Bristol’s in for a treat with James Morton featuring ‘ Pee Wee Ellis ’!!
Bristol’s in for a treat with James Morton featuring Pee Wee Ellis ’!!
Pee Wee Ellis is one of the most influential musicians in Funk and Soul, and is acknowledged as c/o writing the first ever Funk song ‘Cold Sweat’ in 1965 with James Brown.
We’re blessed to have him come to Bristol, to jam with one of the UK finest saxophonists James Morton, and his band.
After the band the Groove Den begins, with DJ's
Andy Compton (The Rurals / Peng)
Mike Shawe (Hot Buttered Soul)
Playing until 3am
Entry after 11pm is £5
Pee Wee Ellis bio-
Few musicians get to celebrate their 75 th birthday knee deep in a new project charting the history of funk and its impact on music. Even fewer are still actively touring the world with their own bands or working in new collaborations. But after some 55 eventful years as a musician, band leader, arranger and composer Pee Wee Ellis can claim all those things.
His remarkable story spans six decades, starting in the 50s when he took himself and his sax off to New York city to find his heroes Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and the great Sonny Rollins (who became his teacher and mentor.) A promising career leading jazz bands in Florida took an unexpected turn in the 1965 when he joined James Brown’s sensational Revue, playing alto. Within six months he was bandleader/musical director and was co-writing with James Brown. ‘Cold Sweat’, widely acknowledged as the first true funk record, and many of JB’s hits for the next four years were the fruit of this collaboration.
By 1970 Pee Wee moved on to CTI in New York and was producing and directing for the likes of Brother Jack McDuff, Esther Phillips and George Benson. In 1979 in California he caught the ear of Van Morrison and began a five year spell as Van’s MD/bandleader arranging the horns on albums such a Into the Music, and Common One.
During the 1990’s Pee Wee moved to Europe and pursued a burgeoning solo career, releasing jazz albums including the critically acclaimed ‘12 and More Blues’. He also formed the JB Horns with ex James Brown alumni Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley, who toured widely to great acclaim.
Pee Wee rejoined Van Morrison as bandleader and arranger for five more highly successful years around this time. Meanwhile, his worldwide reputation had become apparent as musical stars from Africa and Cuba (including Oumou Sangare, Cheikh Lo, Ali Farke Touré and Buena Vista Social Club stars Cachaito Lopez and Anga Diaz) sought his distinctive sound for their recordings. Most recently he has arranged for and recorded with Boy George, Joss Stone, George Clinton and Paul Carrack.
Having led the spectacular ‘Still Black, Still Proud’ an African Tribute to James Brown in the early 2000’s and being a founder member of drumming legend Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion in 2015/16, currently Pee Wee is focusing on his own projects: his band The Pee Wee Ellis Assembly still tour worldwide; he is working on his autobiography and an Anthology from his 50 year recording career. In 2016 he launched the the heritage project FUNK: Evolution of a Revolution, at NYU Performing Arts Center in Abu Dhabi, including the innovative masterclass FUNK 101, which has proved to be a great success from Abu Dhabi to Guadeloupe.
He is a regular contributor to educational programmes in schools, communities and universities – a fact recognised when he received an honorary doctorate in 2014, from Bath Spa University in the UK, and as a Yamaha artist in Europe It has been a truly eventful musical life, and the signs are that Pee Wee Ellis has no intention of slowing down for a while yet, birthdays or no birthdays.
James Morton bio-
James Morton is one of the most exciting saxophone players of his generation.
Born out of the Bristol music scene James was appointed Ambassador of Music for
his city of birth Bristol / UK in 2014 and is a long standing member of British trip-hop
Legends The Herbaliser.
James has developed an international career over the last 15 years, touring and
recording with some of the world’s best known and prolific artists, including
Kasabian, Pendulum, Raphael Saadiq, Cee Lo Green, Roni Size, George Clinton,
Fred Wesley and The New JB’s, Pee Wee Ellis, Angelique Kidjo, Cheik Lo, Tony
Allen, Jazz Jamaica and Carleen Anderson to name a few.
James also recently worked as part of the NPG Hornz playing with Liv Warfield and
other members of Prince’s band.
With 2 critically acclaimed album releases to his name James Morton’s Porkchop
“Don’t You Worry ‘bout That” and “The Kid” released in 2016, the forthcoming year
will see a string of new releases from James.
In 2018 James was commissioned to compose 18 songs for the city of
Chestochowa / Poland and continues to work closley with The Polish Ministry of
culture. Newly formed project Craqsquad formed with multi award winning producer
DJ SUV includes members of Massive Attack, The Herbaliser and Roni Size
Reprazent drew a crowd of 9000 people at the first performance in Poland May
His unique lyrical and rhythmic style, which allows him to directly “speak” to his
audience, conveys a strong sense of emotion that really connects with people and is
what makes him such a special – and in demand – player / composer and musical
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