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Monday, 4 September 2017

Leeds Jazz scene - our autumn update..

Laura Jurd, Ben Lowman and Will Howard at Seven Arts

The Leeds jazz scene is always amazing with an ever changing list of venues and bands. Jazz clubs pop up (and some unfortunately pop down again) so frequently it is hard to keep up. The best places are often out of town but there are encouraging signs of more jazz in the city centre too this autumn. So here's (some) of what's happening - why not visit them all! Ten clubs to get you started on the Leeds jazz trail (in alphabetical order...)

Café Lento Headingley weekly jazz Fridays
Such a small place you need to get there early to get a seat but when you do the atmosphere is brilliant. The owner Richard Lindley is incredibly enthusiastic. Jazz, latin, funk, gypsy jazz, with mostly young bands from Leeds but also featuring visitors from as far away as Glasgow and London

Domino Club Leeds City Centre Grand Arcade – jazz blues and soul every Wednesday - Sundays. An underground bar run by Ryan De Warne with live jazz, blues, funk and soul serving smart drinks. Entrance just behind Lord's Barbering in The Grand Arcade Leeds then down the stairs into the nightclub. Young crowd, very hip. Thursday and Fridays very busy. Not just another themed jazz bar it has good live music too

Head of Steam Leeds City CentreMill Hill- every Sunday evening popular saxman and sometime singer Brendan Duffy has a residency at the Head of Steam, near the main railway station with different singers and guest players. Friendly and a bit quirky. 7.30pm start

Hyde Park Book Club Hyde Park Headingley LaneWeekly jazz is on Thursdays. The former petrol station has been converted into a bar and Arts Centre with all sorts of dance and art/craft events. Young bands from Leeds, Manchester London who play the first set 8-9pm followed by a jazz jam till 11. Good acoustics despite the DIY look of the room. Curated by jazz pianist Alex Podraza

Jazz at Heart Headingley. Based at Heart - a community arts centre housed in the formed Bennett Road school. Monthly jazz on Saturdays from 8pm with Leeds and UK contemporary jazz bands in the main concert room, jam session on first Friday of each month in the bar and regular Monday workshops on to learn how to play jazz. Curated by jazz trumpet player Lesley Jeffries.

Jazz at the Spa, Boston Spa Leeds Saturdays – one of the best traditional and mainstream jazz clubs in Yorkshire run by Les Brown and the team at Boston Spa Community Centre. Incredibly enthusiastic audience who bring their own food and drink, set the place up and clear up afterwards. Temperance Seven play there on 21 October!

JazzLeeds - Chapel Allerton Leeds Thursday evening and Sunday afternoons. The new name for Seven Jazz Leeds, celebrating their tenth anniversary and current holders of the Parliamentary Jazz award. Evening gigs fortnightly on Thursdays at Seven Arts with international jazz names (eg Mads Marthias 21 September, Craig Handy on October 5th Stan Tracey Legacy Octet October 26th) and Sunday lunchtime gigs for regional bands alternating between Inkwell and Seven Arts (Sam Braysher and Michael Kanan 10 September, Dan Shout on 15 October). Also jazz workshops, a jazz choir, a Rush Hour jazz gigs monthly at Seven Arts, and Inkwell Divas singers gigs monthly at Inkwell on Saturday afternoons. They run the weekend Village Jazz Festival in early September in various venues in Chapel Allerton and a new JazzLeeds Festival in venues around Millennium Square Leeds City Centre in July. Run by Steve Crocker with support of a very enthusiastic group of volunteers.

LS6 Jazz club, Hyde Park Headingley LaneWednesdays – young and very hip, good hangout for all the latest Leeds bands and visiting band who play 8-9pm followed by the biggest jam session in town till 11pm. Gets very busy during college term time. Run by saxman Ben Powling, at least until the end of the year when Jack Wilson takes over.

Leeds Jazz Club Armley -Tuesdays. Leeds oldest continuing jazz club started in the 1960's by John Wall, now organised by Malcolm Ford – a traditional jazz haven. Their current home is Armley Conservative Club Theaker Lane. More recently has attracted some of the younger swing dancers and jump jive bands

Salvos - Headingley . Sunday evenings. A new gig in Leeds - Gip Dammone is launching a jazz session at his Leeds Italian restaurant Salvos in Headingley, Leeds - fortnightly from 10 September.

Some big names appearing at city centre Leeds venues too this autumn:

Howard Assembly Room  Upper Briggate Lovely acoustic room in the building the houses the Leeds Grand Theatre. Big touring jazz names and visiting groups - this autumn for example GoGo Penguin (28 October) Uri Caine (2 November) and Bill Frisell (4 November). Curated by Jo Nockels from Opera North

The Wardrobe - Quarry Hill  Jazz Soul and Funk promoted by Latin DJ Lubi Jovanovic. Abstract Orchestra are there on Fri 27 October. Soul Rebels will start there soon too.

Belgrave Music Hall - Upper Briggate. Promoter Super Friendz previously put on Kamasi Washington and Robert Glasper performing here in the spring. Pharaoh Sanders returns to Leeds on 16 November.

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