Getting to know jazz great Courtney Pine

Jazz artist Courtney Pine with pianist Zoe Rahman who will accompany him for his show on May 23
Jazz artist Courtney Pine with pianist Zoe Rahman who will accompany him for his show on May 23

Jazz musician Courtney Pine is set to perform as part of the Bury St Edmunds Festival in May and here we get to know the man behind the music in the first in a series of Q&A sessions with the visiting artists.

Q. What five words would best describe seeing you live?

Spontaneous, reflective, improvised, creative, British.

Q. What or who inspired you to do what you do?

Jazz music.

Q. Do you have any links to Bury St Edmunds or Suffolk?

Only through performing music over the years.

Q. Where do you call home?

United Kingdom.

Q. What can audience members expect from your upcoming show?

Two artists making music that is open and reflective of the positivity that jazz music incorporates.

Q. What has been your most memorable concert and why does that one stick in your mind?

Free Nelson Mandela concert at the old Wembley Stadium. Compared to the big names on the bill we got treated as if we were invisible and as if by fate Stevie Wonder’s disc for his computer got left at the hotel so they turned to us at six o’clock prime television time to go and play!

Q. How do you keep in tip-tip condition?

I practice research live music as much as I can, I don’t think I am in tip-tip condition.

Q. How do you relax?

Usually computer games.

Q. What is your favourite food and drink?

Caribbean food.

Q. What’s your favourite piece of art... why?

Jean Michel Basquiat – Horn Players. When I look at this piece of art I feel music.

Q. Do you have a favourite pet?

No.

Q. Can you think of an interesting fact about you that friends/fans may not know?

I went to William Wilberforce Primary School which is on Beethoven Street.

Q. What are your future plans?

To create jazz projects for my record label and to keep improving as a performer.

Q. If you could perform at any venue in the world what would it be?

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Q. Is there anyone you dream of performing with?

Janet Jackson, Grace Jones, Vanessa Williams, Serena Williams, Dana Owens, Beyonce.

Q. What other Bury Festival acts would you want to see and why?

Nigel Kennedy because he is well good and another instrumentalist that strives to motivate people through sound.

Q. What instruments do you play?

Bass clarinet, saxophones, flutes, piano.

Q. What do you think is your most annoying habit?

Too loud.

Q. What is your favourite movie and why?

She Hate Me by Spike Lee

Q. What’s the one gadget you can’t live without?

Right now it’s my iPad.

* Courtney Pine will present Song (the ballad book) featuring Zoe Rahman to an audience at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, from 8pm on May 23.

In the 1980s he was one of the first black British jazz artists to make a serious mark on the jazz scene and, with an OBE and CBE for services to music, he continues to break new ground with a string of highly acclaimed recordings and numerous prestigious industry awards.

For this concert he has stripped everything right back for the most intimate of shows as he takes to the stage playing bass clarinet accompanied by award-winning pianist Zoe Rahman.

Tickets can be booked online at www.buryfestival.co.uk, by calling the festival box office on 01284 758000 or in person at The Apex, in Charter Square, Bury.