28th April 2020

One hundred years ago a group of American musicians docked in London, bringing with them for the very first time one of the twentieth century’s most important musical genres: jazz, a fascinating blend of rigorous structure, free-wheeling creativity, close-knit ensemble work and improvisation. Drawing on his practical experience both as musicologist and gigging musician, Sandy is able to shed light on jazz from the inside. His talk touches on the disparate influences which lay behind the emergence of jazz, and his musical illustrations range from the blues, ragtime and the very earliest jazz recordings through to classics by Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and the dawn of the Swing Era.

Speaker: Sandy Burnett

Sandy is one of the UK’s most versatile music commentators, enjoying a career that combines broadcasting, performing and lecturing. After studying at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and working as music director for the RSC, National Theatre and in London’s West End, he spent a decade as one of the core team of presenters on BBC Radio 3. Combining engaging scholarship with hands-on expertise, he devises and leads cultural holidays all over the world, is the author of the Idler Guide to Classical Music, is a highly sought after double bassist on the London jazz scene, and was appointed the Academy of Ancient Music’s Hogwood Fellow for the 2018-19 season.