Word made flesh 1965 / Flesh made word 2015

Tag: Annie Whitehead

ReIncarnation Biographies #15: Annie Whitehead

Annie Whitehead

Annie Whitehead

The fifteenth person in our series of introductions to performers taking part in International Poetry ReIncarnation at the Roundhouse in Camden on 30th May 2015 is the musician Annie Whitehead.

Born in Oldham, Lancs, Annie learned trombone at school and by the age of fourteen was already busy playing with brass bands, local dance groups and the Manchester Youth Jazz Orchestra. At sixteen, she started her professional career with Ivy Benson’s legendary All Girls Orchestra.

Annie has worked with many well known artists including Elvis Costello, Joan Armatrading, Chris Rea, The Style Council and Robert Wyatt. She was a member of Chris MacGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, The Carla Bley Very Big Band and the Penguin Café Orchestra. She has contributed to more than 50 albums and has recorded five albums under her own name.

“Annie Whitehead is a trombonist of elegant technique and musical tastes taking in funk, salsa and ska as well as jazz” – John Fordham.

At the Roundhouse, Annie will be performing as part of the William Blake Klezmatrix band, a poetry & music collaborative formed to perform William Blake’s most lyrical texts, & also excerpts from his longer works.

As well as versions of Blake lyrics, the band – which at the Roundhouse will feature Annie Whitehead on trombone and vocals, Peter Lemer on piano, & Michael Horovitz on anglo-saxophone & other voicings – also performs diverse jazz poems, klezmer & other folk music and song, plus jazz, blues, calypso, settings of the poetry of Ginsberg, the Bible, et al, plus original compositions & improvisations.

Get your tickets for the evening’s star-laden performance here: The International Poetry ReIncarnation

Liberty, Equality, Poetry

mhandginsbergAdam Horovitz reflects on the impact of the International Poetry Incarnation in 1965 and looks forward to the celebratory party for it.

I have spent most of my life aware of the International Poetry Incarnation, which took place in the Royal Albert Hall in 1965, very nearly 50 years ago. My father, Michael Horovitz, helped organise it, so of course I was going to be exposed of it. Growing up, I knew some of the poets. They were often about, in our house or at events, being genial and strange and merely a part of my metaphysical furniture.

For a long time, the 1965 Incarnation was a big poetry gig in the sky that people talked about and that I accepted as just another impressive thing that fathers do. As I have grown older, however, and become more interested in poetry in my own right, it has been hitting ever more forcefully home to me what a turning point this Incarnation, this 1965 happening, was.

Annie Whitehead

Annie Whitehead

Poetry in Britain was somewhat in the doldrums in the 1950s, as far as it being a public art went. It tended to sit in small rooms in universities and libraries and speak to and of itself. With my father’s generation – people like Adrian Mitchell, Christopher Logue, Pete Brown – poetry picked itself up and went running around the country talking to people who didn’t expect poetry to come leaping out of hedgerows at them. It went charging up to the Edinburgh Festival and touring through towns and cities with musicians and actors and playwrights in tow. Poetry began to listen, and to sing out in different rhythms. It offered up a party where only drier forms of symposia had appeared available before. Continue reading