Jazz at Progress | Alex Hitchcock Quintet

Fri 22 September | Progress Theatre, Reading | 7:30pm | £14.00 (£12.00 concessions) plus maximum 5% booking fee.

Will Barry – piano, Jay Davis – drums, Alex Hitchcock – sax, Joe Downard – bass, James Copus – trumpet

We have decided that it is time for Jazz In Reading to give opportunities to young jazz musicians emerging after graduating and our first ‘Newcomers Gig’ features a band of talented guys who are rapidly making a name on the jazz scene. In particular the leader, tenor man Alex Hitchcock.

We came across Alex during 2016 when he was a guest at our friend Simon Cook’s Bracknell Jazz, as support act to Art Themen. However, it was clear to Art and the audience that after Alex’s opening thirty minutes, he was more than up to joining Art for the whole of his second set. Indeed Art’s  praise was fulsome and no, he was not just saying it to be encouraging.

Alex graduated from Cambridge in English and in 2016 he completed a post grad course at the Royal Academy of Music. Having already been director of the Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra, Alex is no slouch in getting stuck into the scene in London and has already chalked up an impressive record as sideman in such as the BBC Big Band, Laurence Cottle’s Big Band, and has played with the likes of Stan Sulzmann, Dennis Rollins plus many others of note.

The Alex Hitchcock Quintet features some of the most exciting and distinctive rising stars from London’s vibrant jazz scene. Performing a rich mix of standards and original compositions, 2016 performances included sold-out shows at the London Jazz Festival and New Generation Jazz at The Verdict, Brighton.

Taking its compositional cue from an Anglo-American range of influences including Kneebody, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Phronesis’ Jasper Hoiby, the group showcases a spirit of openness and interaction grounded in its members’ close musical relationships.

Featuring trumpeter James Copus (Stan Sulzmann’s Neon Orchestra), pianist Will Barry (Jasper Hoiby’s Fellow Creatures), bassist Joe Downard (NYJO) and firebrand drummer Jay Davis (Big Bad Wolf).

A fantastic young talent’ – Helen Mayhew, Jazz FM

Incredible young lion of the tenor sax’ – Gareth Lockrane

One to watch’ – Jazzwise

‘…effectively mixed a traditional tenor-ballad warmth with a brisk contemporary attack’ – John Fordham, The Guardian