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Classical and Jazz: Latest News > June 9

Published: 9 June, 2011
by SEBASTIAN TAYLOR

THERE’S a four-day celebration of Peter King’s life as a jazz player/music composer next week at the Pizza Express jazz club in Soho.

Now aged 71, still playing very well with a new set of teeth, he’s widely regarded as one of this country’s greatest living musicians and one of the world’s finest saxophone players. In addition, he’s a prolific composer, working in both the jazz and classical music fields.

The celebration of his music kicks off on Wednesday with a performance of his 1990s composition Janus for jazz quartet and string quartet. The piece is influenced by Bartok’s great string quartets studied by Peter over many years.

On Thursday, the jazz and string quartets are joined by tenor sax player Jean Toussaint in what is likely to be a veritable feast of music-making.

Jean Toussaint, a life-long friend of Peter King, was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the 1980s and has also performed with such jazz greats as Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Turner and the Gill Evans Orchestra. And on Friday Peter’s current quartet playing its latest material with original compositions by Peter and by pianist Steve Melling 

On Saturday there’s a repeat of Wednesday’s performance of the Janus written by Peter for jazz quartet and string quartet.

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