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Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Durham Jazz Festival (7-9 June) postponed

We’re sure this will come as no surprise but it is with a heavy heart that we have reached the decision to cancel the 2020 edition of DJAZZ.

We have spent the last few weeks taking stock of the situation and looking into various options, but have been unable to find a way to deliver the festival the way we’d like it to be. Like many others, we’ll be taking this time to consider the environment for live music amidst COVID-19.

We will bide our time and learn from the music industry’s wider response as we work out what the role of DJAZZ is over the next few months. Please bear with us and know that we’ll be back as soon as the time is right.

D-Jazz

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Scarborough Jazz Festival postponed until February

This year's Scarborough Jazz Festival is being rescheduled to
12-14 February 2021.

All tickets will remain valid and will automatically be transferred across to the new 2021 dates.

We are currently working on securing the line up and will have more details this Friday. (5 June)

Please don't contact Scarborough Spa's Box Office at this time, as they are currently working with a limited number of staff.

Thank you
The SJF Team.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

What's on and what's off in the lockdown (and beyond)

In these difficult times, here's our Northern Jazz Live summary of what's happening and what is not! If you know any more please let us know by responding below. Here's what we know so far (events still happening are starred ***)

FESTIVALS

***Manchester Jazz Festival 21-24 May
The main festival is cancelled an Online JazzUnlocked festival is going ahead here:  https://manchesterjazz.com/manchester-jazz-festivals-25th-anniversary-is-going-digital/  streamed in partnership with Jazz North.
Four days of unseen footage, artist interviews, and a look back over 25 years of new music, and some live gigs.

D-Jazz (Durham City Jazz Festival) 7-9 June
Cancelled

Wigan Jazz Festival 9-12 July
Cancelled
https://wiganjazzfest.co.uk/ 

***Hull Jazz Festival 16-18 July
Postponed until 12-15 November 2020 - all artists have been rebooked. Tickets bought for original date remain valid for new date
https://hulljazzfestival.co.uk 

Jazz Leeds Festival July 18 2020
Postponed until July 15-18 2021
ww.jazzleeds.org.uk 

Ilkley Jazz Festival 3-16 August
Cancelled
https://www.facebook.com/IlkleyJazzFestival/ 

Chapel Allerton Arts Festival Leeds- 4-6 Sept
The main Arts Festival cancelled -some jazz events to still go ahead online
www.jazzleeds.org.uk

Lancaster Jazz Festival- 9-13 Sept 
Cancelled
http://www.lancasterjazz.com/

Scarborough Jazz Festival -25-27 Sept
***Postponed until to 12th, 13th and 14th February 2021
https://www.scarboroughspa.co.uk/event/scarborough-jazz-festival-2020

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music -30 Sept - 4 Oct
***This event is still on as of this moment
http://newcastlefestivalofjazzandimprovisedmusic.com/

Marsden Jazz Festival - 9-11 October 2020 
Cancelled. There will be online presentations during the weekend. 2021 Fesival will be 8-10 October
https://www.marsdenjazzfestival.com/

Southport Jazz on a Winter's weekend - February 2021 
Cancelled
https://southportjazzfestival.com/ 

 

OTHER PROMOTER LOCKDOWN EVENTS


Jazz North’s Northern Online Broadcasts
***Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th May. Re-streaming performances from its northern line showcase from Lancaster Jazz Festival in September 2019
https://www.jazznorth.org/nolb/


Scarborough Jazz 
***The self isolating lockdown club
DJ set and videos of bands Wednesday nights 8.45 
www.jazzlockdown.club

Jazz Leeds
***Jazz Lockdown Archive shows every Sunday afternoon on You Tube 1.30-3pm. Hour long programme with footage of artists appearing over the last ten years and also some specially recorded concerts from Leeds based musicians
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRTG8qs1FUY8zdE0Hn323yA

***Jazz Unlocked Radio show with ELFM. Monthly magazine of jazz in Leeds www.chapelfm.co.uk online or 96.4fm in Leeds area 

Jazz at the Lescar Sheffield 
Livestreamed and videod colncerts with Sam Leak Joe Webb and Johnny Hunter recently

*** Sounds Like This on Sheffield Live

Jez Matthews selects some of the musicians who were due to visit Sheffield and p[lays their music on Sheffield Live Radio https://www.facebook.com/sheffieldlive/  every Sunday 5 - 7pm.

https://www.facebook.com/Jazz-At-The-Lescar-207262632391/


Jazz at Heart Leeds
Livestreamed Sam Leak concert

*** Summer school 3-6 August is still on at present
https://www.facebook.com/Jazz-at-Heart-184374588253443/

Jazz Co-op Newcastle
Livestreamed Sam Leak, Andrew McCormack and Naomi Nuti concerts recently, Rob Luft to come
https://jazz.coop/mccormack-nuti/


NQ Jazz Manchester 
***Daily lockdown events online - Film night, Album of the week, Podcast, Listening guide, Spotlight sessions, Throwback Thursday, Bedroom jam
Patreon.com/NQJazz 
https://www.facebook.com/nqjazzmcr/

Monday, 6 April 2020

JazzLeeds news - autumn programme, jazz lockdown sessions, helping musicians...


(pic - William Ellis from last year's Jazz Leeds Festival 2019)

We've unfortunately had to cancel most of our spring and summer programme due to the Covid-19 virus. So - no summer JazzLeeds festival in July - we'll have to wait another year to see the acts that were appearing - and no Chapel Allerton Arts Festival in early September, although we are still hoping to run some of the Village Jazz Festival events (4-6 September) ourselves.

Our Rush Hour Jazz series and our Jazz Workshops are also suspended at present but Tessa Smith, the Jazz Voices Choir Leader will be running an online summer choir, starting this coming week - If you are interested, please subscribe to her newsletter to hear all about it. The link is here https://tessasmith.us19.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=69db758b91f5b9e67320c4723&id=79357f647a - do pass it on!

From October, our concert live listings are planned as follows - obviously subject to change with the current virus situation...

Thus 1 Oct Jobic le Masson and Steve Potts - "Double Dutch Treat" @Seven 8pm
Sun 4 Oct Suppertime @Inkwell 1.30pm
Thus 8 Oct: Nikki Iles Jazz Orchestra (re arranged from March 8pm)
Sun 11 Oct Pete Johnson Brodie Jarvie and Steve Hanley Inkwell 1.30pm

****Mini Jazz Piano Festival @Seven Arts***

Sun 18 Oct John Colliani Trio 1.30pm
Sun 25 Oct Andrew McCormack solo 1.30pm
Thus 29 Oct Fergus Mcreadie Trio 8pm

Sun Nov 1 Tango jazz with Martin Alvarado piano and vocals, Eero Koivistoinen, and Alexi Tuomarila. Seven Arts 1.30pm
Sun Nov 8 Daisy George Trio with Daisy George bass Will Barry piano and Jay Davis drums @Inkwell 1.30pm
Thus 12 Nov Ian Shaw, Ian Ballamy, Jamie Safir “What’s New” (re arranged from March) 8pm Seven Arts
Sun Nov 15 Jamie Taylor with US guitarist John Stowell Seven Arts 1.30pm
Sun Nov 22 Tori Freestone Trio Seven Arts 1.30pm
Thus 26 Nov Josephine Davis “Satori” Seven Arts 8pm
Sun Nov 29 Louise Gibbs “Love You Madly” @Seven Arts 1.30pm - (re arranged from March)

Thus 3 Dec Nigel Price and “Wes Re-imagined’ Seven Arts 8pm
Sun Dec 13 About Time – Malcolm Strachan 1.30pm Seven Arts (tbc)
Thus 17 Dec Adrian Knowles and Sound of 59 - re arranged from April 8pm
Sun Dec 20 Christmas Jazz Cafe at Inkwell 1.30pm

Leeds lockdown Sundays
On Sunday afternoon, when we would normally be opening up for an afternoon of jazz, instead we've a selection of some of favourite music from our archives and THE RAFFLE (for the Wensleydale cheese!). Check our our You Tube Facebook Page from 1.30pm - the lockdown link is.... here

Live streaming jazz favourites
Here are four of our favourite live streams - catch up with them here

Emmett Cohen trio - New York pianist swings his way through the lockdown
https://www.facebook.com/emmet.cohen

Enrico Tommasso - Leeds born trumpeter (and Louis Armstrong fan) is posting funny affectionate and endearing tributs to the jazz trumpet masters
https://www.facebook.com/enrico.tomasso

Chic Corea - a nightly masterclass posts from the piano legend
https://www.facebook.com/chickcorea/ 

Liane Carroll and Roger Carey - "Live from Home" Vocalist extraordinaire!
https://www.facebook.com/LianeCarrollMusic/

How can we help musicians?
With all jazz venues now closed because of the coronavirus, musicians and singers have seen their main source of income suddenly cease. Most musicians rely on gig money to survive and even those with teaching jobs or other supplementary incomes will be finding it difficult to support themselves during this self-isolation period. Many musicians have their music available from their own website or as downloads, and I’d urge you to buy their CD's! Musicians - please post your music purchase links on the Northern Jazz promoter website. Suggestions about how we can help our musicians are also here https://www.jazznorth.org/

Watch our website and social media for further updates - our web is www.jazzleeds.org.uk
Our email address for queries is info@jazzleeds.org.uk

Good luck and stay safe!

Steve Crocker
JazzLeeds






Ilkley Jazz Festival cancelled ..





From Mark Beirne Smith

Sadly we have decided that Ilkley Jazz Festival will be cancelled for 2020, our decision is based on having our Arts Council grant pulled as they will ‘focus on providing emergency financial support for the cultural and creative sector

In the mean time we hope you stay safe and if you do want to support jazz artists during this difficult time please buy their music.

Mark, Beverley and the team.

Cancellation of this year’s Marsden Jazz Festival






Thursday, 2 April 2020

Helping Our Bands And Musicians




To jazz musicians and artists

During these challenging times for Northern Jazz bands and musicians, you are invited to email us at rich@northernjazzpromoters.org or rich@norvoljazz.org with the following details, to perhaps help with generating an additional income stream. Please restrict your information as requested, as there’s only one person putting it all together:
  1. Name of artist/band
  2. A link to your main website OR facebook page
  3. A link to a purchase page OR a CD you want people to buy
  4. A link to single track purchases
  5. A YouTube share link (if no video link, I will accept one photo)
Suggestion: You may like to include a link whereby a person could buy just one track to download (as well as the option to buy a whole album) and we could encourage visitors to buy at least one track from a number of bands/musicians, to spread the support as widely as possible. (Items will be added in order of receipt and alphabetically for items arriving at the same time).

The page link on Northern Jazz Promoters website will be populated, as we receive information from bands and musicians. Please check back regularly over the next few days and weeks.



To the public – please help our bands and musicians by purchasing their music. During these times of national lockdown, musicians are no longer able to perform live – an essential way that they normally make their livelihoods. Your support is greatly appreciated.

You can also support bands and musicians on another listing at Northern Jazz.

You can also support bands and musicians on another listing at Wakefield Jazz

 
Every Wednesday at 8:45pm – the time when live music usually starts at Scarborough Jazz – we’ll be releasing a whole package of jazz goodies on the internet.

JazzLeeds - northernjazzpromoters.orgSteve Crocker’s “Jazz Leeds Lockdown Session
Keep listeninhg and watching every Sunday afternoon at the usual gig time of 1:30-4pm (including a raffle!). Playing videos of jazz musicians and bands from our Jazz Youube archives from the last 10 years 




Friday, 27 March 2020

Just a few days to go - don't forget to vote!

 
A reminder that the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2020 need your vote by MIDNIGHT Tuesday 31 MARCH!

The categories are
Jazz Album of the Year 
Jazz Vocalist of the Year 
Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year 
Jazz Ensemble of the Year 
Jazz Venue of the Year 
Jazz Media Award 
Jazz Education Award
Jazz Newcomer of the Year 
Services to Jazz Award
The voting link is here https://www.pizzaexpresslive.com/parliamentary-jazz-awards.
Don't miss out on the chance to support your favourites!

Jazz video sessions at Jazz Leeds


No live jazz at present but to keep your jazz spirits up, Jazz Leeds are offering you two hours from our Jazz Leeds Archives at our regular gig timeof every Sunday afternoon -from 1.30pm
Last Sunday 22 March we showed these artists and bands (links attached)

Next Archive will be on Sunday 29 March and will feature (amongst others) Ashley Henry Trio, Scott Hamilton, John Taylor, Alison Rayner, Andrew McCormack and Jason Yarde. Watch time 1.30pm with the links posted oon our Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/jazzleeds and Twitter site https://twitter.com/jazz_leeds

Come and watch! Check our YOUTUBE site here




Lockdown Jazz Club sessions start at Scarborough


When your jazz club has been running 50 weeks a year for over 35 years, you don't just shut the doors and walk away. So Scarborough Jazz is proud to present... JAZZ LOCKDOWN - the self-isolating jazz club.

Every Wednesday at 8.45pm – the time when live music usually starts at Scarborough Jazz – we’ll be releasing a whole package of jazz goodies on the internet.

Pride of place is an exclusive jazz DJ set courtesy of Dr. Filey Selassie, a bona fide doctor of funk and a familiar face from playing drums at the club. Accompanying that will be a selection of links to jazz content around the web – concert footage, articles and reviews, live streams and more, much of it linked with Scarborough Jazz and all curated by ‘Jazz Thing’ radio show DJ Adrian Riley, chosen to keep you entertained throughout the week now we are all pretty much locked down.

Plus we’ll be regularly sharing exclusive content by local jazz musicians, not least some young faces who would usually be playing support slots as part of our ‘Next Jazz Generation’ initiative.

Bird Lives. And so does Scarborough Jazz.

We hope to be back in our original form when all this blows over, in the meantime stay safe and stay groovy. And log on every Wednesday at 8.45pm.

www.jazzlockdown.club


Manchester Jazz festival cancelled

From festival director Steve Mead


It is with great sadness we announce that this year’s Manchester Jazz Festival (May 21 -25) is cancelled. Along with the rest of the population, our hope is that the situation surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic improves in the coming months. However it is too great a risk for our staff, artists and partners to embark on delivering large scale events across the city during the worst public health crisis in a generation.

Manchester Jazz Festival formed in 1996 and has now become the city’s longest-running music festival. Our very first festival was cancelled on the day due to the city centre bomb in Manchester, so it is a strange book end to the first quarter century of our history that this, our 25th anniversary, will also be cancelled.

We know this news will come as a disappointment and we’d like to reassure everyone that we will be back in 2021. Those who have bought tickets to this year’s festival will be entitled to a full refund and should contact the booking agent they used to make their original purchase.

In the meantime, we’ll be working on supporting all artists across the North West and beyond. Please stay tuned over the coming months as we switch our focus to digital projects, so we can continue celebrate the work of our extraordinary artists with our loyal audiences.

Some of our partner venues may continue with the festival events they had programmed between May 21 -25. Although these gigs will no longer be part of mjf2020, if they are able to continue we ask you to support these events where you can.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Jazz carnage in the North - "it's going to be one long hard day"


Sad times for the jazz world-due to the COVID-19 virus. Its been a dreadful day - Ribble Valley, Wigan and Gateshead festivals axed, and whole promoter programmes everywhere, JazzLeeds festival, all gone  just gone, like that. Here is a list of the latest festival and promoter cancellatios

Scarborough Jazz
This is going to be one very long, hard day. Anyone I have given work to please expect an email from me. I hardly need to tell you what the content will be.
Bob Walker   

Bradford JAtP
In the light of the latest Government advice and the effect of that on the jazz scene generally, the JATPjazz Committee have most regrettably and reluctantly concluded that the best, most responsible course of action is to cancel all forthcoming gigs up until the end of May at the earliest.
We should not forget Bradford Latvian Club and Jazz Musicians in general in the current circumstances. In the light of the advice to avoid public gatherings, such venues and maintain "social distancing", coupled with the suspension of Bradford City AFC fixtures, the supporters of which pack the Bradford Latvian Club to the rafters for home games, it is easy to imagine the black holes which have suddenly appeared in their respective balance sheets.
We should also not forget our faithful Members, without whom none of this would happen in any circumstances. We advise that membership duration will be extended by the number of months we are "off-line" such that there will be no disadvantage to Members in terms of annual subscriptions. Of course, those members who would prefer a refund of outstanding subscriptions arising from cancellations, please contact Steve whose details can be found in the brochure.
We hope to be back where we belong at Bradford Latvian Club in the not too distant future and hope you will bear with us in the meantime.
Please stay safe and hopefully virus-free until happier, more normal days return.
We wish you all well.
JATPjazz Committee

Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues
The restrictions as set out the government today, confirm the decision we were about to make as a committee, which is to cancel this year’s Ribble Jazz Fest set for the first weekend in May. Our approach regarding our cancellation will be to airlift our programme forward to May 2021, working through the year once things settle to ensure that is a reality. Even this looks a bit grim right now – but let’s hope.
Sue Bradley

Gateshead International Jazz Festival
I write with a heavy heart to inform you that In light of the most recent Government advice, Sage Gateshead will be closed to the public from today until further notice. The health and safety of audiences, musicians and staff at Sage Gateshead is our priority.
 As such we have no option that to cancel this weekend’s Gateshead Jazz Festival. I know that for some of you this will be a relief and expected and for some of you it will be, as it is for us, a huge blow. We have put an enormous amount of work into the weekend and are devastated.
We won’t be able to move the whole festival to a different period, but we would like to work with all of you to find an alternative dates within 20/21. Under clause 16 of our contract we will enter a suspension period. We will be in touch with each of you individually as soon as we can to discuss this.
My apologies for this hugely disappointing news. With kind regards,
Tamsin Austin

Wigan Jazz festival
As a result of the increasing uncertainty and concerns being created by the coronavirus and taking into account the announcements made by the Government on Monday 16th Marchwe have taken the decision to cancel the 35th Wigan International Jazz Festival due to take place from 9th to 12th July 2020. Wherever possible musicians will be offered performances at the 2021 Jazz Festival.
Updates as to the activities of the Music Continuum will be made on social media, on the websites www.wiganjazzfest.co.uk www.wiganjazzclub.co.uk www.musiccontinuum.co.uk and in the monthly newsletter ‘Jazz Notes

Band on the Wall Manchester
In light of government advice issued on the evening of 16th March, we’re temporarily closing our doors with immediate effect. While we’d love for the show to go on, the health and safety of our customers, artists, staff and their friends and families are of paramount importance.
Therefore, unfortunately all events from 17th March – 18th April are postponed or cancelled. All ticket buyers will be notified via email.
During what is undoubtedly going to be a challenging time across the entertainment, culture and hospitality sectors, it’s important that we as a society and industry support each other. Band on the Wall has been here for over 200 years, and with the support of our amazing customers and partners, we’ll continue to play our role in the UK’s thriving music scene.
We are a small part of the huge, vibrant, brilliant community of venues, artists, promoters, creatives, freelancers, technical teams and front of house staff, and everyone in between, that makes up Manchester’s music community. Together, we’ll come back stronger than ever.
Gavin Sharp

Wakefeld Jazz
We are sad to make the announcement that none of our advertised gigs will go ahead until the COVD19 crisis is over, We are gutted for the jazz musicians affected by the lockdown
Pete Rosser

Sheffield Jazz
Because of the fast-deteriorating Covid-19 problem and associated Government guidance suggesting mass self-isolation in the near future we have decided to cancel all future gigs including Ant Law this cominhg Friday. We will shift the Nikki Iles Orchestra gig to Friday 25 September 2020 and will also be looking to rearrange the subsequent Crookes Social Club gigs and probably also the 30 April Jason Rebello Trio gig which is planned for Firth Hall. Please keep an eye on the Sheffield Jazz website for the new dates, for which your advance tickets will still be valid. If however the new date s inconvenient or you just want a refund as soon as possible please email sheffieldjazzorg@gmail.com and we will arrange a full refund via TicketSource.
We very much regret having to take this step, especially in view of the financial repercussions for the musicians, and we would urge all our audience to try to compensate at this very difficult time for them by buying CDs, downloads and other merchandise from the musicians' websites.
Paul Thomas

Jazz Leeds
With great sadmess we have to announce the cancellation our entire concert and festival season until further notice due to COVID-19. Our gigs at Seven Arts and Inkwell will no longer take place and we are also cancelling plans for the JazzLeeds Changes Festival in July. Our workshops, choir, rush hour jazz and jam sessions are also suspended. Where possible we are re-arranging concerts for the autumn. Do keep in touch via our website (www.jazzleeds.org.uk) and social media pages as we have plans to put some of the concerts on live stream.
Thanks for all your support and kind words. We wish all our musician and venue friend well in this difficult time.
Steve Crocker and all the team at Jazz Leeds


Jazz at the Spa (Boston Spa)
Not unexpectedly, Jazz in the Spa has suspended all gigs till the end of April in the first instance.
Looks like this will go on for quite a bit longer – but no point anticipating the worst case scenario.
Kind regards
Les

Jazz in York
Eagle and Child
Jazz at the Eagle and Child every Thursday has been postponed until further notice. Stay safe everyone we need you to return in numbers when all this blows over
Cross Keys
With much regret it has been decided to cancel the jazz sessions at the Cross Keys until further notice. As soon as the coronavirus situation abates we will reinstate the jazz.Watch this site!
Mal Bramley

Jazz North East Newcastle
For now all Jazz North East concerts and Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music are going ahead. Our next scheduled events are Vula Viel at GJF and then Alter Ego on 2nd April at The Black Swan Bar and Venue. Zoe Gilby 'Aurora' Quintet album launch is at Gosforth Civic Theatre on 23rd April.
Wes Stephenson

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Dizzy Club CANCELLED at Huddersfield



Huddersfield Jazz & Café Society are proud to welcome back the fabulous Dizzy Club on Sunday afternoon 22 March

Almost no other band seems to possess the ability to perform in so many varied and diverse venues as The Dizzies.  You are just as likely to find them performing for a club full of twenty-something “cool cats” as to an audience of “traditional” jazz fans.

With a repertoire full of artistic contradictions, their appearance at many different music clubs gives the clue as to why they enjoy such a massive appeal.  Their music often crosses stylistic divides, simply because they are so interesting musically.  With influences from Hot Club, 40s swing, Blue Note Soul and Sinatra (and often with Latin rhythms), this gives them an edge which most bands would die for.

Line-Up:
John Naylor – Vocals & Guitar
Shez Sheridan – Lead Guitar / Lap Steel & Guitar
Mike Fleming – Double Bass & Vocals.
John Watterson – Drums

Social Media:
Website – www.dizzyclub.co.uk
Facebook - facebook.com/dizzyclub


Date: Sunday 22nd March 2020
Time: 2pm - 4pm
Venue: Café Society - Byram Street, Huddersfield
THIS GIG HAS BEEN CANCELLED
THIS GIG CASNCE


Late March North East gigs list



*Lunchtime/afternoon gig
** given the recent virus outbreak it is worth checking that thesegigs are still on...

Mar 14 MGB: Milne-Glendinning Band Prohibition Bar, Newcastle NE1 5DW
Mar 15 Newcastle University Jazz The Globe, Newcastle NE4 7AD
Mar 15 FINNTET Black Bull, Blaydon NE21 4JJ
Mar 17 Darlington Big Band Forum Music Centre, Darlington DL1 1SG
Mar 18 Julija Jacenaite & Alexys de Alfaro Jazz Café Mezzanine, Newcastle NE1 1SG*
Mar 19 Pat Thomas King’s Hall, Newcastle University NE1 7RU*
Mar 20 Andrea Vicari Trio Gala Theatre, Durham DH1 5DW*
Mar 20 Andrea Vicari Trio Traveller’s Rest, Darlington DL3 9ER
Mar 20-22 Gateshead Jazz Sage Gateshead NE8 2JR
Mar 28 Mama Shakers St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington DL3 7TG*
Mar 29 Jazz Sunday Middlesbrough Town Hall TS1 2QJ*
   

Russell Corbett's March North East roundup

From Russell Corbett


One event towers above all others in March. Following a one year hiatus Gateshead Jazz (formerly Gateshead International Jazz Festival) returns to Sage Gateshead over three days (Fri 20-Sun22). Jamie Cullum's opening concert sold out some time ago and by the time you've attended the weekend's closing concert featuring the Binker Golding Quartet an awful lot of jazz will be ringing in the ears. From SEED Ensemble to GoGo Penguin, a late night Judi Jackson show to Theo Croker, Yazz Ahmed, Jasper Høiby's Planet B and Nikki Iles' new star-studded Jazz Orchestra there should be something for everyone although, it should be said, Gateshead Jazz sports a very distinctive contemporary badge.

Five or more top class pianists can be heard across the north east of England during the month; Dean Stockdale plays a duo gig with Edinburgh-based vocalist Louise Dodds at Newcastle's Jazz Cafe (Wed 4, lunchtime), Sam Leak brings his trio to the Globe, Newcastle (Sat 7), King's Hall, Newcastle University presents two free admission concerts - first John Law (Thurs 12, lunchtime) with his quartet followed seven days later by Pat Thomas playing what is certain to be an explosive solo improv set - and Andrea Vicari can look forward to a bumper pay day with a gig at Durham's Gala Theatre (lunchtime) and an evening engagement at Opus 4 Jazz Club in Darlington (both Fri 20).

Elsewhere six big bands catch the eye/ear. The BBC Big Band at the Gala Theatre, Durham (Wed 4) will, no doubt, boast its usual quota of household names, the Customs House Big Band returns to Dorman's, Middlesbrough (Mar 12, free admission) and an intriguing gig at Flat Caps Coffee in Newcastle (Fri 13) features a one-off appearance by NYC-based trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader Danny Jonokuchi working with the mighty Strictly Smokin' Big Band. It has the makings of an 'I was there' occasion. Jason Holcomb's new outfit - Newcastle University Jazz - plays a second public gig at Newcastle's Jazz Co-op (Mar 15) and the Darlington Big Band will be on home turf at the Forum Music Centre (Mar 17). Finally, Nikki Iles' recently formed large ensemble makes a swift return to the region following an appearance at Gateshead Jazz with a headline spot at Middlesbrough Town Hall's monthly Sunday Jazz showcase on Mar 29. An enticing triple bill includes the Nishla Smith Quintet and the Tees Valley Youth Jazz Collective.

Recommended one-off gigs include the Tenement Jazz Band (Mar 8, afternoon) at Prohibition Bar, Newcastle, Joe Williamson's Animal Society (Mar 8) at the Bridge Hotel, Newcastle and, all the way from France, Mama Shakers play an end-of-the-month gig at Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club (Mar 28). So many gigs, so little time! Isn't it wonderful?!