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Celebrating Sir George Shearing

Led by Sir George Shearing’s great nephew, drummer Carl Gorham, ‘Shear Brass’ brings a fresh and dynamic new approach to the music of one of Britain’s greatest ever jazz pianists and composers.

Combining the punch of a big band with the intimacy of a small group, this hard-swinging, highly melodic outfit showcases some of the UK’s most gifted soloists. Whether reinterpreting classics such as ‘Conception’ and ‘Lullaby of Birdland’ or re-introducing lesser-known tunes such as ‘Night Flight’ and ‘Children’s Waltz’, its repertoire mirrors Shearing’s own development, encompassing swing, be-bop, cool and Latin jazz, topped off with some of the most celebrated vocal numbers of the 20th century.

The band features some of Britain’s finest jazz musicians including James Pearson, Natalie Williams, Louise Marshall, Arnie Somogyi, Satin Singh, Chris Storr, Pete Long, Sarah Moule, Simon Wallace, Alec Dankworth, Alistair White and Jason McDermid with Carl on drums and, continuing the family theme, Romy Sipek, Sir George’s great, great niece on vocals.

With the release of their debut album on Ubuntu Music, their first live appearances and a TV documentary in the making, Shear Brass are all set to make 2023 a memorable, musical year.

The Album

Shear Brass’ debut album “Celebrating Sir George Shearing’ is released on September 1st on Ubuntu Music.

The TV Documentary

He was the blind boy from South London who conquered the jazz world. He was the kid who never saw a word but ended up being written about in one of the most iconic novels of all time. His dad delivered coal to Buckingham Palace but he himself ended up being granted a knighthood.

Now, Sir George Shearing’s extraordinary life story is being brought to a whole new generation of viewers through a TV documentary, as his great nephew, Carl Gorham, retraces his footsteps all the way from Battersea in London to Broadway in New York.

With interviews from the key people in Shearing’s life, visits to all the most important locations, and exciting new versions of his music by the band ‘Shear Brass’, this unique piece of story-telling charts the fascinating journey of one of the most well-known and influential British jazz musicians.

At a time when ‘London jazz’, has become mainstream, there has been no better time to re-discover the life and work of Sir George Shearing, that most eclectic and innovative of musicians, the original and best ‘London jazzer.’

Part musical journey, part social study, part family history,  it is an enthralling, surprising and uplifting celebration of the man and his legacy.

The Live Show

Drawing on the amazing musicians from their debut album, the ‘Shear Brass’ live show is an exciting fusion of powerful ensemble playing, soaring melodies and rip roaring solos. Featuring all of Sir George’s most famous compositions, the shows are compered by drummer and Sir George’s great nephew, Carl Gorham who brings a unique perspective to proceedings, fusing family history and biography, laced with some of the trademark Shearing wit.

From Battersea to 52nd street; from a pub gig in Lambeth to performances at the White House; from playing requests for tips to writing iconic jazz standards, Shearing’s story is a fascinating musical tale and ‘Shear Brass’ is the perfect group to tell it.





Thursday September 7th, 2023 at 8pm

Tickets – visit or call the box office on 01908 280800


Sunday, September 10th, 2023 at 12pm.

Venue and Tickets – TBA



For live performances the line-up will be selected from amongst the following musicians –

As a session drummer, Carl Gorham has played on numerous commercial TV recordings, as well as performing live with TV spin-off band The Hairstyles, from Channel 4’s ‘Absolutely’ and on jazz/poetry gigs with poet Dannie Abse CBE. In his other career as a TV writer / producer, he is best known for creating the hit animation series ‘Stressed Eric’ for BBC2, now broadcast in more than thirty countries and the first animation show to be seen in primetime on NBC in the USA for 45 years. He is a double British Animation Award winner, as well as a Bafta and British Comedy Award nominee.

Jason McDermid (trumpet) is responsible for all the musical arrangements. He is a long-time member of the Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blue Orchestra, as is fellow trumpeter Chris Storr and they’ve performed with, amongst many others, Tom Jones, Ray Davies and Joss Stone. Alistair White (trombone) is also a former member and has played with Quincy Jones, Carla Bley, Guy Barker, Stan Tracey and Hugh Masekela whilst Pete Long (saxes / clarinet), as well as being the current Musical Director of the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra, has worked with Dizzy Gillespie, John Scofield and Chick Corea.

James Pearson (piano) is the current Musical Director of Ronnie Scott’s Club and his credits include Wynton Marsalis, Johnny Griffin, Richard Rodney Bennett and Robbie Williams. Simon Wallace (piano) wrote songs for 20 years with American lyricist Fran Landesman and has worked extensively in TV with Simon Brint. Alec Dankworth (bass) is twice winner of the BBC Jazz Award for best bass player and has led numerous groups of his own as well as working with artists such as Dave Brubeck and Van Morrison, whilst Arnie Somogyi (bass) has recorded, performed and toured with the likes of Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Henderson, Art Farmer and the Mingus Big Band. Anthony Kerr (vibes) is a long-serving soloist with the BBC Big Band and Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames, as well as his own ensemble. Satin Singh (percussion) has played with the likes of Pete Wareham, Shabaka Hutchins, Ray Sandoval and Supergrass.

For six years Sarah Moule was the featured vocalist with the John Wilson Orchestra and she has also broadcast with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Louise Marshall (vocals) works with Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and more recently was at Number 1 in the charts with LF System’s ‘Afraid to feel’. Natalie Williams (vocals) has toured extensively with the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars and has enjoyed a 13-year residency at the club with her own band, Natalie Williams’ Soul Family. Romy Sipek (vocals) is a recent graduate of Millennium Performing Arts College, and has already appeared in the Faithless / R-Plus video for ‘Hold on to Your Heart’ and sung at Ronnie Scott’s Upstairs.

Listen to the Mixes

Mix 1

Let’s Live Again

03:15 | 45s Sample

Mix 2

Midnight Mood

03:32 | 45s Sample

Mix 3

From Rags to Richards

03:46 | 45s Sample

For more details