The artist maintains his/her own homepage: www.westbrookjazz.co.uk
In 1958, Mike Westbrook led his first band at the age of 22. Ten years later, his All-British sextet including John Surman (saxophones) was a big success at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Since then, Mike has also been working with larger ensembles such as the Concert Jazz Band he formed in 1967. His compositions range from solo piano pieces to large-scale works for jazz orchestra that include commissions for festivals in Britain, France and other European countries and for radio, TV and films.
Among his compositions for voice are The Westbrook Blake, settings of European poetry and folksong in The Cortege, and original songs written together with his wife Kate. She joined Mike's band back in 1974 and has been working as a singer/songwriter performing songs in several languages. Since 1982 Mr. and Mrs. Westbrook have collaborated in the trio A Little Westbrook Music and on a number of music-theatre works, including the jazz cabaret Mama Chicago, and The Ass, based on the poetry of D.H.Lawrence, in which they toured Britain with the Foco Novo Theatre Company. In 1986 they toured with Extemporary Dance Theatre in Pier Rides, which they devised in collaboration with choreographer Emilyn Claid. Mike and Kate worked together also in The Dance Band and the Mike Westbrook Brass Band.
Recognized as one of England's most prolific contemporary composers, Mike Westbrook has recorded more than 20 larger works of his own. Among his much-acclaimed recorded documents are such as On Duke's Birthday, Westbrook-Rossini, The Cortege, London Bridge Is Broken Down, Off Abbey Road, Love For Sale, Goodbye Peter Lorre, and more. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz says: "He draws his inspiration from a wide variety of styles, and his work consists of highly personalized statements. Like Duke Ellington before him, he generally writes for specific musicians in his bands; this results in highly colored music that is subject to few of the clichés of jazz composition."