SUMMER JAZZ at the Kingsgate – The Cameron Pierre Group
Born in London, Cameron was raised on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Like most of his peers, Cameron’s early musical influences were Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Jimmy Cliff, and a host of artists from that era of popular Jamaican music, oh, and Stevie Wonder. At sixteen he taught himself to play the guitar, and it was within the reggae genre that he first established himself, working with Jamaican artists including Clint Eastwood & General Saint, Barrington, Levy, Al Campbell, Wayne Marshall, Dennis Brown, Tipa Ire, and Micheal Prophet et al. Then came the slow discovery of George Benson and Charlie Christian, and through them, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. Since then Cameron has gone on to work with Courtney Pine, Pee Wee Ellis, Orphy Robinson, Mighty Sparrow, Ernest Ranglin, David Rudder, Andy Narell, Alex Wilson, Mario Conange, Sarah Jane Morris, Byron Wallen, Jazz Jamaica, Dennis Rollins, Ormar Puente, Junior Walker, Joe Cocker, and numerous others.
As his own musical direction veered towards jazz, he remained in demand on the Calypso, and reggae circuit. A stalwart of the British jazz scene since the 80s, he was invited by renowned British saxophonist Courtney Pine to join his band and has since become an integral part of the group both as a recording and live artist.
Alongside Courtney’s band, in 1994 Cameron formed ‘Creole’, a multi-cultural melange of musicians from Africa, Haiti, Cuba and the Caribbean, enjoying wide critical acclaim for their performances at the Glastonbury and Womad Festivals. In 1997, Cameron released the first of his five solo albums, Friday Night, towide critical acclaim. In 2003 he also released ‘The Other Side of Notting Hill’, a body of work which was to help cement his reputation as a guitarist/composer par excellence. As a follow up to the acclaimed 2007 release “Pad up” his most recent release, “Radio Jumbo” his 6th studio cut, sees Cameron teaming up with French virtuoso pianist Mario Canonge for his second release on the Destin-E Label.
“Though his approach is undeniably indebted to that of his two great heroes, Wes Montgomery and George Benson, but infused with a bounce and vitality that belongs only to him. Touring with Courtney Pine’s award-winning band Cameron’s guitar style has dazzled many a jazz fan, and he has received glowing reviews from all over the world for his warm, dexterous sound and his self-deprecating and engaging stage presence”.
Camilla has been interested in music from an early age and particularly in the fusion of African and Western music. She grew up listening to Fela alongside Jackie McLean and Charlie Parker. A graduate from Trinity College of Music, Camilla has studied with many jazz greats such as saxophone giant, Jean Toussaint (of Art Blakey fame), Tony Kofi, Christian Brewer, Julian Siegal and Martin Speake.
Since 2004 Camilla has been working with both Tomorrow’s Warriors and the Nu Civilisation Orchestra (including a UK tour performing at many prestigious venues such as The Queen Elizabeth Hall), as well as leading workshops for the younger members of The Warriors family.
In 2009 she joined award winning band, Jazz Jamaica, whose alumni have include Jason Yarde, Soweto Kinch and Nathaniel Facey. In October 2009, she performed with Jazz Jamaica and Ernest Ranglin at London’s Ronnie Scott’s jazz club. In 2013 Jazz Jamaica were nominated for a MOBO award for Jazz Performance. In October 2014, Camilla performed at Ronnie Scott’s for three consecutive nights with Jazz Jamaica. The performances received rave reviews and were sell-outs.
Most recently she has joined Courtney Pine’s Venus Warriors an all female super group who had their debut gig at The Hideaway. This project inspired Camilla to take her first and long-awaited step in band leading.
Formed in 2014, the CGQ has a modern edge whilst paying homage to the jazz tradition, with a bit of calypso thrown into the mix. The band is inspired by artists such as Kenny Kirkland, Wynton Marsalis, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts and Kenny Garrett.
Their EP, Lunacity, was well received by fans and musicians alike. It has been hailed as a “fresh” sound by fans and “thoroughly enjoyable” by jazz legend Courtney Pine. CGQ have gone on to perform at prestigious venues throughout the UK such as Derry Jazz Festival, Ealing Jazz Festival, The Vortex, Jazz in the Round, Jazz Re:freshed, Ray’s Jazz and The Spice of Life.
Their follow up debut album, Isang, has already gained early critical acclaim and is set to further establish CGQ on the jazz scene!
Elisa Caleb sings jazz classics in a light and airy Brazilian style and her husband’s songs as though they were already classics. Anyone who bought a bit of early Ella Fitzgerald Decca vinyl at a gig in the mid-forties, would have been pleased, I’m sure. There is just a sparkling hint of the First Lady of Song in Elisa Caleb. I’ve been listening to the star ever since.
FULL BIO – www.elisacaleb.com
Bass player -Vidal Montgomery
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