To make West End debut with China Moses and Alexander Stewart
Pianist and composer Alex Webb’s show Café Society Swing – A True Story, a celebration of music and story saluting New York’s first integrated jazz venue, Café Society in Greenwich Village that opened in 1938, will playThe Leicester Square Theatreon 21 and 22 December. The strong cast of singers includes rising star US jazz vocalistChina Moses (daughter of Dee Dee Bridgewater, pictured left), emerging UK vocal talentAlexander Stewart, up-and-coming singer Cherise Adams-Burnettand renowned US jazz and cabaret singer Harold Sanditen, all backed by a stellar band.
Webb debuted his imaginative take on this pioneering venue and its artists as a lecture with music at the 2011 London Jazz Festival, with the show going on to enjoy a sell-out run at Kilburn’s Tricycle Theatre in 2012. This weekend’s performances in the West End mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of the original venue and celebrates its founder Barney Josephson’s vision of racial integration and desire to showcase African American jazz talent, which included many star performers, not least Billie Holiday who gave the first public performance of her song ‘Strange Fruit’ at the venue in 1939.
Other top jazz artists of the era that performed there included Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan and Count Basie from 1938 to 1947. Café Society Swing will be performed with the vibrant soundtrack provided by the Café Society All Stars, drawn from the cream of UK jazz talent, including Nathaniel Facey (alto sax), Sue Richardson (trumpet),Frank Griffith (tenor sax), Moses Boyd (drums) and Miles Danso(bass).
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