Divine Fire goes to France

We are delighted to announce that our acclaimed music and words production Divine Fire receives its French premiere on 9 June at the Festival International de Musique Classique d’Aigues-Mortes in the beautiful Gard region. The concert tells the passionate and moving story of Fryderyk Chopin’s relationship with writer Georges Sand in an engaging sequence of readings and music by Chopin, performed by pianist Viv McLean.

For further information about the concert and tickets, please contact Peter Thomas at peterthomas48@aol.com

Tickets cost Euros 20 and go on sale from 15 May.

Chekhov’s Grand Piano – world premiere of a brand new mixed genre production

3rd March 2017, 8pm

Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre, Walton-on-Thames

Following on from the success of ‘Sweet Harmony’ and ‘Divine Fire’, 7 Star Arts is proud to collaborate once again with Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre on a new multi-genre production.

Chekhov’s Grand Piano interweaves the words of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov with the music of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev, together with David le Page’s music inspired by ‘The Seagull’.

There are many parallels between the works of Chekhov and the music of his compatriots. Chekhov’s writing is filled with allusions to music, and especially the piano, and some of his plays have piano interludes. Shostakovich noted that Chekhov’s short stories were written in sonata form. Chekhov corresponded with Tchaikovsky, whom he revered, and his friend Rachmaninoff played the piano in Chekhov’s summer home, The White Dacha at Yalta.

Performed by internationally-acclaimed musicians Viv McLean (piano) and David le Page (violin) with readings by celebrated West End actresses Susan Porrett and Nesley Joy and artwork by Klara Smith, this exciting new production receives its world premiere in the year of the centenary of the Russian Revolution

Date: 3rd March 2017, 8pm
Venue: Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre , Manor Road, Walton-on-Thames KT12 2PF

BOOK TICKETS

“Viv McLean revealed extraordinary originality, superb simplicity, and muscles of steel hidden by fingers of velvet. He plays with the genius one finds in those who know how to forget themselves, naturally placing themselves at the right point to meet the music, this mystery of the moment.”

– Le Monde

“The finesse and fieriness of [David le Page’s] playing is always top-notch, but more than that, his unique sense of creativity infuses everything he does. His own music has a strong personal voice, full of improvisatory flair and independence of thought – and, like his interpretations of the classical repertoire, seems driven by a deeply poetic spirit.”

– The Independent

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Meet the Artist……Aydenne Simone, jazz and blues vocalist

Aydenne Simon

(Aydenne Simone)

Aydenne Simone will be performing at The Jazz Room at The Bull’s Head on 5 January 2017 with the Liam Stevens Trio. Music blogger The Cross-Eyed Pianist interviewed Aydenne ahead of the gig

Who or what inspired you to take up singing and pursue a career in music?

My father was a jazz musician, and a massive jazz fan. Jazz is what I grew up listening to and was given my first jazz album at 6 years old.

Who or what were the most important influences on your musical life and career?

Sarah Vaughan, Eydie Gorme, and Ella Fitzgerald

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

Well every day is a school day, and the greatest challenge has got to be to consistently striving forward and raising the bar. When the bar is raised you have two choices step up, or step out. I choose to step up and take on the challenge to constantly improve what I do.

Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?

“All of me” album (not least because I had a broken foot and full blown flu at the time), “Running Away” single and a recording I did with Roger Limb of ‘Round Midnight’

Which particular works do you think you perform best?

Jazz ballads, and firing blues numbers; ‘Misty’, ‘My Funny Valentine’, ‘Round Midnight’, ‘Stormy Monday’ and ‘Mama Told me’.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

I like songs that are pretty, in a way, either I fall in love with the melody or I love the story the lyricist is telling. I tend to choose songs that I know I can make my own, and use the tones in my vocal range to add light and shade, use techniques to get to try and demonstrate the story the lyricists is telling us.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

The Piano Bar in Soho (not a concert venue but one of my favourite places to sing), Pizza Express, The Pheasantry, Chelsea, London, and Quay Arts Theatre, Isle of Wight

Who are your favourite musicians?

Oh my days I could go on all day! In London, *Benet Mclean (violin & piano), Nathan Britton (pianist), *Liam Stevens (pianist), *Clinton Paul (blues guitar), *Harry Bolt (pianist) Roger Limb (pianist), *Dario Di Leece (double bass), *Emiliano Carouseli (drums), Andrew Huggett (drums), Imre Varga (pianist), Derek Nash (sax), that is just a small handful (apologies to anybody who feels left out, but I could be here till next Christmas!).

Listening/Records my favourites are Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Oscar Peterson (pianist), Errol Garner (pianist), Michel Camilo (pianist), Count Basie (pianist + band leader/arranger), Bill Evans (pianist), Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Benet McLean, again I could just go on and on!

What is your most memorable concert experience?

Newport Jazz Weekend, Isle of Wight 2013 and 2015, Piano Bar Street Jazz Festival 2016, and Pizza Express Live The Pheasantry with the most incredible line up*

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Listen rather than hear and as much as possible. Listen to each musician and the interaction between them, the phrasing, timing……it all educates.

Aydenne Simone performs with the Liam Stevens Trio at The Jazz Room at The Bull’s Head Barnes on 5 January 2017 – further details here

(photo ©Aydenne Simone)

www.aydennesimone.co.uk

7 Star Arts residency at The Bull’s Head, Barnes

From 24 December 2016, 7 Star Arts has a year-long residency at the iconic Jazz Room at The Bull’s Head, Barnes.

The Bull’s original music room was opened at the same time as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in 1959 and became known as the “suburban Ronnie Scott’s”. It is now an established part of the London jazz scene and host to many acclaimed jazz musicians and singers, including Humphrey Lyttleton, Jamie Cullum and Peter King. It attracts audiences from all over the capital and beyond who favour the intimate setting and a chance to get up close and personal with music and musicians.

7 Star Arts presents a series of events featuring acclaimed musicians Viv McLean, Susan Porrett, Liam Stevens and his trio, Duncan Eagles and saxophonist Jess Gillam, and many more……

Check out our Events page for more information