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New Focus Duo to play concerts in Carshalton, Kenilworth and Camberwell from June 12th – 14th 2024.

Monday, June 03, 2024

New Focus Duo - pianist Euan Stevenson & saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski - bring their Classical Connection presentation south of the border for 3 concerts beginning in Carshalton on Weds June 12th.n

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Top Scottish jazz duo play concerts in Carshalton, Kenilworth and Camberwell from June 12 – 14.

Scotland’s award-winning New Focus Duo - pianist Euan Stevenson and saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski - bring their Classical Connection presentation south of the border for three concerts beginning in Carshalton on Wednesday June 12.

Recently described by Edinburgh Music Review as “a music-lover’s treat”, the Classical Connection explores the relationship between classical music and jazz.

“I’ve believed for a long time that the two musical styles have much in common,” says Stevenson, who studied piano and composition at Birmingham Conservatoire. “The great romantic composers such as Rachmaninov favoured the same key - D flat major - as Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and Erroll Garner and the influence of Erik Satie on Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue is quite marked.”

The Classical Connection includes an arrangement of the Duke Ellington Orchestra’s theme tune, Take the A Train in the style of a Mozart sonata and an improvised Bach-style reinvention of jazz standard All the Things You Are.

As well as being a composer who has premiered works on both sides of the Atlantic, Stevenson has arranged music for the internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman and the English Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Bach Choir. He is also the co-composer, arranger and pianist with the multi-award-winning singer, Georgia Cecile and has worked with guitarist Jim Mullen, singer Tina May and fellow pianist David Newton.

Saxophonist Wiszniewski is one of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s star soloists and is twice winner of the Best Instrumentalist title at the Scottish Jazz Awards. He has also worked with horn quartet Brass Jaw, Curtis Stigers, the Brand New Heavies, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, and Deacon Blue and he currently features with Jazz FM favourites Mama Terra.

Stevenson and Wiszniewski have been working as New Focus since 2011, when they were commissioned to pay a fiftieth anniversary tribute to saxophone legend Stan Getz’s “with strings” album, Focus, for Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival. They have recorded two albums as New Focus for Whirlwind Recordings and have performed at Ronnie Scott’s, Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Perth Festival of the Arts and Lichfield Festival.

Reviewing The Classical Connection at Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Keith Bruce, of leading Scottish newspaper The Herald, said: “They are both musicians with an instinctive desire to communicate. Not only was the verbal explanation kept short and pithy, but the musical points were always very succinctly made. The audience went home royally entertained, and probably a little better educated as well.”

New Focus present the Classical Connection at CryerArts, Carshalton, on Wednesday June 12, Abbey Hill United Reform Church, Kenilworth on Thursday June 13, and Jazz Live at the Crypt, Camberwell, London SE5 on Friday June 14.