Total Refreshment Centre and Blue Note: Artists & Repertoire

LONDON Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall
Belvedere Road
SE1 8 XX


A selection of gems from the Blue Note catalogue, re-imagined by artists from the Total Refreshment Centre orbit.

Throughout the history of jazz, covers have been been the jazz musician’s muse: a endless source of inspiration.

Bringing a new twist to an existing composition, be it through new arrangements or improvised expression, has always been a way for artists to showcase their creativity.

John Coltrane covering ‘My Favourite Things’ from the musical The Sound Of Music, or Donald Byrd’s 'Cookin’ - the groundbreaking version of the traditional folk song 'The House of the Rising Sun’ are prime examples of artists using an existing composition and making it unmistakably theirs.

For this show, curator Lex Blondin has been digging deep into the Blue Note catalogue to unearth catchy yet overlooked tunes, and enrolled the cream of the crop of the UK jazz renaissance to re-work them – including Emma-Jean Thackray, the Free Movement Ensemble, and a TRC Super Group made up of members of Maisha, the Rosie Turton Quartet, and more.

The show focuses heavily on Blue Note’s 1960’s output, a time when artists like Elvin Jones, Horace Silver, Bobby Hutcherson and Kenny Dorham changed the game with ground-breaking new albums.

These timeless melodies will shine again live before your eyes as they are performed by some of the UK jazz renaissance's most exciting artists

This process is the one of the A&R in the old sense of the word: pairing Artist & Repertoire, an exercise Lex has become an expert of, having paired countless artists with songbooks through the Church Of Sound gig series.

The line up will represent the TRC ethos, one that is steeped in the importance of community, inclusiveness, mentorship, and innovation. It is a narrative that has fostered a solid coalition of artists who, like the artists they honour on the album, embody the unconventional and challenge the status quo.

The show marks the approaching eight-year anniversary of Total Refreshment Centre, as well as the 80th anniversary of Blue Note Records as the two are working together on a new record.

Get a feel for the show with the below curated playlist

'Curator Lex Blondin puts together an unmissable show celebrating the 80th anniversary of Blue Note Records, bringing together London Jazz stalwarts Emma-Jean Thackray, Free Movement Ensemble and special TRC supergroup (for one night only) that features members of Jake Long's Maisha and Rosie Turton Quintet. They'll be exploring that definitive 60's sound but with the Total Refreshment Centre ethos. A Must See!'

(Tim Garcia, Jazz FM)