Larry Willis/Dave O’Rourke Quartet @ Pizza Express

American piano jazz great Larry Willis and New York-based Irish guitarist David O'Rourke will be leading an outstanding quartet at Pizza Express Dean Street, London 13-15 March 2014.

Larry Willis is a true jazz legend and one of the great all round pianists in the history of Jazz Music. Born in 1942 in Harlem, grew up around music; jazz was popular in the neighborhood. At the age of 19, Willis was discovered and recruited by saxophonist Jackie McLean, and made his jazz recording debut on McLean's Blue Note release, ‘Right Now!’ The album also included two of Willis' compositions. From that auspicious start, Willis went on to play with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw, Cannonball Adderley, Stan Getz, Carmen McRae, and Shirley Horn. From 1972 to '79, Willis was the keyboardist for the fusion group Blood Sweat and Tears. He's also been a crucial part of the Grammy-nominated Afro-Cuban jazz group Fort Apache. In all, Willis has appeared on 300-plus albums, with more than 20 recordings as a leader.

New York-based guitarist, composer, arranger David O'Rourke was born in Ireland and migrated to the USA in 1983 where he quickly made a name for himself as both a player and for his writing skills. In 1990 David recorded a CD with the great pianist Larry Willis, and later that same year wrote an extended orchestral medley from Porgy and Bess for Larry Willis to perform with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra. A chance meeting with George Benson and Hammond B3 player Seleno Clarke led to David beginning a 12 year stint with Seleno's Quintet. From their Harlem base the quintet played festivals all over the USA and the Caribbean. During the last 30 years he has played with many jazz legends such as Tommy Flanagan's Trio, Cedar Walton's Trio, Jackie McLean, Billy Higgins, Curtis Fuller, James Spalding, and Brother Jack McDuff.

The quartet is completed by a rhythm section which, over the years, has been and continues to be the favorite of many of America’s great jazz musicians on their visits to Europe; Jeremy Brown on bass, and Stephen Keogh on drums.

Information and booking available online as follows:

Thursday 13 March - Doors Open 7:00pm, Show Time 8:30pm (tickets £20.00)
Friday 14 March - Doors Open 7:30pm, Show Time 9:00pm (tickets £25.00)
Saturday 15 March (early show) - Doors Open 6:00pm, Show Time 7:30pm - 9:00pm (tickets £25.00)
Saturday 15 March (late show) - Doors Open 10:00pm, Show Time 10:30pm - 12 Midnight (tickets £25.00)

Telephone booking:  0845 6027 017

Pizza Express
10 Dean Street

Photo Credit: Eldon Baldwin

Larry Willis/Dave O’Rourke Quartet @ Pizza Express