Big Band Leader
Tzadik Label artist, Bandleader, Composer and trumpet player Sam Eastmond writes music born of his love of orchestration and structure entwined with the spontaneity and interaction of improvisation. His distinctive sound world is the result of his desire to meld a wide range of influences and genres into a cohesive musical whole.
Sam draws from a diverse array of influences. Jazz, Klezmer, contemporary classical and cartoon all inform his work. Large ensemble the Spike Orchestra draws these eclectic styles together in conjunction with more improvised styles.
His Last three albums Ghetto – The Spike Orchestra (Spike Records) Meltdown – Pressure75 (East Green Records) and Cerberus: The Spike Orchestra Play John Zorn’s Masada Book Two (Tzadik Label) are thematically linked by his immersion in the world of large ensemble Radical Jewish Culture.
Working with legendary Downtown NYC Composer and seminal Radical Jewish Culture innovator John Zorn, Sam is one of a small number of artists chosen to collaborate on Zorn’s monolithic Masada series which features Pat Metheny, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Ben Goldberg, Marc Ribot, David Krakauer, Uri Caine, The Cracow Klezmer Band et al and is the only UK artist to feature in the series.
“…Arranger Eastmond’s inventively effective mix of avant contemporary and more rootsy styles turns out to be a passionately eclectic reflection on it’s subject. With an injection of some Ellingtonian swing, brass voicing evoking Gil Evans’ flamenco-ish passages from Sketches of Spain, elements from Brecht-ian Weimar caberet, bop, free improv with Nikki Franklin’s non-verbal, avant-improv vocals through to downtown New York klezmer, this is an entirely positive form of commemoration….”
**** Jazzwise Magazine Ghetto review
“Quite unlike anything else I heard this year, the Spike Orchestra released two fabulous records in 2015. “Ghetto” was a moving musical expression of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943 that stopped me in my tracks when I heard it this summer—about as far as it was possible to get from the endless ‘Sinatra’s in corduroy’ that plagued our music this year. If anything, though, second release “Cerberus” just topped it on account of being a touch more accessible and rhythmic. Ones to watch for in 2016.”
– Phil Barnes’ Favourite Albums of 2015 – All About Jazz
Big Band guest artist
Stewart Curtis is a freelance Reed & Woodwind musician & educator. He presently works at JFS, Hasmoneon, Yavneh College, Clore Shalom Wren Academy among others. Over the past 30 years Stewart has worked with many household names including Nik Kershaw, Tracey Ullman and Glen Matlock, as well as performing on television (Ben Elton Show – BBC 1, Viva Cabaret – Channel 4) & in various West End shows.
Presently Stewart plays for the Jazz Dynamos, Stealing Dan & Don, The Boneshaker Band.
He also fronts his own ensembles; K-Groove and The Brass Bottom 4tet.
Stewart has released 4 CDs under his own name through ‘33’ records.
Big Band guest artist
Jewish Music Institute & the JMI Youth Big Band
gratefully acknowledge the generous support of