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Empirical + Plackett/Simons Duo (Rescheduled from 18/10/2020)

Sun, February 27 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Empirical + Plackett/simons Duo (rescheduled From 18/10/2020)

Tickets for original date still valid. Ticketholders requiring refunds should email the box office at ticketing@colchesterartscentre.com


“Empirical continue to display a fiercely imaginative sensibility, producing music as challenging and stimulating as anything on the international scene,” said MOJO Magazine of the group, while Time Out commented: “Empirical are exactly what top-class modern jazz should be – trailblazing yet wholly respectful of tradition.”

Since their formation in 2007, this multi award-winning quartet have steadfastly maintained their position as one of the UK’s most exciting jazz ensembles, and their rare instrumentation has proved the perfect vehicle for their invariably complex compositions and distinctive signature sound.

With five critically acclaimed studio albums to date and performances at major jazz festivals, they are two-time recipients of the UK Parliamentary Jazz Award (2008 and 2016 – Best Jazz Ensemble) and winners of the 2016 Urban Music Award and the 2010 MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act.

In keeping with their risk-taking approach to music-making, in 2016 Empirical embarked upon a daring exercise in audience creation with their ‘Pop-up Jazz Lounge’ residency project, which has seen the band turn disused shops in train stations and shopping malls in major cities and towns into fully-fledged jazz clubs, for a week at a time. Since then, the quartet has played to more than 10,000 appreciative commuters and shoppers, racking up over 150 live sets in the process.

For Empirical, this kind of gigging marathon is a much-relished opportunity to develop new musical ideas during live performance, such as their latest two-part EP set. Entitled Indifference Culture and Distraction Tactics, the recordings form a musical response to the culture wars and political upheaval that have become the ‘new normal’ and capture to the greatest degree the exhilarating intensity and exceptional virtuosity that their performances have become known for.

Nathaniel Facey (Alto Saxophone), Lewis Wright
(Vibraphone), Tom Farmer (Double Bass),
Shaney Forbes (Drums).

Well known for their work with the East Coast Guitar Trio, Samuel Plackett (Electric Guitar) and Les Simons (Acoustic Guitar), perform an eclectic mix of material – from Stephane Grappelli/Django Reinhardt, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, to Grover Washington, Norah Jones and Spyro Gyra.

“This half-hour EP is a summation of how skilful, soulful and thoughtful this fine ensemble continues to be. Fine original music, with exemplary improvisational craft to express it.” – Jazzwise

“Empirical are among the most admired and individual-sounding bands in contemporary jazz. Much is down to the instrumentation, which has the lightness and clarity to convey quite adventurous ideas without losing the listener along the way.” – The Observer

“Empirical have become fascinating and fearless.” – The Guardian


Sun, February 27
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm