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! Some 20-odd 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 Tuesday - 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

Grove -Back Row, Leeds LS11 5PL. Tricky to find until you know where you are going, but a lovely old pub. Jazz run by Brian Whittington on 3rd Sunday of every month . Residency for band "Abtuse"from 8pm, followed by jam session - all welcome.

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. Some jazz now also happening on Tuesday evenings.

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.

JazzLeeds - Chapel Allerton Leeds Thursday evening and Sunday afternoons. The new name for Seven Jazz Leeds, Evening gigs fortnightly on Thursdays at Seven Arts with international jazz names and Sunday lunchtime gigs for regional bands alternating at Inkwell and Seven Arts.  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. 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, monthly. Gip Dammone from the DIG family runs this jazz session at his Leeds Italian restaurant Salvos in Headingley, Leeds

Sela Bar - now just monthly gigs remain at this famous Leeds jazz venue - on the site of the former  Studio 20 club, where people like Jimmy Rushing, Tubby Hayes and George Melly appeared in the 1950's and 1960's. Leeds drummer Steve Hanley now curates these on a Sunday evening with a mixture of local and touring contemporary bands.

Soft Pedal - Cardigan Arms on Kirkstall Road @thecardiganarms every Sunday  music starts 5pm - free. Food until late . Curated by Chris Bland and Tom Sharp

Smokestack - Town centre venue on Wednesday evenings live blues soul and funk and some jazz events - 159A Lower Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LY-

Sproggits - Monthly Monday cutting edge/improv syle music at the cheap n cheerful co-operative venue called Wharf Chambers 23-25 Wharf St, Leeds LS2 7EQ . The night is run by Matt Aplin

Undercurrent - White Swan (next to the City Varieties) in the Town Centre. Monthly concert curated by Jami Sheriff from leeds College of Music 8-11pm First Tuesday in the month. Lots of great musicians coming to play - free entry.

Some big names appear at these town centre venues too:

Howard Assembly Room  Upper Briggate Lovely acoustic room in the building the houses the Leeds Grand Theatre. Big touring jazz names and visiting groups eg Bill Frisell, Uri Caine. Curated by Jo Nockels from Opera North

The Wardrobe - Quarry Hill.  Monthly Monday "ReSoul" Jazz Soul and Funk promoted by Latin DJ Lubi Jovanovic. Venue for the JazzLeeds July festival 2018.

Belgrave Music Hall - Upper Briggate. Promoter Super Friendz previously put on Kamasi Washington and Robert Glasper performing here in the spring 2017, Pharaoh Sanders in the autumn

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