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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Russell Corbett's North East Highlights! January 2016

Laura Jurd's Dinosaur Sage Gateshead Jan 19  

Thanks to Russell Corbett for the latest listings for jazz in January 2016 in the North East!

This is part one - the list will be in a separate blog post!

Trumpeter Laura Jurd visits Sage Gateshead with her band Dinosaur (Jan 19) in a double bill with the Early Bird Band. Jurd’s star has risen whilst the Early Birds – six mid-teens musicians – are the rising stars of tomorrow. Tutored by Paul Edis, the all-male sextet is showing immense promise developing performance skills in a regular series of workshop opportunities and, increasingly, gigs such as this in Gateshead.

Trumpeter Dave Weisser, a veteran workshop leader, has ended a long tenure at the Chillingham in the east end of Newcastle in favour of a permanent move to Newcastle Jazz Co-op’s west end base at the Globe on Railway Street. The first night –Wednesday Jan 6 – will take the same form as before with an ad-hoc rhythm section and numerous front line guests sitting in. In recent times Barbadian drummer David Carnegie and Chilean saxophonist Claude Werner were first heard at a Weisser ‘Take it to the Bridge’ workshop. The Globe, Wednesdays, is the place to catch the new names on the scene. The Jazz Co-op’s schedule includes an all-to- rare appearance by the doyen of Tyneside pianists Alan Glen (Jan 9), Steve Glendinning (16) and fellow guitarist Mark Williams calls in on Jan 28.  

Vocalist Alice Grace, herself a relatively new name on Tyneside, has two gigs in January. Hoochie Coochie (Jan 17) is a free admission, late afternoon start, and at the Jazz Café on Jan 26 Grace’s band will take to the stage at eight o’clock. Zoë Gilby has rightly acquired a national profile and her loyal Tyneside fan base has two opportunities to hear her sing a burgeoning book of original compositions at the Jazz Café with Andy Champion (Jan 23) and a fortnight earlier (Jan 9) Gilby revisits her ‘Pannonica’ project in stripped-down duo format with pianist Paul Edis, again at the Jazz Café. A lunchtime engagement (Jan 15) at the Gala Theatre, Durham will see Gilby performing her ‘Pannonica’ set with her regular working quartet.  

The prosaically titled Havana Style Cuban Jam Session is a new venture at the Jazz Café. The session does what it says on the tin with members of Havana Club 5 leading the way on the second and fourth Thursdays in the month. The long-established Dixieland outfit – we’re talking mid 1950s to the present day – the Vieux Carré Jazzmen have secured a gig at the Jazz Café (Jan 29) amidst the usually modernist fayre heard on Pink Lane. Twenty fours hours later (Jan 30) Lindsay Hannon and Mark Williams will put matters right with a set of original material, jazz interpretations of  contemporary standards and a smattering of GAS book numbers.

Leash is an occasional treat. The trio – one-time Jazz Action officer Adrian Tilbrook with bassist Andy Champion and Mark Williams (guitar) – will kick-start Saltburn Jazz Club’s 2016 programme (Jan 8) and two days later (10) turn up at the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle in a double bill with Roller Trio at Jazz North East’s first promotion of the year. Paris sur Tyne at the Lit & Phil is an ambitious undertaking for the promoter in its fiftieth year as a grant-aided voluntary organisation. On Sunday 24 a two-part Anglo-French collaboration of improvising musicians will take the form of two sessions – afternoon and evening – of constantly changing combinations with the prospect of new alliances being forged.

The hugely popular James Taylor Quartet returns to Hoochie Coochie (23), Scottish tenor player Graeme Wilson returns to Newcastle to play another set of Monk tunes with friend and band mate Paul Edis (piano) at the Lit & Phil (lunchtime, 29) and a new name on the scene, Jamie McKay, plays jazz guitar in St Nicholas Cathedral (lunchtime, 22). There is more Dixieland for those who want it at the Customs House on Mill Dam, South Shields (evening, 22) with the ever-popular Savannah Jazz Band.

Finally, at the end of the month there is yet another of those annoying clashes when Matt Anderson’s excellent Wildflower Sextet appears at Durham’s Ushaw College (29) and in a first visit to the region the John Bailey Quintet appears at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham. Choices, choices…                  

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