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New Focus and The Classical Connection

February 18, 2022

New Focus

New Focus Duo of Euan Stevenson and Konrad Wiszniewski are performing for us on Saturday 12th March.

Euan is an award-winning pianist and composer working in jazz, classical and pop music. He has performed in concerts and masterclasses throughout the UK and the USA and his music has been broadcast widely across BBC Radio and Jazz FM. His film and TV work includes music for the BBC's Horizon documentary series and the 2018 feature film Voyageuse.

A former student of London-based jazz pianist Liam Noble, Euan has worked with many of the top players on the UK jazz scene including the legendary guitarist Jim Mullen, fellow pianist David Newton (in a 'four hands, two pianos' partnership), and trumpeter Enrico Tomasso. His tasteful accompanying skills have enhanced vocals of numerous singers, notably Tina May, Nikki King, Anita Wardell and most recently, the winner of the Best Vocalist at the Scottish Jazz Awards 2019, Georgia Cecile.

Konrad took up tenor saxophone at the age of 13. He toured and recorded with the European Youth Jazz Orchestra before releasing his first CD, Konrad Wiszniewski, in 2005. Since 2001 Konrad has worked extensively with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra as one of the ensemble's star soloists and he has twice won the Best Instrumentalist title in the Scottish Jazz Awards (in 2013 and 2017).

Their New Focus partnership takes its name from a project that celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of saxophone giant Stan Getz's 1961 classic album, Focus, and has developed to include The Classical Connection, a concert programme drawing together the compositions and styles of Chopin, Mozart, Duke Ellington, Erik Satie, Erroll Garner, Franz Liszt, Chick Corea, and Bela Bartok and original pieces, all presented in a very natural and entertaining way.

When the duo presented it at Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 2019, The Herald awarded The Classical Connection five stars, praising Stevenson's easy way of imparting knowledge and both players' high-level musicality.