British jazz ambassador at Harrogate festival
Next month sees the start of Harrogate International Festivals with a host of musicians, writers and artists coming together for a fortnight. Arguably one of the most highly anticipated performances is by awardwinning saxophonist Courtney Pine.
Festival goers will be treated to his latest tour, Transition in Tradition. With influences from Africa, the Caribbean, South America and Europe, the show infuses the sounds of bass clarinet, harmonium and mandolin to pay homage to the first great saxophone star, Sidney Bechet.
London-born Pine has been playing professionally for decades, but it was his debut album, Journey to the Urge Within, in 1986 that pushed him to the forefront of the UK jazz scene. Since then, the British jazz ambassador has been inspiring young black musicians in workshops around the country and was last year awarded a CBE for his services to jazz music. His sometimes unusual approach to the genre has raised eyebrows over the years as he has incorporated soul, reggae and drum ’n’ bass into his shows, but his passion for jazz is unwavering and he reportedly still practices for up to eight hours every day.
Courtney Pine at the Royal Hall on Sunday, July 18, at 8pm. Visit www.harrogatefestival.org.uk or call the ticket hotline on 0845 130
PASSION: Courtney Pine.