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A unique concert - The Music of Gil Evans - Miles Ahead: Porgy and Bess

Updated: Oct 23, 2019


Gil Evans’ son Miles Evans has provided JBGB Events exclusive access to the authentic instrumental parts and arrangements of Porgy and Bess.

The music of Gil Evans - Miles Ahead: Porgy and Bess concert takes place in London as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival in November.

A unique concert featuring the original and authentic arrangements of one of the most brilliant musicians of the twentieth century Gil Evans

Porgy and Bess

St John’s Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3HA

Sunday November 24th 2019 @ 7.30 pm

In the EFG London Jazz Festival

Downbeat Magazine, in its list of the greatest jazz albums of the 20th century, features the Miles Davis recordings of the Gil Evans arrangements of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess as a must have in any collection.

Yet this wonderful music is hardly ever performed. Several reasons for this:


The Challenge.

First, the music is complicated and difficult to play, requiring a 22-piece Orchestra, featuring four French horns, four flutes, bass clarinets and tuba in addition to more conventional voicing. So it’s hard to put together and expensive.

Second, the original recordings took place over several days. The trumpet soloist, Miles Davis, was able to spread the efforts of the taxing parts. No single musician could execute the required 60 minutes Suite in one, continuous live performance.

Third, the mathematical imperative of such a performance, requiring top class musicians, many rehearsals, a large venue, filled to capacity and with first class sound, acts as a brake on imaginative musical promoters for whom commercial returns from such a venture would be, at best, uncertain.

Fourth and finally, whilst others have attempted transcriptions of the instrumental parts drawn from listening to the recordings, these are unreliable versions of Gil Evans writings. The original and authentic parts, which are the exclusive preserve of the Gil Evans Family trust, who hold their father’s legacy close , have been unavailable to performances.

(We can discover no evidence of any public performance in the U.K. in the last 40 years – but are ready to change this with any evidence to the contrary)


The Solution

JBGB Events have been able to overcome these real and many obstacles and present The Music Of Gil Evans with the complete, authentic, original Gil Evans arrangements of Porgy and Bess at 7.30pm in the 500+ seater, St Johns Smith Square, Westminster, London on Sunday November 24th

This is made possible by the JBGB Events collaboration with Gil Evans’ son Miles Evans, who has provided us exclusive access to the authentic instrumental parts and arrangements of Porgy and Bess.

John Billett -and his JBGB Events- is a very passionate and superb music promoter. It’s going to be a very special presentation of some of my father’s most cherished arrangements and compositions. This is a performance not to be missed.” – Miles Evans.



To perform the Porgy and Bess Suite, JBGB Events have commissioned a special 22-piece Royal Academy Music All Stars Jazz Orchestra – with some of the UK’s finest musicians selected from RAM Jazz alumni spanning the last fifty years.

The orchestral conductor is none other than legendary Nick Smart – the Royal Academy’s Head Of Jazz. The orchestra leader and manager is the outstanding young trombone player Tom Green, who with his remarkable Septet will present next year, their second album after a widely acclaimed album debut and sold out concerts in London’s Jazz scene

The concert features a stellar selection of trumpet soloists in the Miles Davis role.

British Jazz legend Henry Lowther, who was a member of the original Gil Evans orchestra, Internationally recognised virtuoso Steve Fishwick, rising star and British Jazz Awards winner Freddie Gavita and the established, ever present on the U.K. jazz scene, the much in demand Martin Shaw



The full band line up is:-

Trumpet soloists: Henry Lowther, Freddie Gavita, Steve Fishwick, Martin Shaw

Alto saxophone: Matthew Herd

Flutes: Harry Winstanley, Helena Gourd

Clarinets: James Allsopp, Sam Rapley, Rob Cope

Horn: Alexei Watkins, Francisco Ruiz, Robyn Blair

Lead Trumpet: George Hogg

Trombone: Tom Green, Mike Feltham, Harry Brown

Bass Trombone: Dan West

Tuba: Sasha Koushk-jalali

Bass: Jeremy Brown

Drums: Matt Skelton

The first half of the evening features the outstanding band leader Chris Ingham with his 6-piece REBOP, playing their arrangements from the Gil Evans Miles Ahead album including “The Duke”, “New Rhumba”, “Blues For Pablo” among others

Gil Evans is one of the most brilliant musicians of the 20th Century, He’s the next great sound after Duke Ellington” – Miles Evans

News story provided by Manilla PR Ltd