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Mike Westbrook OBE

Musician & Honorary Fellow (2018)

Mike Westbrook OBE is an internationally renowned jazz musician and key figure in the development of British jazz, whose career began when he started his first band while studying at Arts University Plymouth in 1958, then named Plymouth Art School. In his acceptance speech, Mike spoke of his history with the university, and the influence it had on him when he first attended art school fifty years ago.

“Going to Plymouth Art School was a turning point in my career. It is one for which I am eternally grateful, and I am indeed honoured to receive this Honorary Fellowship.”

Mike has been a leader in the contemporary jazz scene for over 60 years, as a band leader, player, and composer. His work encompasses art, theatre, cinema and poetry, he has toured extensively throughout Europe, and as far afield as Australia and the Far East, Canada and New York. To date he has recorded over 50 albums.

As part of the ceremony Mike also took to the stage to perform a piano piece entitled View From The Drawbridge. Written in 1974 as part of a composition entitled Citadel/Room 315 and premiered in Stockholm, he dedicated the performance to his wife, artistic collaborator, vocalist and librettist Kate Westbrook.

Mike Westbrook was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Arts University Plymouth (then Plymouth College of Art) in 2018 in recognition of his outstanding achievement in the arts.

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