Westbrook & Company

Home MYOM Concerts Diary Booking Information CD Shop Gallery

Platterback musicians


Wills Morgan voice

Kate Westbrook voice

Karen Street accordion / voice

Chris Allan cello / voice

Mike Westbrook piano / tuba / voice

Texts Kate Westbrook / Music Mike Westbrook

A bittersweet tale of five travellers en route from Stiltsville to Platterback, this is the most engaging piece of music theatre the Westbrooks have created for years. It is also an intriguing shift in musical language, with accordion and cello (the latter always a Westbrook favourite) taking the place of horns and woodwinds. As before, the piece draws on a whole range of styles, from Ellington-tinged jazz to cabaret song and quasi-serial structures. It evokes a landscape crowded with story and with cultural associations. … The emphasis is very largely on texts and words; but it is their integration with an often minimalist backing that makes them so powerfully effective—Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD

With Westbrook & Company, created to perform their recent release Platterback (one set of approximately 80 minutes), Mike & Kate Westbrook have inaugurated a new type of jazz/cabaret ensemble. Westbrook & Company is a bringing together of individual artists whose collective talents encompass a whole range of contemporary music and music theatre. 2002 has seen four UK performances with Arts Council support and one performance in the Czech Republic with support from the British Council.

Award-winning accordionist Karen Street is equally accomplished in jazz, folk and classical music. A brilliant soloist, she is in the forefront of the generation that is forging a new role for the accordion in contemporary music.

Chris Allan is a hugely talented young classical cellist who also plays the blues. A highly visual performer, he is a member of that groundbreaking string group The Gogmagogs combining new music with physical theatre.

Always impressive whether with English National Opera or on a gig with The Shout, Wills Morgan is the possessor of a fine, soulful lyric tenor voice and has a riveting stage presence. He created the title role in the Westbrooks’ latest opera Jago.

Kate Westbrook
, chanteuse, librettist, ‘actress of song’, is a compellingly theatrical singer, possessed of an astonishingly expressive range. Her lyrics are shot through with wit, irony, poetry and passion.

Acclaimed composer and big-band leader, Mike Westbrook is equally known as the creator of innovative works for small ensembles and of vocal music from cabaret songs to opera. His piano style is distinctive, contemporary and rooted in jazz.

Love, duty, nostalgia, the uneasy mutual dependence between the rural and the urban, are among the topics explored by Kate Westbrook’s intelligent and informal lyrics, yet such is the power of the music and of its performance that the whole piece grips like a thriller—The Times

It plays with noise as a master chef plays with ingredients, teasing rare and unexpected qualities out of each musical medium to serve up a dazzling display of sound—The Independent

… with its teasing, minimalist scoring and general air of something important almost being said … it is unique and hugely seductive—The Observer

… there is no denying its power and originality—Manchester Evening News

Subscribe to our free newsletter for all the latest information about Mike and Kate Westbrook, other MYOM artists and related cultural gossip and news.

News Mike Westbrook home page Kate Westbrook home page

Mind Your Own Music
Please contact us for our postal address
Tel: +44 (0)1666 575457
Mobile: +44 (0)7818 426060
Temporary email: saltyswift @

© Mind Your Own Music 2000-2009