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Saturday, 30 December 2017

Jazz Honours list from Jez Matthews

Cath Roberts Favourite Animals

From Jez Matthews, Jazz at the Lescar Sheffield - Jazz highlights 

Can I cheat? Its almost impossible to get it down to three gigs, such a rich year of music. I think this is actually seven gigs, but in four paragraphs :)

Alice Zawadzki, Shirley Smart, Alex Roth at the Colaboración Fiesta at Home, Manchester. On a cold wet night in Manchester under a marquee these three incredible musicians created something special; beautiful open music delivered with passion, flair, wit and subtlety. Alice repeated this gig at The Lescar, with a slightly altered line-up that featured Misha Mullov-Abbado, which was equally wonderful.

Richard Iles with Jamie Taylor, Eryl Roberts, Garry Jackson at The Lescar. Four stars of the Northern jazz scene, all of whom deserve wider recognition, with a night that was special for all sorts of reasons, some very personal. Honest, swinging, intimate and warm-hearted, and of course, a lovely atmosphere at The Lescar on a mid-summer evening.

Anton Hunter’s Article XI and Cath Roberts Favourite Animals at The Lescar. Two large bands playing creative, explorative music that was vibrant, original and also entirely accessible. A favourite for all sorts of reasons, again, but not least because of the reaction of the audience, including some of our best (but unprintable here) feedback, handed to me on a handwritten note during the second set, which really encapsulated the feeling of togetherness in the room created by a big, responsive audience and 15 wonderful musicians.

Thoughout the year, I also immensely enjoyed three gigs at different venues given by Kit Downes, in the company of Tom Challenger (at the Hop Hideout beer shop in Sheffield, and also at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival) and also with Lauren Kinsella playing the music of Paul Motian at Manchester Jazz Festival. Two very special duos, I’m looking forward to hearing more of both in 2018.

Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful and musical 2018.

Jazz at the Lescar

Mark Beirne Smith -highlights from 2017

Kurt Elling

From Mark Beirne Smith - Ilkley Jazz Festival - his highlights from 2017

"Here is something from us! Best International Artist to visit the North goes to Kurt Elling - thanks to Ian Darrington and all at Wigan Jazz for putting it on.

Best artist from out side the North to visit Ilkley Jazz Festival...
Is a draw between Ian Shaw was amazing giving us an early listen to the new album Shine Sister Shine and John Crawford playing some amazing Latin tinged Jazz from his last two albums (Not sure how we will equal these two performances next year?)

Best performance from an artist nearer to play Ilkley, goes to James Mainwaring, it was a real treat to hear his new original compositions from Ikigai.

Wishing everyone a happy new year from Ilkley Jazz Festival. And we look forward to seeing you all in Ilkley 15th to 19th August 2018

Photo by me!

Mark Beirne Smith - Ilkley Jazz Festival

Friday, 29 December 2017

Lesley Jeffries favourites at Jazz at Heart

Alison Rayner
From Lesley Jeffries - Jazz-at-Heart in Headingley, Leeds - three (or four!) highlights from the Northern Jazz year...

Jazz-at-Heart had another hugely successful year with bands from near and far playing our lovely space to appreciative audiences. As well as the very popular summer school and Monday night workshops we had eleven gigs, amongst which the highlights were (sorry there are four!):

Mark Donlon, visiting from New Zealand, started 2017 with a very special trio gig featuring Leeds College of Music alumni Sam Gardner (drums), Matt Anderson (tenor) and Simon Read (bass). Mark played some of his own very poignant compositions about displacement and loss.

We were delighted to have so many brilliant musicians offer to play for free at our very first ‘Refujazz’ mini-festival in February, curated by John Marley, which raised £2000 for refugee charities and was a wonderfully uplifting day of constant music throughout the afternoon and evening. Look out for the next Refujazz event on Feb 10th 2018!

We celebrated International Women’s Day in March in style with the Alison Rayner Quintet, a wonderfully energetic band with a great sense of fun.

And we rounded off the summer season in June with Sam Watts bringing a whole sextet to play his original score for a screening of the Charlie Chaplin film ‘The Kid’! An amazing achievement and one we hope he’ll repeat soon.

Jazz at Heart

Martin Powell's Bradford picks from 2017

Perpetual Motion Machine 

From Martin Powell - JATP Bradford/Jazz presenter Bradford Community Radio - live and recorded highlights

"Three of our really popular concerts in 2017 at JATP in Bradford were
  • Family Band
  • Perpetual Motion Machine 
  • Arun Ghosh 

For BCB radio jazz albums, my favourites were:
  • Rob Luft's "Riser" 
  • Craig Tayborn's "Daylight Ghosts" 
  • Brass Mask Live ( the things they do for "wind Instrumental music!")
A Happy New Year to you!

JATP Bradford

Mike and Marian Gordon's choices

Mike Gibbs

From Scarborough - three highlights of the Northern Jazz year from Mike and Marian Gordon

A tremendous highlight at the Scarborough Jazz Festival in September was the premier of Mike Gibbs’ 80th birthday celebration with the Hans Koller 17 Piece Big Band.  The band read like a Who’s Who of jazz stars and it was a fitting finale to a great festival.

I feel I have to include another 80th celebration (mine!) in May at Scarborough Jazz.  The Alan Barnes/Dave Newton Quartet which included bassist Dave Green and drummer Sebastian De Krom gave a joyful and very special evening.

And finally the Christine Tobin Trio had a deserved rapturous reception at Scarborough Jazz in November.  Christine’s unique rich voice was brilliantly backed by guitarist Phil Robson and bassist Dave Whitford.

All in all we had a fantastic jazz year by the sea.

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Mike & Marian Gordon
Scarborough Jazz
Parliamentary Jazz Award Winners 2017

Leeds and more- highlights from Steve Crocker

Seamus Blake - photo c Chris Midgley

From Steve Crocker at JazzLeeds- highlights of the jazz year:

Quite a year in Leeds. I've never seen so much jazz activity and creativity going on. The city now over 20 live jazz venues with three supported by Leeds College of Music alone and jazz being played in all sorts of  unusual venues. Unexpected things are happening too - the revival of interest in jazz vinyl has meant more interest in Jazz Dj's; the popularity of lindhopping is also helping increase support for traditional jazz in the city. The growing number of jazz instrumental workshops rehearsal big bands and vocal choirs is evidence of the vibrancy of jazz at a community level. All this and the formation of "JazzLeeds" in 2017- a new charity to promote jazz and jazz festivals in the city.

It was not all good news though by any means for Leeds- the decision of the European Commission to ditch the UK element of the 2023 capital of culture programme meant a lot of work (and co operation) on the Leeds bid coming to a halt - hopefully not to be wasted.

So which three events to mention? The first was the welcome back to Seven Jazz for stunning New York based saxophonist/composer Seamus Blake with Ross Stanley Hammond Organ, James Maddren drums. Recorded at Seven Arts in Leeds by BBC Radio "Jazz Now" in February. Lots of others too ran it close in particular a solo performance  by Jason Rebello in May and a totally unexpected trio of Matt Robinson, Matthew Herd and Will Glaser in July..

Seeing the premiere of Issie Barratt’s "Interchange" at the Scarborough Jazz Festival was special too-   Yazz Ahmed was on trumpet, Helena Kay on alto, Tori Freestone flute & violin, Maddie Dowdeswell trombone, Shirley Smart cello, Nikki Iles on accordion Charlie Pyne on double bass Katie Patterson drums and Brigitte Beraha vocals - a totally engaging performance in September.

Finally the astonishing guitarist Gilad Hekselman returning to Wharf Chambers in Leeds with Rick Rosato bass and Jonathan Pinson drums and saxophone powerhouse Mark Turner in November

Two of these "best of" gigs are also thanks to the promotional acumen of trumpeter Kim Macari so special thanks to her. Here's to an even better 2018!

Steve Crocker

David Porter's Northern Jazz Honours 2017

Moon Hooch
Highlights of the jazz year from David Porter:

"My three highlights of the jazz year show the wonderful diversity of artists that we are fortunate to have at the moment:

At Hull Jazz Festival we encountered Moon Hooch a power trio from Brooklyn produced more energy than any band that I have ever seen. One set, in fact one number of 90 minutes long that had the packed audience dancing all night long.

At Gateshead International Jazz Festival (always a delight) Laura Jurd and Daniel Herskedal made beautiful music with the Royal Northern Sinfonia strings

And finally, with an eye for the future, the wonderful Tomorrow’s Warriors led a truly inspirational project celebrating Jazz 100 with 6 local Hull schools and 2 youth jazz orchestras called Jazz Ticket with such great educators as Peter Edwards, Dennis Rollins, Binker, Sarah Tandy – what a great experience for the 100 young folk who took part!

Happy New Year, David
Director J-Night/Hull Jazz Festival

Barney Stevenson, Marsden Jazz Festival, Highlights of 2017

Maja Bugge

Some highlights of the Northern Jazz year from Barney Stevenson:

"Our most unusual highlight was a performance of solo improvised music in the Standedge Canal Tunnel by Norwegian cellist Maja Bugge. The Standedge tunnel is, at over 3 miles long, the longest, highest, deepest canal tunnel in Great Britain and is just a mile from the centre of Marsden. Audience members were brought into the tunnel on two electric boats while Maja performed in an adit (cross passage) between the canal tunnel and one of the disused railway tunnels running parallel to the canal tunnel. This event generated significant media interest and was featured on ITV News, on the front page of the Yorkshire Post and in the Sunday Telegraph.

We commissioned Alexander Bone and Toby Comeau to create an electronic dance music-inspired suite for sextet, which was performed as an hour long continuous piece of music at the festival and subsequently broadcast on Jazz Now on BBC Radio 3. Presenter Soweto Kinch described Marsden as “One of the UK's most adventurous jazz festivals”.

Three new partnerships:
with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and Musica Kirklees - delivering a two day workshop on improvisation and playing by ear with fifty participants, most of whom had never improvised before, then a joint jazz orchestra masterclass and concert with Musica Youth Jazz and NYJO at the festival
with Be More Outdoors Forest School, creating an innovative new woodland venue, combining outdoor crafts, activities and a campfire with jazz music and storytelling led by Alan Scully (story) and Brian Acton (guitar and arranging)
with Match&Fuse - a pan-European network of promoters, resulting in an extraordinary triple-bill gig of bands from Belgium (De Beren Gieren), UK (Skeltr) and France (CHROMB!).

Happy New Year and all the best for a great 2018.

Barney Stevenson
Marsden Jazz Festival

Jazz North East thoughts from Chairman Bream

 Biscoe, Pope & Turner (c Ken Drew)

The 'Going Dutch' ensemble(c Ken Drew) - left to right, Martin van Duynhoven, Ig Henneman, Jasper Stadhouders, John Dikeman, Reinier Baas, Kaja Draksler, Faye MacCalman, Olie Brice, Onno Goveart, Ab Baars, Wilbert de Joode, and Paul Bream 

Paul Bream from Jazz North East (at Newcastle) offers his Jazz Honours list:

"What, only three? I’m not sure how many gigs I attended across the year, and, being averse to nostalgic rumination, I’m certainly not going to dig through my diary, but when you include double and triple bills I reckon I must have seen in the region of 70 bands, a high proportion of them completely new to me (at least in live performance). It’s an encouraging comment on the thriving state - creatively, if not commercially - of today’s jazz scene that very few of them were complete duds, and most in fact delivered a high quota of excitement. So a ‘best of’ contribution could almost consist of a long unannotated list with the message “Perm any three from 70”.

But, being of an obliging nature, I have followed instructions, and pulled three from the bag of goodies, rather in the way that raffle tickets get chosen at Jazz North East gigs (and almost as serendipitously) . . .

* Going Dutch : this all-day event kicked off Jazz North East’s 2017 programme with nine outstanding musicians from the Netherlands and two from the UK, mixed and matched in a dozen shortish sets that alternated between established groups and new, ad hoc combinations, with approaches that ranged from immensely subtle chamber music to paint-stripping ferocity. What was particularly intriguing and rewarding was to experience the ways in which the new generation of young Dutch improvisers has found its own voice while retaining the tradition of mixing freedom and fun established by their predecessors. A fine antidote to Brexit.

* Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music : an extraordinary achievement from my friend and colleague Wesley Stephenson, who in the space of 12 months translated the idea of resurrecting the Newcastle Jazz Festival (defunct since 1995) into glorious reality. By getting all of Tyneside’s promoters and venues to collaborate, and winning Arts Council funding to bring in high profile artists, he put together a programme of eleven events, involving close to 50 local, national and international musicians. The cowardly populism that blights all too many of today’s jazz festivals was avoided - indeed, several of the sessions were pretty challenging - but that didn’t have an adverse effect on audience numbers, with ‘House Full’ notices required even for uncompromising improv. A triumphant initiative that I certainly hope will now become a regular part of the calendar.

* Biscoe, Pope & Turner : I heard many superb free jazz & improv gigs over the year, some with such internationally acclaimed artists as Ingrid Laubrock (her wonderful ‘Sleepthief’ trio) and Evan Parker - teamed up with Mat Maneri and Lucian Ban. But I’ve picked out the trio of Chris Biscoe, John Pope and Roger Turner because I think it illustrates just how creatively welcoming and stimulating free music continues to be. Percussionist Turner is now one of the elder statesmen of the scene (although, like so many of his contemporaries, better appreciated overseas than here in his native country), and the more melodically inclined reedsman Biscoe is a much loved figure for his many decades of work with Mike Westbrook and others. But young bassist Pope is just beginning to attract attention outside his Tyneside base, and on the evidence of this gig is more than able to mix it with the big boys. The trio’s only previous encounter was four years ago, at which time John was clearly the junior partner, slightly overawed at finding himself in such august company - but this December reunion was indisputably a meeting of (equal) minds, and a great way to see me into 2018 with an optimistic spirit.

So there you are, just three snapshots from a tremendous year. I’m tempted to append a list of also-rans, but I’ll resist the inclination. I can look back on the whole panoply of 2017 with pleasure, but what I really enjoy is looking forward: my answer to the question “What is you favourite gig?” is invariably “The next one”!

Paul Bream
Jazz North East

Three highlights from Sheffield Jazz's Paul Thomas

 Leila Martial and Valentin Ceccaldi at Manchester Jazz Festival 

From Paul Thomas at Sheffield Jazz. "It's very hard to pick just 3 but here they are:

 Barry Green's New York Trio at Crucible Studio for Sheffield Jazz on 3 February 2017: : a great (but nonetheless criminally underrated) British pianist in company with two of the leading lights of the US jazz scene and producing really beautiful interactive music which mesmerised the audience.

Tony Kofi Quartet at Crookes Social Club for Sheffield Jazz (31 March): A brilliant quartet (Kofi/Wallen/Bartley/Youngs) playing some very challenging Ornette Coleman material and demonstrating just how entertaining and accessible it can be.

 Leila Martial and Valentin Ceccaldi at St Ann's Church for Manchester Jazz Festival on 1 August: : an absolute revelation. a truly superb and original vocalist and a very fine and versatile cellist using the unique atmosphere of this fine church to produce a spellbinding set."

Paul Thomas
Sheffield Jazz

Three memorable Jazzy experiences from Geoffrey Jackson

Jazz Honours list from Ribble Valley..

2017 created some challenging, creative & memorable experiences for Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues.  Three experiences stand out as ones that confirmed priorities, and ones that could be influential in 2018.

RVJ&B’s 1st 2017  memorable experience was the final session of Preston Jam festival on 1st April, completed with stirring performances from all-women septet, Nérija, and Soweto Kinch Trio.   Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues was commissioned by UCLan - (the University of Central Lancashire) - to curate the university’s first jazz festival whilst agreeing to become RVJ&B’s first major festival sponsor. Having UCLan’s logo on the front page of RVJ&B’s 2017 festival brochure increases our festival’s credibility.  The 2018 UCLan festival, renamed Preston Jazz & Improvisation Festival takes place 7/9th June. UCLan is confirmed as RVJ&B annual festival sponsor.

UCLan’s support, along with year two Arts Council England G4A funding for our May Day Bank Holiday Festival 2017, helped deliver RVJ&B’s 2nd most memorable experience, which was the appointment of young band Jam Experiment as our festival’s Band-in-Residence. Has any other festival been able to commit to a young Band-in-Residence?  Jam Experiment excelled in their four day festival commitment with a fine performance on stage, along with Alexandra Ridout Quintet, and the Lancashire Youth Jazz Orchestra on Festival Saturday afternoon, 29th April - a memorable experience that hosted two BBC Youth Jazz award winners - Alex Bone and Alexandra Ridout, a future Rising Star award winner in 2017 British Jazz Awards - Rory Ingham, whilst enabling RVJ&B to more than meet its commitment to prioritising music by young jazzers.

Completing the set of three memorable experiences was the first of RVJ&B’s first regular Jazz Jams in February 2017 in the Bowland Beerhall at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe, an amazing new venue, and £10m redevelopment enterprise that claims the longest bar in the UK serving its own real ales, serves good food, and hosts RVJ&B’s monthly Jazz Jam on the 3rd Thursday monthly.  On the back of the Jazz Jam, Holmes Mill became a major business sector sponsor of our May Day Festival, supporting the costs of two outdoor stages on Festival Sunday & Monday, and the monthly Jazz Jam session continues into 2018 with 15/20 local and regional, mainly amateur musicians turning out, supported by a pro trio.  And Homes Mill festival sponsorship continues into 2018!

Geoffrey Jackson
Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues

Steve Mead's New Year’s Northern Jazz Honours

Andy Stamatakis Brown's ‘Cottonopolis’

It's almost the end of 2017 and so its that time of year again where I've asked people involved in the jazz promotion in the north for their three most memorable events of the year just gone in our New Year’s Northern Jazz Honours lists. These will be posted on the Northern Jazz Live blog in the next couple of days - send yours in to me at!.

To start here's Steve Mead, director of Manchester Jazz Festival

"My 3 New Year’s Northern Jazz Honours.
Our mjf highlight this year was the Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission: ‘Cottonopolis’, Andy Stamatakis Brown’s energetic tribute to the Madchester scene of the late ’80s and ’90s, which transformed a disused mill building in north Manchester into something of a jazz rave for the evening. I was impressed and so pleased for Andy that he pulled this off with incredible energy and dedication, honouring his affection for both the jazz tradition and the city’s dance culture, and integrating the sound and visuals of its cotton heritage so meaningfully. The 5* reviews were well-deserved.

Although there was a disappointing awareness shown of the northern sector in this year’s Jazz FM and APPJAG Awards, hats off to Mike Gordon for the acknowledgement of Scarborough Jazz Festival on the occasion of its 15th anniversary. Keeping the magic going year after year and getting the programme on sale as early as SJF do is an achievement to which we all aspire!

My third ‘honour’ is a little abstract, but there’s been a marked step change in funders having a presence in the north this year – despite what it may seem to those outside of the funded sector. Help Musicians UK and PRS Foundation hosted national conferences here, several northern partners received funding awards (Lancaster Jazz Festival, Sage Gateshead), and there was an increase in investment in arts organisations across the board in the summer NPO announcement. I think this is a positive behind-the-scenes step towards more geographical balance, so let’s mark that small achievement in the hope that it triggers further forward momentum. But there’s still, of course, a long, long way to go before there’s a genuine balance of investment in culture per head of population for all of us here in the north."

Steve Mead, Manchester Jazz Festival

Thursday, 28 December 2017

January gig listing for Newcastle/North East

Glen Miller Orchestra UK January 14th

Jan 1 Bernicia Jazz Trio The Half Moon Inn, Choppington NE62 5TT*
Jan 5 Northern Monkey Brass Band Gala Theatre, Durham DH1 1WA*
Jan 5 Vieux Carré Jazzmen Cullercoats Crescent Club NE30 4PN*
Jan 5 Paul Edis Trio Saltburn Community Hall & Theatre TS12 1JW
Jan 7 Alice Grace Bonbar, Newcastle NE1 5XU*
Jan 7 Classic Swing The Kittiwake, Whitley Bay NE26 3HL
Jan 9 Customs House Big Band New Crown, South Shields NE33 3NG
Jan 9 Francis Tulip Quartet Fox Inn, Hexham NE46 3DB
Jan 10 Swing Street Pier Red, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1LF
Jan 11 Mo Scott Band The Globe, Newcastle NE4 7AD
Jan 12 Emma Fisk’s Hot Club du Nord St Mary’s Parish Hall, Barnard Castle DL12 8NQ
Jan 12 Ruth Lambert Quartet Traveller’s Rest, Darlington DL3 9ER
Jan 12 Triptych Jazz Café, Newcastle NE1 5DW
Jan 14 Glenn Miller Orchestra UK Sage Gateshead NE8 2JR*
Jan 14 Francis Tulip Quartet Quakerhouse, Darlington DL3 7QF
Jan 16 Jam session Jazz Café, Newcastle NE1 5DW
Jan 18 Tees Valley Jazzmen White Horse, Darlington DL1 3AD
Jan 19 Emma Fisk & James Birkett Bishop Auckland Town Hall DL14 7NP*
Jan 19 Graeme Wilson Quartet Jazz Café, Newcastle NE1 5DW
Jan 21 Jazz de Luxe Lit & Phil, Newcastle NE1 1SE*
Jan 21 Jazz de Luxe Lit & Phil, Newcastle NE1 1SE
Jan 24 Chris Sharkey & Matthew Bourne Jazz Café, Newcastle NE1 5DW
Jan 25 BABMUS Jazz Café, Newcastle NE1 5DW
Jan 25 Paul Skerritt Band Pennyweight, Darlington DL1 5QA
Jan 26 Debra Milne & Steve Glendinning Jazz Café, Newcastle NE1 5DW
Jan 27 Tees Valley Jazzmen St George Hotel, Durham Tees Valley Airport DL2 1RH
Jan 27 Mass in Blue Durham Cathedral DH1 3EH


Russell Corbett's jazz picks for January

Will Todd Jan 27th Durham 

Got a hangover? Common on, shape up! Okay, it’s January 1st but there’s a jazz gig to go to in the North East. The Bernicia Jazz Trio play the Half Moon Inn in Choppington, Northumberland at three o’clock and it’s free admission. Getting out to a jazz gig is the best known ‘hair of the dog’ cure there is. Just think, there’s a further three hundred and sixty four days and nights to get out and about to listen to some jazz. Start as you mean to go on!

So, January begins in small scale fashion with a trio in a semi-rural pub but the month closes with a rather more grand affair with a staging of Will Todd’s Mass in Blue in Durham Cathedral (Jan 27th). The Will Todd Jazz Quartet will be performing alongside Durham Choral Society in a concert which is part of the Durham Vocal Festival. In between times there is plenty of top class jazz including an all day celebration of the Luxembourg jazz scene (Jan 21), a Chris Sharkey workshop performance (Jan 24) and two final tour dates for an emerging guitar-led quartet. Jazz North East’s promotion at Newcastle’s Lit and Phil – Jazz de Luxe – presents a day-long, two-part programme of concert sets by musicians from Luxembourg’s contemporary jazz scene and Tyneside trio Archipelago. Guitarist Chris Sharkey will be at Newcastle’s Jazz Café in the first of two open workshops during which the Gateshead-born improviser will preview, and further develop, work which will be premiered at this year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival (April 6-8th). On this occasion Sharkey will be working with Leeds based pianist Matthew Bourne. It is anticipated that Sharkey will forsake playing his Stratocaster in favour of developing an experimental, electronic soundscape. Francis Tulip will most certainly be playing his Gibson guitar at Hexham’s Fox Inn (Jan 9) and Darlington’s Quakerhouse (Jan 14), the remaining two dates of a festive tour of north east venues. Tulip, studying at Birmingham Conservatoire, will be working alongside pianist Joel Brown, Guildhall undergraduate bassist Michael Dunlop and Matt MacKellar, a hugely talented drummer currently studying at Berklee.

Pianist Paul Edis crops up on at least three occasions during the month – first, with his own trio at Saltburn Jazz Club (Jan 5), a week later (Jan 12) as part of Triptych at the Jazz Café, and exactly seven days on he will be returning to the Pink Lane venue with the Graeme Wilson Quartet. Sage Gateshead offers little jazz in the early part of the year but one concert which will be well attended is Ray McVay’s return with his UK Glenn Miller Orchestra. A nostalgia trip perhaps, but be assured that within its sections the band boasts many ‘been-there-done-that’ jazz musicians. The Sunday matinee performance (Jan 14) is selling fast. To check ticket availability telephone 0191 443 4666.

Finally, violinist Emma Fisk is out and about, first with her Hot Club du Nord (Jan 12) at St Mary’s Parish Hall in Barnard Castle, then on Jan 19 she plays a lunchtime duo gig with guitarist James Birkett at Bishop Auckland Town Hall playing the music of Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang.   




Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues January & February gigs

Trish Ferrarin’s Breaking Jazz -7 January

From Geoffrey Jackson

Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues anticipates another year full of interesting jazzy events and initiatives. Trish Ferrarin’s Breaking Jazz starts the new year in Sawley at the Spread Eagle Hotel’s dinner jazz gig, at 2-4pm Sunday 7th January

Friday January 12th greets friends from Liverpool in the form of Mike Smith’s Ginger Tunes appearing at 8pm at The Atrium Cafe Bar, Clitheroe, our normal monthly gig venue

February is a busier month!  A double bill at 8pm on Friday 2nd February from Leeds College of Music features Morpher, and Jami Sheriff Trio at the Atrium Cafe Bar.  Rick Shaw & Limehouse Laundry Boys plays dinner jazz the Spread Eagle 2-4pm Sunday 4th February, and the Mark Lewis Trio at Shireburn Arms, Hurst Green from 7pm, Thursday 8th February. Our regular Jazz Jam Session, 3rd Thursday monthly, restarts on Thursday 15th February in the Beer Hall, which houses the longest bar in the UK, kicks off at 7.30 at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe with Breaking Jazz

Our local partners, The Grand Venue, Clitheroe, hosts two top UK musicians with Zara McFarlane performing on Saturday 10th February, and Courtney Pine & the Inner City Ensemble appearing on Saturday 24th February

Advance booking for gigs at The Atrium and The Grand Venue is advisable via The Grand Venue’s web site - or from Box Office, 01200 421599 - More info from,.uk 07870 908159.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Scarborough January dates

Ricardo Alverez Jan 24
Gary Potter with the Matt Holborn Trio 
We kick off the new year with an exciting combination of virtuoso violinist Matt Holborn and international jazz guitar maestro Gary Potter from Liverpool, known to many as ‘gypsy jazz royalty’.  Both players are influenced artists as diverse as Django Reinhardt and Charlie Parker. With Kourosh Kanani on guitar and Dave O'brien on bass. This is an evening of gypsy jazz and swing at its very best, a rare opportunity to see a jazz guitar legend with some of London’s up and coming swing musicians. A great start to the year!  £7 (£6 in advance)

Frank Brooker
Frank’s rich round tone on tenor sax and a melodic approach, reminiscent of Lester Young, combined with swinging clarinet and polished vocals, always ensure a warm welcome at the club. With MG3. £4

Ricardo Alvarez Quartet
Ricardo began his musical career in Chile playing Latin jazz and Cuban music, moving to York in 2010 to do a PhD in music. The Quartet made its debut in 2011 presenting original compositions and jazz standards that develop the fusion between jazz and Latin American music. In 2016 the Quartet  recorded its first album of original jazz compositions, 'Huay Not?'. This is the Scarborough debut of this enjoyable, accessible jazz outfit led by Ricardo Alvarez (tenor sax) with Alec Robinson (piano), Emlyn Vaughn (bass) and Caspar Haslam (drums). £6

Will Howard
A new club regular, Will plays tenor sax in the jazz tradition but with inventiveness and a freedom to take risks. He delivers beautifully played standards from the likes of Duke Ellington and Jerome Kern. With MG3. £4

For more details, go to our website: Doors at The Cask open 8.00pm.

Scarborough Jazz @ The Cask Inn  Cambridge Terrace, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 2LQ tel 01723 500570

Jeremy Sassoon at the Cinnamon

Feb 9th: Jeremy Sassoon & friends feat. Paul Bentley
Jeremy presents a very special one off night as he re-unites his old partnerships with Paul Bentley on vocals and Ben Gray on drums together with current ones Richard Hammond, bass and Steve Parry, trumpet.  This legendary line up, which last performed in 2009 had a huge local following in the North West, so we expect a massive response. Jeremy and Paul will both be singing from their classic swing, blues, soul and groove repertoire, but who will be cracking the jokes between the songs? Book your table to find out. It will be quite a night!

The Cinnamon Club
The Firs
Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 2TQ
0161 926 8992

Dave Hassell at Davenham


Nearly full circle! jazz@davenham has just started its’ 7th year under “new management”. When we “re-started” jazz@davenham just over 6 years ago, Andy Scott was keen to see live jazz continue at Davenham theatre, and was partly responsible for helping us set up the first few gigs, and indeed Dave Hassell and Andy were amongst the first few bands to appear.

We asked Dave Hassell to bring in a band for January and it is his idea feature Andy Scott.
Dave Hassell is a professional musician with over 49 years' experience as a studio session player, live performer, band leader, author and adjunct faculty of the leading music institutions in the UK. He has performed with many of the UK's leading jazz musicians as well as American greats, such as: Dr John, Tal Farlow, Clarke Terry, Art Farmer, to name just a few.

The concert will be in duo, trio and quintet format with Dave on percussion, Andy on Sax, Carl Raven on Clarinet / Bass Clarinet, Nick Svarc on Guitar and Matt Owens on Double Bass.
Link below to Dave Hassell and band

Doors and Bar open 7.30pm - Concert starts at 8.00pm
Bookings on 01606 74502 or e mail to

Gig venue - Davenham Theatre: 59 Church Street, Davenham, Cheshire CW9 8NF

Sponsors - Tatton Brewery

Sheffield's new year dates

Yazz Ahmed band Fri 16 March
Sheffield Jazz's Friday night programme for the new year starts on Friday 19th January at the Crucible studio

Friday 19 January at 19.15 Crucible Studio
Kofi/Barnes Aggregation
Tony Kofi, Alan Barnes: alto saxophones; John Turville: piano; Adam King: bass; Rod Youngs: drums
"This band is about enjoyment for performers and audience alike - the perfect antidote to the po-faced gloom school of jazz!" says Alan Barnes. 
Friday 26 January at 20.00 Crookes Social Club
Trish Clowes’ My Iris 
Trish Clowes: sax; Chris Montague: guitar; Ross Stanley: keyboards; Tim Giles: drums
Saxophonist Trish Clowes returns with her new group project, My Iris, drawing inspiration from the concept of an iris opening and the kaleidoscopic range of sounds which the band are exploring.
Friday 9 February at 20.00 Crookes Social Club
Mark Lockheart: sax; Liam Noble: piano; Jasper Hoiby: bass
Their output has been described as “Folky, melodically strong chamber music, with flavours ranging from bluegrass to tango to contemporary classical, veering from the carefully written to the liberally improvised.”
Friday 16 February at 20.00 Crookes Social Club
Gilad Atzmon Orient House Ensemble: The Spirit of Trane 
Gilad Atzmon: saxophone; Frank Harrison: piano; Yaron Stavi: bass; Enzo Zirilli: drums
Gilad’s fiery, impassioned style and brilliant musicianship regularly attracts packed houses in Sheffield. Touring for over 17 years, the band have gained a reputation as one of European jazz’s pre-eminent bands.
Friday 23 February at 20.00 Crookes Social Club
Jump Monk Quintet
Arnie Somogyi: bass; Tony Kofi: alto sax; Jeremy Price: trombone; Liam Noble: piano; Clark Tracey: drums
The "Jump Monk" project is dedicated to performing the music of two of the greatest jazz composers and musicians: pianist Thelonious Monk and bass player Charles Mingus.
Friday 9 March at 20.00 Crookes Social Club
Rob Luft Band
Rob Luft: guitar; Joe Wright: tenor sax; Joe Webb: keyboards; Tom McCredie: bass; Corrie Dick: drums
The word is out on Rob Luft: hotly tipped by The Times to “achieve great things”, the award-winning guitarist brings to Crookes the great young band with whom he made his debut CD “Riser”.
Friday 16 March at 20.00 Crookes Social Club
Yazz Ahmed band
Yazz Ahmed: trumpet/ flugelhorn; George Crowley: bass clarinet; Ralph Wyld: vibraphone; Naadia Sheriff: piano; Dudley Phillips: bass; Martin France: drums; Corrina Silvester: percussion
Tipped as a rising star by Jazzwise and Time Out magazines, Yazz Ahmed’s 2017 album “La Saboteuse” has been widely judged to be UK jazz album of the year, blending western and Middle Eastern influences.
Friday 23 March at 20.00 Crookes Social Club
Nikki Iles Quintet
Nikki Iles: piano; Josh Arcoleo: tenor sax; Percy Pursglove: trumpet; Steve Watts bass; Tim Giles: drums 
Nikki Iles is a real favourite of Sheffield Jazz audiences and this is a brand new quintet which was formed for the Manchester Jazz Festival in July 2017.

Crookes Social Club, Sheffield S10 1TD.
Crucible Studio, Tudor Square, Sheffield S1 1DA.

More details about all these gigs in Sheffield Jazz’s season at:

Howard Assembly Room winter jazz highlights

 Tony Allen 7 April
  Ambrose Akinmusire 28 April

The Howard Assembly Room at Opera North, Leeds, has announced its Winter 2018 season jazz highlights including:

Zara McFarlane with her latest album Arise, produced by Moses Boyd and featuring cameos from Binker Golding and Shabaka Hutchings (9 Feb). Eloquent and provocative singer-songwriter Zara McFarlane is fast becoming Britain's foremost female jazz vocalist. As a performer she is uniquely engaging, deftly combining the intricacies of jazz with a deep soulfulness, melding multiple influences from reggae to pop, folk and blues. Her third studio album Arise traces her Caribbean musical heritage and explores her take on the musical possibilities of British- Jamaican identity, produced by award-winning drummer Moses Boyd (Binker & Moses). Tickets: £15.50

 June Tabor’s trio Quercus (16 Feb), featuring saxophonist and Loose Tubes founder Iain Ballamy and Welsh pianist Huw Warren (Perfect Houseplants). The incomparable English singer June Tabor leads a trio exploring jazz, folk and traditional songs in contemporary settings to mesmerising effect. Saxophonist Iain Ballamy and pianist Huw Warren join her in an evocative mixture of words and music, with songs from their beautiful second album Nightfall. Tickets: £15.00

French accordionist Richard Galliano is joined by guitarist Sylvain Luc for A Tribute to Edith Piaf (24 Mar). One of the great accordionists of the modern era, Richard Galliano returns to the Howard Assembly Room to bring the spirit of the Seine and Paris’ wartime nightclubs into the heart of Leeds. He is joined by the peerless jazz guitarist Sylvain Luc for a performance dedicated to the grande dame of French chanson: Edith Piaf. Tickets: £20.00

Founding father of Afrobeat Tony Allen returns to his jazz roots with new album The Source (7 April). A genuine icon and a founding father of Afrobeat as an original member of Fela Kuti’s Africa ’70 band, Tony Allen’s trademark splicing of jazz, funk, highlife and Yoruba rhythms has influenced generations of musicians over the past five decades, and he continues to innovate with his new album, The Source. Tickets: £22.50

Following his latest for Blue Note, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire visits on 28 April. Equally at home guesting with Kendrick Lamar as he is pushing boundaries with his own longtime quartet, the American trumpeter visits Leeds in the wake of his latest double album on Blue Note, recorded live at the legendary Village Vanguard, and continuing his advancing of jazz in unexpected directions. Tickets: £16.00

Tickets 0844 848 2727 or online at 

The Howard Assembly Room
46 New Briggate

Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Jazz Co-op parties and plans

Lickety Split at the Globe 17 Dec evening

Not Long Now! Our jazz party and jam session is on Sunday at The Globe. A very enjoyable way to round off the weekend before the Christmas break. We promise not to play Jingle Bells (why not?...ed)

Jazz.Coop party with Lickety Split & More Jam Sunday 17 December 2017, 6pm till late
Jazz party with live band and jam session. It's party time! What better way to spend the last Sunday night before the Christmas / New Year break? There will be live jazz from 6pm till late in the main bar at the Globe.

We have more jazz before the end of the year including vocal showcase Indigo Jazz Voices on 19 December and the famous jam session Take It To The Bridge on 20 December.

Next year some several very good national/international bands are coming to the Globe including
Accessible original music from 3 of Europe’s finest young jazz musicians: Alan Benzie Trio on Thursday 22 Feb 2018.

Internationally acclaimed contemporary piano trio Dominic J Marshall Dutch Trio on Thursday 29 March 2018.

Groove-based sax/guitar/organ/drums quartet, Teduloca on Sunday 22 April 2018.

The lyrical, international jazz of the Brian Molley Quartet on Saturday 2 June 2018.

Brand new contemporary jazz featuring some of the musicians from our '2017 Gig of the Year' - Gero Schipmann UK Sextet on Saturday 7 July 2018

Visit our website to see all gigs at the Globe and much more

The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 7AD

Monday, 11 December 2017

SevenJazz finishes - JazzLeeds takes over!

The Lord Mayor, Cllr Jane Dowson was the special guest at the JazzLeeds launch party held on Sunday afternoon 10 December at Seven Arts Chapel Allerton Leeds.

It’s 10 years since voluntary jazz promoters Seven Jazz started at Seven Arts in the Chapel Allerton suburb of the city. The special concert featured two of the young bands from the city that make Leeds the jazz capital of the North – with jazz vocalist Kate Peters and her septet and the award-winning Tom Sharp Jazz Orchestra. It was also the last concert presented by Seven Jazz and the first by the new organisation in the city JazzLeeds

Cllr Dowson announced some exciting news for 2018 – there is to be a new six day Jazzleeds festival (July 20-25th 2018) at city centre venues including the Wardrobe, the College of Music and Millennium Square and featuring jazz stars like Soweto Kinch and Greg Abate and including a jazz play about the legendary Leeds studio 20 Jazz Club of the 1950’s by Leeds author Chris Nickson and a celebration of the music of Duke Ellington marking 60 years since his famous visit to Leeds in 1958

Cllr Dowson also be announced the setting up of a new charitable organisation JazzLeeds, to support the development of jazz in the city in the future and provide a lasting legacy for the superb jazz history of Leeds.

The concert on Sunday at Seven Arts also included fundraising raffle for the Lord Mayor’s charity appeal – Candlelighters, the children’s cancer charity based in Leeds who support families facing children’s cancer across Yorkshire.

Steve Crocker, Jazz organiser JazzLeeds said
“It has been a brilliant ten years for us in Leeds with the highlight undoubtedly being named as the UK’s best jazz club in the Parliamentary Jazz award. Leeds is such a buzzing jazz city and there are great things to come from the new JazzLeeds organisation. But getting the Lord Mayor of Leeds to a jazz gig was just icing on the cake – and a very nice cake it was too!

Northern Line Round 6 announced

From Jazz North

It’s that time of year again and the Jazz North organisation has now opened the application portal to recruit the next round of northern artists for Round 6 of the Northern Line scheme.

Since its launch in 2013, northern line has featured 58 Ambassador Artists who have performed over 550 gigs with approximately 150 promoters and partners across the north of England and beyond.  As in previous years, northern line Round 6 will be selected by an independent panel of musicians, promoters and industry experts. Artists selected for the scheme will benefit from subsidised performance fees, on-going professional development support and will perform at our showcase day at Manchester Jazz Festival in July 2018. 

It is very important to us that the Northern Line roster represents the diversity of our region and we are looking to raise awareness and encourage applications from northern based artists who may not ordinarily be aware of the scheme.  We are particularly keen to receive applications from talented women and musicians from diverse ethnic backgrounds, both of whom are woefully underrepresented in the jazz sector. 

Information can be found here 
A short video about the scheme can be found here: