Shoreham pianist Victoria Wilson rediscovers lost jazz giant

Victoria Wilson
Victoria Wilson

Shoreham-based jazz pianist Victoria Wilson is enjoying a positive response to her new self-released album telling the story of Marian McPartland.

Victoria said: “Marian McPartland’s story was one of great interest to me and is a story of an extraordinary pianist I thought worthwhile retelling. She’s one of the greatest British-born jazz pianists. She’s just not really known about in the mainstream and I think that’s a real shame.”

To celebrate what would have been Marian’s centenary, Victoria, joined by Dave Green on double bass and Steve Brown on drums, created an album of Marian’s work, entitled Bohemia After Dark: The Music of Marian McPartland.

“Dave Green actually played with Marian on a recording broadcast for BBC Radio 3 when she was last visiting the UK from New York, where she lived and worked for most of her life. It was very exciting to have him and his close friend and musical collaborator, Steve, involved in the project.”

What started out as more of a personal celebration has become an acclaimed piece of work, Victoria is delighted to say. Victoria has also been contacted by The Jazz Club, a Radio Ulster programme, who will be interviewing Victoria and playing three of her tracks on air. “I hope that helps a larger audience in the UK connect with Marian’s music. She’s far better known in the USA where she went to live with her husband after the war, but not so well known in the UK, despite having an OBE for her services to jazz.”

Victoria will be playing a selection of her music Upstairs at the Harbour Club on Shoreham Beach on Friday, May 4 from 7.30pm.

Victoria has lived in Shoreham all her life. She was awarded a diploma in music performance by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. As well as regularly performing, Victoria is also a piano teacher, having led many pupils through ABRSM, Jazz and Rockschool grades.

Victoria’s album, Bohemia After Dark: The Music of Marian McPartland, is available on ITunes or via her website www.victoria-wilson.co.uk.

For other stories by Phil, see https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2

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