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Guy Barker’s Big Band Christmas feat.Tommy Blaize a.o. at The Royal Albert Hall, London.

Friday, December 14, 2018


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BBC Strictly Come Dancing lead singer confirmed as guest for Guy Barker’s Big Band Christmas on Friday 14th December

Tommy Blaize, the man behind the microphone of Strictly Come Dancing’s much-loved live band, has today been announced as one of the special guests for Guy Barker’s Big Band Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall.

Blaize will join Kansas Smitty’s House Band clarinettist Adrian Cox, dynamic, show stopping soul singer Vanessa Haynes and acapella group Accent to take centre stage alongside Guy Barker to kick off the Hall’s festive season in swinging style.

Band leader and celebrated trumpeter Guy Barker will return to the Hall for a rip-roaring evening of beloved festive favourites from jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ramsey Lewis, Benny Goodman and many more.

Barker’s inimitable mixture of jazz classics, unearthed treasures and Christmas oddities makes for a festive party like no other at the iconic London venue.

Jazz singer and BBC Radio 2 presenter Clare Teal will co-present the evening, performing alongside Guy’s very special guests.

Lucy Noble, Artistic Director at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “We can’t wait to welcome back Guy and his band this festive season, alongside some spectacular guests. The Big Band Christmas is a refreshing take on seasonal music, guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a swing in your step.”

Guy Barker said: “I am thrilled to welcome back the sensational Vanessa Haynes and incredible vocal group, Accent to this year’s Big Band Christmas line-up, after they both made huge waves at our first Christmas show two years ago.

“I first worked with Tommy Blaize at Cheltenham Jazz Festival earlier this year and his performance really blew me away. Afterwards we talked for hours about our shared musical influences, including Jazz great Louis Armstrong. I was over the moon when he accepted my invitation to join this year’s show.

“In another coup for this year’s line-up, we have clarinettist Adrian Cox from one of the most exciting new bands on the scene, the internationally renowned Kansas Smitty’s House Band. Helping me pull off what I hope to be a truly memorable Big Band Christmas show, is my dear friend Clare Teal. There may be even more surprises to come for the line-up.”

The Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall season includes events such as Whose Line is it Anyway 30th Anniversary Christmas Show, My Christmas Orchestral Adventure, The Snowman and Paddington Bear live and in concert and A Hollywood Christmas.

Talented singer and piano player, Vanessa Haynes has been the lead singer of the British Jazz funk band INCOGNITO (Always There) for nine years. The group has just completed a world tour of their current album, In Search of Better Days. Her spectacular performance at the inaugural Big Band Christmas in 2016 was singled-out by both critics and audiences.

Tommy Blaize’s velvet vocals have provided the soundtrack Saturday night television for the past 14 years, as lead singer of the BBC Strictly Come Dancing band.

Clarinettist Adrian Cox has been described as “London’s most charismatic reedsman” (Time Out London). Over his career he has performed with artists including Wynton Marsalis, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Ronnie Wood, at countless sell-out shows including Ronnie Scott’s, The Barbican, and The Lincoln Center.

Accent is a collaboration of six musicians from around the world looking to bring the best in a cappella and jazz. Drawing inspiration from the vocal jazz pioneers who preceded them, Accent are forging a new path, melding jazz, pop and contemporary acapella into one sound.

Listings info:
Guy Barker’s Big Band Christmas at Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP
Friday 14th December, 7:30pm / 020 7589 8212

Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Over the past 147 years, it has hosted everyone from Albert Einstein to Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles to Beyoncé, Churchill to Chvrches (we could go on). Last year, its breathtaking auditorium presented 386 events by the world’s greatest performers – taking in rock, pop and classical music, theatre, dance, films, Cirque du Soleil and even tennis – with the magical setting and inspired artists creating amazing memories for audiences.
Opened in 1871 to fulfil Prince Albert’s vision of a central hall to promote the arts and sciences, the Hall is a registered charity that remains true to his founding ambitions while looking to the future. With 1.7million visitors a year, ‘the nation’s village hall’ is the world’s busiest venue, while its 1,000 events in secondary spaces help to welcome a young, diverse audience to the Hall. Research conducted by Populus in 2018 found that the Hall was the most respected venue in its field, with members of the public regarding it as more special and yet less elitist than any comparable venue.
Its Education & Outreach programme reaches more than 185,000 participants each year, working with schools, young people and the community, as well as other charities such as Music for Youth, as part of its extensive public benefit remit. It creates memories, changes lives and provides inspiration through music for all, regardless of age or background.

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