UK jazz powerhouse Troyka combine with an incredible big band to form Troyk-estra. The result is a compelling expansion of the trio’s music from their first two albums. Expect textural guitar loops, abstract electronica, dance derived beats, and big band brass. Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2013

The band originally formed as part of a commission from Jazzwise magazine to perform for their Birthday Gig at Ronnie Scott’s in London (the ‘Power of 15’ festival). They then went on to perform at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013, where this extraordinary live album was recorded. The album includes existing Troyka pieces rearranged for the big band (given fresh titles) as well as some new pieces specifically commissioned for Cheltenham.

This project continues Troyka’s celebrated unpredictable rhythms and sudden outbursts of volume, whilst also further developing other facets of their music. The album prominently features improvisation, with thrilling and articulate solos from members of the wider ensemble. The big band also introduces thicker textures, dramatic horn stabs and expanded harmony, creating a poised and successful balance between organised arrangement and spontaneous freedom.

Each piece takes a journey with fascinating detours. ‘Dry Ops’ subverts expectations of a big band performance by beginning with thoughtful explorations in texture and sound from Chris Montague on guitar. ‘Gain Nothing Soon’ veers from  to an insistent rock groove via skittering rhythms and high intensity interaction. ‘Braze’ creates an intricate lattice between the core trio and the big band before hitting an urgent, disco-infused groove. This is a set of vivid colours, shifting contours and powerful contrasts, from detailed rhythms drawn from electronic music (’80 Neon Births’) to the strong melodic lines and gradually increasing tensions of ‘Elegant Her’.

With highly experienced big band players along with some of the most exciting and skilled young players around, the band brings the best of youth and experience. The core group of Chris Montague, Kit Downes and Joshua Blackmore remain strong musical presences throughout, playing with flair, conviction and clarity. The group hope to continue the project through collaborations with European big bands next year. For all PR enquiries, please contact Dan Paton

Listen to an album preview on soundcloud



Chris Montague – Guitar                                                                                                         Buy the album here: a2196358813_2

Kit Downes – Organ, Keyboards

Joshua Blackmore – Drums


Nick Smart – Conductor

Reuben Fowler – Trumpet

Alex Bonney – Trumpet

Noel Langley – Trumpet

Imogen Hancock – Trumpet

Kieran Stickle McLeod – Trombone

Patrick Hayes – Trombone

Tom Green – Trombone

Courtney Brown – Bass Trombone

Mike Chillingworth – Alto Saxophone

Nadim Teimoori – Alto Saxophone

Sam Miles – Tenor Saxophone

James Allsop – Tenor Saxophone

Sam Rapley – Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone

Louis Van Der Westhuizen – Bass

Ralph Wyld – Vibes