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Sunday, 2 February 2014

Jazz North East lives!

Towards the of 2013 there was a real risk that Jazz North East would go out of business. The rejection of our funding application to the Arts Council meant that we were in imminent danger of running completely out of money, and so having to end the adventurous programming on which we pride ourselves.

But thanks to the generosity of audiences and musicians the crisis has been averted. The crowd funding appeal that we launched in mid-October drew responses from all round the world, with contributions coming from many of our friends here in the North East and from artists across the globe from the UK to Australia. It has been truly heartening to discover how much our work is valued, and we are immensely grateful to everybody who has helped get us back on our feet.

But things are still tight, so we’re hoping to top up our coffers still further by starting our 2014 programme with an all-day fund-raising extravaganza. And once again the generosity of musicians has overwhelmed us, with so many offering to play without a fee that we will be running the event in two venues simultaneously, and even then we can’t fit in all the artists who volunteered their services. It’s a response that has made us all the more determined to carry on.

So we’re carrying on with a programme that we think still reflects the principles of diversity and quality that inform everything we do. There’s straightahead bop-inspired jazz from the likes of Josh Kemp and Vasi Xenopoulos, exciting contemporary approaches from ‘Followed by Thirteen’, world class free jazz from iconic US trumpeter Roy Campbell . . . and much, much more. It’s a programme of which we are proud, and one that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the jazz community. Thanks again.

6th February @ the Lit & Phil
Jamil Sheriff Trio + Josh Kemp Quartet
Rising star saxophonist Kemp joins forces with award-winning piano trio.

23rd February @ the Bridge Hotel
Let Spin
Guitarist Moss Freed leads an outstanding new quartet that also features Acoustic Ladyland bassist Ruth Goller and Led Bib saxophonist Chris Williams.

25th February @ the Jazz Café
Followed by Thirteen
Danish bassist Henrik Jensen leads a quartet that combines musical intensity with a rare depth and sensitivity.

9th March @ the Bridge Hotel
Roy Campbell & Roger Turner
Superb US trumpeter returns to Tyneside with one of Europe’s most imaginative percussionists.

25th March @ the Jazz Café
Trio Riot
Inspired improv from Anglo-Danish-Swiss trio crashing through geographical and stylistic borders.

6th April @ Sage Gateshead
Fragments of Splinter
Inspired double bill, with the duo of Graeme Wilson & Mark Williams, and a specially created trio led by Luxembourg saxophonist Roby Glod.

24th April @ the Bridge Hotel
Vasilis Xenopoulos Quintet
Original compositions in a mainstream style from Greek-born saxophonist and his top flight quintet.

Full details for all these gigs can be found on the Events pages here

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