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Royal Festival Hall gigs, lots of jazz and orchestra gigs

The last few weeks have been amazing! I've been lucky to get to play with some great musicians and conductors and have been learning music like crazy to keep up with the various gigs that have been happening.

First up, I played with the WOW Orchestra at London's Royal Festival Hall featuring amazing singers Alice Russell and Josette Bushell-Mingo. The night was hosted by Sandi Toksvig and conducted by Alice Farnham. Here's a pic from sound check.

I then played a couple of other concerts at the Royal Festival Hall in April playing Bernstein's MASS conducted by Marin Alsop - an incredible conductor who I'm really grateful to have been able to work with, and wonderful assistant conductor Karin Hendrickson. I auditioned for these gigs and the audition process was quite a roast, so I'm glad to have made it through - the rehearsals and concerts were an incredible experience and really pushed my sight reading chops (as there was too much to learn and I was covering multiple parts!). Here are some pictures from during the concert.

Cygnus Flare had a good gig at Pizza Express Soho last week to a full audience - thank you to everyone who came down to support us that night. We are also playing a short set tomorrow night at Oliver's jazz bar.

The Khoalesce Project played at Oliver's Jazz Bar with John Turville on piano, Kevin Glasgow on electric bass and myself on drums. This was really fun and we tried out some new music, thanks to everyone who came down - here's a short video clip from the gig:

I've also been enjoying playing with Tomorrow's Warriors Female Frontline. We supported Jazz Jamaica at the Jazz Cafe in Camden and Cherise Adams-Burnett at Pizza Express Soho and have some exciting gigs coming up over the summer, including at Love Supreme jazz festival. We are starting a new jam session tonight at 91 Brick Lane and details are here

Here's a pic of us backstage with Gary Crosby. Also big congratulations to the many musicians and bands stemming from Tomorrow's Warriors who have been winning jazz awards all over the place recently - so very happy for and inspired by you all.

At the weekend I really enjoyed joining a group of drummers led by Michele Drees and also featuring Crissy Lee, Cheryl Alleyne, Ciara Lavers. We each gave a drum clinic at Karamel in North London and got to speak with lots of other drummers - it was a great day.

Some other gigs have been happening too - I've been playing a lot of timpani with various London orchestras recently, the Swinging Magpies have been busy gigging up and down the country, I had a fun last minute gig at Oliver's with Sam Leak on piano and Amy Baldwin on double bass. I enjoyed playing with the Trinity Composer's Jazz Orchestra at Blackheath Halls led by Andrea Vicari - as part of the set we played a big band arrangement of one of my compositions. Sorry if I've forgotten anything or anyone - but wow, this last few months have been insane fun and I'm so grateful to everyone who I've been getting to play and work with. Stay tuned - there's more stuff in the pipeline that I'm excited to share with you all.

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