♫ Matt Wates Sextet

Fri 19 October 2018, 7.30-10.00pm

Matt Wates

  • Matt Wates alto sax
  • Steve Fishwick trumpet/flugelhorn
  • Steve Main tenor sax
  • Leon Greening piano
  • Malcolm Creese bass
  • Matt Home drums

From the time that his truly remarkable young alto player won the Rising Young Star accolade in the 1997 BT British Jazz Awards, and the sextet winning the honours for Best Small Group in 2011, Matt and the band have gone from strength to strength.

With their contemporary West-Coast style jazz putting the emphasis on groove, swing and tight ensemble playing, most of the material is exclusively original, arranged for the band by Matt himself. As Matt points out: “In style the sextet resembles many of the great small bands of the 50’s and 60’s, such as those of Horace Silver and Art Blakey. We take inspiration from the past, but we are not trying to replicate it, merely to add in a small way to the music for which we have the deepest respect and love. I strongly believe that jazz has to swing. To me, that is what gives the music that beautiful human quality which attracted most of us in the first place. We play some South American style pieces and some funky things too, but the heart and soul of the band will always be straight-ahead swing. If it isn’t swinging at least some of the time, I really don’t feel it is jazz!”

This long-running outfit will present a selection from their large and ever-expanding repertoire, including from their twelfth CD, ‘Yemanja’ (as featured on Jazz Record Requests). Swing and groove, both values at the core of jazz, are likewise at the core of their music.

“This is quite simply the best British band in years” – Steve Voce, Gramophone Jazz

“A seriously good band containing six of Britain’s finest jazz musicians, regardless of age or style” – Dave Gelly, Observer

“The future of jazz is safe with guys like this around” – Barry Witherden, BBC Music Magazine


Jazz at Progress is presented in association with Jazz in Reading.