The world’s biggest-selling classical violinist of all time, maestro and maverick Nigel Kennedy performs the music of Jimi Hendrix for a very special concert at Brighton Dome this week (Friday, November 25, 8pm).
Producer and promoter Ian Bowden said: “In 1967 a young and emerging Jimi Hendrix performed at the Brighton Dome. Almost 49 years ago the legendary guitarist graced the stage in Brighton. This makes this unique event even more poignant as Kennedy, who was born in Hove, Brighton is a lifelong fan and has been heavily influenced by the music of Hendrix.
“To me, Kennedy is a creative musical genius and his attraction is the diversity of his music, repertoire and ability. He can basically turn his hand to most styles and is not stuck specifically in just one genre. Although Kennedy is famous for his huge classical back catalogue and performances, he is willing to diversify and experiment with jazz, blues and rock and the Hendrix project is testament to this.
“The performance on Friday will be very poignant for both Kennedy and Hendrix fans and there is some comparison between these two musical geniuses. Both are recognised as experimental musicians and are unique in their own right. There was only one Jimi Hendrix and it is fair to say that Kennedy will go down in history as a modern virtuoso pioneer of the violin.
“I wonder what they would have made of each other if they had the chance to meet face to face? The jam session with both of them would certainly be quite something to behold! I have a feeling that they would have got on famously well and Nigel would most certainly be in awe of one of his greatest musical heroes.
“Sadly, we cannot bring Jimi back. However the combination of Kennedy performing the music of the amazing Hendrix will be an exhilarating and intense experience that we won’t be forgetting for a long while.
“Will we look back in years to come and say we were there at the Brighton gig? I am sure we will and formy part as the producer of the concert, I am proud to be working with Nigel and to presenting this very special show. I for one won’t be forgetting this experience.”
Kennedy's performances have ranged from straight classical interpretations to collaborations with Stéphane Grappelli, Kate Bush, Robert Plant and Paul McCartney. However, from early on in his career there has been one composer to whom he keeps on returning: Jimi Hendrix. Nigel Kennedy Plays Hendrix sees the virtuoso work with a brand new international line up, including guitarist Doug Boyle (regular collaborator with Robert Plant), 18-year-old guitar prodigy Julian Buschberger, vibraphonist Orphy Robinson (founding member of The Jazz Warriors), and leading European rhythm section Tomasz Kupiec and Adam Czerwinski (the Jarek Smietana band).
Nigel said: “What attracts me to Jimi Hendrix's music is the amazingly open mind that he had. This was reflected in many ways; he was always gracious and never insulting to anybody and this showed through the music. There were any number of influences that you can hear through his compositions; these ranged from rock, blues and Celtic through to trance and experimental styles. Maybe that's why I find it so natural exploring his music, having been involved in so many similar styles myself.”
Kennedy's performance includes electric and acoustic renditions, and features Purple Haze, Hey Joe, The Wind Cries Mary, Crosstown Traffic, Fire, Drifting, Little Wing, 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) and Third Stone from the Sun, among other compositions.
Nigel Kennedy Plays Hendrix is presented by Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival.
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