Download this event for iCal

Martin Speake Quartet

Venue: Culford Room at Cadogan Hall

Performers

Martin Speake
alto saxophone
Nick Costley-White
guitar
Oli Hayhurst
bass
Asaf Sirkis
drums

Citing Lee Konitz, Charlie Parker, Warne Marsh, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Ornette Coleman, Steve Coleman, Rabi Abou Khalil, and Paul Motian as major influences, Martin has developed a personal musical voice that expresses a deep understanding of the history and language of Jazz with ​individuality as an improviser that is intelligent, melodic, cool, complex, direct, beautiful and ​profound.

He first came to public attention as a founder member of the award-winning Saxophone Quartet ‘Itchy Fingers’ during the height of the UK’s so called ‘80’s Jazz Revival’ when a host of young musicians including Courtney Pine, Andy Sheppard, Django Bates, Iain Ballamy and the big bands of the Jazz Warriors and Loose Tubes were acclaimed as the leaders of an emerging generation of UK jazz talent.

2004 saw the release of three different CDs including The Exploring Standards Trio (33 Records) with bassist Mick Hutton and drummer Tom Skinner, a ballad album My Ideal (Basho Records) with American pianist Ethan Iverson (The Bad Plus), and The Journey (Black Box) with Indian musicians Dharambir Singh and Sarvar Sabri. Autumn 2004 he toured with Sam Rivers in his UK big band on a Contemporary Music Network tour. In 2005 he celebrated the music of Charlie Parker with a newly formed group and touring throughout the country promoting a cd release of the project.

With Itchy Fingers, Martin toured Europe, South America, Africa, Britain and the USA, and recorded two albums. In 1988, he left the group to develop his own projects, and establish himself as a composer and improvisor.

His studies at Canada’s renowned Banff Centre for the Arts in 1990, under the artistic direction of Steve Coleman, and alongside peers that included keyboard players Andy Milne and Ethan Iverson, and trumpeter Ralph Alessi, proved to be pivotal and catalytic in Martin’s subsequent development as a creative musician.

Martin is as comfortable and fluent playing personal interpretations of the music of Charlie Parker with his quartet, or with free improvising drummer Mark Sanders, in a duet with Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus, or with Indian musicians Dharambir Singh and Sarvar Sabri.

In 1999 he received the Peter Whittingham Award to help fund a tour of the UK with The Martin Speake Group. In 2000 he was commissioned to compose music for an international project featuring American drummer Paul Motian, Swedish pianist Bobo Stenson and English bassist Mick Hutton. This group toured in May of that year with funding from the Arts Council of England and toured again in Autumn 2001. Their first cd Change of Heart was released on ECM in April 2006. 

He started his own record label Pumpkin in 2007. The first release was a duo with free improvising drummer Mark Sanders and in 2008 Generations with Barry Green, Jeff Williams and Dave Green.

​Current projects being developed include a saxophone quartet with Phil Bancroft, Martin Hathaway and Tony Kofi and a trio with Canadian musicians Duncan Hopkins and Anthony Michelli.

​Martin is a committed, inspiring, and sought after jazz educator and currently teaches at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and on numerous international Jazz summer courses.

Part of Out to Lunch 2018

Lydian Collective

The first gig in our free lunchtime jazz series, Out to Lunch, the Lydian Collective sound is a unique combination of accessible melodies, accomplished musicianship, hypnotic rhythms and an uplifting...

Nick Costley-White Quartet

The Nick Costley-White Quartet combine their love and deep understanding for the jazz tradition with a fresh and modern aesthetic. Their repertoire draws on unique interpretations of songs from the...

Nigel Price Trio

Formerly of the James Taylor Quartet, Nigel Price is the world-class shining star of British groove guitar recalling the masters Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Pat Martino and early George Benson with...

The Dixie Ticklers

Led by clarinettist and composer Dom James, The Dixie Ticklers combine their deep love and understanding of early jazz with a truly modern aesthetic and musical vision. Since forming at the...

Simon Spillett Quartet

Described by the late Humphrey Lyttelton as "formidable," Simon Spillett is a British jazz saxophonist who leads his own quartet, and has won several awards for his music, including the tenor...

Almagro Ensemble

The Almagro Ensemble is a new group which aims to present some of the new innovations in tango from Argentina to a European audience, commission new works from Argentine composers and compose brand...

Jon Shenoy’s Draw by Four

With a line-up steeped in tradition, Draw By Four take the classic '60s organ quartet into brand new territory where the compositions from leader Jon Shenoy (Ivo Neame Large Ensemble) mix...

Two of a Mind with Chris Biscoe & Allison Neale

Exploring afresh the freewheeling, wonderfully melodic interpretations of standard material recorded 50 years ago by Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond on Blues in Time and Two of a Mind, this new band...

Art Themen Organ Trio

A fantastically exciting, playful and inventive saxophonist, Art Themen has been a beloved character of the British jazz scene for over 50 years, in the bands of Alexis Korner and Stan Tracey among...

Catherine Lima

A London-based jazz singer/songwriter, Catherine has been delighting her audiences on the jazz circuit for over a decade. A charismatic and entertaining performer, she has a warm expressive tone...

Frank Harrison & Brigitte Beraha

An exciting new collaboration between pianist Frank Harrison and vocalist Brigitte Beraha. Harrison is one of the leading jazz pianists of his generation, known for his ‘lucid, intelligent,...

Freddie Gavita Quartet

Aimed at the heart, not the head, this is Freddie’s highly evocative collection of compositions written for long time collaborators and quartet members Tom Cawley (piano), Calum Gourlay (double...

Paul Higgs presents: A Brief History of Jazz

Paul Higgs takes you on a delightful musical tour of the history of jazz, playing hits by the legendary greats - Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker, and Miles Davis,...

Concert Duration:
approx. 2 hours (incl. interval)

Ticket Information *

* All orders are subject to a transaction fee, except if made in person. See Booking Information for details, payment methods and delivery options.

View Seating Plan Further Ticket Info