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The Coronet Theatre Jazz Festival 2023: Homage To Langston Hughes (Ft Trinity Laban Big Band)

(This is a past event and is no longer running)

★★★★ “(Byron Wallen’s) writing at its most effective – widely spaced chords for the ensemble, with dramatic use of drums and bass, and free-flowing solos… all the musicians sound great within Wallen’s ingenious charts” – The Guardian

In the second of two gigs with the Trinity Laban Big Band & Jazz Orchestra, Byron Wallen explores the work of American poet, novelist, and playwright Langston Hughes.

Over the past decade, Trinity Laban jazz graduates have reinvigorated the UK jazz scene and gained worldwide acclaim: artists such as Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Xhosa Cole, Laura Jurd, and Deschanel Gordon, bands like Empirical and Ezra Collective.

Musicians coming through Trinity Laban have recently claimed numerous awards and nominations, including two BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Awards, multiple Jazz FM Awards, Parliamentary Jazz Awards and MOBO Awards, and the Mercury Prize in 2023, the first ever to go to a jazz group. Tonight’s concert showcases the talents of a new generation of jazz students in an exciting double bill of Byron Wallen’s music.

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes (1901-1967) was an American poet, novelist, and playwright whose African-American themes made him a primary contributor to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. In 2002 Byron Wallen was commissioned by The South Bank Centre to write music for his Centenary celebration at the Poetry International festival. Byron will revisit this music with special reworkings of the material for the big band.



Trumpets: Toby Young (lead), Mejedi Owusu, Alex Polack, Tom Stringer, Tom Gaddes

Trombones: Matt Seddon (lead), Olivia Hughes, Jai Patel, Christ-Stephane Boizi

Euphonium: Cameron Scott

Alto Sax (+sop): Otto Kampa, Lauren Breen

Tenor Sax (+sop): Emma Jackson, Jacob Wilson (plus Bass Clarinet)

Baritone Sax: Charles Rothwell (plus Bass Clarinet)

Piano: Tom O’Brien

Bass: Kielan Sheard

Drums: Sam Nicholls

Guitar: Barney Anderson

Vocals and Spoken Word: Daisy Holder, Folakemi De Souza, Byron Wallen


Also on 08 Dec

7:30pm – Byron Wallen presents Dynamics of Dialogue (ft. Trinity Laban Big Band)

Each band costs £20. Book two events in the same night and get £10 off and free entry to a screening of the film Revelations in Small Steps.




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Additional Information

Byron Wallen
Byron Wallen (b. 1969) was raised in a musical family and as a child studied classical piano, euphonium, trumpet, flute and drums. In the mid 1980’s the trumpet became Wallen’s primary instrument of choice. Wallen’s first major work, Tarot Suite, (1994) was inspired by a love of mythology and symbolism, which reflected the archetypal journey of human life through an interdisciplinary pan-continental approach. Wallen’s study of cognitive psychology has aided his transition towards conceptualising music as a medium for healing. Wallen raises awareness and invokes change by unlocking boundaries through the nature and science of sound. Widely recognised as a seminal figure in Jazz, Wallen is an acclaimed writer and producer whose original scores have been commissioned by The London Science Museum; PRS For Music, The BBC, Jerwood Foundation, Southbank Centre, National Theatre, Arts Council, FIFA and Sage Gateshead. He has also composed soundscapes for Universal Pictures, Warner Bros and Game of Thrones. Wallen’s current PRS commission ‘Anthem for Woolwich’ forges new links between schools, venues, musicians and residents to strengthen the resilience and promote the cohesion of the community. Wallen has received the BBC Jazz Innovation award (2003) and has been nominated several times for the MOBO award.