No news

I have recently been involved in a discussion revolving around how we self-sufficient jazz musicians make our work available to the amorphous mass of the populace that are variously know as ‘the readership’, ‘the audience’ or ‘the public’. In other words, you.

I consider myself to be a mid-level musician on the national scale. In my early 30s I have missed the ‘young lion’ boat but still have the best part of a decade to wait before I am entitled to think of myself as part of the establishment. During my career to date I have had some modest successes and as time passes I have more and more. I’m not signed to a record label, nor do I have an agent or any management staff. From time to time I am lucky enough to collaborate with musicians and organisations in exciting and inspiring projects. Basically I’m a relatively dedicated musician with no great pretensions to immortality who is, by and large, ploughing a lone furrow.

When I have some great news or a particularly exciting project in the pipeline I use this blog as a forum to disseminate the information. However, as a general rule, I don’t like to publish my day to day activities as I don’t think they are necessarily of any great interest Consequently when there is no news there is no new post. (Incidentally, I have quite a few things in the pipeline for 2014, each of which will be announced in their own time)

The reason I’m writing this post is to invite response. I would genuinely be interested in the number of readers I get, who they are and what their relationship to my music is. If you are a ‘fan’ (for want of a more comfortable term) then I’d love for you to get in touch. Let me know what it is about my music that you like, or hate, or that confuses you, or uplifts you. If you would like to hear more about what I had for breakfast or what mouthpiece I use then I’d be happy to oblige. Do you think I am personally making enough of an effort to ensure you know when and where I’m playing?

Likewise, if you are a fellow musician who is checking in to see what I’m up to musically these days, or even to make sure you’re still getting more gigs than I am (I refer you to the ‘Gigs’ page of this site), then let me know. I’m fascinated to know who you are.

If you want to keep updated with what I do then subscribe to my blog. I’m also adding links to all of my other social media outlets. In fact, I’ll even link this post to my Facebook and Twitter pages.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Mike

https://twitter.com/MikeFletchMusic

http://www.youtube.com/user/mikefletchermusic

https://www.facebook.com/michael.fletcher.9615

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The radio

As a nice post script to October’s European Jazz Orchestra tour I was invited to pop in to see Claire Martin and do a little interview about my experiences of the EJO project and talk a bit about my music in general. The results are going to be broadcast this afternoon on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Jazz Line-up’ along with a recording of the final gig of the tour.

For some pleasant Saturday afternoon jazz why not pop along to have a listen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006tnmw

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ECHO

After a few months of keeping this on the QT I am pleased to officially announce (well, write it on a blog) that I have been nominated as an ECHO Rising Star for the 2014/2015 season. There are many more details about exactly what this entails on the link below but the short version is that I get to take one of my projects on a tour of European concert halls next year. Which was nice…..

I’m not at liberty to disclose the dates and locations of the gigs because they are still coming in, but for now if you live in Germany, Portugal, Hungary or the UK you might not have to travel too far……

I have a few ideas for the tour, taking in local musicians from some of the cities we’ll be visiting, but the main core of the band will be a trio of myself, Olie Brice on bass and Jeff Williams on drums.

Needless to say I’m very excited, and also extremely grateful to THSH for nominating me in the first place. Here’s a link to the official announcement plus some more info about the project :

http://www.thsh.co.uk/news/press-releases/rising-birmingham-music-star-set-for-european-tour/

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Happy Birthday

After two days of rehearsal the time will soon be on us to celebrate the 60th year of one of the UK’s greatest musical figures. Paul Dunmall is a genuine legend of this music, and I’m extremely honoured that I have been invited to join the festivities!

To mark the occasion Jazzlines have commissioned Paul to write a new suite of music for a sextet, the premier of which will be at the Midland Arts Centre on Saturday 26th, followed by gigs in The Vortex, London on the 28th and The Cluny in Newcastle on the 29th.

Rather than try and describe the music in words I recommend those who can coming to one of the gigs, and those that can’t checking it out of BBC Radio 3 later in the year. I hope to see some of you there

Find out more here: http://www.thsh.co.uk/event/paul-dunmall-13/

 

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Home

I’m finally back in Birmingham again after a brilliant couple of weeks with the European Jazz Orchestra. This is a great annual project, run by DSI Swinging Europe, that invites players from across the continent to get together under the direction of a specially commissioned composer and set off on a tour of Europe.

The scores of Swedish composer Ann-Sofi Soderqvist was laid out in from of a really fantastic group of musicians and the resulting music was heard in Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland and finally Sweden.

The final two gigs were recorded and will be available to listen to on BBC Radio 3 and, soon to follow, an album version.

And the fun hasn’t stopped yet!

This weekend I have the immense pleasure of helping the legendary sax master Paul Dunmall celebrate his 60th year. He has been specially commissioned by Jazzlines Birmingham to write a new suite of music for a sextet, the premier of which will be at the Midland Arts Centre on Saturday 26th October, followed by the Vortex, London on 28th and The Cluny, Newcastle on the 29th.

http://www.thsh.co.uk/event/paul-dunmall-13/

Then it’s back to Birmingham on Friday 1st November where I’ll be debuting a new set of music with my jazz orchestra MFJO as part of the RISK weekender.

http://www.thsh.co.uk/event/risk-weekend-pass/.

 

 

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EJO

I have been lucky enough to be invited to play lead alto in the 2013 edition of the European Jazz Orchestra, a fantastic project that unites a group of musicians from across the continent under the leadership of a guest composer.

So currently we’re holed up in a little town in Denmark and getting underway with rehearsing for the tour, which starts next week.

The music this year comes from the great Swedish composer Ann-Sofi Søderqvist and the set she has written for this band is sounding great already!

I’ll try to post a bit more as and when the wifi becomes available but for now find out more here http://www.swinging-europe.org/#!ejo-2013/c1z2u

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Watts going on…..

When it comes to playing great piano, having an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of jazz standards and being quite a nice guy too, there are a few people you’d go to. The one I have chosen in this case is Mr. Sam Watts. He is making quite a name for himself, having recently appeared in the BBC proms and soon to be making a solo piano debut that the London Jazz Festival.

So it’s a great pleasure for me to be playing a variety of gigs with him this week. We have been playing duo for a while, exploring various examples of jazz and Brazilian music repertoire. Now we’re making the results of this available for public consumption.

Last night was a set in the Spotted Dog in Digbeth, as part of the Tuesday night jazz series.

Tonight (25th September) we are moving to a slightly more centrally located venue, The Old Joint Stock, and will be joined by Tymek Jozwiak on drums. Music is from 7.30pm and entrance is free.

Then Thursday 26th we are appearing with Tom Ford’s Horse House band at the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath, a gig which will be followed by the Young Pilgrims, a genuinely awe-inspiring new project run by trombonist Richard Foote. More details here: http://www.thsh.co.uk/event/young-pilgrims/

Friday 27th we make a return trip the Headingly Arts Centre, a really fantastic venue in Leeds for a duo set. Details here: http://www.heartcentre.org.uk/whats-on/event-details?mc_id=mc_2013-09-27_471

Then finally on Monday 30th we are joining forces with guitarist Dave Cliff and drummer Corrie Dick at Oliver’s in Greenwich. http://oliversjazzbar.co.uk

S&M 5

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