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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Manchester Jazz Festival Gears Up

From Mike Flynn in Jazzwise

The full line-up for this year’s Manchester Jazz Festival has been announced with its new time slot of 23 to 27 May. While there’s fresh-faced talent aplenty, there are some big names in the mix too. These include former Miles Davis right-hand-man and bass hero Marcus Miller who plays music from his funk-fueled recent album, Laid Black, (Bridgwater Hall, 24 May). Leading UK names include saxophonist Tim Garland  and his chamber-jazz Weather Walker group (St Ann’s Church, 26 May); Julian Siegel Quartet and Malija – Mark Lockheart, Liam Noble and Jasper Høiby (The Whiskey Jar, 23 and 27 May) and electro-jazzers Roller Trio get busy on a double-bill with Werkha, (The Bread Shed, 26 May).

The festival’s topical ‘Celebrating Europe’ strand spotlights the likes of Italian bandleader/double-bassists Giulia Valle and Federica Michisanti, French electronica vocalist Leïla Martial (above left), Danish band Equilibrium and Turkish/Romanian duo Sanem Kalfa and George Dumitriu with concerts across the weekend. There’s also an explosion of new music from a dizzying array of adventurous home-grown jazz from the likes of the guitar-led Flying Machines; spiky proggers Taupe; boisterous brass groovers Young Pilgrims and cerebral drum’n’bass sounds from Trampette, among many others.

Running at venues across the city, the festival will be partnering with the Manchester Food & Drink Festival for the first time, with a wide variety of food stalls around the festival hub at St Ann’s Square.

The Northern Jazz Promoters/Norvol network will be meeting up at Manchester too on the Saturday. Come and join us if you fancy meeting up - 

Saturday 25th May 2019 Manchester Jazz Festival
Time: Coffee 10am, meeting 10.30 – 1.00p.m.
Venue – mjf office Board Room, Elliot House, 151 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WD

Followed by a visit to the JPN JazzDanmark event at St Ann's Church

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Stand Out in Glasgow!

The Jazz Promotion Network conference "Stand Out" is part of the Glasgow Jazz Festival on Thurs 20 and Fri 21 June. Northern jazz promoters will be welcome to go along - it is free to members of the JPN network.

The timings are shaped so you can travel on Thursday morning and back on Friday night if you need to, or stay longer at the jazz festival if you can. Attached is an e-flyer giving a sense of the look and feel we’re going for. In addition to our distinctly Scottish flavour, we have a range of international guests - including Carine Zuber (Moods Jazz Club/ Switzerland), Ikaros van Duppen (injazz / Holland), Kelly Snook (Aerospace Engineer and Music Producer / US), Stephanie Toure (Banlieues Bleues / France) - and major UK and Irish organisations such as Musicians Union, PRSF, Creative Scotland, Arts Council Northern Ireland and Arts Council England. The full programme will be released later this month, as will details of our bursary scheme to help support delegate’s costs, but places can be booked now. There are currently good prices for trains and flights to Glasgow; Air BnB is also offering some great accommodation options if you like that sort of thing. Free places are available if you are a JPN member.

Sign up to the JPN mailing list for more information - For more detailed information, contact Amy Pearce on who is co-producing the conference with Kim Macari

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Latest group of Northern Line Bands announced

Jazz North has selected seven bands for seventh round of northern line -

Beyond Albedo, freesetrio, John Pope Quintet, Nishla Smith Quintet, Not Now Charlie, Rafe’s Dilemma and SogoRock will have the chance to benefit from the initiative this coming year.

Beyond Albedo (Leeds/Sheffield)
Lara Jones saxophones, FX pedals / Tim Knowles electric guitar, bass guitar, FX pedals / Ben Gaunt synths / Sarah Heneghan drums, drum machine
Retro-futuristic synth-jazz drawing on jazz traditions yet pushing in new exploratory and experimental directions.

freesetrio (Leeds)
Jemma Freese voice, keyboards / Chris Sellers bass / Theo Goss drums
Heavy triphop dark jazz with twisted lyrics, sliding vocals and eerie harmonies making for a powerful, dark and layered sound.

John Pope Quintet (Newcastle/Manchester)
John Pope double bass / Jamie Stockbridge alto saxophone / Faye MacCalman clarinet, tenor saxophone / Graham Hardy trumpet / Johnny Hunter drums
Drawing on ‘60s avant-jazz and hard bop, but with a modern, European sensibility, their open-hearted, quirky compositions and dynamic, ‘anything-goes’ improvisations are played with swinging groove

Nishla Smith Quintet (Manchester)
Nishla Smith vocals / Aaron Wood trumpet / Richard Jones piano / Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley bass / Johnny Hunter drums
Nishla’s original songs have a delicate, quirky but deceptively simple air about them – she has a quietly commanding presence and a relaxed but assured delivery that wins over audiences instantly. Her often dreamy and melancholic aura is offset with her energetic and imaginative band of Manchester’s finest young contemporary improvisers.

Not Now Charlie (Newcastle)

Jamie Toms saxophone / Pawel Jedrzejewski guitar / Richard Campbell piano / Ian Paterson bass / Mark Johnson drums
A fast-rising young band playing in a variety of styles directly connected to their inspirations: traditional jazz, prog rock, neo soul, R&B and folk – memorable melodies, infectious grooves and a keen, finely-tuned sense of tight ensemble playing.

Rafe’s Dilemma (Leeds)
Eleanor Begley vocals, loops / Jamil Sheriff keyboards / Sam Vicary bass guitar / Katie Patterson drums
Commissioned for Bolton Worktown Festival to celebrate Bill Naughton’s play Spring and Port Wine, Rafe’s Dilemma mixes jazz, electronica and rock to tell the story of a family on the edge. Using spoken word, improvisation, synthesised soundscapes and carefully crafted songs, the material explores our emotions towards families through music, with an electric perspective.

SogoRock (Leeds)
Ferenc Lakatos synth / Matt Hines saxophone / Nik Svarc guitar / Bela Horvath piano, keyboards / Alexander Miller bass / Joshua Gumbs drums
Led by resident Hungarians Bela and ‘Laky Franz’ with their fellow LCoM alumni, SogoRock (meaning ‘brother-in-law’) resists classification: the band blends elements of jazz, fusion, funk, rock and gospel.

Since 2013, Jazz North’s northern line has supported 67 jazz artists and ensembles from across the north with over 700 gigs. The scheme enables the artists to reach new audiences and tour beyond their home area, which Nishla Smith from the Manchester-based Nishla Smith Quintet sees as a great opportunity: “Becoming a northern line artist is really amazing and helpful for us because my band is fairly new and we’re trying to make in roads and develop out of Manchester. It’s really exciting to have that opportunity to tour and make new connections and spread out over the north"

More information

2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards - vote now!

There are lots of jazz awards now - the JazzFM, British Jazz Awards, Scottish Jazz Awards, the JJA awards etc - but arguably the most coveted awards are the UK Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Everyone gets a chance to shortlist their favourite artist/venue/musician/album etc, the winners are then chosen from the shortlists by members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group of MP's  co-chaired by Kelvin Hopkins MP and Lord Colwyn. The awards are supported by PizzaExpress Live. The categories this year are

    Jazz Album of the Year (released in 2018 by a UK band or musicians)
    Jazz Vocalist of the Year (UK-based vocalist who impressed in 2018)
    Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year (UK-based musician who impressed in 2018)
    Jazz Ensemble of the Year (UK-based group who impressed in 2018)
    Jazz Venue of the Year (including jazz clubs, venues, festivals and promoters)
    Jazz Media Award (including broadcasters, journalists, magazines, blogs, listings and books)
    Jazz Education Award (to an educator or project for raising the standard of jazz education in the UK)
    Jazz Newcomer of the Year (UK-based artist, musician or group with a debut album released in 2018)
    Services to Jazz Award (to a living person for their outstanding contribution to jazz in the UK).

The North of England has done well recently - in the last three years, clubs from the Norvol Jazz Network have won the Venue of the Year Award (JazzLeeds 2016, Scarborough Jazz Festival 2017 and Jazz at the Lescar in Sheffield 2018) showing the strength of jazz promotion in our region. Last year too Lancy Liddle from Newcastle won the Jazz Media award. Let's try and make it a fourth great year! Place your votes here by FRIDAY 31 MAY ...

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Jazz in bloom - May in Leeds!

Lots of music for you to enjoy in May in Leeds - especially if you are a fan of Hot Club music! Also advance warning of the Jazz Leeds festival in July and some concerning news about the Chapel Allerton Festival in August - can you help? Here's the gigs anyway!

Sunday special with “Rose Room”: Sunday 12 May @Seven Arts Chapel Allerton 1.30pm
Seonaid Aitken violin, Jimmy Moon double bass, Tam Gallagher and Tom Watson guitars.“Rose Room” are one of Scotland’s leading Gypsy Jazz ensembles.Voted Best Band at the Scottish Jazz Awards 2018, the quartet is fronted by award winning violinist, Seonaid Aitken, who plays also with such diverse groups as Scottish Opera and the Tim Kliphaus Sextet“Rose Room” @Seven Arts, Sunday 12 May 1.30pm £10/8

"Vibeology": Friday 17 May @Bar on Park Lane, Roundhay 8pm  
John Settle – vibes, Al Morrison -guitar, Andrzej Baranek – keyboards Emlyn Vaughan bass Steve Hanley drums.Exciting newcomers to the northern jazz scene, Vibeology puts a groovy spin on the traditional organ quartet form. Using vibes as a frontline instrument, the group plays jazz, blues, latin and funk modes. Vibeology @The Bar on Park Lane, Roundhay Golf Club, Park Lane, Leeds LS8 2EJ £10/8

Jam in May: Sunday 19 May @Inkwell 1.30pm start
Our regular jam session for all those who want to play, sing or just come and watch the fun! There will be support from the Jazz leeds trio - juast bring yourselves, your tunes and maybe a lead sheet or two! Jam in May @Inkwell Arts 31 Potternewton Lane Leeds LS7 3LW £7/5 conc, performers free

John Etheridge and Sweet Chorus:
Thursday 23 May @Seven Arts 8pm start
John Etheridge guitars, Christian Garrick violin, Dave Kelbie guitar, Andy Crowdy bass. For his 70th birthday tour guitarist John Etheridge brings his swing band Sweet Chorus to Leeds - a band formed as a personal tribute to his former bandleader and mentor Stephane Grappelli, arguably the greatest jazz violinist of the 20th Century and a founder member of the Hot Club of France.  John Etheridge and Sweet Chorus @Seven Arts, £18/16 concessions, 25’s and under half price. Support (8-8.30) is from “Fluid Puzzle” with Marcus Cain – Bass, Emil Karlsen – Drums, Lewis Downs – Guitar.

"Soul Cooker": Sunday 26 May @Seven Arts 1.30pm 
Malcolm Strachan trumpet, Atholl Ransome tenor sax, Ben Barker guitar, Bob Birch Hammond, Gordon Kilroy drums.Top notch soul jazz by musicians from The Haggis Horns and New Mastersounds. This is a welcome return for this "soul jazz" quintet Soul Cooker which features Hammond organ, guitar, drums, trumpet and tenor sax."Soul Cooker" @Seven Arts Chapel Allerton Leeds Sunday 26 May 1.30pm £10/8

Other news!
Chapel Allerton Festival Needs Your Help! As most of you know, Jazz Leeds are very much involved in organising the Chapel Allerton Festival art the end of August. There is a  problem this year - a festival-threatening lack of volunteers.  If we don’t recruit some new people to help organise, there won’t have a street event this year, which could mean no Jazz and Blues Sunday.  If you can offer some time then email the festival at or come along to the public meeting at Seven Arts on Sunday 19 May 2.30-4.30pm and offer.

Ony a couple of months now to the Leeds Jazz Festival (18-21 July 2019). Festival headliners include Andy Sheppard with Espen Eriksen trio; a Windrush jazz celebration with the music of Dizzy Reece, featuring pianist Trevor Watkis, saxman Jean Toussaint and trumpeter Byron Wallen; stunning New York based pianist Shai Maestro with his his trio and the all-star Electric Lady Big Band "50 years of Hendrix Masterpiece" . From the young London jazz scene we have the bands of rising star saxman Leo Richardson and bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado. Recent additions to the Festival include top jazz vocalist Brigette Bereha with pianist Frank Harrison, and a band that's making waves everwhere at jazz and dance venues- Bex Burch's "Vula Viel". The opening concert featurs Leeds drummer and big band legend Ronnie Bottomley's 90 birthday celebration with his Jazz Orchestra. Leeds trombonist Kevin Holbrough premieres his new jazz album release with a band featuring Dave Newton on piano. We also even have a "jazz bingo" session with Simon Thackray's "Mrs Boyes Bingo" and another stunning festival finale as last year produced by Sally Coe with four amazing trios of Leeds musicians - "Trio Trio Trio". The jazz fringe festival is pretty amazing too with saxman Andy Panayi and US guitarist BD Lenz coming to Leeds the week before the main festival starts and a jazz film of the life of Leeds young trumpeter Richard Turner. Festival tickets and day tickets are still available at bargain prices - buy yours here: More information about Leeds Jazz Festival on the website

Mike Cox plays Rush Hour Jazz - Wed 15 May @Seven Arts bar 6pm
Mike Cox is a Leeds Jazz legend. His musical associations go right back to playing with the John Barry seven in the 1960’s. He taught at Leeds College of Music for many years. Great to see him back playing after his recent illness.With George McDonald keyboards, Steve Crocker bass, Will Powell guitar and Dom Moore drums. Payf collection

Jazz Leeds also run Sunday morning Jazz Instrumental Workshops - next one on 19 May 10am at Inkwell - and also the Monday evening JazzLeeds Voices Choir directed this summer term by jazz singer Nicki Allen with the new term starting Monday 13 May 7-9pm at Inkwell. If you want to join either of these classes just come along, all welcome!

Further information on all our events and links to our Facebook and Twitter pages available on Email address to contact us

See you soon as one of our gigs!

Steve Crocker

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Jazz at the Spa in May and June

The summer programme from Boston Spa jazz
Enrico Tomasso 4 May

May 2019
4th – Enrico Tomasso + John Hallam + ‘Spats’ Langham – then add Paul Munnery on trombone, Richard Vernon on bass and Nick Ward on drums. Six of the UK’s star musicians. We heard on the grapevine that they’d played together recently so we asked them to come back together for our beloved Boston Spa audience. Don’t miss this one

11th - Rose Room – highly recommended by a number of you who have heard Rose Room at festivals. Based in Glasgow and voted Best Band at the Scottish Jazz Awards 2018, the quartet is fronted by award winning violinist, Seonaid Aitken, who plays also with such diverse groups as Scottish Opera and the Tim Kliphaus Sextet! A love of swing music and the style of Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grappelli ensure that their vigorous performances are much appreciated by audiences everywhere.

18th – Jeff Barnhart + John Hallam + Phil Lucas
– making his first appearance of the year is our all time favourite musician from the USA. Stride pianist extraordinaire and all round entertainer, Jeff is more than ably supported by our superb reeds player, John Hallam and by young trumpet player and vocalist, Phil Lucas. One of our annual highlights – a musical extravaganza of the highest order. Full house guaranteed.

June 2019
1st – Chris Walker’s Pedigree Jazz Band – a salute to Trad Jazz 2019. This tribute to the famous UK Trad Jazz bands of the 50s and 60s is led by musician and broadcaster, Chris Walker – a member of the original Real Ale & Thunder Band. Featuring Chris on clarinet, the band specialises in your favourite tunes from the Ball, Barber and Bilk era coupled with an always informative presentation of the history behind the bands and the tunes.

8th – John Hallam/Kevin Grenfell Quintet
– two of our well loved instrumentalists join together to create an evening of wonderful melodies as they present us with their interpretation of the “standards” -  and more - aided and abetted by the delightful and soothing backing of Chris Holmes on piano, Ed Harrison on bass and Graham Smith on drums.

15th – Hot Club du Nord – first class sounds from the North East as we proudly present the Hot Club which re-creates the sounds of the 30s/40s Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grapelli’s Hot Club of France. Led by the talented Emma Fisk on violin, the group includes the outstanding guitar playing of Jim Birkett plus Bruce Rollo on bass. Jazz on strings of the highest order.

29th – Storyville Jass Band – on tour from the Netherlands and a late but most welcome addition to the programme. As always with the Dutch Bands who visit us, enthusiastic Traditional Jazz coupled with revival New Orleans sounds. Many plaudits for this band from previous UK tours.

Thanks for your support – it’s what keeps music live!

Jazz in the Spa – Village Hall, High Street Boston Spa, Leeds, LS23 6AA. Weekly Live Saturday Traditional/Mainstream Jazz.

Situated just off the new section of the A1(M) at Junction 45 signed Wetherby and Otley.

DecoDelight at Hornby

Hello fans, friends, and ladies & gents

DecoDelight will be here on 10 May with their "Absolutely spiffing foot tapping music from the 20`s 30`s and 40`s"  Songs from Rosie Harrison and Pete Lindup, and the band led by drummer Peter Eddowes. I`m tempted to sub- title this band the End of the Pier Show it is so light hearted  and full of joie de vivre, but still keeping the spirit of jazz.:"Absolutely spiffing foot tapping music from the 20s 30s and 40s"

Usual venue, the Village Institute, Main Street, (A683) Hornby, LA2 8JR. Doors & bar open at 7.30, music from 8 p.m. Tickets £10, on the door or ring 015242 22227.

Hoping to see you,as ever.

Sam Ashton