Tommy Smith and Gwilym Simcock Composite

LIJF 2024: Tommy Smith and Gwilym Simcock Duo

Thursday, 22 February 2024 Time: 7.30pm

Tommy Smith - saxophone

Gwilym Simcock - piano


Tommy Smith and Gwilym Simcock collaborate to bring two generations of UK jazz mastery to the stage in world-class performances. Their intimate, intensely musical duets, with a repertoire drawn from many musical avenues, have delighted audiences at events across Scotland and the UK.

Tommy Smith, OBE is one of the world’s leading saxophonists. A presence on the global jazz scene since his teenage years, when he toured internationally with vibes virtuoso Gary Burton’s Whiz Kids quintet, Smith has gone on to record with the definitive jazz label, Blue Note and work with myriad jazz greats, including Chick Corea, Jaco Pastorius, Dame Cleo Laine, John Scofield, Randy Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Arild Andersen, Dizzy Gillespie and Trilok Gurtu to name but a few.

Since leaving Berklee College of Music, an experience that shaped his affirmative approach to jazz, he has recorded over thirty solo albums for Blue Note, Linn, ECM and his own Spartacus Record label, toured 50+ countries and performed with many influential figures in modern twentieth century jazz

“Tommy has a unique sound and approach. I like it from when I first heard him play as a student at Berklee” - Chick Corea

Gwilym Simcock has carved out a career as one of the most gifted pianists and imaginative
composers on the European scene. He moves effortlessly between jazz and classical music, with a ‘harmonic sophistication and subtle dovetailing of musical traditions’. Gwilym has been hailed as a pianist of ‘exceptional’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘dazzling’ ability, and his music has been widely acclaimed as ‘engaging, exciting, often unexpected, melodically enthralling, complex yet hugely accessible’, and above all ‘wonderfully optimistic’.

Gwilym’s influences are wide ranging, from jazz legends including Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny, to classical composers including Maurice Ravel, Henri Dutilleux, Béla Bartók and Mark-Anthony Turnage. Although principally a jazz artist, Gwilym has composed numerous works for larger Classical ensemble that combine through-composed elements with improvisation, creating a sound that is distinctive and very much his own.

“Gwilym is one of the most exceptional musicians that I have ever known ..he’s a really significant force in music” - Pat Metheny

Together, they provide stunning 'not to be missed' performances that are packed with excitement and incredible improvisation technique, leaving audiences wanting more.

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