Kirk Lightsey comes from the Detroit school of piano players, including Tommy Flanagan and Barry Harris. He had an early residency in Detroit with saxophonist Joe Henderson, and was one of the jazz musicians recruited by Berry Gordy at Motown, playing with James Jamerson and Stevie Wonder. He has accompanied many singers such as Betty Carter and Aretha Franklin, Joe Lee Wilson and Gregory Porter.

At school with Paul Chambers and Louis Hayes, Lightsey grew up listening to Charlie Parker in the bop tradition, simultaneously studying the classical piano works of Debussy and Ravel among many.

Lightsey really came into the spotlight as a soloist with Chet Baker, Sonny Stitt and George Coleman, and he was a highly distinctive voice in the Dexter Gordon Quartet from 1979-83. In the late '80s, he joined The Leaderswith Arthur Blythe and Lester Bowie.

Lightsey has had a long association with the wonderfully distinctive British drummer Dave Wickins and for many years they have toured in a trio with the celebrated bassist Steve Watts, resulting in the highly acclaimed album If You're Not having Fun By Now. They have developed a great sound which is rooted in the blues and bop tradition but transformed by Lightsey's quest for orchestration at the piano, which he calls "cluster hunting". The music is always grooving and full of soul, yet lyrical. Lightsey constantly explores new voicings and textures. Now in his nineteenth year he continues to be a fabulous entertainer.

The Kirk Lightsey Trio return to Crazy Coqs as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival following their success in last year's festival.

EFG London Jazz Festival website:

Should you wish to enjoy dinner or a light bite to eat before or after your show, Brasserie Zédel is located just across the foyer from Crazy Coqs. To book a table, please call 020 7734 4888 or visit us online at


Before and during the shows, cocktails, wines, champagnes and snacks are available. We would also encourage you to enjoy a meal in the Brasserie before or after a performance.


See individual shows for times