Ernest Dawkins Feb 11
Some of the heavyweights of jazz visit the North East during February. Ranging across the spectrum of the music gig-goers will want to be out and about to catch a ragtime piano master, an indefatigable legend, a trans-Atlantic contemporary tenor star and a representative of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.
Chris Barber is seemingly never off the road. The Big Chris Barber Band has a matinee date at the Maltings Theatre in Berwick upon Tweed (Feb 12). Playing as well as ever, Barber is sure to attract a full house, so, book your seats now or risk missing out. Newcastle’s Jazz Café in association with Jazz North East and NorVol presents tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake working in trio format with a couple of familiar, first call names – Ross Stanley, Hammond, and James Maddren, drums. Blake’s previous visit to Newcastle in the company of guitarist Mark McKnight won rave reviews. There is a keen sense of anticipation about this appearance with the prospect of a large turn-out at the Black Swan basement venue in Newcastle Arts Centre on Feb 7.
The Jazz Café has pulled-off a coup in booking AACM member Ernest Dawkins to play a gig with a group of Newcastle University music students. Currently visiting in an academic capacity, Dawkins, a key figure in Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, appears on Pink Lane with admission absolutely free! The date for the diary is Feb 11.
Alan Barnes makes a flying visit to the region to play two gigs in one day. A lunchtime duo gig with Paul Edis (Feb 10) at the Gala Theatre, Durham is certain to sellout, as is an evening engagement with Edis’ trio at the Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. Barnes’ long-time associate Bruce Adams gets to perform with the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band at the Jazz Co-op’s Globe HQ on Saturday 18. A Strictly Smokin’ Big Band gig is a high octane affair at the best of times, the presence of trumpeter Adams is likely to set the place alight! Taupe come from the opposite end of the spectrum but the trio does share one thing in common with Adams – incendiary performance. Alumni of Newcastle University, the boys are in town to launch their new CD at the Head of Steam (Feb 24).
The quality is maintained elsewhere during the month, including a first visit to Newcastle by pianist Maria Chiara Argiro at the Jazz Café (Feb 10) and on the same evening Madeleine Peyroux makes a return visit to Sage Gateshead in the company of guitarist Jon Herington and bassist Barak Mori. The hugely popular London-born Bill Laurance returns to Sage Gateshead (Feb 28) as bandleader working with several of his Snarky Puppy associates. Guitarist Alex Munk plays a Jazz North East Schmazz gig on the same evening with his Flying Machines in the upstairs room of the Jazz Café.
Finally, news of a new monthly lunchtime session at Bishop Auckland Town Hall. Monthly Fridays at one o’clock in the café, the gig adopts the successful format of similar ventures at the Lit & Phil,
Newcastle, and Gala Theatre in Durham. Guitarist Giles Strong plays the first concert on Feb 24.
The complete listing is here- all gigs Newcastle unless stated otherwise
Feb 7 Seamus Blake Trio Black Swan NE1 1SG
Feb 9 Onyx Brass* King’s Hall, Newcastle University NE1 7RU
Feb 9 Tom Bearpark Quintet Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Feb 9 Gabriele Heller: Billie Meets Kurt Jazz Co-op @ The Globe NE4 7AD
Feb 10 Alan Barnes & Paul Edis* Gala Theatre, Durham DH1 1WA
Feb 10 Alan Barnes & the Paul Edis Trio Traveller’s Rest, Darlington DL3 9ER
Feb 10 Madeleine Peyroux Sage Gateshead NE8 2JR
Feb 10 Maria Chiara Argiro Group Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Feb 11 Ernest Dawkins & the Unknowns Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Feb 12 Big Chris Barber Band* Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1AJ
Feb 12 Rick Laughlin Trio Quakerhouse D
Feb 12 Madwort Saxophone Quartet + Noize Choir Bridge Hotel NE1 1BQ
Feb 17 Gerry Richardson & Adam Sinclair Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Feb 18 Bruce Adams w Strictly Smokin’ Big Band Jazz Co-op @ The Globe NE4 7AD
Feb 24 Giles Strong Trio* Bishop Auckland Town Hall DL14 7NP
Feb 24 Hand to Mouth: Lindsay Hannon & Bradley Johnston* Lit & Phil NE1 1SE
Feb 24 Mo Scott Band Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Feb 24 Taupe Head of Steam NE1 2PQ
Feb 25 Rendezvous Jazz + Levee Ramblers NOJB The Exchange, North Shields NE30 1SE
Feb 25 Redemption Jazz Co-op @ The Globe NE4 7AD
Feb 28 Bill Laurance Group Sage Gateshead NE8 2JR
Feb 28 Flying Machines Jazz Café NE1 5DW