JLR Interview – Peter Erskine

Laurie Burnette interviewed composer, educator and drum legend Peter Erskine who is currently in London for musical projects and to discuss his new CD 3 Nights in LA. You can listen to the interview at these times:

Thursday 12th September: 7pm

Friday 13th September: 8pm

Wednesday 18th September: 8pm

Thursday 19th September: 7pm

Advertise your gigs with JLR

Jazz London Radio is London’s premier jazz internet station since it was founded in 2014. Jazz London Radio is the perfect platform for musicians and artists to promote / advertise their gigs and tours to a wide internet audience.  Contact Laurie at official@jazzlondonradio.com quoting this offer via our website and social media platforms, and we will give a 20% reduction on our advertising rate. 

JLR Review: Arun Luthra at Oliver’s Jazz Bar, August 2019

Here at Jazz London radio we get the opportunity to see and interview some top class performers.

One man who comes into this category is Arun Luthra, a saxophonist and konnakol artist who hails from Massachusetts in the United States and bases his musical career In New York City.  What is konnakol I hear you ask? Konnakol is the art of performing percussion syllables vocally in South Indian Carnatic music https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konnakol .     

Arun was in the UK recently on tour with his group, Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project, playing venues in London and Brighton, including Ronnie Scott’s, where he had the opportunity to play as leader for the first time. Arun also came down to Greenwich to play in Oliver’s Jazz Bar, which is where I went to interview him and take in his performance.  Oliver’s is a bar in the heart of Greenwich town centre, opposite Greenwich theatre and bordering Greenwich park.  To access the bar you have to proceed downstairs into a dark but very cosy old school setting, perfect for taking in creative music.

Arun is a very tall and statuesque figure, in fact, too tall for the stage at Oliver’s! Arun had to perform off the stage just in front of the seated audience, one way to get closer to the musicians. As for the music itself, Arun went through an interesting repertoire of various musical fusions, from the hard bop influenced Perc-kol-ude/Toorna, which contained some konnakol to The Divvy-Up Dance with its propulsive beat and changes in tempo; where Arun played soprano saxophone. Arun was a founder member of Bjorkestra, a big band dedicated to the music of Bjork and performed Soon Starts Now, a Bjork inspired composition. Arun also played a cover, called Suspone, which was written by Mike Stern and appeared on Michael Brecker’s Don’t Try This At Home album in 1988.  Arun finished his set performing Collective where he brought his konnakol skills to the fore and allowed his musicians to stretch out a bit.

All in all a highly enjoyable set in front of a very appreciate audience.  Arun’s Konnakol Jazz Project U.K. tour consisted of:

Arun on tenor & soprano saxophone

Sam Leak – piano

Tom Mason – bass

David Ingamells – drums

You can listen to our interview before his set here:

Laurie Burnette

JLR Review: House of Customs July 2019

On Saturday 20th July at members’ club Vout-O-Reenee’s, the House of Customs debuted in London. Naples-born Dani Diodatoheadlined the intimate gathering, the British inauguration of the pop-up concert brand following its migration from Copenhagen. Fittingly, Diodato’s music also placed migration in the spotlight. 

In his small, softly lit surroundings, he presented his project SUNAAT, which bills itself as a musical exploration of the current experience of migration in Europe. Naples-born and now London-based, Diodato seeks to achieve his project’s goals through melodies, trumpet solos and electronic drum beats. The result is a cohesive sound that unifies new London and classic Naples into a singular jazz harmony. The snug space and cosy decor gave the impression of a private living room, the band playing barely a meter away from the guests. Diodato’s sound was speakeasy-like, a vibrant hum of noise that broke free of the background and commanded the audience’s full attention. 

photo by
Alex Massek

Following stints at Glastonbury and Love Supreme Festival, Diodato has established a strong foothold in the vibrant London jazz scene. His confident image complemented the newly arrived House of Customs. In Copenhagen, the brand worked with jazz festivals and partnered with luxury venues as it developed its own voice. Judging by the London launch, it will extend its track record by showcasing artists such as Diodato. 

The audience consisted of jazz enthusiasts, attracted by the House’s focus on the night’s talent. One attendee, however, admitted that while it was his first Jazz event, it would not be his last. He names the ‘intimate setting,’ ‘chilled vibe’ and ‘personal and relaxed environment’ as contributors to his overall enjoyment of the music. Another guest noted her amazement at how ‘in-sync and talented the artists [were] to make such beautiful jazz music.’ 

Diodato will be playing at the jazz club Kansas Smitty’s on Wednesday 7th August, and again on Saturday 24th August at Bar 91 in Shoreditch. It is possible that he will partner with House of Customs in the future. In the meantime, the brand, headed by Folayinka Coker, will continue to combine London’s most luxurious venues and best jazz talent. 

Natasha Franks is a graduate of the University of St Andrews, where she studied English. She enjoys writing, reading, and learning new words. She currently lives in London.