In his 80th year Pee Wee is back to celebrate with a host of special guests.
Pee Wee Ellis was born to play music. From his first piano lessons - “Miss Sharp hit my hands with a ruler and I never went back” laughs Pee Wee - to discovering a saxophone in his grandmother’s bureau at age 9 - he showed exceptional aptitude. “I didn’t come from a musical family, it just came naturally”.
After a stint playing the carnival circuit with Great American Shows and as a sideman in the hotels of Miami (once with Dinah Washington), Pee Wee got the offer to join the late, great James Brown in 1965. Pee Wee began writing with Mr. Brown as soon as he was promoted to Musical Director/Bandleader/Arranger after only 6 months, following the departure of Nat Jones. Their first collaboration was ‘Let Yourself Go’ quickly followed by ‘Cold Sweat’ universally considered the world’s first pure Funk hit. The years Pee Wee spent with James Brown were those of the classic line-up: Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Jimmy Nolen, Clyde Stubblefield were all in the band that Pee Wee led but he yearned to grow beyond the confines of the James Brown machine. By 1970 he had left the James Brown Revue to work in New York City as an arranger and musical director for CTI-Kudu records, the most popular jazz label of the 70s.
In 1979 Pee Wee’s neighbour Van Morrison (encouraged by Mark Isham) asked Pee Wee to do arrangements for his Into The Music album, which led to Pee Wee becoming Van’s musical director. “I was off on another whirlwind” says Pee Wee. It was a whirlwind that lasted for six years and five albums, some of the best of Van’s career, repeated for another five years and five more albums in the mid 90’s. In between, there was a reunion of the great James Brown horn section, The JB Horns: Pee Wee, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker, with several albums and extensive touring.
“Pee Wee makes funk sound jazzy and jazz sound funky. Somehow he synthesizes the two into one great music.” – Peter Madsen
Line-up: PEE WEE ELLIS - tenor sax; JOSH ARCOLEO - tenor sax; JAMES MORTON - alto sax; DENNIS ROLLINS - trombone; TONY REMY - guitar; GARETH WILLIAMS - piano; LAURENCE COTTLE - bass; MARK MONDESIR/GUIDO MAY - ldrums with special guests including FRED WESLEY trombone, IAN SHAW vocals, CLARE TEAL and more...
Four love-drunk teens, escaped from the confines of an oppressive regime, caught in a dispute of increasingly magical proportions. A posse of wannabe actors, determined to put on a play against the odds. The Fairy Queen and King at war, and one wild spirit hell-bent on causing as much havoc as possible. What could possibly go wrong? Our joyful explosion of vivid chaos welcomes you back to our wooden ‘O’ with direction by Globe Associate Artistic Director Sean Holmes and music from Jim Fortune, performed by members of the Hackney Colliery Band.
Shakespeare’s comedy of mistaken identity, music and the madness of love, Twelfth Night, finds new life in the Globe Theatre for our Summer 2021 season. Illyria is a society in limbo, held captive by loss. Until a sea-drenched stranger arrives and unexpectedly unleashes the chaotic and transformative power of love. Wild, surprising, fierce and funny, this fiery new production is directed by Globe Associate Artistic Director Sean Holmes and is infused with the mesmeric nostalgia and soulful music of the world of Americana.
From historic feud to ill-fated union, Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet finds new significance this summer in the Globe Theatre. Verona is sick. Its structures broken and its citizens in a state of desperation. When a system favours the few, the many are left with nothing but unhealthy choices. Amidst the violence, bloodshed, fear and unrest, two teenagers find unexpected relief in each other. But will love be enough to save them from society’s sickness?
Metamorphoses is a playful new piece of theatre inspired by Ovid’s powerful collection of myths, written bespoke to our candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by the Globe’s first writers-in-residence in nearly four centuries. A hundred props. Four actors. One theatre. And you, the audience. Strap in for a rollercoaster of epic impossibilities. From the everyday to the astonishing, and the ordinary to the unimaginable, Ovid’s stories explore the power of transformation, the resilience of humans and the wonder of life. They were a great inspiration to Shakespeare and over 2000 years later, are reimagined for our world now. Expect anarchy, shape shifting and a burning chariot of fire.
Kenny Garrett’s latest release, Sounds from the Ancestors, is a multi-faceted album. The music, however, doesn’t lodge inside the tight confines of the jazz idiom, which is not surprising considering the alto saxophonist and composer acknowledges the likes of Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye as significant touchstones. Similar to how Miles Davis’ seminal LP, On the Corner, subverted its main guiding lights – James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone – then crafted its own unique, polyrhythmic, groove-laden, improv-heavy universe, Sounds from the Ancestors occupies its own space with intellectual clarity, sonic ingenuity and emotional heft.
Alfredo Rodriguez and Richard Bona first became aware of one another’s talent through their shared mentor, Quincy Jones. After years of friendship, the duo went into the studio to work together on Rodriguez’s album Tocororo, which was produced by Quincy Jones. On the album, they released two songs together, Raíces (Roots) and Ay, Mamá Inés that showcase how their unique musical backgrounds can cohesively come together to produce inspiring sounds. After meeting Quincy Jones at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006, Alfredo left Cuba and his family behind to immigrate to the United States to pursue his dream. Alfredo was schooled in the rigorous classical conservatories of Havana. His riveting artistry is informed as much by Bach and Stravinsky as it is by his Afro Cuban and jazz roots. Over the past decade, Alfredo grew from a young local Cuban artist to a globally recognized GRAMMY-nominee. Hailing from a small town in Cameroon, Richard Bona became fascinated with the great American bassist, Jaco Pastorius, at a very early age. Pastorius inspired him to pick up the instrument, and years later, Bona would eventually become one of the most highly-acclaimed bass players in the world. After winning his first GRAMMY in 2002, his fourth-studio album Tiki was nominated for “Best Contemporary World Music Album” at the 49th GRAMMY Awards. He has dedicated his 30+ year career to promoting peace, happiness, and unity through his music, and is currently fulfilling his mission of touring every country in the world. The duo can now be seen together on the GRAMMY-winning Netflix documentary QUINCY. They are back in the studio together creating new music that they will tour around the world in 2021.
Theo Croker is a storyteller who speaks through his trumpet. A creative who refuses boundaries, the GRAMMY®️ Award-nominated artist, composer, producer, thought leader, and influencer projects his voice through the music. After seven years of sojourn in Shanghai, Croker crash-landed with a simmering original sound on the 2014 Dee Dee Bridgewater-assisted album Afro Physicist. Following the success of Escape Velocity in 2016, he ascended to a new stratosphere with Star People Nation in 2019. The record garnered a nomination in the category of "Best Contemporary Instrumental Album'' at the 62nd GRAMMY®️ Awards. It attracted widespread critical acclaim including Stereogum, Paste, and The New York Times who called it “an album that gallivants from swirling, left-field hip-hop beats to propellant swing to entrancing passages of African percussion. Through it all, Croker’s understated trumpet playing holds his small band together with swagger and poise.” Along the way, he also lent his sound to platinum-selling albums by everyone from J. Cole to Ari Lennox while touring his band across the globe many times over. In 2020, he hunkered down at his childhood home in the midst of the global pandemic and wrote his sixth full-length album, releasing fall 2021 on SPN Records via Sony Music Masterworks.
Headed by Snarky Puppy’s multi Grammy–winning percussion duo of Robert Sput Searight and Nate Werth, Ghost-Note is an explosion of sound. With an expansive roster of next-level musicians—representing members of Prince, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Marcus Miller, Toto, Justin Timberlake, and more—the band is pushing funk music into the future, building on the uplifting, pioneering foundations laid out by the likes of James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone and infusing their fresh take with tastes of afrobeat, hip-hop, psychedelia, world folklore, and more. With the release of 2018’s Swagism, Ghost-Note has made their mission clear. The album puts rhythm at the forefront, with irresistible, heavy-hitting beats underlying the group’s wild, rich music. Featuring numerous guest collaborators, including Kamasi Washington, Karl Denson, Bobby Sparks, Nigel Hall, Taz, and others, Swagism showcases the band’s stunning ability to meld and amplify sounds, ultimately adding to Ghost-Note’s sharp, complex collaborations. Fearless, both in Swagism’s sonic depth and conscious social commentary, the band easily translates this adventurousness in a live setting. Ghost-Note’s live performances are bold and in your face, with the group offering up none of the tight-laced pretenses frequently associated with the band’s jazz roots. Focused on creating seductive dance-able grooves and a contagious feel-good energy, each show is an opportunity to let loose and connect, for both fans and the musicians alike.
French trumpeter Erik Truffaz always looks ahead. He is known for crossing musical boundaries and incorporating different styles into his music. In the late nineties Truffaz gained cult status with albums The Dawn and Bending New Corners, with an eclectic mix of organic jazz, hip hop and drum ‘n’ bass. Truffaz is seen by many as one of the most famous European trumpeters ever. His style is compared to that of Miles Davis -with a good sense of emotion. He performed around the world with his infamous quartet and was received with critical acclaim in every country. His new album –Lune Rouge (Red Moon) – was released in October 2019. There’s almost a sci-fi feel to it. Eradicating time. We’re listening to the tracks when they’re still in controlled gestation, suspended in zero gravity. We don’t know if they come from an ancient past, with analogue sounds, basslines so heavy and sticky that they are lifted from Creole dub music, or from a very distant future. Infinite repetitions and small harmonic structures that open infinite spaces within you. The music never lacks air.
Formed in the late 1990s, Citrus Sun was born of Bluey’s love of guitarist Jim Mullen. For these shows they will be presenting music from their latest album, 'Expansions and Visions'. “If you look at Incognito as being the flagship of my career, consider Citrus Sun as being the indulgent - and for fun only - speedboat that rides alongside her. This band is our getaway, our live-for-the-moment statement”, he says. The core of Citrus Sun is the Incognito rhythm section - Bluey, keyboard player Matt Cooper, bassist Francis Hylton, drummer Francesco Mendolia, percussionist João Caetano and guitarist Francisco Sales - who are joined by guest musicians and singers. On the album is a gritty reworking of the Ashford-Simpson classic “California Soul” features Noel McKoy, with background vocals from Jamiroquai’s Valerie Etienne and Hazel Fernandes. Says Bluey: “We took a bold step in deciding to cover this, but I had a drum groove in mind and, in the absence of strings, a big guitar riff that I knew would give the song a fresh twist”. Valerie takes the lead on a blistering version of Lonnie Liston Smith’s “Expansions”, described by Bluey as “a pivotal song in the soundtrack of our lives – a song most of us used to dance to in the London clubs”. Bluey himself contributes vocals on several of the cuts, including the album closer “Thinking Of You”, a gorgeous soulful bossa duet with American singer Deborah Bond. On “Back To Wonderland” Matt Cooper gets behind the drum kit and Rega also switches instruments to play piano on a tribute to Stevie Wonder. In the past five years Citrus Sun have performed worldwide, including at London’s Ronnie Scott’s Club, Under The Bridge and Jazz Cafe, New Morning in Paris, the Blue Note Tokyo and Blue Note Milano as well as the Capital Jazz SuperCruise in the US and the Singapore Jazz Festival. They have enjoyed US Smooth Jazz chart successes with “Mais Uma Vez” and “Calling Mr Wolf”.
In his 80th year Pee Wee is back to celebrate with a host of special guests. Pee Wee Ellis was born to play music. From his first piano lessons - “Miss Sharp hit my hands with a ruler and I never went back” laughs Pee Wee - to discovering a saxophone in his grandmother’s bureau at age 9 - he showed exceptional aptitude. “I didn’t come from a musical family, it just came naturally”. After a stint playing the carnival circuit with Great American Shows and as a sideman in the hotels of Miami (once with Dinah Washington), Pee Wee got the offer to join the late, great James Brown in 1965. Pee Wee began writing with Mr. Brown as soon as he was promoted to Musical Director/Bandleader/Arranger after only 6 months, following the departure of Nat Jones. Their first collaboration was ‘Let Yourself Go’ quickly followed by ‘Cold Sweat’ universally considered the world’s first pure Funk hit. The years Pee Wee spent with James Brown were those of the classic line-up: Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Jimmy Nolen, Clyde Stubblefield were all in the band that Pee Wee led but he yearned to grow beyond the confines of the James Brown machine. By 1970 he had left the James Brown Revue to work in New York City as an arranger and musical director for CTI-Kudu records, the most popular jazz label of the 70s. In 1979 Pee Wee’s neighbour Van Morrison (encouraged by Mark Isham) asked Pee Wee to do arrangements for his Into The Music album, which led to Pee Wee becoming Van’s musical director. “I was off on another whirlwind” says Pee Wee. It was a whirlwind that lasted for six years and five albums, some of the best of Van’s career, repeated for another five years and five more albums in the mid 90’s. In between, there was a reunion of the great James Brown horn section, The JB Horns: Pee Wee, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker, with several albums and extensive touring. “Pee Wee makes funk sound jazzy and jazz sound funky. Somehow he synthesizes the two into one great music.” – Peter Madsen
Experience the epic emotion, soaring music and breathtaking dance of the “massive new stage show” (Time Out) from multi Grammy® and Academy Award®-winner Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell). Journey through the wonders of Ancient Egypt as two young men, raised together as brothers in a kingdom of privilege, find themselves suddenly divided by a secret past. One must rule as Pharaoh, the other must rise up and free his true people; both face a destiny that will change history forever. With a huge cast and orchestra of 60 artists, this “truly phenomenal production” (BBC London) is based on the classic DreamWorks Animation film and features the international best-selling, Academy Award®-winning song When You Believe. Including 10 new songs written by Schwartz, and a book by Philip LaZebnik, The Prince Of Egypt musical incorporates 5 of the acclaimed songs from the film, including Deliver Us, All I Ever Wanted, Through Heaven’s Eyes and the Academy Award-winning number, When You Believe. The creative team for The Prince Of Egypt in the West End will be headed up by director Scott Schwartz (The Hunchback Of Notre Dame). Choreography is by Sean Cheesman (So You Think You Can Dance), with set design by Kevin Depinet, costumes from Tony Award winner Ann Hould-Ward (The Beauty And The Beast), lighting design by Mike Billings, sound by three-time Olivier Award winner Gareth Owen, and projection by Olivier Award winner Jon Driscoll. Luke Brady and Liam Tamne will lead the cast of The Prince Of Egypt musical in London as Moses and Ramses respectively. Luke is best-known for playing Anthony Hope in Jonathan Kent’s acclaimed West End revival of Sweeney Todd, while Liam most recently starred as Giuseppe Naccarelli in The Light In The Piazza. Christine Allado (formerly Peggy/Maria Reynolds in Hamilton) plays Tzipporah, with Alexia Khadime (Wicked, The Lion King and Les Mis) as Miriam. The Prince Of Egypt film premiered in 1998, with a voice cast which included Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren – and more. This new stage adaptation of the film originally premiered at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (where it won the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award) and Fredericia Teater Denmark. Now, it transfers to the West End to captivate London audiences. The Prince Of Egypt tickets are now available via Official London Theatre.