THE tiny Con Cellar Bar underneath the Constitution in St Pancras Way has received a major accolade from jazzman extraordinaire Michael Janisch.
He’s a top-notch double-bassist, band leader, tour promoter and double-bass at the Royal Academy.
Three years ago, he launched his Whirlwind record label and this weekend he’s curating the Whirlwind Festival at Kings Place, featuring musicians that have made albums for the label.
Launching the festival, Janisch drew special attention to the Con Cellar Bar’s attributes.
“The Con Cellar Bar has been one of those special hot spots of creative music that is essential to any music scene,” he said. “It was set up by the now late Richard Turner, a trumpeter with whom I had the extreme fortune of performing with in Gary Husband’s band for two years as well as promoting events at the Con, together with some of the bigger names from the NYC scene.
“What I love about the jazz/improv series at the Con Cellar Bar then and now is that it exists for the betterment of musicians who are dealing with this music, as a way of providing them with regular performance opportunities.
“It’s not there to make money or for any promoter’s agenda other than to further music and celebrate creativity.”
Now, after Richard Turner’s death, the Con Cellar Bar hosts a jazz gig on the first Friday of each month.
Next Tuesday, however, there’s a special event featuring Mick Coady’s Synergy.
This weekend’s Whirlwind Festival features 100 world class musicians playing in 18 bands, all led by his label’s artists.
Among them are tenor saxist George Crowley; drummers Dave Hamblett, Dave Smith and Andrew Bain; Scots saxophonist Rachel Cohen; flautist Gareth Lockrane; pianists Robert Mitchell, Aruan Ortiz and Ivo Neame; trumpeters Jay Phelps and Andre Canniere; and singer Norma Winstone.
Janisch himself is launching his new Jazz for Babies five-album set on Saturday.