Ca­nary Wharf Jazz Fes­ti­val mmm… nice

The Wharf - - Front Page - By Laura En­field

High-hat clashes, trum­pet trills and pi­ano so­los are about to bring Canada Square Park to life. Ca­nary Wharf Jazz Fes­ti­val will take over the stage on Satur­day, Au­gust 19 and 20 with nine acts per­form­ing across the two days.

Riot Jazz Brass Band will head­line on the first night from 8.30pm with Steve Py­croft on the drum kit.

We caught up with him to find out where he mea­sures on the cool cat scale.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Steve Py­croft, I’m a drum­mer, com­poser and film­maker. I write mu­sic and play drums for Riot Jazz Brass Band.

Where do you live?

I cur­rently live in Manch­ester.

What’s Riot Jazz all about?

Riot Jazz is about hav­ing fun, mak­ing mu­sic and en­abling peo­ple to have a great time. De­scribe your mu­sic. High en­ergy, happy, fun, full of love.

How did you get in­volved with the band?

I was ap­proached by our band leader Nick. He asked if I’d like to play drums for a one-off brass band gig at a club night called Riot Jazz. I said yes and the rest is his­tory.

What’s with the name?

The name is in­spired by the al­bum

Riot Jazz by Young­blood Brass Band, who are a ma­jor in­flu­ence.

Are you a rowdy bunch then?


How do you pre­pare to go on stage?

We mas­sage each other and whis­per lov­ing com­ments in to each others’ ears.

Hard­est part of be­ing a drum­mer?

I ab­so­lutely love drum­ming. Can’t fault it.

What did you think of the film Whiplash?

I thought it was re­ally en­ter­tain­ing. Quite an ex­ag­ger­a­tion com­pared to my experiences, though I have ex­pe­ri­enced bleed­ing hands due to ex­ces­sive drum­ming.

Your first mem­ory of mu­sic?

I re­mem­ber play­ing clar­inet in a wind band, and I kept get­ting lost be­cause I was too pre­oc­cu­pied watch­ing the per­cus­sion sec­tion. I didn’t play clar­inet for much longer.

Why jazz?

I’ve never re­ally cho­sen a genre to spe­cialise in. But what I love about jazz is that any­thing goes. When any­thing goes the best things can hap­pen.

Weird­est project/mo­ment you’ve had?

I ar­ranged an or­ches­tral piece for

BBC Chil­dren In Need. The brief was to mix a song by One Di­rec­tion with Verdi’s Anvil Cho­rus. The piece was per­formed by a full size orches­tra.

Favourite place you’ve played and why?

Hori­zon Fes­ti­val, An­dorra. We played this year – on top of a big moun­tain, and just as we went on stage, the most in­cred­i­ble storm hit. We car­ried on. And the rea­son it’s my favourite is that we put the same ef­fort into the show as we al­ways do. And the crowd kept on danc­ing. Prob­a­bly one of the most grat­i­fy­ing experiences I’ve had. Have you been to Ca­nary Wharf be­fore? Yes. We played at the fes­ti­val a few years ago, and had an amaz­ing time. What can the au­di­ence ex­pect from your gig here? The best party they’ve ever had. What else are you up to?

I run the Kalei­do­scope Orches­tra in Manch­ester. The aim of the orches­tra is to bridge the gap be­tween gen­res. We re­cently col­lab­o­rated with Flux Pav­il­ion on his al­bum Tesla.

Ca­nary Wharf Jazz Fes­ti­val runs in Canada Square Park on Satur­day, Au­gust 19, 2pm-10pm and Sun­day, Au­gust 20, 2.15pm-9pm. No ticket re­quired

Luna Co­hen

Omar Puente

Rob Bar­ron, Wild Card

Steve Py­croft

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