This is a one-off special band formed by trumpeter and Royal Academy Head of Jazz, Nick Smart. Centred around overseas guests visiting for the Academy’s International Jazz Festival, the musicians found time to fit in this performance together as well. Guest guitar player from Brazil is Lupa Santiago: one of the leading Jazz players in Brazil, Lupa is recognised all the over the world through his many collaborations and recordings, including with Paris-based jazz stars Charlier/Sourisse. Drummer André Charlier and pianist Benoît Sourisse have have a musical partnership going back 20 years, they have recorded with Jerry Bergonzi, Kenny Garrett, Kurt Rosenwinkel and many more, as well as being long term accompanists for French jazz violinist Didier Lockwood. Their music is an infectious blend of melodic grooves that has received huge praise from audiences and critics alike across the world – they performed at the 2015 London Jazz Festival with the Royal Academy Big Band. The quintet is completed by rising tenor star, Alex Hitchcock.

Nick Smart (UK) – trumpet/flugel
Alex Hitchcock (UK) – saxophones
Lupa Santiago (Brazil) – guitar
Benoît Sourisse (France) – organ
André Charlier (Belgium) – drums