Ellington’s On Again – And LIVE!

We’re back to celebrating the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn! And at the Philharmonic in Liverpool – 25 June 2022.  Frank Griffith has specially arranged the original big band scores for his Nonet (a 9-piece band), evoking the warmth and drive of the Ellington-Strayhorn sound and yet keeping it agile. 

Amongst others, we’ll be performing my favorite: Lush Life. For a rare first-hand experience listen to the composer-lyricist, Billy Strayhorn singing and self-accompanying his poignant tale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7bGtR_ETJE

 “ I doubt if there’s a singer alive today who can interpret the music (of Ellington and Strayhorn) better than Louise

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Deja Vu – Ellington-Strayhorn at 7 Arts

How we’ve all missed live music! The Ellington-Strayhorn gig at the end of May was my first live public performance for 16 months. How wonderful to be in the same acoustic space as the audience and to feel their encouragement and warmth. If you missed our all-Ellington-Strayhorn programme of old favorites and neglected rarities you can listen here:  https://www.facebook.com/jazzleeds/videos/770458143652504/

A big thank you must go to Steve Crocker and his team at JazzLeeds-Seven Jazz  http://www.sevenleeds.co.uk. They have done a remarkable job keeping the flame of jazz alive (and the prospect of musicians working again) while the pandemic kept us …

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Curious Tales

Thursday 9 September, 7pm at Seven Arts, Leeds LS7 3PD

Louise (with pianist Martin Longhawn) continues her exploration of  storytelling through jazz and modern standards (sneaking in a little improvisation, of course). You will hear songs by Ellington, Annie Ross, McCoy Tyner, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Charlie Mingus, Esperanza Spalding, Kurt Elling, Lennon & McCartney, Joni Mitchell, and Sting, amongst others – often with a curious tale to tell. …

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Uptown Lockdown Show

Check out the Duke Ellington Society UK’s ‘Uptown Lockdown’ weekly show on Wednesdays 5.30-6.30, hosted by Frank Griffith (via Duke Ellington Society UK – Facebook). On 28 April Brian Priestley and I will be special guests talking about, amongst other things, the recording ‘Love You Madly’ we made together with saxophonist/clarinettist (and Jazzpar Prizewinner) Tony Coe to celebrate the centenary of Ellington’s birth.

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Why improvisation is not an imperfect art

While waiting for the next live performance opportunity – here is my first ever publication in philosophy – where I set out my argument for why improvisation is not an imperfect art, and the genesis of all musical activity. Something to bang your head with while you’re waiting for performance venues to open.  

Gibbs, Louise (2021) ‘Improvising beyond Hamilton’s aesthetics of imperfection’ in A. Hamilton and L. Pearson, eds, The Aesthetics of Imperfection Music and the Arts: Spontaneity, Flaws, and the Unfinished, London: Bloomsbury, pp. 112-23.  


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Uptown Lockdown Broadcast – 10 June 2020
I was delighted to be a guest contributor to UPTOWN LOCKDOWN – a live broadcast by The Duke Ellington Society UK (DESUK). I talked about what Ellington and Strayhorn’s music means to me, what I’ve learnt from the singers like Betty Roche, Joya Sherill, Kay Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Ella, to sing this this inspiring music.
UPTOWN LOCKDOWN is co hosted by Frank Griffith and Antony Pepper, both board members of DESUK on Wednesdays, 5pm UK time. The program discusses matters Ellington and Strayhorn, playing tracks as well as snippets live playing. Consider joining them at the Discord link from
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