Nothing gets you right in the spirit of the Festival quite like catching up with an artist, especially an artist we consider a good friend and when we get to take them along to meet Robert Roope at the stylish and inimitable Black Eyewear in central London. For those not in the know or those curious as to where the likes of Paloma Faith, Lauren Laverne and Courtney Pine get their most striking glasses from, Black Eyewear is the destination for you.

Black Eyewear is a boutique eyewear brand with a passion for jazz and the legendary style and inspiring creativity borne of the golden era of jazz. Each and every frame is inspired by a jazz musician and named as such. Browse through a host of frames named after Duke, Ray, Ella and everyone in between and take on that retro glamour for yourself. If Mad Men did opticians, this would be Joan’s favourite hang out.

Owner Robert Roope is a passionate fan of jazz, the stars of the past and the new leading lights forging their own path and styles. This year Black Eyewear is supporting the evolution of the younger generation of jazz and has chosen to support a new piece of music at the EFG London Jazz Festival, a commissioned piece by MOBO-nominated rising star, Peter Edwards.

Peter will open for New York pianist Kris Bowers at XOYO with an electro-acoustic piano composition destined to take jazz another step forward in its journey. Electronica meets jazz at XOYO! A club most recently in the press for their new residency with house music stalwarts, Simian Mobile Disco, this gig is a fusion of sound and atmosphere.

So, backtrack to a shop full of the most amazing glasses and a MOBO-nominated artist chatting all things jazz music whilst trying on every pair of glasses in the shop and you have an afternoon where the Festival lead-up does not get better.

Q. Peter, can you tell us a bit about how the commission came about and how the composition is coming together?
I think I may have put myself in the firing line inadvertently and mentioned to some of the team at Serious (producers of the EFG London Jazz Festival) that I had an idea for a new piece of music and I wanted to get all my music toys out to create something really different. They took me at my word and asked me to be part of the commissions programme at this year’s Festival!
It has been a really enjoyable experience and really focussed my attention. I didn’t want to lose the emotion and soulful qualities I love to play, I wanted to create an orchestral soundscape and I think that balance has been achieved.

Q. What has been the most important part of the process?
Putting in limits, strangely enough. Just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. For me, there has got to be a reason for every nuance and technicality written, in order to keep the balance between breaking new ground and staying true to your sound.

Q. Where do you see this piece of music taking you?
My wish is for it to be a really flexible piece of music that can have a life of its own beyond its premiere. It needs to be able to evolve into something that I can play as an individual, with my Trio or expand for a large band. If that is achieved, I will feel that it has been a real success.

Q. Are you looking forward to opening for Kris Bowers?
Yes very much so. I am a big fan of his work but haven’t played with Kris before and really looking forward to the club atmosphere of the venue.

Q. Why are opportunities to present new music and support from enthusiasts such as Black Eyewear important to the future of jazz music?
New music and support of the next generation of artists forging their way is the lifeblood of the genre and what enables the music to stay relevant to existing fans but also reach out to new audiences.

After a lengthy deliberation and a few classic poses in the Courtney frames, Peter chose a pair of Quincy sunglasses (pictured).

To see Peter in action, head to XOYO on Wednesday 19 November, tickets available here.

www.blackeyewear.com

If the club scene is more your style, we have a wealth of shows at XOYO, Roundhouse, Village Underground to name just a few, check out the Festival's club listings here.

If you would be interested in supporting new music and rising stars, find out about Serious Trust and how to get involved here.