Mike Westbrook has led, and composed for, a succession of Big Bands and small groups since the early 1960's. He has toured extensively throughout Europe and further afield and made 40 albums. His principal compositions for Jazz Orchestra include Citadel/Room 315 featuring John Surman, On Duke's Birthday dedicated to the memory of Duke Ellington, Big Band Rossini which was featured in the 1992 BBC Proms and Chanson Irresponsable, (Enja Records) commissioned by BBC Radio 3, which brings together jazz and classical musicians in the New Westbrook Orchestra. Mike Westbrook was awarded an OBE in 1988, and, in 2004 an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of Plymouth.
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Mike Westbrook is one of Britain 's most creative, experimental and daring jazz composers. The Times
Britain's most innovative Big Band leader. The Wire.
With this immensely powerful work (London Bridge is Broken Down) Westbrook reinstates his claim to international pre-eminence among the heirs of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. The Times.
By the end, Catania (the Mike Westbrook Festival) had massively affirmed Westbrook's stature as a giant of contemporary music. The Guardian.
As his career amply demonstrates, - he has produced a body of work embracing everything from opera through settings of Kate Westbrook's song cycles, to jazz suites and cabaret, - he is luckily for all lovers of innovative and original music, thoroughly committed to maintaining his reputation as the UK's foremost jazz composer