Having establishing himself as an expressive composer and proficient bandleader with his 2014 album Flint, Bill Laurance: a London-based pianist and founding member of the GRAMMY award-winning fusion powerhouse Snarky Puppy, continues to explore an exciting range of sounds and ensemble combinations.
From the technologically-informed solo recordings that comprise his latest LP, Cables (2019,) to last year’s collaboration with the WDR Big Band, his funky and rhythmic quartet work on Aftersun (2016,) and his utilisation of strings and brass for sophomore album Swift (2015) – there are few creative avenues that the industrious musician is yet to explore.
The same enthusiasm that made those projects a success has led to the formation of Laurance’s new trio, featuring Lithuanian-born drummer Marijus Aleksa (Ashley Henry, Joe Armon-Jones, Marijus Aleksa’s Maps) and bassist Jon Harvey (The Cinematic Orchestra, Giorgio Moroder, Jordan Rakei.) Having played their inaugural show at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club for the 2018 International Piano Trio Festival, the trio have developed a musical kinship, which has seen new ideas and instrumentation added the sonic palette. They may’ve began rooted in the acoustic, piano trio form, but all three member’s interest in synths, electronics and effects processing has brought a contemporary edge to their work.
The trio recently recorded their first studio project: a forthcoming EP containing brand new material alongside new interpretations of music from Bill’s fifth solo record, Cables. Excerpts of the sessions were streamed live on Laurance’s new YouTube channel, providing unprecedented access to his workflow and studio setup at Morley College, London. Recordings from the trio’s aforementioned debut performance are slated for release this Autumn on Laurance’s own Flint Music label.
Bill Laurance is a champion of cutting-edge keyboard developments, and is endorsed by Moog, Mellotron, Sequential, Korg, Nord, Roli Seaboard, Yamaha, Roland, Arp Odyssey, Keyscape, Sound Brenner, Native Instruments and MXR.
“Spell binding” (Billboard)
“A Jazz Maestro” (The Guardian)
Fergus McCreadie is one of Scotland’s most exciting young artists. Awarded the Best Instrumentalist Award at the Scottish Jazz Awards aged only 20, he has been gigging frequently around Scotland since his mid-teens. His debut album with his trio, ‘Turas,’ has been praised for ‘reflecting his engagement with the Scottish landscape and musical tradition while also showing a firm grasp of the Jazz Piano tradition.’ (Jazz In Europe) He is also a member of Graham Costello’s STRATA, described as ‘groovy yet cerebral’ by BBC Radio Scotland, and of the Mark Hendry Octet and the Matthew Carmichael Quartet, both of whom have recently released their debut album. He is also a frequent sideman to electronic artist Werkha, having travelled to Estonia recently to perform with the band. As well as the Best Instrumentalist award, Fergus is a winner of the coveted Peter Wittingham Jazz Award, the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the year u17s Prize, the Guy Jones, Joe Temperly and George Duncan prizes from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the Linda Trahan Memorial Prize from St Andrews University. He has also been featured on BBC Radio Scotland regularly over the past 4 years, and has appeared alongside Bob Mintzer, Mike Stern, Iain Ballamy, Tommy Smith, Kestustis Vaiginis, Pat from Hue and Cry, Mario Caribe, Paul Towndrow and Alyn Cosker