Saturday 18th November
A cool and hauntingly memorable evening of jazz by Scotland’s brilliant New Focus group with Saxophone star Konrad Wiszniewski, award-winning Scottish jazz pianist Euan Stevenson with Mario Caribe on bass, Alyn Cosker on drums and Arran’s own Joni Keen on vocals.
Seating in café style, BYOB.
Euan Stevenson and Konrad Wiszniewski’s NEW FOCUS is one of the most appealing, most beautifully realised projects to emerge on the Scottish jazz scene in recent years – The duo are creating superbly accessible, hauntingly memorable jazz for the 21st century.
Originally conceived as a fiftieth anniversary tribute to saxophone giant Stan Getz’s 1961 classic album, Focus, the group has developed a style all of its own, showcasing Scottish National Jazz Orchestra saxophone star Wiszniewski’s ravishing tone and inventive, soulfully communicative playing and Stevenson’s elegant, cool and purposeful pianism in compositions that ooze melodic richness and possess a flowing, cinematic quality.
“There’s something truly special going on in the musical minds of saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski and arranger, composer and pianist, Euan Stevenson… Original music that exists virtually in a world of its own… aesthetically pleasing… just plain damned heart-lifting.”
“Here’s proof from Scotland that the quest for the thinking person’s fusion still offers no end of possibilities…Wiszniewski and Stevenson have sculpted a clutch of concise, hauntingly original pieces”
– The Sunday Times
“…an inspired and brilliantly constructive improviser…a technically superb musician and gifted composer” The Herald
Euan Stevenson is an award winning Scottish pianist and composer whose work challenges received boundaries between classical and jazz styles. He has performed in concerts and masterclasses throughout the UK, Europe and the USA, as well as broadcasts on BBC radio and television.
Winner of “Emerging Artist” at the 2013 Scottish Jazz Awards, Stevenson first gained wider critical recognition with “New Focus”, collaborating with saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewskito create a unique soundscape of original compositions for jazz quartet, string quartet and harp. Released on Whirlwind Recordings, the album launched at the 2012 London Jazz Festival to widespread critical acclaim. New Focus On Song is the 2016 sequel album.
Stevenson has just returned from Poland where he recorded his second solo piano album, a decade on since his first solo album “Portraits, Preludes and Landscapes”. He is mid way through a project recording his own light classical compositions and arrangements for RSNO soloists flautist Katherine Bryan and cellist Betsy Taylor. Later this month, he will perform with New York based improvising tap dancer Andrew Nemr in concerts in Los Angeles followed by a duo tour of the Ohio and Illinois with Wiszniewski to promote New Focus On Song.
A highly sought after vocal accompanist, Euan has performed and toured with countless jazz singers, notably Matthew Ford, Nikki King, Anita Wardell and U.S. singer Carla Cook. He also writes, arranges and performs with emerging vocalist Georgia Cécile. As a sideman he has worked with some of the finest instrumentalists on the UK Jazz scene including trumpeter Enrico Tomasso, drummer Tom Gordon (BBC Big Band) and guitarist Jim Mullen. He has also performed with Oscar Peterson’s former guitarist Ulf Wakenius and Danish guitarist Jacob Fischer. He regularly performs in duo with highly acclaimed UK pianist Dave Newton.
“Ravishingly beautiful tone….firmly in the International Class” – The Herald
Konrad studied music at Strathclyde University, then Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has worked extensively with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra since 2001, working with a host of performers such as Joe Lovano, Gary Burton and John Scofield.
He has been part of the renowned Scottish Jazz Outfit Brass Jaw since 2006, touring throughout the UK, USA and Europe, receiving the Parliamentary Jazz Award for Ensemble of the year 2011, Best Group and Best Album at the Scottish Jazz Awards.
The Album NEW FOCUS by Konrad and Euan Stevenson was released on WHIRLWIND RECORDINGS to widespread critical acclaim, garnering 4 and 5 star reviews from some of the UK’s leading publications.
Konrad received the prestigious award of Best Instrumentalist at both the 2013 and 2017 Scottish Jazz Awards.