Jean Toussaint Quartet

Fri 19 April - 7:15 for 8:15 (21.80/20.71)Beacon Lantern Book

Jean Toussaint (Tenor Sax)
Emile Hinton (Piano)
Murray Dare (Bass)
Ben Brown (Drums)

Tenor titan Jean Toussaint leads another fine band of top young jazz musicians.

Grammy-winning saxophonist Jean first came to prominence when he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1982, after studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since leaving that legendary band in the mid-eighties Jean has continued to hone his upbeat style while his blistering technique and lyrical sound have graced many great bands - from Wynton Marsalis, Gil Evans and Julian Joseph's band to his own many excellent bands. Expect exciting music from a saxophonist of international stature.

Jean Toussaint

Jean was born in the Caribbean on St. Thomas in the small cluster of islands known as the US Virgin Islands, sandwiched between Puerto Rico to the west and the British Virgin Islands to the east. Upon leaving high school he moved to the mainland of the USA, when he was accepted to America's most prestigious school for Jazz, in Boston The Berklee College of Music.

That period would see his 'year class' and contemporaries produce future World class musicians such as: Branford Marsalis, Greg Osby, Kevin Eubanks, Jeff Watts, Victor Bailey, Donald Harrison and many others. It was during this time he was recommended to Art Blakey, legendary band leader and drummer who had formed the massively influential "Jazz Messengers", the Hard-Bop band that would act as the seedbed for many of the top jazz stars of today, Jean was duly asked to join the group.

The experiences gained in that world-class hothouse have enabled him to push forward and embrace challenging, and often high profile, musical collaborations in many different jazz styles. Today he is based in the UK in London and has become highly regarded as a composer, tenor/soprano saxophonist, bandleader and master jazz educator.

This latest JT4 quartet formed loosely on those Blakey principles of nurturing talent, includes some of Jean's pupils who have met the standard and gone on to begin their own outstanding careers:

"...brilliance, wit, verve and memorable, elegant sax lines..." - The New York Times.

Emile Hinton

Originally from Cornwall, pianist Emile Hinton is an emerging jazz pianist and composer who studied under Jean, at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Emile has played extensively in venues in London and around the UK, most notably at Ronnie Scott's with The National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He is the recipient of the 2023 Musicians' Company - Tina May Young Jazz Musician Award.

Emile has stood out in performances with Jean's band since joining it and the live gig reviews, consistantly highlight his contributions, such as a recent Cambridge Jazz gig; "We all loved the classics, 'These Foolish Things' had me in a trance of delight but also loved the compositions of Jean Toussaint himself dedicated to his family , and very much adored Emile Hinton's vibrant creative piece which 'blew the calm' in the best possible way.
Murray Dare

Murray Dare is a gifted young bass player, who cut his 'Jazz chops' in the Big Bands of Vince Dunn and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, before getting a place to study at The Guildhall School of Music in London, where he is in his final year.

Murray's development has been rapid and quickly came to the attention of Jean Toussaint, who has now snaffled him for this latest Toussaint Quartet

The driving force of Jean's rhythym section comes via drummer, percussionist and producer Ben Brown.

Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music, Ben's creative output encompasses anything jazz; and hip hop to electronic music, with particular leaning towards African & Latin American folk music styles.

He's been lucky enough to tour the world with a plethora of top international artists, covering an ecelctic set of music styles, such as; Alfa Mist, Mulatu Astatke, Ashley Henry, Judi Jackson, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Rebello, Dizraeli and many others, traveling as far as Australasia, Africa, Asia and across Europe.

Ben Brown

His own band Waaju has released two internationally acclaimed albums, where he acts as producer and composer. Both albums were named "Essential Jazz Albums of the Year"

Upon the album release across numerous European platforms the reaction and responce has been consistently championed by the likes of Jordan Rakei, Gilles Peterson, Jungle, Jazz FM and Worldwide FM.

"He has a poetic delicate balance and bounce with sticks in hand" - Art of Jazz

"Brown's playing is on fire" - Songlines Magazine