Issie Barratt’s INTERCHANGE

Pushing at the boundaries & blurring all the edges

Issie Barratt’s INTERCHANGE is an exciting & creative new initiative designed to champion and mentor the nation’s most innovative women composers and improvisers: Pushing at the boundaries and blurring all the edges!

INTERCHANGE’s growing pool of musicians: Who have performed with and composed for the ensemble to date.

  • Baritone sax: Issie Barratt
  • Piano: Nikki Iles & Zoe Rahman
  • Voice: Jessica Radcliffe, Brigitte Baraha, Charlie Pyne & Carol Jarvis
  • Trumpet: Laura Jurd, Yazz Ahmed & Becca Loft
  • Trombone: Carol Jarvis, Rosie Turton, Natalie Witts & Emma Bassett
  • Clarinet/Alto Sax: Helena Kay, Amy Roberts & Alice Leggett
  • Tenor & soprano saxes, clarinet & flute: Tori Freestone, Alyson Cawley & Chelsea Carmichael
  • Cello: Shirley Smart
  • Accordion: Karen Street
  • Bass: Charlie Pyne
  • Drums & Percussion: Katie Patterson & Jas Kayser

“A compelling & emotional set of top drawer contemporary jazz. Diverse in interests & histories … electrifying texture… the band played their heart out” London Jazz News

Release date 17th Jan 2020


Issie Barratt: Artistic Director. Baritone saxophone (All 9 tracks). Cowbells on “Kulning”
Jessica Radcliffe: Lead vocals on all tracks apart from “Donna’s Secret”
Brigitte Beraha: Lead vocals on “Donna’s Secret”
Laura Jurd: Trumpet (All 9 tracks)
Helena Kay: Alto saxophone (All 9 tracks). Clarinet on “Donna’s Secret” & “Negomi”
Alyson Cawley: Flute on “Negomi” & “Kulning”. Clarinet on “Palmyra”. Soprano & tenor saxophones on all tracks apart from “Caliban”
Chelsea Carmichael: Tenor saxophone on “Caliban”. Flute on “Negomi” & “Kulning”
Rosie Turton: Trombone (All 9 tracks)
Shirley Smart: Cello (All 9 tracks)
Karen Street: Accordion (All 9 tracks)
Charlie Pyne: Acoustic/electric bass (All 9 tracks) plus 2nd vocals on “Donna’s Secret” & “Kulning”
Katie Patterson: Drums on all track apart from “Caliban”. Percussion on “Kulning” & “Caliban”
Jas Kayser: Drums on “Caliban”. Percussion on “Kulning”, “Palmyra” & “Spontaneous Symmetry”
Nikki Iles: Piano on “Negomi”
Zoe Rahman: Piano on “Samla Korna Med Kulning”
Carol Jarvis: Vocals on “Hope”

Recorded 7th & 8th January 2019 @ Angel Recording Studios, London
Co-Producers: Issie Barratt & Olga Fitzroy
Executive Producer: Issie Barratt
Chief Engineer @ Angel Recording Studios: Jez Murphy
Tape Op @ Angel Recording Studios: Laura Beck
Mixed & mastered by Gerry O’Riordan @ The Soundhouse Studios, London
Photographer: Sarah Hickson
Cover artwork: Judit Matthews
Graphic designer: Isaac Titus Glover 

“A compelling & emotional set of top-drawer contemporary jazz” London Jazz News
“A totally engaging performance” Jazz Journal
“Full of sophisticated music & improvisational skill” Bebop Spoken Here
“One of the finest & most creative jazz groups I’ve heard for a long time. A wonderful group spirit & enormous range of rich & colourful sound. When their CD is out, and the band fully launched, this could be one of the sensations of the year” Darlington & Stockton Times
“One for the wish list” London Jazz News 


Eight magical new compositions performed by a stellar cast of 16 incredible musicians & produced by a multi award-winning producer and engineer.

1. Still Here – Karen Street (9:33) Dedicated to Karen’s mother whose ongoing & spontaneous love to dance offers fleeting & unexpected “windows of clarity” amidst her advanced Alzheimer’s – showing for a minute or two at least that she is “Still Here” 

2. Donna’s Secret – Brigitte Beraha (9:47) draws on Brigitte’s love of novelist Donna Tartt, & their shared dichotomy of creative solitude; juxtaposing a mutual need for periods of creative aloneness with not wanting to be isolated – A dichotomy the two languages acknowledge & play with, often describing the opposite (A cheeky wink to some terrible novel translations!).

3. Negomi – Nikki Iles (7:40) -“Imogen” backwards – was the name Kenny Wheeler gave to Nikki’s daughter when he first met her (Typical of Kenny’s love of word play). Written amidst terrible reports of child refugees stranded in make-shift Calais camps, the opening portrays the innocence of childhood, before moving into the restless turbulence of families who are fleeing for their lives.

4. Samla Korna Med Kulning – Issie Barratt (11:20) depicts the high mountains & deep valleys of the Fennoscandian Peninsula, as women sing their evening herding calls (Kulning) to draw the livestock down from the high pastures, where the herds were grazing all day.

5. Palmyra – Shirley Smart (11:33) A suite in 3 parts drawing on Shirley’s musical influences (from 10 years living in Jerusalem) while also commemorating the destruction of the Syrian city of Palmyra (2014-15), often evoking the defiant & life-affirming optimistic of so many of the survivors. 

6. Spontaneous Symmetry – Tori Freestone (12:44) Dedicated to Tori’s mother, this piece reflects a fascination with nature’s patterns & those whose usual symmetry is often broken, as found in her mother’s atrial fibrillation.

7. Caliban – Cassie Kinoshi (7.51) A programmatic depiction of Caliban (from Shakespeare’s The Tempest) who has fascinated Cassie greatly ever since her time as composer for The Old Vic Theatre’s professional development programme 2016-17.

8. Hope – Carol Jarvis (7.16) Inspired by very a long battle through cancer, juxtaposing the journey’s dark, lonely emotions with optimism & hope. 

These works were commissioned thanks to financial support from Arts Council England, PRS for Music Foundation & Fuzzy Moon Records.


“After 30 years as a professional composer, conductor and record producer – specialising in working with large ensembles – I was astonished to find I’d neither conducted nor recorded a woman in a professional big band and was always the only woman composer on the bill. I really craved creative female company and a more gender balanced working environment 

I’ve wanted to work with each of INTERCHANGE’S amazing musicians for years, avidly listening as they forge their creative paths across the international scene, sharing a mutual keenness to be bold & adventurous with their ideas. I knew the commissioning environment I was working in would never bring us together, so decided (with the help of the Arts Council and PRS Foundation) to establish INTERCHANGE (In-to-change) championing an ever-growing pool of women improvisers & composers.

I’m certain this hand-picked ensemble will provide the listener with a unique & exciting programme that offers a broader, more diverse experience than any audience might typically hear!”  Photo of

“….full of sophisticated music & improvisational skill”
Bebop Spoken Here

Gig Reviews

Bristol 247 | Jazz Journal | London Jazz News | Lance Bepop | Peter Bevan

Album Reviews

All About Jazz Jazz News | The Guardian | Jazz Views

“When their CD is out & the band fully launched on the international circuit this could be one of the sensations of the year”
Darlington & Stockton Times

“A totally engaging performance”

Donna’s Secret” is dedicated to our dear late mentor, champion and friend – Debbie Dickinson – who encouraged so many of us to be bold, confident and brave and to never lose touch with our muse nor stop reaching for the stars xxx.


Issie Barratt’s INTERCHANGE is supported by PRS for Music Foundation & Arts Council England

Follow Us on Twitter