Jamie Harber catches up with Brighton based jazz musician, composer, promoter, teacher and writer, Eddie Myer.
We’ve been checking-in with promoters and artists throughout the South to see how their lockdown experience has been, and how they’ve been adjusting to the new normal.
What was your first ever encounter with jazz?
Probably buying a Thelonious Monk record that had been accidentally misfiled under ‘Reggae’ in the Notting Hill Record and Tape Exchange. A happy accident.
Name a track you wish you’d written.
Despacito because it’s the most streamed track ever so the pay-out would be huge.
How did you begin as a jazz promoter and what do you love most about it?
We started New Generation Jazz in 2015 – the best thing is getting involved with so many talented young musicians, hanging with them, watching them play and then seeing their careers take off.
Who have you been listening to recently?
What advice do you have for fellow promoters and musicians adjusting to the current situation?
Don’t give up. When music comes back, the public’s appetite for it will be immense.
What’s your favourite venue in the South and why?
Has to be the Verdict in Brighton because that’s where we started. A unique atmosphere in a venue that’s built around jazz music.
What’s the favourite gig that you’ve promoted?
Too many to pick a single one! The Bandstand and Friday Arena stages at Love Supreme have contributed some really special memories.
We put on Ezra Collective at the Verdict (Brighton) to around 60 people – they were so young! Then the next year we put them on at the Friday Arena tent at Love Supreme to over 1000, and the year after that they played a headline show at LSF to a capacity 3000 – that’s some impressive audience growth!
Cassie Kinoshi’s Seed Ensemble at the Verdict was special as well as we managed to get an 11-piece band onto the tiny stage, and felt so confident that we repeated the trick with Jonny Mansfield’s Elftet.
It was great to work with Jazz South on the Cinematic Sessions Weekender and shine a spotlight on our favourite artists from the Brighton area. But we’ve worked with so many amazing artists that it’s really not possible to single anyone out. There’s so much young talent in the UK right now that it’s ridiculous.
Any livestream recommendations?
The New Generation Jazz Cinematic Live series on our New Generation Jazz YouTube channel, of course! Plus our Cinematic Jazz Weekender co-promotion with Jazz South. When you’re done, check out Smalls Jazz, Emmet Cohen and Kansas Smitty‘s. Don’t forget to donate if you can.
As a promoter, what would you like audiences to embrace?
I’d like them to embrace each other once it’s safe for them to do so!
Have you been working on any new material recently?
I’m one-third of QOW TRIO with sax virtuoso Riley Stone-Lonergan and drum legend Spike Wells. Our debut album – QOW TRIO – is out on CD, stream, download and delicious vinyl on 5th February via the Ubuntu Music Label. You can listen and purchase the album here.
Thanks to Ubuntu boss Martin Hummel for giving us this platform. It’s a multi-generational exploration of the past, present and future of the classic tenor sax trio format. We recorded everything in a day with Ben Lamdin at the Fish Factory in Harlesden and captured the warmth and the freedom. We’re really proud of this music and urge you to check it out.
What are your post-lockdown plans?
Do everything and go everywhere. Look out for more from New Generation Jazz and QOW TRIO in 2021.
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