Winners of the 2015 Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, Patchwork Jazz Orchestra are a collective London based ensemble dedicated to championing big band music in a contemporary setting.
The 17 piece group made its debut at the 2014 London Jazz Festival to a sell out audience at the Forge, Camden, and since then has been turning heads with the sound of fresh original compositions written exclusively by its members.
Having performed at venues from London's Vortex Jazz Club to abroad at La Mortella, Ischia, Italy, the orchestra are setting up their own night, 'Patchwork', aided by the funding received from the Peter Whittingham Award. Click on the 'Patchwork' navigation tab to find out more.
"Patchwork Jazz Orchestra are plugged into the spirit of the current London jazz scene, littered with talented writers and players unafraid of thinking big."
Prior to our existence, each and every one of us had already performed with one another in different contexts and subgroups, with a handful of us involved in small bands of our own. However there was a desire among many to not only play more large ensemble music, but to have the opportunity and environment in which we could write for it. Early in 2014 ideas started to form for the band and in the November of that year the Patchwork Jazz Orchestra reared its head for the first time at the London Jazz Festival.
Big bands have been an essential part of the jazz tradition and for a lot of us have played a key role in our development as musicians. The orchestra means we can continue both of these things and add to the legacy of big band music, with the aim of helping to bring it back into the public eye more and engaging new audiences.
The collaborative nature of the orchestra is one of its most valuable assets and the diversity of influences and personalities that exist within it is also a huge benefit. The way personal relations, composition and performance all feed into each other in Patchwork Jazz Orchestra is very unique, and since its inception we have recognised more and more that this is what the band thrives on and makes it what it is.
Long may it continue!