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January 12 , 2010

Kenny Wheeler 80th birthday concert

Kenny Wheeler, uniquely lyrical trumpeter and jazz composer, celebrates his 80th birthday with a concert at London’s Royal Academy of Music on January 14.

Concert repertoire will include pieces from his ECM album “Music for Large and Small Ensembles”. A special performance of the ‘Sweet Time Suite’ from that 1990 recording will feature a number of the original participants, including Norma Winstone, John Taylor, Henry Lowther, Derek Watkins, Ray Warleigh, Stan Sulzmann, Evan Parker, Duncan Lamont, Julian Argüelles and Dave Holland.

Wheeler, Canadian-born but a UK resident since 1952, gained his earliest reputation as an outstanding soloist with the John Dankworth orchestra. In the 1960s, alongside work in modern and mainstream contexts, he began to play free improvised music with John Stevens and the Spontaneous Music Ensemble -- as did Norma Winstone, Evan Parker, and Dave Holland.

Kenny Wheeler’s distinguished ECM recordings include “Gnu High” (with Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette), “Deer Wan” (with Jan Garbarek, John Abercrombie, Ralph Towner, Holland and DeJohnette), “Around 6” (with Evan Parker, Eje Thelin, Tom van der Geld, J.F. Jenny Clark, and Edward Vesala), “Double Double You” (with Michael Brecker, John Taylor, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette), “Music for Large and Small Ensembles” (with Parker, Taylor, Holland, Abercrombie, Norma Winstone, Peter Erskine etc ), “The Widow In The Window” (with Abercrombie, Taylor, Holland, Erskine), “Angel Song” (with Holland, Lee Konitz and Bill Frisell) and “A Long Time Ago” (music for brass ensemble and soloists).

Additionally he can be head on ECM albums by the Azimuth trio (Taylor/Winstone/Wheeler), the Dave Holland Quintet, John Abercrombie, George Adams, Pierre Favre, Leo Smith, Ralph Towner, Bill Frisell, the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra and the Globe Unity Orchestra.