Led by Shetlandic jazz sensation Norman Willmore, Muckle Roe Hall will become the location for the live recording of the Norman Willmore Quartet’s new album on Friday 7th February 2020.

Blending Scandinavian and Appalachian folk music with elements of free jazz, the Quartet also play arrangements of old wartime songs and hymns, played with a sense of humour, and with respect to the tradition.

Playing alto-sax since the age of twelve, Norman Willmore has been performing in jazz clubs across the UK and beyond. After being awarded a grant from Awards for Young People in 2009 and 2010, Norman went on to study jazz at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, where he appeared alongside Josh Heaton’s Mouth of Words and Ramnastax and Mouth of Words, amongst others. Since returning to Shetland, he continues to take inspiration from the monumental cliffs, swilling ebb and rural village politics of the Islands. When not playing with the Quartet, Norman also plays with synth pop band, Big Time Quell and Glasgow based ambient soul band Kubitaru.

Christos Stylianides (trumpet) whose passion for jazz was first discovered by chance within his primary school’s music programme. Since graduating from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, he is currently studying for a master’s degree at Trinity Laban. In addition to playing with the Norman Willmore Quartet, Christos Stylianides has established a successful Quintet, and is currently working with Mark Hurrell and the Motuz Ensemble to document experiments in music and dance. Christos is also set to appear in the 2020 feature film, How To Make A Living in Jazz.

A fellow graduate of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Sam Ingvorsen (double bass) has been playing since the age of thirteen. In addition to his master’s degree at Trinity Laban, Sam also spent some time studying at the Danish National Academy of Music in Odense, Denmark, where he worked alongside Danish bass legend, Bo Stief (Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon). Sam has recently been collaborating with The Olly Chalk Trio and Vittoria Muro Trio for new music and gigs in London’s jazz clubs, in addition to recording with Mark Hurrell and the Motuz Ensemble.

Last but not least, Felix Ambach (drums) has played and recorded with notable groups in the jazz scenes of Germany through to London. Following studies at the Cologne University of Music alongside fellow drummer Jonas Burgwinkel, Felix has gone on to play and record with German jazz group BuJazzO and prolific British multi-instrumentalist, Django Bates. Felix has also worked with the Subway Jazz Orchestra (Cologne), saxophonist Loren Stillman and the Sean Payne Quartet (London).

All the musicians in the band are working towards a common goal with no ego present, and not one person ever standing out. Playing together for 3 years in the same line-up has given the band a distinctive sound that is soft and inviting but always with the feeling of momentum and power behind it. We are often all improvising together in a tasteful dialogue, taking the audience on a journey to the last house at the end of the last road.

Norman Willmore

The Norman Willmore Quartet play Muckle Roe Hall, Brae, on Friday 7th February 2020 at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £12/£10 concession, and can be booked in person at Mareel or at the Shetland Arts outlet at Sumburgh Airport, by phone on 01595 745500, or online here.

Image: Liam Henderson

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