Friday 24 January. 19:30 – 22:00.
At Crucible Studio. In collaboration with Music in the Round.
Full £17, Over 60s, disabled and unemployed £13.50, Student with NUS card £8, 15 – 17 year olds £3, Under 15s Free.
Advance tickets (no additional booking fee) from Crucible Box Office or from www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
Jean Toussaint: sax; Andrew McCormack: piano; Daniel Casimir: bass; Ben Brown: drums
Seriously exciting music from a saxophonist of international stature – from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the mid-eighties, to high profile collaborations in many jazz styles. Having wowed audiences at the Crucible Studio with his sextets in recent years Jean Toussaint now brings another excellent band to showcase his and their talents in the more intimate quartet format, featuring the acclaimed pianist Andrew McCormack who so impressed as part of Jean’s most recent Sheffield performance.
Grammy-winning saxophonist Jean Toussaint first came to prominence when he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1982, after studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since he left Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the mid-eighties, he hasn’t looked back. Nor has he spent a career trying to repeat the past.
Born in the US territory of the Virgin Islands his formative musical experiences were playing calypso and this Afro-Caribbean influence is still apparent in his upbeat playing style. Jean attended Berklee College of Music in the late 1970’s (where fellow students included Branford Marsalis), developing a blistering technique and lyrical sound that has graced many great bands, from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers through Wynton Marsalis, Gil Evans and the Julian Joseph bands to his own bands.
Since moving to London in 1987 he has released 12 critically acclaimed CDs as a leader, including 2018’s Brother Raymond, which saw him win Best Instrumentalist at the Jazz FM Awards 2019, as well as top 10 lists in The Telegraph, Jazzwise, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Jazz in Europe. A highly respected educator as well as performer, Jean has taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Trinity College of Music and the Birmingham Conservatory.
“Art Blakey used to say “it doesn’t matter how complex you want to play, as long as you swing and play from the heart” then he’d cite the great John Coltrane as an example. I owe it all to the great Art Blakey and I’ll be a Jazz Messenger for life.”…Jean Toussaint
“…Toussaint displays a beautiful, incisive tone that you can only compare to liquid crystal…” Time Out
This latest quartet formed loosely on those Blakey principles of nurturing talent includes some of Jean’s pupils who have met the standard and gone on to their own outstanding careers. Since bursting on to the scene in 2006, pianist and composer Andrew McCormack has been a driving force behind A-list jazz artists Kyle Eastwood, Eric Alexander, Denys Baptiste and Jean Toussaint, as well as a host of home grown talent including Jamie Cullum and Jason Yarde. His talent as a composer has also seen him work for different genres of classical and film scores globally.
Andrew’s film music includes orchestration, additional music and performances most notably for Clint Eastwood in a number of his productions including Flags Of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, Changeling and the John Cussack movie, Grace Is Gone. He has been a pivotal member of the Kyle Eastwood Band which has toured extensively worldwide for the last 10 years. He also leads his own highly successful band: Graviton. Andrew McCormack is an extraordinary British pianist and a great composer as well… amazing technique. ~ Jamie Cullum – Singer/Songwriter
Award-winning bassist and composer Daniel Casimir has become a key fixture within the UK jazz scene providing his heavyweight upright sound for the likes of Julian Joseph, Jason Rebello, Jean Toussaint, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ashley Henry, Camilla George and Nubya Garcia. He plays with a passion and power that shine through not only in his compositions but also in the energy he brings to his live performances. The Musicians’ Company awarded Daniel the Young Jazz Musician Award 2016-2017 which spurred him on to recording his EP “Escapee” which features fellow rising stars on the scene, Moses Boyd, Joe Armon-Jones, Shirley Tetteh and features vocalist Tess Hirst.
Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music, drummer Ben Brown‘s playing encompasses anything from jazz, pop music and hip hop to electronic music, reggae and Jewish music with an extensive knowledge of African and Latin American music. He has played numerous times in the bands of Jason Rebello, Jean Toussaint, Zhena Strigalev, Femi Temowo and Rebecca Ferguson as well as many others. “Ben Brown is, without doubt, one of my favourite young jazz drummers. He is musically interactive, highly creative and really listens and supports a performance from beginning to end with great imagination. This young man has a great future of music making ahead of him“…- Jean Toussaint