Dame Evelyn Glennie at the Petworth Festival

Trio HLK featuring Evelyn Glennie
Trio HLK featuring Evelyn Glennie

Dame Evelyn Glennie with Trio HLK will be one of the headline shows as Petworth Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary.

They perform in St Mary’s Church, Petworth on Sunday, July 29 at 7.30pm on the back of the Scottish jazz trio’s debut album which came out in May.

Percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie joined them on the album. Playing vibraphone and marimba, Dame Evelyn will join them again in Petworth, as will alto sax virtuoso Steve Lehman, who also featured on the album.

Trio HLK comprises drummer Richard Kass, guitarist Ant Law and classical pianist and composition mastermind Richard Harrold.

Pianist Richard said: “We have been playing together as a trio since the start of 2015. Richard and I both live in Edinburgh, and we just got together and started playing together, a few tunes just on a casual basis. We decided in 2016 to get a third member just because of the nature of the compositions.

“Ant is an electric guitarist, but he decided to bring an eight-string guitar to the trio. We are piano, guitar and drums, and having the guitar gives us quite a bit more creative leeway. Sometimes I can play the low end of the piano or sometimes Ant does on the guitar. We don’t have bass, but we can either neither play the low end or both of us play it or just one of us.

“Personally speaking, I think of our music as more as contemporary classical than anything else. That’s what I studied at university. On the surface it doesn’t necessarily sound so much like that because of the drums and the electric guitar, but in terms of the language of the music, that’s how I see it. I write the tunes initially and then there is a lot of workshopping between us, and we work things out. Sometimes something works; sometimes it doesn’t. But also when you play things, they evolve and change.

“We recorded our first album in 2016, and that’s how the collaboration with Dame Evelyn came about. We decided that we wanted to reflect classical and also reflect contemporary jazz, and we got in touch with Dame Evelyn and with Steve. It was just a cold call. We sent some information over. We aimed high – and we got very lucky.

“Dame Evelyn is Dame Evelyn. She is an incredibly-technical player, and she is so full of ideas, so incredibly creative.

“It’s amazing how quickly she managed to get this music together. It took us a couple of years. It took her a couple of months!

“We didn’t really know what to expect. She is such a big name. But she is so down to earth.

“We recorded the album in 2016 but after the recording, we start chatting to Evelyn about putting some dates together.

“She was up for it, and we started looking, but they book so far in advance for the festivals. So we had to delay the album. We had 2017 as quite a frustrating year of not playing much, but we have got the dates now and the album came out in May.

“So far, we have just started playing as a trio just to give the audience a sense of what we do, and then Evelyn comes out and joins us for the rest of the concert.

“She plays some of our tunes, and we are finding that the more we do it, the more confident we become and the more we can experiment. We are so lucky to have her with us.”

The Petworth date comes as part of a major national tour that takes them the length and breadth of the country.

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