Kate Westbrook and The Granite Band

kate westbrook

Date/Time
Friday 5 November 2021
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Ashburton Arts Centre

Categories
Jazz


Book tickets here – £15 or £11 or £8  you choose

Kate Westbrook acknowledges no musical boundaries. Her distinctive, theatrically charged vocal style has won her an international reputation, ‘a voice for winter, exile, anger; but also for love and prophesy’ (Jazzwise). Earth Felt The Wound, its title a quote from Milton’s Paradise Lost, explores contemporary themes with irony and passion. ‘An apocalyptic vision, reflecting the effects of climate change and humankind’s disregard and stupidity’ (Jazz Journal). Kate’s strikingly original lyrics are matched by the genre-busting score of Mike Westbrook and by the ‘empathetic contributions’ of The Granite Band- ‘the south-west supergroup, hard, granular, crystalline and totally rock solid’ (London Jazz).

Kate Westbrook formed the Granite Band in 2018. The musicians are all fellow members of the West Country-based Uncommon Orchestra. Their debut recording Granite began Kate’s collaboration with producer Jay Auborn. Inspired by her love of Dartmoor, Granite is described as ‘epic and ground breaking’. Of the second album Earth Felt The Wound the Morning Star says ‘Never has Kate sung with such protean power. Lyricism, blues, prophesy, exhortation, admonition and menace all pour out of her words’.

Kate originally studied Fine Art. From the mid 1970s she has followed the dual career of painter and musician. She has toured internationally, recorded over thirty albums, and worked in many contexts. She sang the role of Anna in The Seven Deadly Sins by Brecht and Weill with the LSO, arias by Rossini in Big Band Rossini at the BBC Proms, and Beatles songs with the Westbrook Band in Off Abbey Road. With Phil Minton Kate sings Mike Westbrook’s settings of William Blake. She sang multiple roles in the television opera Good Friday 1663 commissioned by Channel Four. Kate sings in English, Italian, French and German. She worked with the NDR Band in Hamburg, and was guest soloist in a series of performances in the Christus Pavillon at the Expo 2000, Hannover. She toured France with L’Ensemble Justiniana, singing the role of La Chanteuse in the opera Quichotte. Kate was a featured soloist in the premiere of Michael Finnissy’s The Transgressive Gospel in 2009. With the ensemble Lavolta she performed Walton’s Façade Two, and works by Judith Weir, Kurt Weill and Luciano Berio.

Her songwriting is equally wide-ranging. In Cuff Clout, a neoteric music-hall, performed with vocalist John Winfield and her group The Skirmishers, Kate set her ‘witty and eccentric texts to bold and genre-crossing music’ (Downbeat) by eight composers from the worlds of pop, jazz and classical music, including Eleanor Alberga, Errollyn Wallen, Chris Biscoe, Barbara Thompson and the late Lindsay Cooper. Kate’s collaboration with Mike Westbrook began with their jazz cabaret Mama Chicago, which won the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Award in 1978. There has followed a succession of music-theatre pieces, settings of European poetry, operas and song cycles.

Kate’s lyrics are often a response to contemporary social, cultural and environmental issues. Earth Felt The Wound is, in the words of Jazz Journal ‘a cornucopia of emotions, poignant reminders, anger and dismay, with particular contemporary relevance’.

Pandemic policies. This information will be updated as things change.

Thu 14 October: some minor changes below to make clearer, and adding a request to take a Lateral Flow Test before coming to an event at the Arts Centre

Mon 19 July: We will continue with everything listed below, which have been in place since 17 May. We have added a new protocol for sitting in the balcony, making face masks compulsory there:

  • As levels of Covid infections are increasing again in this area (on 14 October), we request that everyone take a Lateral Flow test before coming to the Arts Centre, and that you don’t come if this is positive. In this case, a refund or transfer of your ticket to another event can be arranged, if you let us know before the end of the event, by emailing boxoffice@ashburtonarts.org.uk.
  • The windows and doors of the venue will be open, allowing fresh air to be constantly moving through. This may mean that the ambient temperature is similar to outdoors, and audience members should dress accordingly. From October, when necessary, we are switching on the electric heaters in the main hall, even though the windows are open. This makes the central part of the hall warmer. The seats at the sides under the balcony don’t get as much benefit from this.
  • We recommend wearing face masks whenever inside the building. We particularly ask everyone to wear a mask when in the bar area, unless medically exempt; and…
  • Anyone who sits in the balcony MUST wear a face mask – with no exceptions. This is: (a) to provide a place for people who want to be as distanced as possible from others, and with anyone nearby wearing a mask – the seats in the balcony are naturally separated; and (b) as virus particles when airborne are generally heavier than air, this helps to mitigate the risk of transmission from people sitting in the balcony to audience members below.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available as well as soap and water in the toilets; please use these frequently.
  • Bar service at the Arts Centre is carried out by volunteers. If enough are available, they will take orders at your seat, and bring drinks to you. Otherwise, you can order drinks at the bar, one person at each end of the bar at a time, and take them immediately to your seat.
  • All members of the audience should wear a facemask while indoors, except if medically exempt, or when eating or drinking. Our experience is that this is one of the things most important for making some (perhaps more vulnerable) members of the audience feel safe to attend concerts. Whatever your opinion of the efficacy of facemasks in preventing the spread of the virus, please help to reassure others, and showing that you’re thinking of them, by complying with this.
  • There are posters inside the building showing the QR code that’s connected to the NHS Track and Trace app – please use this. We will also keep a record of all ticket buyers for the required period, and pass this on to the NHS or Devon Public Health if requested.