Correspondence: A Collier Memorial Concert

Rifftides readers in the UK or planning to be there next month, or those with internet capability, may be interested in this communiqué from John Gill, partner of the late composer, arranger and bandleader Graham Collier.

The London Jazz Festival in conjunction with the BBC Radio Big Band has confirmed the memorial concert for Graham at the BBC Maida Vale Studios in London on Wednesday 14 November at 8pm.

The concert will feature the British premiere of Graham’s penultimate work, The Blue Suite, as well as a selection of his and the musicians’ personal favourites from the Collier canon. The BBC Radio Big Band will be conducted by flautist-saxophonist Geoff Warren, a key Collier player for more than thirty years, and will also feature Collier stalwarts such as Roger Dean, John Marshall, Ed Speight, Art Themen and Steve Waterman, as well as former Collier collaborators including Roy Babbington, Graeme Blevins and Andy Grappy, and guest Jonathan Williams (French horn). The BBC band will also feature trumpeters Martin Shaw and Mike Lovatt, trombonist Gordon Campbell and saxophonists Jay Craig and Andy Panayi.

Tickets are free and are available from the BBC ticket unit here:

while directions for the BBC Maida Vale Studios can be found here:

The concert will be recorded for BBC broadcast at 11pm GMT on 25 November, and will be broadcast live on the internet at, where it will also be available for seven days on the BBC iPlayer net broadcast system.

I hope that one way or another you can hear the concert.

For a Rifftides piece on Collier’s passing in 2011, click here. The post contains a 15-minute video of Collier rehearsing a band and talking about his work.

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