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Thursday, 2 January 2020

A year in Jazz Leeds - reflections on 2019

From Steve Crocker  - Jazz Leeds and Northern Jazz Promoters

Jazz highlight of the year for me has to be our third Jazz Leeds Festival in July...

Jazz Leeds Festival - pic William Ellis

I've some special memories of the concerts at the Wardrobe and Leeds College of Music by Andy Sheppard with Espen Eriksen Trio, Shai Maestro's Trio, Electric Lady Big Band, Windrush Celebration, JazznotJazz at the Brudenell, Gina Southgate's paintings, Sally Coe's "Trio Trio Trio" finale and Leeds Legend Ronnie Bottomley's 90th birthday Big Band....  

 Windrush Celebrations - Wardrobe (c William Ellis)
Andy Sheppard- Espen Eriksen (c William Ellis)
 Electric Lady Big Band (c John Bentley)
 Gina Southgate with Misha Mullov Abbado (c John Bentley)
Brudenell JazznotJazz with  Roller Trio (c Music Leeds)
Ronnie Bottomley Jazz Orchestra (c Nicki Allen)
Trio Trio Trio - Michelle Scally Clarke (c John Bentley)

 And then there were other highlights from our regular programme too ...

 BBC's Jumoke Fashola presenting Patchwork Jazz Orchestra for J to Z at our Seven Arts concert in March 

The Women Jazz Leaders series this Autumn - especially the Jensen Sisters Whirlwind Big Band, and the Karen Sharp Quartet at Seven Arts and Alison Rayner's ARQ at Inkwell 

A new venue for us - the Bar on Park Lane in Roundhay Park - highlights included Leeds trumpeter Enrico Tommasso and the Leeds College of Music alumni Dave Newton/Alan Barnes

Our Sunday afternoons, especially memorable were Andrew McCormack and Jason Yarde's duo in February and Inji Bjarni Trio from Iceland in November

The Chapel Allerton Festival Village Jazz in August with Rafe's Dilemma, Kyla Brox and Ubunye - the rain didn't spolt the fun!

Giving a JazzLeeds platform throughout the year to Leeds bands including Gravy Boat, Jasmine, Chapel FM Collective, Mondo Bizarre, Family Band, Shadow Quartet, New Position, LYJRO, Fluid Puzzle, Ancient Infinity Orchestra and many more ….

Personally two other things stood out - attending the Jaazkaar festival in Estonia in April , and seeing the John Scofield trio, Bobby McFerrin and enjoying the wonderfully warm welcome from the organisers. Being asked to present the Parliamentary Jazz Award for best jazz vocalist to Zoe Gilby in December was special too.

So here's wishing all the musicians our audience and our many volunteers and supporters a very jazzy Christmas and New Year - you've made it all possible!

Steve


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