Welcome to Chris Hodgkins’ website. You will find details of Chris’s activity: gigs, touring, bands, recordings, videos, music, broadcasting, blogs, business education, and projects he is currently undertaking.
A Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton
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A Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton
An ensemble of jazz musicians from the UK and USA embarked on a 17 date tour in November 2021, in celebration of the legendary trumpeter, bandleader and BBC broadcaster Humphrey Lyttelton, on what would have been his 100th birthday anniversary year. Rising to prominence in the early 1950’s, Lyttelton’s hit single ‘Bad Penny Blues’ was the first-ever British jazz record to achieve top 20 status, and remained there for six weeks. Its success was largely due to a very catchy boogie piano riff, which was later used by Paul McCartney as the basis for the Beatles’ song ‘Lady Madonna’. Throughout his career, he blazed a trail with diverse presentations of jazz music and unique collaborations. In 2002, he performed (in front of 42,000) and recorded with Radiohead, engaging an entirely new audience with his music and providing a rare platform for fellow jazz musicians to play on a world stage.
In addition to his influential role as leader of the jazz revival, Lyttelton, affectionately known as “Humph”, was also a much-loved broadcaster, hosting BBC Radio 2’s ‘Best Of Jazz’ programme for many years, as well as BBC Radio 4’s hugely successful and still running) comedy show ‘I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue’ (later hosted by Jack Dee).
To do justice to Humph’s life and heritage, Chris Hodgkins, himself a stalwart of the British jazz scene, put together an impressive ten-piece band featuring top UK musicians who will perform Humph’s compositions and arrangements, as well as some brand new pieces.
The band features, Chris Hodgkins – trumpet, Henry Lowther – trumpet,
Charlotte Glasson – sax, Diane McLoughlin – sax, Mark Bassey – trombone
Alison Rayner – double bass, Buster Birch – drums, Alex Clarke – sax, Andrea Vicari – piano, Max Brittain or Chris Spedding – guitar
A ten-part series on Humphrey Lyttelton, presented by Chris Hodgkins, will be broadcast again on Jazz London Radio – London and the UK’s Internet Radio Station in 2023.
A travelling exhibition on Humphrey Lyttelton’s life and times accompanied the tour and consists of a media presentation and visual archive display based on Humph’s writings and journals. See the Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton for the presentation
The Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton at Swanage Jazz Festival July 2023
“With sparkling arrangements by several members of the band, this was a splendid performance of the highest order”. Brian Payne, Jazz Journal, July 2023
“And it was quite a band, graced by Henry Lowther on trumpet alongside Hodgkins, and contributing new arrangements of a couple of Lyttelton/Buck Clayton pieces that indicated devotion to the style Lowther fans may not have been aware of. A great way to finish an eclectic, engaging festival”. Jon Turney London Jazz News July 2023
The Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton Tour 2021 was supported by public funding from Arts Council England with help from PizzaExpressLive. National Jazz Archive, the Jazz Centre UK , Jazz London Radio and Ina Dittke and Associates
Chris Hodgkins International Quartet – An outstanding Anglo/American quartet led by award winning trumpet player Chris Hodgkins with 29 year old South Korean pianist from New York, Jinjoo Yoo, “one of the most exciting pianists on the scene in New York”. Wayne Wilkinson a headline guitarist, “one of the best, most underrated jazz guitarists in the USA”, and Alison Rayner on bass, winner of the Parliamentary Jazz Award 2018 for Best Ensemble.Chris Hodgkins International Quartet featuring Jinjoo Yoo (USA) + Wayne Wilkinson (USA) + Chris Hodgkins + special guest Alison Rayner completed a tour of England in May 2019. The tour was supported by Arts Council England, Noson Allen/Night Out, Pizza Express Live and Splash Point Jazz Club.
“This live chamber jazz album exhibits a wonderful chemistry between the trio of trumpeter Chris Hodgkins and guitarist Wayne Wilkinson. Captivating.” The Musician.
Full details are available at: http://www.chrishodgkins.co.uk/bandsgigs/
Click on TuneIn and for streaming click here London Jazz Radio to hear Chris with his programme Jazz Then and Now on Jazz London Radio Chris also presents Jazz Is….. on Pure Jazz Radio in New York. Click on Pure Jazz Radio to hear Jazz Is…….. Chris will also be playing playing selected tracks form HotHouse young musicians. Grateful thanks to Jon Eno and all at HotHouse. Chris’s programme schedule for Jazz Then And Now on Jazz London Radio can be seen at Programme Schedule
Jazz Then And Now – “It must be one of the most eclectic jazz radio shows out there.” Bill Trythall at Beaconville Music PR
Musically Chris was described by Declan Connolly of Span Arts as playing “Mature Mainstream” – a catch all phrase where anything goes.
In July 2017 Chris was appointed by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group to act as their Secretariat. Details can be found at: All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group Details of the recipients of the Parliamentary Jazz Awards supported by PizzaexpressLive can be found at: Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2018 and a video of the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017 at the PizzaExpress Live at Holborn here and details of the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2019 here
Recent lobbying and position papers can be seen at: All Party Parliamentary Jazz Group
The 2023 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, took place on Tuesday 4th July 2023. Details of the recipients can be found here
Chris received the Parliamentary Media Award from Jane Cornwell on behalf of the Jazz Rag. The photo is by Tatiana Gorilovsky who was a nominee in the the 2023 Parliamentary Jazz Awards
Recently released three albums, Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton Vic Parker at the Quebec Hotel + Chris Hodgkins + Jed Williams Festooned With Trumpets
Also released is Lenore Raphael, Wayne Wilkinson and Chris Hodgkins at PizzaExpress Live, Dean Street, London, The album was launched, with special guest Alison Rayner, at the PizzaExpress, lunchtime on the 11th of November as part of the London Jazz Festival 2017. Two new album releases are planned for Autumn 2021.
Chris has published on the Music Business Resource page a free download “Where do you want to be – a business planning manual for jazz music students and musicians.” Also on the Online Music Business Resource are three additions; the Guide To Marketing Your Band, Funding Tips, Guide To Getting Your Music On The Radio, which have been revised September 2017 and two recent publications the Guide To Music Organisations– Including Copyright, royalties and IRCSs and A Quick Guide to Contracts for Jazz Musicians all are available as free downloads on the Online Music Business Resource page.
A new publication We Love You Madly – A Concise Guide To Good Communications is available free here
Chris has signed up to the website developed by Emily Saunders at: http://jazzconnects.com/ An excellent venture and information jazz site that needs your support. Please sign up.
Chris plays the Eclipse Celeste trumpet – https://eclipsetrumpets.com/
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