Jazz trumpeter Alphonso Reece, better known as Dizzy Reece, is from Kingston, Jamaica. He left his homeland in 1948, on the HMT Empire Windrush, at the age of 17 and arrived in London, where he began playing on the London jazz scene with the city’s best jazz musicians, including Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Scott, and Victor Feldman. Reece then worked between the UK and Europe, before permanently relocating to the United States and settling in New York. Reece recorded four albums for Blue Note and played with jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon. He caught the attention of Miles Davis and occasionally stood in for Miles in his band.
Trevor Watkis’s musical celebration of Reece’s accomplishments and artistry also acknowledges the people from the West Indies who crossed the Atlantic on the Windrush and contributed to the rebuilding of Britain following the Second World War.
The UK shows features an international band line-up (pictured above right) led by Trevor Watkis, performing new arrangements of Reece’s music. Watkis, who has played with Kenny Garrett, Natalie Cole and Stanley Turrentine among others, will be joined by trumpeter Byron Wallen (George Benson, Courtney Pine, Hugh Masakela), veteran US saxophonist Ralph Moore (Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, Kevin Eubanks), drummer Willie Jones III (Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove) and bassist Dezron Douglas (Benny Green, Pharoah Sanders, Louis Hayes).
The show will tour in England, the USA and Jamaica. The UK dates for 2019 are as follows:
26 January – Birmingham Symphony Hall
27 January – Colchester Arts Centre
28 January – Bristol (venue TBC)
30 January – Manchester, Band On The Wall
31 January – London, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
1 May – Nottingham, Lakeside Arts