Claire Cope & Friends

Series: Season 13 2022-2023
Date: Wed 28 Jun 2023 - 7:00pm
Venue: St Mary's Church Hall, Market Square, Sandbach, CW11 1HD

Brilliant musicians and new residents of Sandbach, pianist & composer Claire Cope, saxophonist Rob Cope, are joined by the stunning harp/vocals and double bass of Tara Minton, with Gavin Barras on bass and Johnny Hunter on drums.

5:00pm Pre-concert Early Bird meal at La Casa Mia (not included in the ticket)

Why not make an evening of it and book your pre-concert dinner at La Casa Mia who are kindly helping to sponsor the concert series


6:30pm Doors open

7:00: Spotlight Concert

Music performed by talented young people from Sandbach

7:30 Intermission


8:00 Main Concert

<programme to be announced>

Claire Cope is a British Composer and Pianist who works across a multitude of genres including contemporary classical and jazz and improvised music. Claire studied piano performance at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with SallyAnn Macleod where she won the John Ireland Prize and the Principal’s Prize for Improvisation. As a bandleader she has released an EP with her trio, the Claire James Trio on the Manchester based Efpi label in 2011 and performed at the Manchester Jazz Festival, the London Jazz Festival and as part of the BBC Proms Plus Series, broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

In 2020, Claire released her debut album with contemporary jazz septet Ensemble C where she is joined by acclaimed UK jazz musicians Brigitte Beraha, Jack Davies, Jon Ormston, Tom Varrall, Ed Babar and Rob Cope. This was described by Fiona Ross (Jazz in Europe) as a ‘stunning debut album’, and was reviewed by a number of publications across the UK and internationally, with the Jazztrail in New York writing that the work ‘forecasts a promising future for Cope as a composer’. As a pianist, Claire collaborates with a diverse range of musicians, and has performed in Andy Scott’s ‘Mancunity’ band at the Manchester Jazz Festival in 2019, and performed on Jemma Freese’s (Maximo Park vocalist/keyboard player) debut album ‘Shadow Boxing’ which was released in 2022.

Recent compositional successes have seen Claire win the Marvin Hamlisch International Music Award (Jazz Composition) in 2022, following a nomination for the same award in 2020. In 2019, Claire composed and performed the short solo piano score for Rob Cope’s documentary film ‘Richard Turner: A Life in Music. In 2021, Claire was commissioned by the ground-breaking Apollo Saxophone Quartet to compose a new work, and this was premiered at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester on 5th November 2022. This year, Claire has been selected to participate in the 2023 LunArt Composer Hub in Madison, Wisconsin, and she has also been awarded a Developing Your Creative Practice Grant from Arts Council England to develop new music for an expanded Ensemble C.

Tara Minton is an Australian born harpist, vocalist and composer. She is proudly endorsed by Camac Harps and holds a master’s degree in jazz performance from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Sought after as both a harpist and vocalist, Tara has worked with Björk, Tom Walker, ESKA, Stan Sulzmann, Geoff Gascoyne, The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars and the Australian World Orchestra. She leads her own original project as a harpist/vocalist and has performed at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Cadogan Hall and has toured extensively playing jazz and original music around the world.

Rob Cope studied at Chetham’s School of Music with James Muirhead (1998-2006). He then studied at the Royal Northern College of Music (2006-2010) before studying for a Masters in Jazz Performance at the Royal Academy of Music (2010-2012). As a saxophonist, he performs in Matt Robert’s Bigish Band, Andy Scott’s Group S and has worked with contemporary classical ensemble, SoundSPARK. He has appeared with the Halle and the English Symphony Orchestras as well as with the CBSO and the Matthew Herbert Big Band, and has performed at the London Jazz Festival, the Manchester Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, The 606 and The Vortex Jazz Club. In 2019, Rob released his debut album ‘Gods of Apollo’ which combines free improvisation with NASA archive audio recordings to tell the story of human space flight. Rob curates and produces The Jazz Podcast in his spare time, interviewing musicians from around the world.