• April 2017

    Satoko Fujii + Natsuki Tamura in Australia; Japan tour in September, plus Alister Spence Trio new album launch

    As part of our ongoing friendship and musical collaboration, Satoko and I have been commissioned by the Melbourne International Jazz Festival to present a new Australian/Japan collective, Kira Kira (shine) at MIJF on 8 June. Natsuki Tamura (trumpet) and Tony Buck (drums) will join us in this project.

    Satoko's visit to Australia is part of an Australia-Japan Foundation Grant stimulating artistic and cultural engagement between the two countries. Satoko and Natsuki begin their tour with two weeks residency at UNSW as composers and performers. They will give lecture demonstrations and masterclasses, culminating in a concert of Fujii's works at Io Myers Studio, UNSW on 26 May.

    Additional performances in May/June include duo and quartet performances by Satoko, myself, Natsuki and Simon Barker at Venue 505 on 18 May; the Perth Jazz Festival (Fujii/Tamura) and two concerts with Sirens Big Band at The Street Theatre, Canberra on 2 June, followed by the Soundlounge on 10 June.

    In September, I will travel to Japan as part of this reciprocal arrangement performing duo piano and fender rhodes concerts with Satoko and performances of my suite for improvising orchestra Imagine Meeting You Here, with Satoko Fujii Orchestras (SFO) in Tokyo, Nagoya and Kobe and at Jazz Art Sengawa Festival Tokyo. The Kobe SFO concert will be recorded for possible release.

    Lastly, mixing begins in April on the new Alister Spence Trio studio album. This is the trio's 8th release. We will launch the new CD at the Soundlounge on 5 August as part of Sydney Improvised Music Association's winter concert series.

  • November 2016

    GIOfest and Europe tour, plus Alister Spence Trio 7th album progresses

    I'm very pleased to be heading to Europe at the invitation of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (GIO) to take part in GIOfest 2016. On 25th November GIO will bring their wonderfully unique ideas and sound to the European premier of Imagine Meeting You Here (Spence). I'll also be involved in small ensemble performances with GIO members as part of the festival. From 28-30 November I head to the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo with Raymond MacDonald, to conduct several lectures and workshops including performing with wonderful guitarist/banjoist Ivar Grydeland (Huntsville/Dans Les Arbres). The tour finishes in Berlin with gigs with myself and Raymond (as Sensaround duo): playing on December 1st at West Germany venue alongside Burkhard Beins' great Junk Orbit. And on December 4th at Sowieso, playing as a trio with the extraordinary Tony Buck.
    In other news: in October Lloyd, Toby and I recorded the remaining tracks for the Alister Spence Trio's seventh album, yet to be mixed and released in mid 2017. We are very pleased with the results...stand by!

  • July 2016

    Nominations and Sensaround Tour, August

    The album Alister Spence Trio: Live continues to draw attention with two Australian jazz nominations - Best Australian Small Jazz Band, Australian Jazz Bell Awards 2016 and for Excellence in Jazz, Art Music Awards 2016. Congratulations to all nominated great musicians, friends and colleagues. Lloyd, Toby and myself are in good company.
    Following a successful Japanese tour in Feburary, the electro-acoustic trio Sensaround will tour in Australia from 23 August to 1 September. See Live Dates for details. Don't miss this opportunity to catch this collaboration between myself on keyboards, Scottish free improvisor Raymond MacDonald on saxophone and hellosQuare boss, Shoeb Ahmad on samples.
    Later in the year, I am excited to return to Glasgow for a performance and recording of my new suite Imagine Meeting Your Here by the Glasgow Improvisors Orchestra, as part of their annual GIOfest, Scotlands only dedicated festival of free improvisation, held between 26 - 28 November 2016.

  • January 2016

    Some great January Sydney performances then Japan tour with Sensaround and 'Imagine Meeting You Here'

    In January there is some music coming up that I am very excited about. On 13th January I'll be playing a solo/duo concert with extraordinary pianist/improviser/composer Satoko Fujii (JP), then supporting Fujii's KAZE project with ch/an/ce (Spence/Dorrian/Fedorovitch) on 15th, and performing with Lucas Abela for the Now Now Festival 2016 on the 18th. Following this the Alister Spence Trio will celebrating the Sydney launch of Alister Spence Trio: Live on the 27th. Then it's off to Japan in February for a tour with Sensaround (Spence/MacDonald/Ahmad) coinciding with the launch of our second album Travelogue. The tour finishes with the premier of Imagine Meeting You Here (see November 2015 news) and another solo/duo concert with Satoko Fujii. Dates and Details are now on the live dates page.

  • November 2015

    AS trio launch 'Live' CD and Japan tour w Satoko Fujii and Sensaround

    The stars align! This is the first live recording from the Alister Spence Trio in our 20 year history, and it's taken us a bit by surprise. In March we asked stellar sound engineer Ross A'hern to record a trio performance at the Sound Lounge in Sydney, and it sounds so great! As Ross describes it, making a live recording is somewhat of a 'slippery eel.' Many things have to come together, with an excellent sound engineer and equipment, and the band being consistently 'on song.' For years I have been looking for a recording that captures the energy and interplay that we enjoy together in a live performance setting. With Alister Spence Trio: Live the stars have aligned! We hope you enjoy the results (more details/listen on the discography page). The CD was launched at a terrific performance at Wangaratta Jazz Festival on the last weekend in October.
    In other news I have the great privilege to tour Japan in February 2016 premiering a large work I have written for improvising orchestra entitled Imagine Meeting You Here. The work will be performed by Satoko Fujii's Orchestras in Kobe, Nagoya and Tokyo on 16, 17 and 21 February. Prior to this Sensaround will tour Japan for the first time and play dates in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Kobe and Okayama. Details on the live dates page very soon!

  • August 2015

    Begin nominated for Art Music Award, Alister Spence Trio at Wangaratta Jazz Festival and more

    Much has happened since the last post so here goes...
    Begin, the debut album from Alister Spence (AU), Joe Williamson (CAN/SWE) and Christopher Cantillo (SWE), has been nominated for a 2015 Australian Art Music Award for 'Excellence in Jazz.' Since its release in February Begin has garnered great reviews. Eyal Hareuveni wrote 'The 13 pieces on Begin sketch fresh, intriguing possibilities for an improvising piano trio in the 21st century.' (Salt Peanuts) The New York City Jazz Record listed Begin in 'Recommended New Release' (March 2015). Ken Waxman wrote in The Whole Note 'the pianists world view is as wide as the Australian outback,...the hope is that this trio didn't just Begin but will continue to make CDs like this for a long time.' Also on
    Begin is now available in Europe through No Mans Land Records in Berlin along with Spence/Melford Everything Here Is Possible and Alister Spence Trio Far Flung.
    In other news the Alister Spence Trio (Spence/Swanton/Hall) is steadily working towards their sixth album, to be released in 2016, and the music is shaping up brilliantly! The band will perform at the iconic Wangaratta Jazz Festival on Saturday 31st October. Sensaround (Spence/MacDonald/Ahmad) is touring and recording again in Australia, with dates in Canberra (August 15), Melbourne (August 18 @ Make it up Club), and Sydney (August 20 @ Colbourne Ave). In February 2016 Sensaround will be touring in Japan: dates TBA.
    Which brings up the latest exciting development. In Japan in February at the invitation of pianist/composer Satoko Fujii, Alister will premier his major new work for improvising orchestra Imagine Meeting You Here. The work will be performed by Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe (Big Apple, Feb 16), Satoko Fujii Orchestra Nagoya (Tokuzo, Feb 17), and Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo (Pitt Inn, Feb 21).