Our Veritas ensembles make up a very unusual family of large jazz ensembles. They include a pair of London-based 18-piece jazz ensembles - the Veritas: Orchestra (VO) and the Veritas: Big Band (VBB) that are currently staffed by outstanding professional musicians from the jazz, classical, studio and improvised music worlds. We also have the Veritas Northern Jazz Orchestra (VNJO). Together they represents a particularly important synthesis of our musical values here at ADM Productions. Classical and jazz hybrid ensembles are no longer new - which is why a major part of the USP for all of the Veritas ensembles is the role of gospel music in the warmth, 'phatness' and colour of the sound that our Artistic Director, Alexander Douglas, is striving for.
Alex Douglas Quartet (ADQ)
ADQ is a throwback to old-school jazz ensembles of an earlier era and also influenced by modern groups who still retain a commitment to jazz that swings. Gary Crosby (OBE) and Rod Youngs have become one of the most important rhythm section partnerships in British jazz with a profound commitment to the music of John Coltrane. Nathaniel Facey is one of the most original alto saxophone players the UK has produced and the front man of multi-award winning quartet Empirical. The bandleader retains a reputation as one of the most enigmatic improvising pianists in the UK, capable of playing both modal jazz and contemporary gospel music. This group has been convened to express the sacred and spiritual and to celebrate faith in the medium of jazz.
Alexander’s output as both composer and arranger is primarily in the areas of jazz and gospel music, but even then it is both impossible (and undesirable!) to escape the influence of classical music in his work. At present he is developing material for the Veritas: Orchestra and Veritas: Big Band while continuing to provide trademark SATB gospel arrangements for the Lifted Voices Choir. Like most jazz musicians he writes for his smaller ensembles. Under the guidance of Professor Alan Williams he is now in a long-term process of expanding his technique and vocabulary in order to be able to write for orchestral ensembles (as well as do everything he does now to an even higher standard).
Workshops / Projects
ADM Productions is expanding its educational output to include jazz education. Given the current challenges facing music education (not least the fact that learning 'real' instruments is becoming a more 'exclusive' activity - which is a total disaster), we have a genuine passion to support and encourage (young) people from as many backgrounds as possible to get involved with instrumental music-making. Jazz is still not as widely accessible to as many young musicians as would be ideal, and so we are looking to develop projects of our own and collaborations with other organisations in order to inspire more musicians to play this amazing music.