Sultan Stevenson @JazznewbloodALIVE2021 @EFGLJF @WoolwichWorks
On Sat. Nov.20, JazznewbloodALIVE showcase starts a new chapter at Woolwich Works, a new riverside venue in Woolwich Arsenal, the Cultural District.
After 5 years of presenting a LIVE showcase, we had to adapt to a new reality in 2020 to bring an online edition featuring Uk Jazz talent and International talent from Portugal, Germany, Israel and Italy (re-watch here).
The online platform created new opportunities beyond territories but we missed an essential element, the whole LIVE experience that makes jazz so unique.
We open our 2021 line-up introductions with pianist Sultan Stevenson.
How did you start playing music? was piano your first choice?
I first started when I was 9 years of age. Nobody in my family played an instrument but my father loves jazz and it was played regularly when I was a child. I originally wanted to be a saxophonist but my school didn't have any to rent. I settled for the piano and have loved it since my first lesson.
I imagine Tomorrow´s Warriors had a huge impact on your development. You are now Assistant Music Leader. How do you see the future in the music/jazz industry for this and the next generations of musicians?
Yes! I owe a lot of my musical development to TW. It's quite nice that I have gone full circle and now teach some sessions to the current cohort of students in the programme. I'm very optimistic for the future, jazz is having a resurgence in this country. I hope to contribute to this.
You are currently studying at Guildhall. A lot of students feel disappointed with Music Uni/conservatory, what is your experience?
You can't expect uni/conservatory to spoon feed who you are as an artist. You have to do that yourself. Uni/conservatory serves it's purpose quite well in giving you the skills to become a competent musician in today's climate.
What are you listening to at the moment?
I'm listening to a lot of Terrence Blanchard, Orrin Evans, Danny Grisset and The Spice Girls.
How is your process with composing new music? what inspires you?
I'm always inspired by who I am as a person of Carribbean heritage. I am inspired by the lack of resources and amount of poverty where I live in Tottenham, North London. I'm inspired by my dreams.
You´ve released a couple of singles, when can we expect an EP coming out?
Either an EP or album in 2022! Big love to everyone that keeps supporting my music.
Who is accompanying you on stage on Nov.20?
My trio + the very talented Maddy Coombs.
Catch Sultan Stevenson Trio with Saxophonist Maddy Coombs on Nov.20 @woolwichWorks at JazznewbloodALIVE2021 PART II, starting at 6.30pm.
Sultan Stevenson : Instagram