Categories Album Mission Creep Music Print Media Review

Live Review: Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Cracking Band

by Brian Payne | Jazz Journal | May 11, 2023

In mixed weather, this year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival spanned six days from 26 April to 1 May. Most performances took place in Montpellier Gardens, the site of the Big Top and Jazz Arena. Other locations in town included the Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham Town Hall and the Daffodil Restaurant. The Daffodil is a restored 1920s cinema with a balcony, sweeping staircase and superb art-deco features.

I hadn’t come across Damian Lewis before. He’s a television and film actor by day yet here he was at Cheltenham fronting a cracking band. I was pleasantly surprised. Lewis sang and played a mix of roots, blues and rock ’n’ roll and his vocals and guitar accompaniment were spot on. Some of the numbers were his own compositions. He was backed by members of Kansas Smitty’s House Band with Giacomo Smith on alto saxophone, David Archer on guitar, Joe Webb on piano, Will Sach on bass and Will Cleasby on drums. Kitty Durham supplied backing vocals, hand-held percussion, harmonica and at times also guitar.

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Categories Album Mission Creep Music Print Media Review

Cheltenham Jazz Festival: Damian Lewis – Live Review

Well Crafted Songs and Strong Vocals

by Hannah Compton | Building Our Own Nashville | May 1, 2023

Actor Damian Lewis has always had a passion for playing music and putting out a record of his own. Signed to Decca Records, Damian released his first single ‘Down on the Bowery’ on April 13th 2023.

His debut album Mission Creep is out June 16th and can be pre ordered here.

Playing in the Jazz Arena at Cheltenham Jazz Festival with a seven piece band that consisted of the Kansas Smitty Band, the show was an absolute sell out full of keen fans of the actor who were curious to be a part of one of his first ever live performances promoting his forthcoming debut album.

“Hello Everyone”, Lewis greeted “I am a Cheltenham Jazz Festival virgin only to be deflowered by this audience and I am glad it’s you”.

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Categories Music Personal and Family Life Print Media Review

London Jazz Festival Review: Damian Lewis

Four Out of Five Stars

by John Bungey | The Times | November 21, 2022


Jazz in all its forms — from funky to free-form, catchy to headscratchy — enjoyed its 30th annual splurge in the capital with 300-plus festival gigs by assorted stars of the genre — and one gatecrashing film star.

On the final night, a festival debutant with an album out next year wowed the crowd at the Tabernacle, Notting Hill. Quite why the actor Damian Lewis’s show of rocking, rootsy Americana should be part of a jazz festival is anyone’s guess. But his own songs had real flair and if “the acting malarkey”, as he called it, ever fails, his Martin guitar will prove a useful fallback.

Read the rest of the original article at The Times