Overcoming the Lockdown with Opportunity: British Trumpeter Charlotte Keeffe

Although various phases of the UK’s public lockdowns to halt the spread of Covid has almost decimated London’s live music scene, some canny players have explored other options.  One person is trumpeter Charlotte Keeffe. In this profile by Point of Departure’s Bill Shoemaker, the trumpeter, who usually plays with her own groups, the London improvised Orchestra (LIO) and other ensembles, outlines her adaptations. Keeffe has organized Zoom and bandcamp concerts featuring LIO members and players who are part of the Mopomoso concert series. Logging in to play with the likes of “singer Maggie Nicols and keyboardist Steve Beresford was amazing,” she says. “I think freely improvised music is really resilient in that context”. Someone who was drawn to modern playing after experiencing trumpeter Tomasz Stanko’s feeling and energy, was strongly influenced by her undergraduate classes on improvisation l with pianist Keith Tippett. As lockdowns eased Keefee was able to play and tour with other players such as multi-instrumentalist Martin Archer, percussionist Martin Pyne, bassist Dominic Lash and cellist/percussionist Mark Wastell. But it remains to be seen how new Covid variants and new regulations to combat them will change the situation.