JULIAN BLISS SEPTET
Formed in 2010, The Julian Bliss Septet quickly became widely known for their trademark inspiring jazz-fuelled shows which have captivated audiences across the globe. Their dazzling virtuosity, extraordinary musicianship and charming humour shines through their programmes of swing, Latin, American and jazz music. The band has played at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals around the world, including the Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Bermuda Jazz Festival and venues across the United States. On the jazz circuit, the Septet has played Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center (New York) and Ronnie Scott’s (London).
The Septet’s early shows were inspired by the great Benny Goodman whose iconic music captivated Julian Bliss as a young musician. Taking a fresh, modern approach to Goodman’s work, the Septet’s first album (‘The King of Swing’) and live performances gained widespread critical and popular acclaim and these programmes remain in great demand today. Expanding their repertoire and working with new genres of music, the group used their mastery of Western classical, swing and jazz to complement the rich heritage of Latin and wider American traditions. Co-founder Neal Thornton (piano) created a programme of new arrangements of the instantly recognizable style of Gershwin and his contemporaries (‘Celebrating Gershwin’). Including music from ‘Porgy and Bess’, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and popular favourites – ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘Embraceable You’ and ‘Lady Be Good’: timeless classics.
A recording of the Gershwin programme ‘I got rhythm’ released in 2021 received rave reviews: “impressive recording by talented clarinettist Julian Bliss and his excellent Septet .. Bliss’s quick-fire clarinet starts weaving free-flowing improvisational lines around the tune from the very outset .. jaw-dropping, side-stepping vibes solo .. the whole ensemble is on fire” – Gramophone.
Rolling out a new programme in 2022, ‘Hooray for Hollywood’ showcases some of the greatest music from the movies. Starting with silent film and the early talkies, the band echoes music from wartime & Fred Astaire films, musicals and even the classic Disney blockbusters. Toe-tapping, glorious nostalgia with great tunes such as ‘Cheek to Cheek’, ‘As Time Goes By’, ‘Sing Sing Sing’, ‘Days of Wine and Roses’ and ‘My Favourite Things’.