the band in 1990 formed the co-led quartet Perfect Houseplants.
Perfect Houseplants went on to release six much respected albums including several cross-over collaborations with the Orlando Consort (Extempore, 1998 and 2002), baroque violinist Andrew Manze, and with recorder virtuoso Pamela Thorby (New Folk Songs, Linn, 2002). In 1998 the band represented the BBC at the EBU in Vienna where the concert was recorded and broadcast to eleven European countries within the EU. This period also saw Mark collaborating with Irish pianist and composer Micheal O’Suilleabhain, and recording a world/jazz album entitled Matheran (Isis, 1993) with guitarist John Parricelli.
In the mid-nineties Mark toured and recorded with Django Bates’ Delightful Precipice, performing at many international festivals including Berlin, Molde and Willisau, and recording with jazz, folk and pop artists June Tabor, Billy Jenkins, Stereolab, Jah Wobble, Robert Wyatt, Prefab Sprout, Don Um Romao ,Thomas Dolby, Anja Garbarek and Radiohead.
In 1997 Mark was awarded the Peter Whittingham Award to record his semi-orchestral eleven-piece group the Scratch Band. This formed the basis of Through Rose-Coloured Glasses, which was released in 1998 to critical acclaim and voted by Time Out as one of the Top Ten albums of 1998.
A commission from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Birmingham Jazz led to a suite of pieces inspired by dance forms, which formed the basis for the Scratch Band’s second album, Imaginary Dances (Staytuned Records, 2002). In 2001 with the help of The Arts Council of England Touring Grant the Scratch Band undertook a ten date nationwide tour.
In 2003 Mark joined Seb Rochfords Polar Bear and has toured throughout Europe and recorded four ground breaking albums with the group, the last CD Held On The Tips Of Fingers was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Award and later appeared in Jazzwise’s ’100 Albums That Shook the World’.
In 2005 Mark released Moving Air (basho records), featuring John Parricelli, Martin France and Mark’s muti-tracked reeds, a major Arts Council funded tour followed in Oct/Nov to promote the album.
In 2007 Mark was featured soloist ( along with John Pattitucci and Gwilym Simcock) in Mark Anthony Turnage’s About Water which was premiered on the Southbank in June 2007. Mark has collaborated several times with Turnage performing his ‘A Man Descending’ with the Southbank Sinfonia in 2008. Mark joins again on Turnage’s Opera Anna Nicole which will be premiered in Febuary 2011 at the Royal Opera House in London.
2009 became a hugely busy year with the release of In Deep on the Edition record label , the Manchester evening news gave it five stars and said it was ‘the key record of the second golden age of British jazz. This year has been no less productive and saw Mark being awarded APPJC , Parliamentary Jazz Musician Of The Year 2010 and the release of his first big band album Days Like These with the Hamburg based NDR big band.
Mark has also composed music for BBC Drama including two Radio 4 plays, Slow Burn and False Fingerings and also contributed to the Associated Board Jazz Syllabus. Mark also finds time to teach at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music.