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Cleveland Watkiss/ Pete Churchill Quartet – The Jon Hendricks Story

Doors 7:45 PM, Music 8:30 PM – 2 set(s) of music



Cleveland Watkiss – Voice

Pete Churchill – Piano

Steve Watts – Bass

Rod Youngs – Drums



Cleveland Watkiss and Pete Churchill, both esteemed figures in the UK music scene, join forces to pay homage to Hendricks, widely regarded as one of the greatest jazz poets in history.

Jon Carl Hendricks is universally recognised as one of ‘Godfathers’ of Vocalese – the art of lyricising instrumental melodies and improvised solos.

Founder of the groundbreaking vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Jon lived a long and productive life, penning countless lyrics for many of the most iconic compositions – leaving a vast new repertoire for Jazz singers to explore.

Variously known as the ‘Poet Laureate of Jazz’ or the ‘James Joyce of Jive’, Hendricks’ particular skill was in adding a new lyrical dimension to a solo whilst still preserving the sound of the original. Singing an instrumental with a Jon Hendricks lyric, you often feel as if the words have always been there – he was a Master of sound and meaning.

Pete was also fortunate to work with Jon Hendricks himself for the last seven years of his life – helping him to complete his last great masterpiece – the groundbreaking lyricisation of the great Miles Davis/Gil Evans album, Miles Ahead. Fresh from this experience he is looking forward to sharing new insights into the life and work of the great man.

In this intimate quartet show, we are presented with a chance to hear four seasoned jazz musicians explore some of the hippest narratives from the pen of the greatest jazz poet who ever lived.

“Together, Churchill and Watkiss embark on a mesmerizing expedition, unveiling the genius of all three: Hendricks, the visionary poet; Churchill, the trusted confidant and custodian of archives; and Watkiss, the masterful vocalist.”

Ruth Fisher Jazz FM

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