Kyle Eastwood may be the eldest son of legendary actor and director Clint but he has never hidden in his father’s shadow.
In fact bassist Kyle, who headlines the Rye International Jazz Festival in August with his band, has cast his own long shadow on the Jazz scene.
His latest, and sixth, album the View From Here, which will be showcased at the Festival, has been acclaimed by jazz critics and the national media.
A man of global perspective, Kyle has performed all over the world from Canada to Korea but he currently has a foot on either side of the Channel , living in Paris and recruiting his bandmates from London’s young jazz elite.
He has a strong command of both upright and electric bass, switching effortlessly between the two during a live performance.
Kyle’s global outlook is reflected in is musical approach: “I’ve always loved music from other countries,” he says “Living in France, you hear a lot of North African and Middle Eastern music, and you can hear some of those influences on this new recording.”
Commenting on his current line-up of pianist Andrew McCormack, tenor saxophonist Graeme Blevins, trumpeter Quentin Collins and drummer Martyn Kaine, Kyle says: ““They’re all really talented players and we’ve been playing together for a while now, developing a real band chemistry. We ended up writing a lot of these new tunes together.”
Kyle has also honed his skills composing soundtracks for films like Gran Torino and Letter From Iwo Jima.
Kyle’s family background nurtured his love for jazz. He grew up in a house listening to Miles Davis and other jazz greats and his father would take him along to the Monteray Jazz Festival, which he had been attending since it began in 1958.
Kyle said: “I have always been very passionate about music from an early age. I grew up with a lot of music around the house. My father and mother both play and are big jazz fans. I suppose they started me in my interest in music.
“I have always loved music and film, and I was interested in becoming a director when I was a kid, but in my late teens I decided that I loved music more.”
Asked about the influences that feed into his music, he said: “Jazz, Funk, R and B and Pop music as well. I think that I have also been influenced by classical and film composers as well. For me, Jazz and R and B music is the closest to my heart.
If Kyle had access to a time machine he says he would loved to have played with Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley, Clifford Brown, Bill Evans and John Coltrane.
Though Clint may not be there at the festival in person to watch his son perform, he will still have a presence as the festival includes a special screening of the film he produce and directed in 1988 Bird - the story of Charlie Parker.
The Kyle Eastwood Band performs at Rye College on Saturday August 24 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £24 and available through the festival website: www.ryejazz.com.