One of the most lauded jazz groups in London, Hackney-based Kansas Smitty's Big Band are making the trip across the river to Woolwich this December for a very special seasonal concert.
Frequent collaborators with the likes of Jamie Cullum, Kansas Smitty's Big Band was created to perform the music of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington. This special festive programme will feature the Ellington and Billy Strayhorn arrangements of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, with classics from the Ellington catalogue rounding out the performance.
It was "The Duke's" music, along with his great rival and contemporary Count Basie, that inspired band leader Giacomo Smith to form Kansas Smitty's way back in 2012. Nevertheless, this big band represents a new sound for Smitty's, incorporating new collaborators who inspire him today to celebrate this music.
The fifteen-piece big band was born in the winter of 2020 when their well loved venue closed due to Covid and the band were forced online. Now we can all be together, it's time to do some real celebrating!
“They dance to a beat of their own drum. Totally unpredictable!”
Cerys Matthews, BBC 6Music
"One of the delights of Kansas Smitty’s... you never know what’s coming next."