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Thursday, 1 August 2019

Russell Corbett's August North East Round Up

Dan Garel Aug 15 and 18th Holy GrAle and Jazz Co-op

August, it's a quiet month with fewer gigs across the region, right? Wrong! The north east of England offers gigs galore with not one but two festivals to enjoy. The Ushaw Jazz Festival over the bank holiday weekend (August 23-25) is chock full of goodies and, the new kid on the block, a one day festival (Saturday 17) at Newcastle's Tyne Bank Brewery, billed as the Newcastle Jazz Festival, is a welcome newcomer. Add to the mix a number of tasty looking gigs and the month couldn't be busier.

Ushaw College, situated a couple of miles from Durham (Sat Nav DH7 7DW), opens on Friday 23 with a performance by the Early Bird Big Band (an outfit packed with developing teenage talent) and a concert by the immensely popular Hot Club du Nord. Violinist Emma Fisk leads fellow virtuosi James Birkett and Dave Harris (guitars) and bassist Bruce Rollo in a programme of Quintette du Hot Club de France-inspired material. Saturday and Sunday offer top class sessions ranging from Jo Harrop singing with the Paul Edis Trio to the Xhosa Cole/Francis Tulip Quintet (Cole is the current BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year!) to Tony Kofi and the Organisation to the closing event of the weekend, the star-studded Buck Clayton Legacy Band.

Newcastle Jazz Festival recalls the halcyon days of the much-missed Newcastle Jazz Festival. Way back when many of the great names appeared in Newcastle. Looking back it's hard to believe the likes of Art Blakey, Roland Kirk and George Russell played to, unsuprisingly, full houses! On Saturday 17 August at Tyne Bank Brewery a more modest affair will take the form of a one day festival. As the saying goes...from little acorns etc. Six performances from 1:30 'til late beginning with a Zoƫ Gilby-Andy Champion duo set through to Emma Fisk and James Birkett doing their Joe Venuti-Eddie Lang thing to the festival headliner, winner of the inaugural BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, Alexander Bone to the magnifcent Strictly Smokin' Big Band closing the show, it's shaping up to be a day to remember.

Just time to mention one or two other highlights elsewhere. In 2018 Durham University graduate Dan Garel left the Land of the Prince Bishops to begin the next chapter in his life. The good news is the brilliant alto saxophonist returns to the region to play two gigs, both of them in A-list company. On August 15 in Durham's Holy GrAle bottled beer shop Garel teams up with Mark Williams, John Pope and Russ Morgan to play an umissable gig in one of the tiniest venues imaginable. It's a seven o'clock start, a fiver admission. Four days later (Sunday 18) Garel returns to Newcastle's Jazz Co-op HQ on Railway Street, this time working with Francis Tulip and Matt MacKellar. Happy days! Finally, two gigs on Saturday 24. The good news is one is a lunchtime session, the other an evening session, so, you could go to both! Lunchtime at Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club Mellow Baku sings accompanied by a first rate band which includes John Hallam, reeds, and pianist Tom Kincaid. The other session, at eight o’clock, presents Portraits at a new music venue on Jesmond Road in Newcastle. Bobik’s, above the recently reopened Punch Bowl public house, has announced a series of contemporary jazz gigs. Portraits is the first of them, do get along to show your support. Happy days indeed!

Aug 2019 North East gig list
Lunchtime gig*
Aug 9 Dulcie May Moreno Trio The Vault, Hexham NE46 1XD
Aug 11 Francis Tulip Quartet The Globe, Newcastle NE4 7AD
Aug 15 Dean Stockdale Trio St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Newcastle NE4 9EJ
Aug 15 Dan Garel Quartet Holy GrAle, Durham DH1 4PR
Aug 16 Brass Funkeys Cluny, Newcastle NE1 2PQ
Aug 17 Newcastle Jazz Festival Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle NE6 2AB
Aug 18 Dan Garel & Friends The Globe, Newcastle NE4 7AD
Aug 23 Riviera Quartet Bishop Auckland Town Hall DL14 7NP*
Aug 23-25 Ushaw Jazz Festival Ushaw College, Durham DH7 7DW
Aug 24 Mellow Baku St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington DL3 7TG*
Aug 24 Portraits Bobik’s, Newcastle NE2 3JY
Aug 25 The Comet is Coming Georgian Theatre, Stockton TS18 1AT
Aug 29 DB Sound Project The Globe, Newcastle NE4 7AD

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