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The monthly Tea Break is a series of short, fun items in What's New Magazine that also gives jazz musicians an opportunity to update us with what they are doing.


Will Arnold-Forster - January 2017



Will Arnold-Forster


In November 2016, guitarist Will Arnold-Forster was awarded a Yamaha Scholarship as he graduated from the Jazz course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Born in London, Will began playing at the age of five and after ten years of classical training, caught the jazz bug when he was 17. He was a member of Gary Crosby's Jazz Warriors and then went to the Guildhall to study with tutors guitarist Colin Oxley and Steve Fishwick. He works in a Quartet with saxophonist Sam Braysher, bassist Calum Gourlay and drummer David Ingamells as well as playing with a variety of other musicians including the Dixie Strollers with whom he plays guitar and banjo. Until recently he has been dividing his time between the Edinburgh and London jazz scenes.

I caught up with him for a Tea Break:


Hi Will, tea or coffee?

Tea please.

Milk and sugar?

Just a bit of milk, no sugar - thanks.


Congratulations on your Yamaha Scholarship Award this year. Has it been helpful, and what of yours is on the CD that is being issued with Jazzwise Magazine this month?

Thanks very much, yes it has been helpful. One of my favourite parts was getting to meet and play with the other scholars from around the country, they're a really great bunch and we had fun hanging out the day we did the gig at Portcullis house. Myself and saxophonist Sam Braysher recorded a duo rendition of a Bud Powell tune ('So Sorry, Please') for the C.D. .. It was one of my first experiences of recording anything really, I found it quite stressful! 


Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

Digestive - (but the one with chocolate on top).



Lester YoungCharlie Parker


If you could ask two past jazz musicians to join us for the tea break, who would you invite?

That's very tricky ... I think I'd go with Charlie Parker and Lester Young ...


What would you ask them?

I'd just want to shut up and let them talk really ... I think I'd be too close to dying of happiness to ask them anything interesting! I'd particularly love it if they'd brought their horns along ... 




I hear you previously played with Jazz Warriors. Was that a good experience?

Yes that was great, I played quite a lot of classical guitar before starting to play jazz and Jazz Warriors was fantastic for me, it came at the time I was really starting to get into it. It was great to hang out every weekend / after school with other musicians my age from all over town interested in learning about the music, and Gary Crosby was always there teaching anyone wanting to learn.



Here's a video of Will playing Stan Getz's Hershey Bar at the Jazz Nursery with Sam Braysher (saxophone), Dario Di Lecce (double bass) and David Ingamells (drums).






Will Arnold-Forster with Kansas Smitty


What gigs have you played recently?

Myself and my former teacher from Guildhall, Colin Oxley, have had some nice gigs recently, we did a late show at Ronnie Scott's (a Quartet with Steve Brown and Dario Di Lecce) and a gig the following week at Jazz Nursery (a Quintet with Matt Home, Calum Gourlay and Mark Crooks). I've also really enjoyed playing with any of the Kansas Smitty's crew when I get the chance.

What have you got coming up in the New Year? Are you still travelling between Edinburgh and London?

Just bits and pieces really, more sideman stuff than as a leader. I'll head over to New York for a long-ish holiday to go and listen to some of my favourite musicians / hopefully get a couple of lessons as well. Yes I am still splitting my time between Edinburgh and London, though sadly that will come to an end in the spring when I'll be moving back to London for good!  




Who else have you heard recently that we should listen out for?

Sam Braysher - he's got a beautiful record coming out soon. A duo album that he recorded in New York with pianist Michael Kanan.

[Click here for Sam's article on this site where he discusses Charlie Parker's recording of Cherokee]


Another biscuit?



Will Arnold-Forster


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