(Photo of Billie Holiday by William Gottlieb)
By John Stevenson
‘In A Different Mood: Billie Holiday at 100′, is the title of an exciting concert staged by Jazzmo’thology. The concert honours the 100th anniversary of the birth of jazz singer and artistic legend, Billie Holiday. It takes place on 30th April – International Jazz Day – at the Edward Boyle Auditorium, Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford University, Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DY. UK songbird Carroll Thompson, the quintessential exponent of Lovers Rock, will sing songs popularised by Billie alongside distinguished tenor and soprano saxophonist Jean Toussaint, a former musical director of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. They will be supported by pianist Kate Williams, double bassist Neville Malcolm and drummer Winston Clifford – among the UK’s finest jazz musicians. The acclaimed Liberty Gospel Ensemble will grace the occasion with their harmonies. Billie Holiday , who was born as Eleanora Fagan on April 7, 1915 is one of the most outstanding and iconic figures in jazz. Ra Hendricks of Jazzmo’thology says: “Lady Day evoked grace and a style and a distinctive tone in the company of recognised virtuoso players who brought to the stage the very elements used to describe the essence of memorable art – the honing of craft, truth, presence, intimacy and great innovation. This is Cool pre-dating the Birth of the Cool”. The Jacqueline du Pré Music Building in which the concert takes place commemorates the supreme achievement of another world-class artiste who did not live to see her talent fully realised. The building is situated at the first college established in the British Isles for female scholars. In keeping with the ethos expressed by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz for International Jazz Day – the iconic presence of Billie Holiday will be celebrated within the walls of a prestigious institution such as St Hilda’s College, Oxford University.
The assistance of Kwabena Owusu of Paul Street Barristers Chambers (London) and Kwasi A Asiedu, Schwartz & Asiedu Lawyers (Los Angeles) has been critical in realising this concert.
Tickets (at £22.50 and a concessionary £10 for students with valid NUS ID) can be purchased online at www.accessuktickets.co.uk subject to a booking fee. For further information please contact Ra Hendricks (Jazzmo’thology) on 07931 263 617 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Showtime is 7:15pm.