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Mike Westbrook

Born in High Wycombe in 1936, Mike Westbrook grew up in Torquay and was educated at Kelly College, Tavistock. He formed his first band while studying painting in Plymouth in 1958, moving to London in the early 1960s. He has led and composed for a succession of groups, notably his 1960s Sextet and Concert Band, his Brass Band, formed in the mid 70s, the jazz rock group Solid Gold Cadillac and the Mike Westbrook Orchestra. He has toured extensively throughout Europe, and as far afield as Australia and the Far East, Canada and New York. He has directed performances of his work with big bands in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland and Australia. He has broadcast on radio and TV in many countries, and made over 50 albums.

Mike Westbrook first made his mark as a composer with his 1960s recordings for Deram, - Celebration, Release and Marching Song, followed by Metropolis for RCA. Subsequent compositions for Jazz Orchestra include Citadel/Room 315 featuring John Surman, The Cortege, 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.

Works for classical ensembles include a saxophone concerto Bean Rows and Blues Shots which was commissioned by the Bournemouth Sinfonietta for John Harle, a score for the silent movie Moulin Rouge commissioned by the Matrix Ensemble, and Classical Blues in 2002 for the BBC Concert Orchestra. Mike's television music credits include the award-winning BBC drama Caught on a Train by Stephen Poliakoff and directed by Peter Duffell starring Peggy Ashcroft and Michael Kitchen.

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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

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Discography

The Last Night At The Old Place

The Last Night At The...

Cadillac Records
2018

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Live 1972

Live 1972

Hux Records
2017

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Paris

Paris

ASC Records
2016

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The Cortege

The Cortege

Enja Records
2011

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Mama Chicago - A Jazz Cabaret

Mama Chicago - A Jazz...

Gonzo Multimedia
2010

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