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July Alumni Roundup

Thu 29 July 2021

A roundup of alumni news, projects and creations from July.

Classical pianist and Young Steinway Artist Haley Miles released her second album in July, dedicated to Chopin’s Nocturnes. Fellow alum Emma-Jean Thackray released her debut album Yellow, after being named ‘One to Watch’ in the Guardian and performing on BBC Radio 6 and Later…with Jools Holland.

DJMag explored the new experimental sounds born from the jazz tradition that are transforming the UK jazz scene. Artists they attributed to this experimental fusion include Moses Boyd, Emma-Jean Thackray, Nubya Garcia and Joe Armon-Jones.

Made Kuti also appeared in the media this month, speaking to Premium Times Nigeria about his musical family legacy, while Tara Lilly was included in Glamour Magazine’s list of female artists to listen to this summer, after she became the first in the UK to be signed by Motown Records UK and released new single ‘The Things You Do’.

More new work was shared when Maria Marchant completed her #7Notesin7Daysat7pm concert series with the world premiere of leading British composer Alan Bullard’s Shades of blue.

Gothic Opera’s multi-disciplinary interpretation of Bluebeard’s Castle featured Alexandra Long, Charlotte Osborn and Alice Usher in a performance at Porchester Hall. Fellow alum Phil Meadows also returned to the stage in July, with a performance at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

Choreographer Elisabeth Schilling brought contemporary dance directly to the heart of the city of Echternach with the TRIOLOGUE project as part of her residence, DANCING THE CITY, while fellow dance alum Michael McEvoy created and performed SCULPT in collaboration with dancers Clara Kerr, Emily McDonagh and Rosie Mulli. The site-responsive work popped up in areas of architectural or environmental interest throughout Belfast and County Down. Meilir Osian also took inspiration from his environment in new piece Qwerin, influenced by the patterns of Welsh folk dance as well as Queer club culture.

Actress, dancer and writer Gabriela Flarys led a number of workshops investigating compositions between movement and voice, while fellow dance alum Takeshi Matsumoto created two dance activity videos for South East Dance, drawing on Japanese tradition. Composer Will Dutta also shared his knowledge in July, with his new research paper exploring the curating composer as a new role in 21st century music making.

TL Professor Byron Wallen explored how Louis Armstrong created such a connection with the people of Britain in a BBC Radio 4 programme, talking to alumni Mark Kavuma, Sheila Maurice-Grey and Jay Phelps.

The Parliamentary Jazz Awards saw a host of TL alumni nominated, with Will Cleasby, Deschanel Gordon and Steve Rubie among the names. Nubya Garcia won Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year, while Kokoroko won Jazz Ensemble of the Year. Nubya has also been nominated for a Mercury Prize.

Dance alum Emily Jenkins has been nominated in the Art, Film and Culture category of the National Lottery Award for her work with Move Dance Feel, supporting women affected by cancer.

Coming up:

Chineke! Orchestra will present the world premiere of Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s new work Blush in an Edinburgh International Festival concert on 17 August.

Keep up with TL Innovation Award winner ben leigh grosart who has started his project Root, journeying by bike from the northern most point to the southern most point of England, creating an album as he travels.

Millie Cranston and Jacob Fowler will feature in the live, one-night-only performance of Joey Contreras’ musical In Pieces at the Turbine Theatre on 22 August .