Luke spoke to the musician Robert Mitchell about his life as a creative artist and the importance of music and other arts to society and, more broadly, for humankind.
Robert Mitchell is one of the most significant voices in British jazz. Multi-faceted creator, pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, writer, poet and so much more. He is a relentless seeker and thinker, encompassing many art forms, musical genres and constantly pushing the envelope. In the last year he has released the extremely contrasting albums “Hold The Light/The New Resistance' DOF004 (from his unit TRUE THINK) and 'Towards The Flame' 577 Records (from the improv trio The Flame). He has released 13 albums.
Robert is a throwback to the powerful tradition of artistic mastery in pursuit of transcendence. He is proud to have been a Steinway artist since 2009. He was MD on the successful BBC4 television programme ‘Jazz 625 Live: For One Night Only’ which won the British Broadcasting Award. He has played with Billy Harper, Greg Osby, Courtney Pine CBE, Alicia Olatuja, Orphy Robinson, Steve Coleman, Phil Ranelin, Omar Puente, Ernesto Simpson, Daymé Arocena, Jason Rebello, Shirley Smart, Basement Jaxx, Dub Colossus, Daniel Casimir, Joshua Redman, Jacqui Dankworth MBE, and many others. Robert Mitchell’s works have been performed by the Grammy-winning Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and the London Sinfonietta, amongst others. He is a sought-for composer and known as an innovator with a distinct, unique voice.
Robert has performed solo piano since the 90s. Recent concerts include Romania, Derby, Coventry, London with more on the way this year in Newcastle, Brighton and Bristol. His 2020 album The Rainbow Mountain/Can We Care' - was a near 40 min improvisation (completed with one of his original songs - live at the Jazz Cafe, London). Solo performances now include original music, Classical, Jazz, improvisations, left hand only, inside piano and poetry. He releases his second collection of poetry later this year - on Common Tone Press.
Robert is a Professor of Jazz Piano (Guildhall School Of Music And Drama), Piano Lecturer (Leeds Conservatoire) and Piano teacher at YMM.