Tori Freestone/Alcyona Mick Duo

Award: Recording And Releasing Music (Do it Differently)

Year: 2020

Genre: Jazz

Location: London


'The no-hiding-place exposure of an improvising sax/piano duo is a tough call but the British pairing of pianist Alcyona Mick and tenor saxophonist Tori Freestone make light of it’
The Guardian, 'Jazz Album of the Month' **** review

Alcyona Mick and Tori Freestone have known each other for years as two of the most sought after players on the London Jazz Scene, working together as the two only female members of the London Jazz Orchestra (of great historical importance for the UK jazz scene with predecessors including Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, John Taylor and Stan Sulzmann) and in many other large ensembles including Ingrid and Christine Jensen Whirlwind big band, Cleo Laine/Alec Dankworth band, Nikki Iles Jazz Orchestra and Yazz Ahmed's 'Polyrhythmia'.

Having built a rapport from such collaborations, the duo formed in 2015 playing Monk tunes on a project in the Canary islands, and were given their first platform at Manchester Jazz Festival in 2015. They recorded their debut album ​Criss Cross​ at the famous Artesuono Studio in Italy in 2017. It was released on the transatlantic label Whirlwind Recordings in 2018 to wide critical acclaim followed by an Arts Council tour of the UK and Germany with live radio performances.

The duo have a very spontaneous, interactive approach sharing a large range of musical influences that fall not only within the jazz genre, including English folk, Brazilian music, Arabic music, free improvisation, Monk and more. Performances have included Birmingham Symphony Hall, Museo del Grifo (Spain), Emotion Festival (Bremen), Halle 242 (Hamburg), Salle Krieps auditorium (Luxembourg) and Manchester and London Jazz Festivals. In 2020 their large ensemble writing for the LJO was featured for International Women's Day and they were invited to perform for Steinway in Germany and to tour Australia, New Zealand and Singapore (postponed due to Covid-19), including commissions for the Jazzlab Orkestra, Melbourne and Sydey Jazz Orchstra.

‘In a tightly held discourse there grows this never before heard sound, full of esprit, insight, experience and joie de vivre’​ - Concerto Magazine, Austria

'Elegant, engaging and original music, played with magnificent panache'
- All About Jazz **** review

'The​ tracks contain some of the finest interplay I have heard since Stan Getz and Kenny Barron recorded People Time, the playing is that wondrous.....Without a doubt one of the finest albums of the year'
-Jazz Journal **** review

Alcyona has also performed worldwide as a jazz pianist, touring with the likes of Natacha Atlas, Randolph Matthews, Bachar Zarkan and guesting on numerous albums. She has won Promoter's Choice Award, was shortlisted for a Parliamentary Jazz Award for best album and awarded best film soundtrack at the Anima Mundi Festival, Brazil 2012.

Tori Freestone is a successful multi instrumentalist/composer. As well as her work with Alcyona Mick, she's featured with her own trio at major jazz festivals including London, Reykjavik, Leibnitz and Sudtirol plus interviews/live performances for BBC Radio 2/3, Jazz FM and Austrian National radio. She has many awards to her name including ACE funding and PRS Sustaining Creativity Fund for a large ensemble project, the Help Musician's Transmission Fund, Guardian 'Jazz album of the month', Arts Foundation Award Jazz Composer of the Year Shortlist, Parliamentary Jazz Awards Instrumentalist of the Year shortlist, and various commissions including a London Jazz Festival commission performed at the QEH with her trio.
We will be creating, rehearsing, recording, mixing/mastering and promoting a follow up album to our successful debut entitled 'Who we are now' reflecting our changing musical personalities during a pandemic. We'll be finding new ways of working, engaging online and socially distanced methods of creating and recording the works and the promo video. Help Musicians will be providing valuable support giving us time to compose and rehearse, funding the recording/ mixing/mastering and video filmed in the studio for promotion and for an oline streamed taster event.