NYJO Interviews: Winston Rollins
There are lots of Amy Winehouse tributes around, but what makes the upcoming NYJO one different?
Yes, there is a lot of Amy Winehouse tributes around, but what makes our show special, the fact that Amy was the featured singer with NYJO when she was 16, with myself being on the original Frank album session in 2003, we will be celebrating the life and works of Amy with a big band of 24 musicians on stage, playing the re-imagined songs of Amy Winehouse, no-one else in the country will sound like this!
What repertoire will you focus on?
We will be taking inspiration and repertoire from the Frank and Back To Black albums, as well as touching on a couple of songs from the Lioness: Hidden Treasure compilation album, these were songs that Amy recorded before or around the time she recorded her Frank album but were previously unreleased.
Tell us about the arrangements for the concert.
We have an amazing composer/arranger called Olivia Murphy who holds the composer’s chair in NYJO, amongst her achievements, she has won the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Jazz Composers Prize in both 2018 & 2019 and most recently won the Jazzlife Alliance’s Young Composer Award which will see her go on to work with some of the most prolific jazz artists of today.
Olivia has made these concerts accessible to the listening ear by taking Amy’s songs and re-imagining them for the big band, from the dramatic moody opening of Back to Black which then snaps into the 60’s style beat that Amy so loved to a New Orleans style, hand clapping, feet stomping version of Valerie, which will get you up and dancing!
Some of the arrangements have been stretched beyond the imagination, whilst other songs have kept their form, making this concert a not to be missed for those who like to hear something a little different whilst retaining the true core and vibe of Amy’s music.
Amy Winehouse had an amazing talent and persona, so how do you re-create her magic on stage?
We have an amazing singer in Lucy-Anne Daniels who will be putting her own vibe into the songs, with her lush voice, you will get lost in her interpretation of the songs, whilst enjoying every moment!
The National Youth Jazz Orchestra will celebrate the life and music of their former member Amy Winehouse on Thursday 7th October at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea.