Jazz & Surgery: A Jazz In The Round Special

The Unlikely Parallels Between Jazz & Surgery With Live Music & A Brain Operation!

Mon 16 Nov 2015

Jazz & Surgery: A Jazz In The Round Special

This event is part of: 

Improvisation – it's the last word a patient going into surgery would want to hear...

Prof Roger Kneebone, Mark Wilson, Liam Noble, and Ollie Howell

Jez Nelson (presenter of BBC Jazz on 3) hosts a special Jazz in the Round event exploring the unlikely parallels between surgery and jazz, with former trauma surgeon and Professor of Surgical Education Roger Kneebone, Consultant Neurosurgeon Mark Wilson, pianist Liam Noble and drummer Ollie Howell. Join them on the operating table as The Cockpit's unique theatre space transforms into the setting for a simulated brain surgery – an interactive experience intertwined with live music and discussion. 

In the second half Ollie Howell also presents music with his own group, whose debut album Sutures and Stitches (released to critical acclaim on Whirlwind Records) bears a special significance for the evening: 

“This album chronicles a life changing and defining point of my life that had both dramatic highs (including the befriending and mentorship of Quincy Jones and Jimmy Cobb) and also dramatic lows. In 2009, I was diagnosed with a brain malformation, for which I then had several neurosurgeries for, the latest being in April 2012. The resulting scars from those surgeries (and their sutures and stitches) stand as reminders, not of my pain and anguish during that time, but of my recovery and determination to heal and to forge something positive from it. The music on the album, all created during this period of my life (some of which written from my hospital bed), would probably never have been born, were it not for my journey throughout these past few years”

What do jazz and brain surgery have in common? It turns out they both tend to involve making things up as you go along.

In recent years jazz drummer Ollie Howell has undergone a series of surgical brain operations, notably a Foramen Magnum Decompression in 2009. Meanwhile Professor Roger Kneebone has been working with The Welcome Foundation to de-mystify surgery and bring to attention its surprisingly improvisatory nature and the particular genius necessary to its practice.

Ollie met Roger at one of Ollie’s gigs and the result is this concert. Expect a set from Ollie Howell and his band, a  somewhat convincing simulated brain operation conducted by consultant neurosurgeon Mark Wilson, a set from pianist Liam Noble, a conversation about the characteristics shared by jazz players and surgeons and the extent to which team improvisation is crucial to both…. and a closing set where anything might happen.

Whatever else, we promise this gig will be good for your body and soul – as well as your brain.

Hear Professor Roger Kneebone and Ollie Howell's recent discussion on Radio 3 to give you a taster - click here

Monday 16th November - 8:00pm

£12 (Half price for Supporters of Sound)

For tickets call The Cockpit box office on: 020 7258 2925 (lines open 10.30am-6pm, Mon to Sat), or click the link. Please have your credit or debit card details handy when you call.

We do not charge booking fees either online or over the phone.

We do not post out tickets. Once you have booked and paid, you can collect your tickets on the night, on the door. Please arrive in good time - and bring proof of concessionary status if applicable, a note of your online booking reference number (or a print-out of your confirmation) or the card you paid with if you booked over the phone.

Box Office for ticket collection and purchase closes at 9pm sharp.


For 100 quid you get free entry to 10 Jazz In The Round  shows - saves £20 (or 6 beers) - plus half price tickets to Jazz In The Round special events, contemporary chamber music, studio opera plus free tickets to shows and a load of other stuff. Save money, support new music at The Cockpit and try something new.

Go on. You know you want to. Click here.

£12 (HALF PRICE for Supporters Of Sound Members)