Nat Steele

Nat Steele Quartet

Out to Lunch

Thursday 18 July 2024, 12:00

Venue: Culford Room at Cadogan Hall

Prices from £0.00 to £5.00

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Performers

Nat Steele vibraphone
Colin Oxley guitar
Lorenzo Morabito bass
Mark Taylor drums

Vibraphonist Nat Steele has been leading his own quartet since 2009, regularly featuring at venues like Ronnie Scott’s, the 606, and major UK jazz festivals. The quartet has developed a close musical rapport based on a shared love of straight-ahead jazz and bebop.

In 2017 he launched his debut album, Portrait of the Modern Jazz Quartet, on Trio Records, with a sold-out album release concert held at Ronnie Scott’s, followed by two years of touring the UK with the album. The album was awarded ‘Jazz Album of the Month’ by BBC Music Magazine, with a plethora of positive reviews in the jazz press, including four stars in The Observer and Jazzwise magazine. It even made it into the Top 10 in the jazz charts in Japan.

In 2019 he was invited by Grammy-award winning pianist, arranger and composer Alan Broadbent to give the world premiere of a new work celebrating the 25th anniversary of Watermill Jazz Club. In 2020 – just weeks before the pandemic – he completed an 18-date Arts Council funded tour of the UK with the MJQ band featuring guest tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart who came from New York for two weeks to play.

Post-pandemic, he started a new group with Mark Crooks, the Nat Steele/Mark Crooks Sextet, celebrating the music of Stan Getz and Cal Tjader, and has just recorded two new albums as a leader, one as a follow-up to the MJQ record, this time featuring special guest Scott Hamilton on tenor saxophone, and one as a tribute to Milt Jackson, which was recorded in New York at the Rudy van Gelder studio with musicians who used to play with Jackson. Both albums will be released later in the year.

As well as working as a performer, Nat has been very actively involved in promoting jazz and founded a jazz festival, BopFest, in 2015 with saxophonist Allison Neale. The annual festival, initially just a long weekend, has grown into a seven-day-long extravaganza of bebop and straight ahead jazz in London featuring some of the best musicians from the UK, Europe and America, with the festival attracting both private and Arts Council funding and getting significant audience numbers and press attention.

At his arrival on the scene, he quickly gained a reputation as a talented musician to watch out for, described by Clark Tracey as “one of the best vibes players this country has ever produced”. Principally self-taught and following in the style of Milt Jackson, Nat takes a two-mallet approach to improvisation, focusing on melodic interpretation over chordal playing. He has studied with Mike LeDonne and had the good fortune to sit in with both Benny Green and Wynton Marsalis.

Duration: 2 hours (incl. 30-minute interval)

Ticket Information

Seated ticket: £5
Standing: free but ticketed

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