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Rowland Sutherland Quartet – Man of Words and Music: Shake Keane (Pt. III) (1st show)


Rowland Sutherland – compositions, flute and arrangements

Robert Mitchell – piano

Dudley Phillips – bass

Rod Youngs – drums

Take a special ride with the Rowland Sutherland Quartet as they chart the musical journey of the trumpeter and poet Shake Keane from the warm sunny climes of St.Vincent in the Caribbean, to the cold and grey skies of Britain. Zoning in on the wide sphere of music which Keane travelled through we come to appreciate that he was probably the most versatile musician to hail from the Caribbean. Keane was equally at home playing Indian musical forms as he was playing Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Pop, Classical and Free Jazz. New arrangements of magical scores such as How Say You, Fidel, Morning Blue, October Woman and Credentials will be played through the superb artistry of the notable musicians in the quartet. Taking inspiration from the variety of music that Keane featured and collaborated in, the Rowland Sutherland Quartet will present a rich textured collage made up of Caribbean and British artists/composers/wordsmiths such as Joe Harriott, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Michael Garrick, Pat Smyth and the Ivor Raymonde Orchestra and Chorus (Raymonde also worked with Dusty Springfield – I Only Want To Be With You – The Walker Brothers, Ian Dury and Julio Iglesias). As a bonus Sutherland will fuse some of Shake Keane’s poems with free jazz and improvised music as well as feature some of his own compositions inspired by Shake Keane’s experimentations with reggae.


Following our celebration of the Caribbean poet and trumpeter Shake Keane in Man of Words and Music Part I (broadcast National Windrush Day 2021), and Part II featuring Keane’s biographer Philip Nanton with Henry Lowther and Dave Green, we are delighted to bring you Part III the final instalment for the EFG London Jazz Festival featuring a live performance by the Rowland Sutherland Quartet with a mighty line up of Robert Mitchell (piano), Dudley Phillips (bass), Rod Young (drums) and Rowland Sutherland (flutes).

Shake, né Ellsworth McGranahan was born on the island of St Vincent, West Indies, in 1927, his love of words and literature would earn him the soubriquet ‘Shake’ after the great William Shakespeare. In 1952 Shake arrived in London like many others following on the heels of other Caribbean migrants who arrived on the Empire Windrush in 22 June 1948. Unlike many of the migrants who came to the Britain, he was already a published poet, well read, read music, played the trumpet, and spoke French. These assets made it easier for Shake to gain employment as a freelance broadcaster for the BBC’s Caribbean Voices. On the recommendation of the bassist Coleridge Goode Shake was invited to join the Joe Harriot Quintet. The quintet would go on to produce the ground-breaking ‘Abstract’ and ‘Freeform’ music.

Rowland Sutherland

Flautist Rowland Sutherland enjoys an international career performing in many different genres of music. He regularly plays and guests in jazz groups, new music ensembles, symphony orchestras, various non-Western groups, pop outfits as well as a soloist. International artists Rowland performed with include Frank Wess, David Murray, Flora Purim, Carla Bley, Manu Dibango, Airto, Joyce, Orphy Robinson, Evan Parker, Nitin Sawhney, Courtney Pine, King Sunny Ade, Olodum (Brazil) and Rebirth Brass Band (New Orleans). He made his BBC Proms debut as a soloist during the 2006 season performing music by Steve Reich, for his 70th birthday celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall led by percussion soloist Colin Currie. His orchestral performances include the Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Philharmonic and the European Community Chamber orchestras. Rowland’s composition Enlightenment (Inspired by A Love Supreme by John Coltrane) received much acclaim from the media and the general public.

Rod Youngs

Music OMH magazine describes Rod Youngs the London based drummer as “supremely subtle and melodic…dynamic and powerful”.

To be sure, Rod Youngs is one of the most expressive and adept musicians in the music arena today. His journey in music began in his youth and has blossomed into a distinguished career that has spanned over two decades. A native of Washington, D.C. Rod’s formal training began in his teenage years. He later attended Howard University where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in performance and was subsequently chosen to study jazz performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. under the tutelage of Keith Copland. Since those formative years Rod’s consummate musicianship has garnered him a wide variety of work from concerts and recordings to sessions for radio,TV and film. He has performed/recorded with a formidable array of artists including, Hugh Masekela, Jon Hendricks, Gil Scott-Heron, Lee Konitz, Abdullah Ibrahim, BBC Concert Orchestra, Mica Paris,Courtney Pine, Denys Baptiste, Natalie Cole, Bennie Maupin, Craig Handy, Juliet Roberts, Ronnie Laws, Jazz Jamaica All Stars, and David Murray.

Dudley Phillips – Electric and Double bass

Phillips is a self-taught musician working in the areas of jazz, ‘world music’ and contemporary song writing. Later he won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music. He jointly won the Jazz FM ‘Live Performance of the year’ in 2018 with the Orphy Robinson group. Phillips has toured with Bill Withers, Billy Cobham, Cedar Walton, and Tom Scott and John Hendricks. Film credits include Anja Garbarek – Soundtrack for ‘Angela’ [Dir Luc Besson] with Anja Garbarek, and The Robert Wyatt Story.

Robert Mitchell

Over his nearly 30 years entrenched in the art of music, Mitchell has released ten albums, participated in over one hundred projects as a sideman, performed in 40 countries and continues to develop a reputation as an inspirational educator. These days his primary focal points include his long-running ensemble Panacea; his trio Epiphany 3 with special guest dancer Masumi Endo, new electronic/song ensemble True Think (Truth Inc./Truth Ink), solo performance (including a fascination with one-handed piano works, which produced one solo album and festival – Leftitude – in 2013). Mitchell continues to work with French saxophone great Julien Lourau, brilliant US singer Alicia Olatuja, UK giant Courtney Pine (CBE), Cuban violinist legend Omar Puente, vibes master Orphy Robinson and in duos with Shirley Smart and Jason Rebello. In 2019 Mitchell worked as the Musical Director on a BBC4 tribute to the great 60s TV show – Jazz 625 Live: For One Night Only (performing with Joshua Redman and Jacqui Dankworth featuring Gregory Porter). The show went on to win Best Music Programme at the 2020 Broadcast Awards. More recently, Mitchell has completed two commissions for London Sinfonietta and one for Jazz South.

Man of Words & Music Poet and Trumpeter Shake Keane (Part I)

Man of Words & Music: Shake Keane (Part II) Jazz and Poetry with Philip Nanton Henry Lowther and Dave Green

*Supported by Hackney Council’s Windrush Microgrant Scheme*


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