The most asked question lately has been “who’s coming to GIJ next year?”

It’s been absolutely awesome having Gordon Goodwin and the Phat Band with us for a couple of years now and they’ll be back in future but what do you follow that with??

Program Director Ross Irwin and I have been talking about the fact that we’d love to have a guest to inspire all the vocal ensembles – the incredible news is that we’ve managed to get the best there is…. Take 6 are coming to GIJ 2015!

This is the best – and I mean the BEST A Cappella group on earth. They have won ten Grammys and performed with Ray Charles, Gordon Goodwin, Stevie Wonder, Marcus Miller, Quincy Jones and Al Jarreau to name a few.

Whether you are a vocalist or not, hearing them live is going to open your ears to a whole new world (I’m just a bit excited about this one).

And if you thought it was all about the singers…. We also have an instrumental guest, or should I say guests.

In the 1990’s I was lucky enough to tour the world for three years with a collection of some of the most amazing jazz players I’ve heard. This band was called ‘The Hot Horn Happening’ (hey, it was the 90’s) and the music was awesome.

This band recorded only one live album (Live in Paris) and headlined every major festival in Europe. The personnel were: –

From LA – Jeff Clayton on Alto and Ricky Woodard on Tenor.
From NY – Martin Wind on bass.
From UK – Brian Kellock on piano and Mark Nightingale on bone.
From Aust – James and John Morrison

I could fill pages with what these players have done but better if you Google them and check them out on YouTube.

Mark Nightingale is my favourite bone player and is also a remarkable composer and arranger. He has played with Urbie Green, Carl Fontana, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton and recorded with Sting. He also conducts the BBC Big Band. So we asked Mark to do the chart for the Div 1 test piece.

These musicians have all played in incredible big bands (Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Berlin Radio Orch. etc) and will all be acting as guest adjudicators, so you get the chance to benefit from their expertise. They’ll also be doing workshops on the Sunday morning (so will Take 6).

I can’t wait for next May 

Keep Swinging,

James