Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Dave Atherton's duo...

Nicola Farnon

From Dave Atherton at Davenham

"I think my (our) favorite at jazz@davenham (and also the Manchester Jazz Festival) has to be The Nicola Farnon Trio. Nicola's great enthusiasm and personality made this a really entertaining gig to watch. Certainly enjoyed by our audience.

Although not straight "jazz" but with some fantastic jazz musicians in Stevie Williams (bass & vocal), Dave Hassell (drums), Markie Creswell guitar & vocals. Billy Buckley guitar & lap steel guitar, our October gig with the "Most Wanted Band" was very exciting and got a standing ovation from jazz@davenham.

We have certainly enjoyed all the gigs we have had here this year, many with the great support of Jazz North.

Happy New Year!"

Dave Atherton 
Jazz at Davenham team

Some of Leeds best 2014...

Soweto Kinch@Seven. Pic by Tom Swire

It has been such an exceptional year's jazz - so many highlights for me including Bill Frisell in April and Dave Douglas/Uri Caine in May at The Howard Assembly Room, the double big band concert at Leeds College of Music in November of NYJO & their German equivalent BuJazzO  and a totally unexpected pleasure of seeing community band The Dales Jam accompanying West Riding silent short films at Seven Arts in May.

But how do you say what has been "best" in a place like Leeds where so much jazz is happening all the time?Rather just saying what I thought the top gigs were I'm listing those gigs that have had been the top five over the last twelve months with our audience - by another very imprecise measure, the hits on our YouTube site (which is here).

In reverse order these were

5 Chapel Allerton Fest Jazz 2014 31/8/14. A hot Sunday and great atmosphere in the open air on Regent Street to see the local hero Brendan Duffy with his ever changing but always inspiring Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra, saxman Richard Ormrod's dub tinged "A Dread Supreme" (their version of Bill Wilson's "Rainy Day Resolution" will stay with me for a long time), trumpeter Enrico Marchesi back playing again and on top form with his band Boubon y Tequilia, guitarman Al Morrison’s Blues Experience and bassist Simon Read's Octet featuring Laura Jurd. Two "Northern Line" band there thanks to the excellent "Jazz North".

4 Anita Wardell/Dave O'Higgins Quintet 16/5/14 at Seven Arts. Anita really is the best at vocal improvisations and vocalese and her interweaving with Dave O'Higgins effortless flow of  ideas was a joy to see. The gig came about via the Loire Jazz Summer School with the tutor group led by drummer Tristan Maillot; it was one of many tours in the year organised by the NorVolJazz clubs, this one included Scarborough, Leeds and Sheffield.

3 Gary Boyle at Inkwell 16/2/14.  Still the top British jazz fusion guitarist Gary Boyle (ex Isotope, Triple Echo, and albums like Electric Glide) doesn't tour much outside the North these days but he put on his usual stunning display of funk and jazz at our Inkwell venue. Gary really wanted to play Inkwell, a creative space in Leeds for positive mental health, and he just brought the house down.

2 Jazz Yorkshire showcase at Seven Arts 29/6/14. "Le Grand Depart" cycle race gave lots of people a chance to strut their artistic as well as pedalling prowess. The showcase was masterminded by Martin Coultas, from the now sadly defunct Jazz Yorkshire organisation and featured trumpet star (and Hope and Social celeb) James Hamilton conducting the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra through a newly commissioned “Jazz Yorkshire Suite”; DYJO alumni Dennis Rollins was on trombone. The mercurial Matthew Bourne played some fascinating solo piano, trumpetwoman Kim Macari brought her "Locus" sextet featuring Leah Gough Cooper and the showcase was finished off by veteran Leeds multi instrumentalist Al Wood.

1 Soweto Kinch/Abstract Hip Hop Orchestra at Seven Arts 23/1/14. The most hits went to a gig by saxophonist and hip hop star Soweto Kinch with the‘The Legend of Mike Smith’. Support was from The Abstract Orchestra, led by Leeds saxman Rob Mitchell inspired by the The Roots and Jay-Z. It was a night of hip-hop, r and b soul, dub, pop and jazz that had the audience on their feet being conducted by Soweto singing along to "Stroke the Hippo"!

Here's to a cool 2015. Happy New Year y'all!

Steve Crocker

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Top gigs - from Jude Sacker

Ian Shaw, Barry Greene and guest 
From Jude Sacker, Sheffield Jazz

"My mind's a blank! No actually it has been a lovely year here. Three from me

Ian Shaw and Barry Greene @Millennium Hall Sheffield Feb 2014
The UK's finest vocalist and accompanist.

Gilad Atzmon and Orient House Ensemble @Millennium Hall Sheffield Oct 2014
The best entertainment.

Ben Clatworthy and Cecelia Coleman @Millennium Hall Sheffield Nov 2014
Brilliant interplay between the band"

Three of the best from Mike Gordon

Nigel Kennedy and John Etheridge - Scarborough Jazz Festival 

Three of the best from Mike Gordon...

"Benn Clatworthy Quartet-  Scarborough Jazz @ The Cask:
Benn just seems to get better and better.  He has a fantastic reception at the club with an exciting and varied programme. Brilliantly accompanied by New York pianist Cecelia Coleman, Benn is definitely a world class player.

John Etheridge and Trio North-  Scarborough Jazz @ The Cask:
John seems able to turn his hand - or plectrum - to any musical genre.  He always attracts a big crowd to the Cask.  His versatility and spontaneity were also displayed before 1200 people at Scarborough Jazz Festival in September when he teamed up with violinist Nigel Kennedy, switching from straight ahead jazz in the first set to mind blowing Hendrix style grooving in the second.

Gerry Mulligan Concert Band led by saxophonist Robert Fowler - Scarborough Jazz Festival @Scarborough Spa
For sheer professionalism and outstanding musicianship it would be hard to beat this gripping performance"

Paul Bream's picks of the year...


From Paul Bream....

"When a young musician recently asked me for my favourite jazz era, my unequivocal answer was “today”!

That’s partly because of my firm conviction that jazz, as an improvised music, must constantly test out new routes to remain valid and vibrant – listeners (and, even more so, musicians) who yearn for yesteryear condemn the music to be part of the heritage industry rather than a developing artistic force. But I think my thesis is also borne out by the fact that, having been a jazz fan for more than 50 years, I cannot remember a time when there has been so much exciting music being made, embracing such a wide variety of approaches. Looking back over the 70 odd concerts I’ve attended in 2014, I’m struck by just how many highlights there were, each offering a distinctive take on our music.

And that makes it almost impossible to select just three memorable gigs from the past year: how on earth can I compare (for instance) the gloriously extrovert extravagances of the Charlotte Glasson Group with the profoundly thoughtful solo piano of Julie Sassoon? So what follows is not a list of my ‘top three gigs”, but a selection of just three from many, designed to reflect the sheer variety of good things on offer to today’s jazz enthusiast. If I undertook this exercise in a hour’s time, I’d probably come up with a completely different trio.

Troyka and Pulcinella – double bill at Newcastle Jazz Café

A lot of the jazz I’ve enjoyed this year came from European groups, but French quartet Pulcinella narrowly get the nod over their compatriots Papanosh partly because their music is absolutely distinctive, and partly because it gives me a chance to also commend the other half of this double bill. Troyka started life in 2009 with an exhilarating mash-up of rock, jazz and dance music, but their subsequent development has seen them introduce more light and shade into their approach, so that this Jazz Café set was a feast of fascinating melodic and rhythmic variation.

As for Pulcinella, theirs is a music that is absolutely up to the minute, yet deeply infused with the spirit and theatricality of bal-musette: the accordion player in particular could have just stepped out of a 1930s Paris Bar. When I first saw them at a festival in Normandy I wondered whether they might be almost too French for a UK audience, but I was wrong. They went down a treat, and had everybody leaving the venue with a smile as wide as the Seine Estuary.

Blue Eyed Hawk- at the Bridge Hotel Newcastle

Hype and quality don’t always go together, but in the case of trumpeter Laura Jurd, one of the most talked about jazz artists of the past few years, the latter fully justifies the former. And the same can be said of much praised singer Lauren Kinsella, who combines an exquisite purity of tone with the most extraordinary vocal gymnastics. These two stand out as co-leaders of Blue Eyed Hawk (their trumpet/vocal passages are ethereal magic), although guitarist Alex Roth and drummer Corrie Dick both contribute tunes to the quartet’s repertoire, and are crucial to the tightly knit overall approach.

Describing that approach, however, is tough. This Bridge Hotel gig revealed elements of folk, rock and classical music alongside a deeply felt immersion in the jazz tradition, all beautifully integrated into something of their own that sounded absolutely original – and which drew unstinting praise from conservative and radical audience members alike. When you see a 70 year old jazz fan buy a band tee-shirt at the end of a gig, you know something special has happened. I am that fan, and I’m wearing the tee right now!

Engine Room Favourites- at the Bridge Hotel Newcastle

It sounds like a recipe for chaos. A 10-piece band (four of them drummers) drawn from the ranks of the Northern improv scene, and including such free spirits as Mick Beck, Corey Mwamba and Walt Shaw . . . isn’t that a template for complete cacophony? Exhilarating, perhaps, but cacophony nonetheless.

Yet under the leadership of Martin Archer this came together as a beautifully structured edifice, within which any number of freely evolving details threw up surprises at every turn. The first piece was typical (if you can use such a term for such freewheeling music): described by Martin as “a medley of everything we have ever played”, it achieved the remarkable feat of sounding tightly organised yet completely spontaneous – a tribute to the way the leader cajoled and conducted the band throughout, while still finding time to contribute some outstanding playing of his own. In fact everybody was at the top of their game, seemingly enthused by the joyous spirit of the occasion. At the end of the evening, the buzz of excitement amongst audience and musicians alike was palpable. Two months later I’m still buzzing!"


John Quail's best gig of 2014

Simon Fell Sextet at Marsden Jazz Festival

From John Quail - Marsden Jazz Festival

"My most memorable gig was the performance by the Simon Fell Sextet of Simon's Marsden Jazz Festival commission 'Ragging Time' on Saturday 11 October. Line up Percy Pursglove (tpt) Alex Ward (clt) Shabaka Hutchings (bs clt) Richard Compte (gtr) Paul Hession (dms) Simon Fell (dbs).  It was a triumph! We asked Simon to make New Orleans jazz dangerous, the devils music, the soundtrack of modernity. And he did! It's going out on Jazz on 3 sometime Jan/Feb 2015. Listen and be amazed...

Best wishes for the New Year


Geoff Matthews top three of 2014

Alan Barnes ‘A Christmas Carol’. Pic by George Coupe

From Geoff Matthews at Southport

"My top 3 for 2014 were

Freddie Bryant's Kaleidoscope Trio
Playing classical acoustic, 12 string and Fender Strat. New York guitarist Freddie Bryant just raised the jazz guitar bar to new heights.
An eclectic mix of Brazilian, original compositions and a touch of Thelonius with superb support.
At ‘Jazz on a Winter’s Weekend’ 1st Feb 2014
Freddie guitars – Patrice Blanchard bass guitar – Willard Dyson drums

Tommy Smith sax & Brian Kellock piano duo
Need I say more? Just fantastic.
Southport Melodic Jazz club Sunday 21 Sept

Alan Barnes ‘A Christmas Carol’ Suite based on the Charles Dickens novel.
New original  writing, superb arranging, memorable and amusing narration, great soloing-especially Karen on baritone in the ‘Scrooge’ movement. Best audience of the year as well!
Alan Barnes, Robert Fowler, Karen Sharpe, Bruce Adams, Mark Nightingale, Dave Newton, Simon Thorpe, Clark Tracey.
At our Christmas Special mini-fest Sunday 14 December

Hard to pick the best – all different and hugely enjoyable.

Season’s Greetings to all!!!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Jez Mathews best gigs of 2014

Blue Eyed Hawk

It's getting near to the 2014 year end so it's "LIST TIME"! I asked around the independent Northern Jazz promoters for their most memorable gigs of the year - not only their own but anything in the North that had been a special occasion. They will be put up on the blog in the next couple of days (so send yours in...). I asked for three but Jez Mathews who promotes jazz at the Lescar in Sheffield writes...

"Errr…. Can I have six? I couldn’t choose, although I have put two of them together….. Sorry, a slight bias towards piano trios!

Enrico Pieranunzi at The Crucible/Sheffield Jazz and Michael Wollny Trio at Sheffield Jazz - two phenomenal pianists from Europe, one a legend, one a rising international star with one of the year’s best albums, with their trios - in contrasting settings, the intimacy of the Crucible Studio and the club atmosphere of the Millennium Hall. Both weaving magic for spellbound audiences.

Gogo Penguin at The Lescar Sheffield; a band on the crest of national acclaim, and Mercury Music Prize nominees, completely rammed the Lescar, and then some, and had turned the venue into a mini-rave by the time they tore into ‘Garden Dog Barbecue’ from their brilliant album ‘V2.0’.

Elliot Galvin Trio at Lancaster Jazz Festival, surely a future major star with a great young trio; music played with passion, wit and technical bravado, respectful of tradition, yet exploring new sounds and approaches. Wonderful stuff.

Hannah Brady and Pete Lyons, and Laura Cole, Seth Bennett, Pete Fairclough Trio, double bill at The Lescar Sheffield. Five musicians with strong connections to Sheffield, and a wonderful audience; demonstrating the breadth of possibility in a jazz gig; from Bach Two Part Inventions arranged for a sax duet, to a contemporary piano/bass/drums trio comprising three equal and eloquent voices, music full of space and improvisational verve.

Dave Kane/Seth Bennett and Blue Eyed Hawk at Fusebox Leeds; another double bill - the masterful double bass duo of Dave Kane and Seth Bennett in a fascinating low frequency conversation, full of twists, turns, moments of calm, and occasional shared jokes. Followed by one of the UK’s best new groups, featuring rising star Laura Jurd on trumpet, and the completely original vocals of Lauren Kinsella. Their ‘Aurora 5am’ is one of my favourite tunes this year.

Happy New Year!

Cheers, Jez."

More tomorrow!!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Santa baby....

Happy Christmas Everyone! Keep supporting live jazz in the North!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Frosty Christmas as The Central

Richard Hardy writes

Dear Jazz at The Central supporter

A quick reminder for this week's line-up. That's this Thursday 11th December. Then, an easy one to remember, we will be re-starting jazz at The Central 2015 just four weeks later i.e. Thursday 8th January 2015.

For next year, we have already managed to line up two Jazz nights with two separate bands, both which have appeared several times in the national Jazz Reviews, real top notch bands making a mark on the British Jazz circuit. More details to follow. The Central (on Wellington Street, Leeds) is possibly one of few Jazz venues in the region where it is being run in the style of a Jazz Club with different bands being organised for each fortnight yet with free admission, so please do support this new Jazz venue and keep spreading the work.

Look forward to seeing you for our last Jazz night of 2014.

Yo Ho Ho

Trumpetman Rich

Wild Flower album launch 3 Feb 2015

Matt Anderson – Tenor Saxophone
Laura Jurd – Trumpet
Alex Munk – Electric Guitar
Jamil Sheriff – Piano
Sam Vicary – Double-Bass
Sam Gardner – Drums

Wild Flower Sextet is an all-star band led by saxophonist Matt Anderson playing original music inspired by the sound and approach of jazz legend Wayne Shorter, alongside new arrangements of classic and lesser-known Shorter compositions. At this very special album-launch gig in the LCoM Recital Room, the band will be working with the Leeds-based Jellymould Jazz label to release their debut album in the very same space in which it was recorded in 2014.

Matt Anderson graduated from Leeds College of Music in 2010 with First Class Honours, also receiving the Sam Hood Rosebowl for Outstanding Performance. He has since studied with Iain Ballamy and Stan Sulzmann, and was awarded ‘Young Musician of the Year’ at the Jazz Yorkshire Awards 2010. The Matt Anderson Quartet toured nationally in 2012, with JazzUK commenting: “melodic standards and original tunes… impressive throughout,” and he has gone on to work with many of his former tutors, currently appearing in bands led by Jiannis Pavlidis, Jamil Sheriff and Jamie Taylor as well as featuring on Taylor's latest CD 'Introducing Outside Line'.

The sextet draws on an all-star line-up of UK jazz musicians. Laura Jurd is an award-winning young trumpeter making waves on the UK jazz scene with the Laura Jurd Quartet (currently pairing up with the Ligeti string quartet) and the Chaos Orchestra, and also as a member of ensembles such as the London Sound Painting Orchestra and Blue-Eyed Hawk. Guitarist Alex Munk is a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and is currently working with a number of distinguished UK musicians/groups including Stan Sulzmann Big Band, Ivo Neame and Trish Clowes. Pianist Jamil Sheriff is Pathway Leader for Jazz at Leeds College of Music and is well known for his own projects such as his Octet and Big Band. Finally, drummer Sam Gardner and bassist Sam Vicary have built up a rapport playing together in a variety of settings, from appearing with jazz artists such as Jiannis Pavlidis, Tim Whitehead and Krzysztof Urbanski to performing and recording with ambient hip-hop band Ikestra.

Needing no introduction, Wayne Shorter is a legendary figure across the whole spectrum of jazz, from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and his own seminal albums on Blue Note Records through the Miles Davis Second Great Quintet and Weather Report to his new Quartet.


“Anderson adds another fine solo—crisp intonation and an economy of style leave space to savour each note.”
Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz (review of Jamie Taylor's Outside Line CD)

“The Lit and Phil's jazz patrons were fully immersed in the performance and once more the sustained applause said it all. An excellent gig from a top class band.”
Russell, bebopspokenhere blog (review of the Wild Flower Sextet at Jazz North East)

“This gig was a sell-out, and we were treated to a truly excellent performance by Matt Anderson's Wild Flower Sextet, playing music of Wayne Shorter and some of Matt's own compositions.  The line-up… delighted and entertained us, and time only allowed us one encore though we would have loved more. A performance full of quality and promise for the future.”
Jean Watson, Seven Jazz Leeds

Wild Flower Sextet Album-Launch gig at Leeds College of Music on the 3rd Feb 2015

 It's at the Leeds College of Music Recital Room, Quarry Hill, Leeds, pricing is £12/£10/£8 (staff/students).

Party Time at the Globe...

Jeremy Platt

Party Time – 3 great gigs before Xmas at the Jazz Co-op

There’s three great gigs at the Globe newcastle in the run-up to Christmas – all different, all quality and all demonstrating the diversity of jazz.

On Saturday 13 December there’s Jeremy Platt Jazz Soul Moment - a popular trio launching their second album.

Jeremy Platt - Piano, Microkorg and Vocals
Frank Felix – Bass
John Boulton – Drums
"Funky-Jazz Piano. At times intense, at other times joyous, but always groovin'!" - Dennis Rollins

‘It’s all here – totally upfront. All the listener has to do is enjoy the delicacy of the ballads and the foot tapping grooves on the funkier pieces.’ Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here

On Friday 19 December hard bop sextet Alter Ego bring their combination of tight arrangements and free flowing solos to the Globe recreating the style of 1960s jazz with a 21st century edge.

Sunday 21 December is our unofficial Christmas party, with Pjanto Mates and the Diminished 7, a one-off gig by the top session musicians who are playing at the Theatre Royal (can you guess the name of the panto?). Damian Cook – sax, Simon Lambert – piano, Jo Britton – bass, Ollie Boorman – drums, will be in party mood and may be joined by others – who knows?

For those who haven't been to a jazz gig at the Globe yet then come to one (or more) in the next two weeks and support the new jazz venue. And to those of you who have been, please come again and bring a friend.

Remember that members can bring a guest for free to most gigs (or with a £5 discount off more expensive tickets).

The Jazz-Coop Newcastle
The Globe
11 Railway St,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
Tyne and Wear
0191 222 2222

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Stuart McCallum Trio at The Cooler

Matt Anderson writes - we have Stuart McCallum Trio at Sela, Sunday 14th December

Join us to celebrate the final Cooler of the year on Sunday 14th December with the amazing Stuart McCallum Trio. We've had an incredible Autumn of gigs from the likes of Joel Purnell, Alex Munk and Simon Read, and what better way to round off the year than with Stuart's unique trio?!

Stuart McCallum - Guitar
Pete Turner - Double-Bass
Luke Flowers - Drums

Stuart's original use of loops and effects combined with his extensive harmonic knowledge make him one of the most in-demand guitarists on the scene today.

Best known for his work with The Cinematic Orchestra, Stuart also has an extensive solo career and has toured and recorded with the likes of Ari Hoenig, Tim Garland, Don Weller, Kenny Wheeler, John Surman and Mike Gibbs. His most recent release 'Beholden' finds him performing duo with acclaimed guitarist Mike Walker, and as well as lecturing part-time at Leeds College Of Music, Stuart is currently collaborating with UK drummer and producer Richard Spaven on a follow-up album to Distilled, and writing and producing an album with Irish folk singer Rioghnach Connolly.

Sela Bar
20 New Briggate
0113 2429442

Liverpool Jazz Fest 2015


Neil Cambell from Capstone Theatre in Liverpool writes about the line up for this year's Liverpool International Jazz Festival 26 Feb-1 Mar 2015

GoGo Penguin Thursday 26th February, 8pm (doors)
The Kazimier, 4-5 Wolstenholme Square, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 4JJ. Admission: £11.50 (+booking fee) Chris Illingworth (piano) Nick Blacka (bass) Rob Turner (drums)
GoGo Penguin’s skittering break-beats, telepathic interplay and a penchant for anthemic melody all contribute to a sound that’s wholly their own. “GoGo Penguin have barged their way to the front of this crowded playing field with a sharp-elbowed sound that’s as intelligently accessible as it is belligerently danceable” - Jazzwise --

Troyka Friday 27th February, 7.30pm Admission: £11.50 Ticket link: Information:
Kit Downes - hammond organ/synths Chris Montague - guitars/loops Josh Blackmore - drums
Troyka is an experimental British trio who make rich and enthralling instrumental music. Featuring Kit Downes (once Mercury nominated in his own right) on hammond/synths, Chris Montague on guitar/loops and Josh Blackmore on drums, Troyka is far more than the sum of its parts and is definitely not your usual Hammond organ trio.Ornithophobia is the London three-piece’s third studio album

Marley Chingus Jazz Collective
Friday 27th February, 10pm
The Caledonia, 22 Caledonia St, Liverpool, Merseyside L7 7DX
Free Admission.Information:
The Marley Chingus Jazz Collective is Liverpool's fortnightly progressive jazz session, featuring some of the most in demand Liverpool and Northwest players. Expect a lively party atmosphere and two sets of hot modern jazz.

Milapfest presents Svara Kanti Saturday 28th February, 1pm Free
(Book in advance for priority entry Information: Indian/Western quartet Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti has been acclaimed across the world for redefining the limits of intercultural collaboration. They perform Simon’s stunning new music uniting the immense expressive possibilities of ragas with jazz harmonic explorations, explore jazz and Indian improvisation, reimagine folk styles and extend traditions, combine the complex rhythmic systems of India with the boundless searching of Western jazz and classical as well as draw inspiration from sources as diverse as Flamenco, Blues, Indonesia and Jimi Hendrix.

2015 Foyer Concerts Saturday 28th February Free Admission Information:
Jazz Worriers (3pm)
Nicola Farnon Trio (4pm)
John Ellis Trio (5pm)
Slowlight Quartet (6pm)

Liverpooljazz presents Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio Saturday 28th February, 7.30pm Admission: £11.50 Ticket link: Information:
Dennis Rollins- Trombone Pedro Segundo- Drums Ross Stanley- Organ
"...Rarely can an instrumental trio have produced such a rich and varied tonal range." London Evening Standard

Jazz Singing Workshop – Sense of Sound Sunday 1st March, 10am- 12.30pm The Cornerstone Building (Grace Room - COR 114), Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus, 17 Shaw Street, Liverpool L6 1HP Admission: £10 (£7 concessions) advance registration required – see details below
Perri Alleyne-Hughes invites you to explore a little of that terrain with her, in a workshop on jazz-singing.
A highly accomplished singer/songwriter, teacher and choral arranger, Perri is also a Musical Director for the Liverpool-based a cappella ensemble, Sense of Sound Singers. This workshop will be best suited to those who have at least a basic knowledge of singing and music theory.
Come and sing your heart out…

Saxophone Workshop – Brandon Allen (11am- 12.30pm) Sunday 1st March, 11am-12.30pm Free Admission (advance booking required) Information:
"Brandon Allen is arguably the most exciting tenor player in Britain today. His phrasing is unashamedly emotional, soaked in the blues tradition." - Tony Hall (Jazzwise)
Please do not bring instruments. To book in at this event please email your name and phone number with Saxophone Workshop in the subject field to --

Workshop Demonstration – Mike Walker & Stuart McCallum Sunday 1st March, 11am- 12.30pm The Cornerstone Building (Cornerstone Theatre - COR 001), Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus, 17 Shaw Street, Liverpool L6 1HP Admission: £5 (£3.50 concessions)  Walker was Professor of Guitar and Improvisation at Franz Liszt Hochschule in Germany, and McCallum is Principal Lecturer in Guitar at Leeds College of Music. Through practical demonstrations in the workshop, the duo will talk about their working methods, how to develop and sustain good practice routines, improvising skills and aural awareness.

North West Jazz Showcase Sunday 1st March, 1pm Free Admission Information: A triple-bill event supported by Jazz North and Liverpooljazz, featuring sets from some of the best new bands emerging in the North West.
Jam Experiment Rory Ingham (trombone)/Alex Bone (saxophone)/Toby Comeau (piano)/Felix Moseholm (bass)/Jonathan Mansfield (drums). The band has been selected as winners of this year's Jazz North Introduces scheme and will be performing at a number of high profile jazz festivals throughout the region.
White Canvas Barry Dallman (piano)/Andy Hulme (guitar)/Grant Russell (bass)/Adam Goldberg (drums)
White Canvas made their debut at the inaugural Liverpool International Jazz Festival in 2012 where they supported Robert Mitchell and the Kit Downes Quintet and are currently working on
their first album which is due to be released late 2015.
Blind Monk Trio Bob Whittaker (tenor saxophone) Hugo Harrison (double bass) Johnny Hunter (drums) Blind Monk Trio have caused quite a stir over the past couple of years in the UK Northern jazz scene, putting a fresh spin on the sax/bass/drums trio format.

James Taylor Quartet Sunday 1st March, 8pm (doors) The Kazimier, 4-5 Wolstenholme Square, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 4JJ. Admission: £16.50 (+booking fee)
(please visit or call 0151 324 1723 for Box Office)
James Taylor, one of the great British instrumentalists of his generation, has taken his trademark howling Hammond sound to the masses for over 25 years; still famed for its upbeat, energetic live shows... with no sign of slowing down. The band’s relentlessly entertaining tunes take inspiration from the rare-groove style funk, and boogaloo funk of the 60s and 70s and, the band is, without a doubt, one of the most important jazz-pop crossover outfits in British live musical history today.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Jazz day by day in York


John Marley gives us a jazz day by day in York....
Kate Peters Quartet - The Phoenix Inn, George Street. 8.30pm. Free entry. (1st and 3rd Monday of every month).

Wednesdays -
Jam Night - The Phoenix Inn, George Street. 8.30pm. Free entry. (Every week).
Gypsy Jazz Jam - The Volunteer Arms, Watson Street. 9pm. Free entry. (Fortnightly)

Thursdays -
Jazz Duos - The Pavilion Hotel, Fulford Road. 7pm. Free entry. (Every week).
Andy Cholerton Trio/Karl Mullen Trio + Guests - Red Lion Hotel, Poppleton. 8.30pm. Free entry. (Every Week).

Sundays -
Kennedy's Trio with guests - Kennedy's Bar, Little Stonegate. 1pm. Free entry. (Every Week).
Firebird Quartet/Central Scrutinizers/Guest Bands - The Phoenix Inn, George Street. 8pm. Free entry. (Every Week).

Check for up to date info. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Two gigs at Leeds College of Music

Bobby Avey

Two jazz gigs coming up at Leeds College of Music -

Directed by Callum AuMonday,
Callum Au directs the Leeds College of Music Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, performing highlights of Bernstein's West Side Story, arranged by Au himself.

Callum Au is a professional trombonist, composer, orchestrator, and arranger. A member of NYJO from 2005, he held the lead trombone chair with the band from 2008-2011, and contributed over 50 charts to the band's library. He was taught by ex-Syd Lawrence trumpet player Terry Reaney, and has since studied with world-famous jazz trombonists Mark Nightingale and Gordon Campbell.

Monday 8 December 2014
Time 7:30PM
Venue The Venue Leeds College of Music
Tickets £8 / £5 (free to LCoM staff and students)

Authority Melts From Me (2014, Whirlwind Recordings) draws inspiration from the Haitian slave rebellion of 1791 and more directly from Haitian vodou drumming traditions. Supported by a Chamber Music America grant, Avey traveled to Haiti in 2012 to attend and record a vodou ceremony in the small Haitian village of Soukri. After a period of immersion, transcription, and analysis, Avey used these rhythms and concepts to sculpt the bone structure for Authority Melts From Me. In addition to Avey, the band features the immense talents of Miguel Zenón (alto sax), Ben Monder (guitar), Michael Janisch (bass), and Jordan Perlson (drums).

Date Wednesday, 10 December 2014
Time 7:30PM
Venue The Venue Leeds College of Music
Tickets £12 / £10 (further reductions for LCoM staff and students)
The Bobby Avey Project performs music from Authority Melts From Me and more.

More details and tickets

Jazz Collective at Head of Steam winter dates

        Al Wood               

Paul Smith writes - Winter dates at Head of Steam, Huddersfield- eclectic mix of Jazz/Blues & Latin

Dec 3rd    Stuart McDonald (sax), Kevin Holbrough (trombone)

Dec 10th   Loretta Scott (vocals), Brendon Duffy (sax)

Dec 17th       CHRISTMAS ‘BASH’ - Seasonal Refreshments - Santa’s helpers Jon Taylor (sax), Adrian Ingram (guitar), Terry Kenyon (vocals)

Dec 24th   NO GIG

Dec 31st   NO GIG

Jan 7th      Mike Cox’s Senior Saxes - Al Wood, Bill Charleston, Rod Mason

Jan 14th    Jonny Faulls (sax), Damien Bell (trumpet)

Jan 21st     Al Wood (sax), Matt Ball (trombone)

Jan 28th     Jon Taylor (sax), Dave Tyas (drums)

All with : Paul Smith’s Jazz Collective
Andy Cholerton or Andrzej Baranek keys
Paul Chamberlain or Paul Baxter bass
Paul Smith Drums

Wednesday Head of Steam
St George’s Square,

Show Time 8.30pm
support the music with raffle participation

Sheffield Jazz spring into action!

Paul Thomas writes

The Sheffield Jazz Spring 2015 programme comprises 16 gigs spread over 3 main venues. its tarts on 16 January with the great John Taylor's New Group at the Crucible Studio on 16 January, where the Marius Neset Quintet also appear on 9 April. At the increasingly popular Auditorium (Sheffield University Students Union) Troyka appear on 12 March as part of a tour to promote their new CD, and Roller Trio wind up the season on 14 May. 

Artists appearing at Millennnium Hall are Max Luthert's Orbital, featuring Gareth Lockrane (23 January), Matthew Halsall and the Gondwana Orchestra plus Mammal Hands (a double bill, on 30 January), Liane Carroll Trio (6 February), Larry Bartley's Just Us! (13 February), SUJO (20 February), Trish Clowes Quintet, featuring Gwilym Simcock (27 February), Phil Donkin's The Gate (6 March), Denys Baptiste's Triumvirate (20 March), Andrew McCormack Trio plus Mark Lockheart (27 March), Kairos 4tet (17 April), Laura Jurd Quartet (24 April), Darius Brubeck Quartet (8 May). 

There will also be a full programme of excellent music on Wednesday nights at The Lescar. For more details of all these gigs go to:

Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues - Christmas in style

Alan Barnes Quartet 

Sue Bradley writes

Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues is counting down the days to Christmas in style, starting on this Friday 5 December 2014 as the Alan Barnes Quartet hits the Atrium at Clitheroe Castle BB7 1BA. Tickets: £12 - Members £10, available on the door.  Buy online at We Got Tickets. Line-up: Errol Roberts on drums, Les Chisnell on keys, Steve Berry on double bass. Don’t miss this gig - it will be big!!!

Ribble Valley’s very own home grown Jazz Collective takes to the stage at 2pm on Sunday 7th December at the Spread Eagle in Sawley, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 4NH
This new community big band is directed by Paul J Rigby, one of the most experienced band leaders in the North West.  Expect some Big Band Classics as well as bit of tinsel too. Not ticketed but be sure to reserve your table for lunch.

Northernline artists Djangologie are set to bring a sparkle to our Friday Live stream on 12th December 12 noon at the Grand Theatre, 18 York Street, Clitheroe BB7 2DL courtesy of Jazz North with the Mark Lewis trio putting the final touches to our festive season the same evening from 7pm at the Bayley Arms in Hurst Green, Clitheroe BB7 9QB

2015 looks set to be our best yet with a sensational set of monthly gigs including the Zoe Gilby Quartet, Wagon Train, the Sirkis / Bialas International Quartet and Arun Ghosh.  See our website for full details and tickets.

And all this leads up to the Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues May Bank Holiday Festival – this year with headliners Stacey Kent , Alan Skidmore and Andy Shepard – cut price early bird Freedom Passes for the whole festival on offer at £60.00 until 24th December 2014 – go on put it in your diary now!

Seven Jazz sunday dates...

Gordon Vernick - @Inkwell Feb1st

Seven Jazz Leeds Sunday afternoons in Spring 2015 feature an eclectic mixture of Big Bands, Funk, Charanga, Gypsy Jazz, Swing, Contemporary, Improv - plus a new monthy jazz jam
Venues @Seven Arts and @Inkwell

Sun Jan 4 “The Blues Dudes”@ Inkwell 1-4pm £7/5
Blues, Jazz and more with Rich Jevons on guitar, Ian Rose on Hammond, Keith Jevons electric bass and James Robinson drums and John “Mr Blues” Taylor on sax

Sun Jan 11 “Tarantismo” @SevenArts 1-4pm. £7/5
Led by Matt Hurt- Tres with Ana Luisa Muñoz- vocals, performing classic songs by the Buena Vista Social Club, Cachao, and La Excelencia

Sun Jan 18 New Inkwell Jazz Jam 1-4pm £7/5
Bring your horn, your axe, your voice or just come and listen to the fun

Sun Jan 25 “Elements” @SevenArts 1-4pm£7/5
Popular saxman Rod Mason’s driving jazz funk band with Richard Weatherall – keyboards, Richard Hammond - bass and Dave Walsh - drums.

Sun Feb 1 Gordon Vernick Quartet  @Inkwell 1-4pm£7/5
US trumpet star, Professor of Music, Georgia State University. “Wonderful writing, exceptional soloing”

Sun Feb 8  Gary Boyle Group @SevenArts 1-4pm£7/5
Top British jazz fusion guitarist and local hero Gary Boyle (ex Isotope, Triple Echo, and albums like Electric Glide) brings his quartet to Seven Arts featuring Jonathan Hartley on drums, Ed Harrison bass, Andrzej Baranek keyboards.

Sun Feb 15 New Inkwell Jazz Jam 1-4pm£7/5
Bring your horn, your axe, voice or just come and listen to the fun £7/5

Feb 22 Tom Green Septet @SevenArts 1-4pm£7/5
Tom Green – trombone, Matthew Herd – alto sax, Sam Miles - tenor sax, James Davison – trumpet, Sam James – piano, Misha Mullov-Abbado - double bass, Scott Chapman - drums
"Some of the most exciting original new music I have heard for a long time” Dame Cleo Laine

Sun March 1 “Slide Area”@ Inkwell 1-4pm£7/5
It’s the “return of the bones”! Five trombones in this swinging LCM band led by Kevin Holbrough

Sun March 8 “Outside Line” @SevenArts 1-4pm£7/5
A welcome return for master guitarist Jamie Taylor.  Matt Anderson is on tenor saxophone, Garry Jackson-bass and Dave Walsh-drums.

Sun March 15 Inkwell Jazz Café and Jam session 1-4pm£7/5
Featuring the “Jazz Voices” Choir, Seven Jazz Workshop band and our jam session

Sun March 22 Leeds University Union Big Band @SevenArts 1-4pm£7/5
A 22 piece band featuring the best players from the University of Leeds

Sun March 29 Matt Holborn Gypsy Jazz Quartet @ Inkwell 1-4pm £7/5
Matt Holborn-violin, Ben Mallen-lead guitar, Ben Danzig-rhythm guitar, Simon Read- double bass
Hot club of France lives on!

Sun April 5 Ben Lowman and the 7J Quartet @Inkwell 1-4pm£7/5
Leeds saxman Ben Lowman gets a chance to stretch out with the Seven Jazz quartet feat. Will Powell gtr, Andy Cholerton piano, Steve Crocker bass, Caroline Boaden drums

Sun April 12 “Soul Cooker” @SevenArts 1-4pm £7/5
Trumpeter Malcolm Strachan with his new funky soul jazz quintet

Sun April 19 "Yana" Mwamba/Blackmore/Kane @Inkwell 1-4pm £7/5
Corey Mwamba vibes, Dave Kane bass and Joshua Blackmore drums improvise collectively..

Sun April 26 Jazz Goes to College 1 @SevenArts  1-4pm£7/5
The first of our showcases featuring three bands from the current crop of LCM student musicians

Sun May 3 Jazz Goes to College 2 @Inkwell 1-4pm£7/5
The second showcase featuring three bands from the current crop of LCM student musicians

Sun May 10 Ronnie Bottomley Jazz Orchestra @Seven Arts 1-4pm£10/8 note special price***
The godfather of the Leeds Big Band scene – the band will rock Seven Arts to the rafters!

All concerts promoted by Seven Jazz Leeds at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton : 31 Harrogate Road, Leeds LS7 3PD or Inkwell in Chapel Allerton 31 Potternewton Lane LS7 3LE
Tickets Online:
You can purchase tickets the door on  Sunday afternoon

More information on our website

Seven Jazz spring series in Leeds

Marius Neset Quintet 16 April

Seven Jazz has six major international jazz dates this spring in Leeds. There are some inspiring piano players - jazz legend John Taylor with his new group, rising star Gwilym Simcock, New York based Andrew McCormack, and following in his famous father's footsteps, Darius Brubeck. Then of course there is Liane Carroll, a superb pianist too, though she has won her various national jazz awards because of her soulful voice. As for the saxes, you can enjoy rising stars Marius Neset and Trish Clowes, and current jazz heroes Mark Lockheart and Dave O'Higgins. All the concerts are Thursday evenings at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton. Don't miss a minute!      

Thursday 15 January Doors 7.45pm
John Taylor's New Group play "Paul" and more 
One of the truly great jazz piano players of post ’60s British jazz, John Taylor is famous for associations with many world-class players. "Paul" is Paul McCartney. John has decided to rearranged some of his tunes, some really old and some recent, and to combine them in a programme where his own compositions and other contemporary jazz musicians are fitting in together with some songs of the former Beatles. The programme is fresh, brilliant. Vocal virtuoso Diana Torto is part of his new group - she has worked with John in a duo for ten years. With Julian Siegel’s beautifully sensitive saxophone playing it should be an evening to cherish.
Support from Will Howard (sax) Declan Forde (piano)  
Tickets £20/£18 conc

Thursday 5 February Doors 7.45pm
Liane Carroll Trio 
Liane Carroll is one of the UK’s greatest musical treasures. A soulful, impassioned singer and superb pianist – her range runs from a heartbreaking ability to live an emotional lyric to breathless vocal virtuosity that makes an audience jump with joy. Here’s a chance to see her back with the trio with Roger Carey (electric bass) and Mark Fletcher (drums) - book early!
Support from Coney Island Babies
Tickets£16/14 conc

Thursday 26 February Doors 7.45pm
Trish Clowes Quintet with Gwilym Simcock 
Top class quintet showcasing BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, Trish Clowes sax; Gwilym Simcock: piano; Mike Walker: guitar; Calum Gourlay: bass; James Maddren: drums. Inspired by her visit to meet major influence Wayne Shorter in California, her music explores a fascinating hinterland between jazz and contemporary classical – fluent, thrilling improvisation, languid, evocative melodic lines and shifting textures.
Support from Stretch Trio - Andy French - Saxophone Calvin Travers - Guitar Tom Higham – Drums
Tickets £16/14 conc

Thursday 26 March Doors 7.45pm
Andrew McCormack Quartet ft. Mark Lockheart 
New York resident McCormack, a world-class pianist, is a brilliantly original performer and formidable composer. Since bursting on to the scene in 2007 he has captivated audiences with his emotional and expressive style. His trio here, with Sam Lasserson on bass, Chris Higginbottom drums, is supplemented by Mark Lockheart’s vibrant and skilful sax playing.
Support from Benjamin Sermon Quartet - Benjamin Sermon (voice and piano), Joe Lockwood guitar 
Tickets £16/14 conc

Thursday 16 April Doors 7.45pm
Marius Neset Quartet
This young Norwegian saxophonist has made a huge impact. Touted as heir to Jan Garbarek’s mantle he combines amazing technical prowess with deep expression and a highly original sound. This all-star Anglo-Scandinavian quintet is the ideal vehicle for his remarkable energy, creativity and imagination. His quintet has Magnus Hjorth on piano, Jim Hart- vibes, Petter Eldh- bass, Joshua Blackmore-drums
Support from Zeitgeist - Alex Podrasa keyboard, Sam Quintana bass, Tom Higham – Drums
Tickets £16/14 conc

Thursday May 7th Doors 7.45pm
Darius Brubeck Quartet 
Following in his famous father Dave Brubeck's footsteps, Darius has developed his own reputation as a great, swinging pianist. Dave O’Higgins adds his enormous range of feel and skill to the band, whose eight years working together have produced a deep mutual understanding and interaction. Matt Ridley is on bass; Wesley Gibbens: drums
Tickets £16/14 conc

All concerts promoted by Seven Jazz Leeds at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton
Address: 31 Harrogate Road, Leeds LS7 3PD
Tickets Online: or
Season Tickets for all six International Jazz Series Season concerts also available online £60/48 concessions
You can purchase tickets at any of our Sunday afternoon or Thursday evening gigs
To reserve tickets, text 07854 352594

Plus Sunday lunchtime showcase bands every Sunday afternoon  1.30-4pm at Seven Arts or Inkwell in Chapel Allerton, Jazz Workshops on Tuesdays and Friday evening at Meanwood and Saturday afternoons at Seven Arts. The Seven Jazz Voices Choir meet on Monday evenings at Inkwell.

More information on our website

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

January Jazz at Boston Spa

Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz

From Les and the Team at Boston Spa-

Dear Jazzers
Well, here we are again - heading towards the end of another year which has seen some truly enjoyable sessions. Unfair perhaps to mention some and not others but the Potato Head band from Spain was an undoubted success as was the delightful evening with Stephanie Trick and Paolo coupled with the Daytones; Jeff B presided, as always, over two excellent sessions in May and August and Hot Fingers with the superb Emily Campbell captivated the audience - as did the Carl Sinclair Boogie Band albeit with a much different style.

Our January dates 2015 are

10th – Savannah Jazz Band - the traditional start to the annual programme and always much anticipated. The Savannah in robust form after a well earned rest to bring us back to life and ready to face the credit card bills! Traditional jazz at its best with some rollickin’ R & B thrown in for good measure.

17th – Andy Henderson Swingtet – here’s a nod towards the quartets and quintets of the 40s and 50s and the standards made famous by the swing bands of the era. Andy on trumpet is well known through appearances with Café Society, the Harmony Hounds and Six in a Bar. Joining Andy on the front line is our local hero Frank Brooker on reeds. Quality evening assured!

24th - Alan Barnes + John Hallam + Tom Kincaid Trio – one of the most enjoyable musical combinations we are privileged to present. First set up by Tim in 2011, this is one of the highlights of our annual programme. Two of the UK’s finest saxophonists supported by a superb rhythm section. £10

31st – Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz – here’s more enjoyable sounds by one of the most respected traditional jazz groups in the North. Over 32 years of “making people happy”, Mart’s band includes Louis Lince on banjo and Ken Marley on bass. A fitting finale to the first month of 2015.

Don’t forget – over the Festive period - Days Inn Hotel at Wetherby Services
B & B for Two - £49. Ring 01937 547 557 and ask for the Jazz Rate
NB Cans into the Red Bucket to support the Air Ambulance for Children

Jazz is at the Village Hall High Street Boston Spa, Leeds LS23 6AA

Situated just off the new section of the A1(M) at Junction 45 signed Wetherby and Otley.

New Year Jazz at the Cinnamon

Theo Jackson Trio

Neil Hughes at the Cinnamon club Altrincham writes

Some lovely jazz dates coming up after Christmas

Friday 16th Jan Chris Standring
Continuing to find fresh, dynamic ways to break new ground in contemporary jazz 16 years after seducing us with his debut album Velvet, the versatile composer, guitarist and producer lets the groove – along with his loyal archtop Benedetto and Fender Stratocaster - do all the conversing on a set that bridges old school R&B/soul-jazz with a trippy, soundscape rich, ultra-contemporary electronica vibe. Lounge £20.00

Friday 30th Jan Dinner Jazz with Stevie Williams
We kick off our series of dinner jazz with a top band that have cemented their place in Cinnamon hearts. Stevie leads the way on bass and vocals, Dave Hassell on the kit, Mark Cresswell on guitar and Billy Buckley on guitar/slide/lap steel. A blistering lawless band that deals out forgotten songs, vintage blues, modern and classic Americana all with an alt- country edge and sheer class, accompanied by a gorgeous meal. Lounge £30.00

Thursday 5th Feb Sue Barron Jazz Quintet
Sue Barron is a local singer who has been performing with her band of excellent musicians in the North West and beyond for a number of years, and they have performed at the Cinnamon Club many times. The repertoire is a mixture of Jazz Standards, some lively latin numbers, some familiar more contemporary songs and beautiful ballads. Lounge £10 (members free)

Friday 6th Feb The Magic Beans
The Magic Beans are a band with an ear for a quirky cover and have the imagination to take it in a completely new direction. Also incorporated into the mix are some rootsy originals that draw influence from folk, jazz & world music traditions. Uli Elbracht & Matt Owens are self-effacing accompanists: they provide minimal velvet for the jewel of Zoe Kyoti’s voice, which is magical in its smoothness, nuance and tenderness. They have performed throughout the UK with appearances including The Manchester Jazz Festival, Rainow Jazz Festival & Zeffirellis Ambleside. Lounge £10 (members free)

Saturday 7th Feb Theo Jackson Trio
While his heart belongs to jazz, Theo Jackson’s soul lies in music which has the ability to cross boundaries and genres, appealing to a wide audience. A storyteller by nature, many of his songs are observations of people from his home-town of London. Newly signed to US label Dot Time Records, this engaging and charismatic British jazz songwriter will be releasing his first album in April 2015. "Shoeless and the Girl" features 10 original songs, ranging in approach from jazz arrangements to solo piano and voice.  The album will also feature an adaptation of Wayne Shorter's 'Footprints'. £10.00 (members free)

Friday 27th Feb Mike Walker & Stuart McCallum
Two of Manchester’s finest guitarists get together for a gig that will be a joy for all their fans. Differing styles “mesh intuitively” says Mike Butler who has followed these musicians for years. “Anything McCallum can achieve by synthetic means, Walker can replicate with nylon and blood. McCallum proposes chilled-out bliss; Walker offers sublimated yearning. Well, don’t say synthetic; say rather electro-acoustic, which fits the music to a tee. Other pairs of opposites spring to mind: bitter-sweet, yin-yang, introspective, and, well, introspective. Anything but aggressive” Mike Butler

All concerts start 7.30pm
The Cinnamon Club
The Firs
Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 2TQ
0161 926 8992

A Christmas carol and a winter weekend in Southport

Geoff Matthews from Southport writes:

Christmas Special concerts on Sunday 14 December
Southport Melodic Jazz at The Royal Clifton Hotel. Alan Barnes premieres his new suite “A Christmas Carol” based on the novel by Charles Dickens. Composer, arranger and leading UK jazz saxophonist Alan Barnes brings an all-star Octet to play for SMJ’s Christmas Special audience at The Royal Clifton Hotel. The club is delighted and honoured to be the venue for the first public performance of Alan’s latest major composition. With Alan leading on saxes and clarinet, the band includes an all-star line-up of some of the UK’s top jazz musicians. On saxes Robert Fowler and Karen Sharpe, trumpet Bruce Adams, trombone Mark Nightingale, piano David Newton, bass Simon Thorpe and on drums the great Clark Tracey.

There is also a later concert  by a trio featuring David Newton on piano, Simon Thorpe on bass and Alan Barnes himself on clarinet at the same venue. The trio will play tunes associated with Christmas as well as famous clarinet pieces from the likes of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.

The “Christmas Carol” concert is a matinee in the hotel’s Windsor Suite - doors 1.30 pm - start 2 pm to 4.30 pm with one interval. Tickets £18

The evening trio concert starts 8.30 pm to 10.30 pm with one interval. Tickets are £14.

 To book ring SMJ tickets on 01704 541704 - there are still a few tickets available for both gigs.

The advertised dinner between these two concerts featuring the great jazz accordionist Harry Hussey is already sold out.

Jazz on a Winters Weekend Festival 5-8 February 2015 
11th Jazz on a Winter’s Weekend festival is all set to go. Programmed and managed since its inception in 2005 by Southport Melodic Jazz Club, this festival has become a ‘must go’ event for discerning contemporary jazz enthusiasts from far and wide in the UK and beyond and has filled the Royal Clifton to overflowing as a sell-out every year since 2009.

Jazz highlights -from Norway saxophonist Marius Neset in duet with Daniel Herskedal on tuba. From Russia, now USA resident, phenomenal alto saxophonist Dmitry Baevsky in an all-star quintet with Joe Magnarelli from New York City. The inimitable pairing of two UK stars, pianist David Newton with saxophonist Alan Barnes in a septet devoted to arrangements of their own compositions Number one UK clarinettist and band leader Pete Long with an all-star 10 piece band’s rousing tribute to the famous 1950’s Jazz-at-the Phil concerts. Brilliant new talent in Jam Experiment featuring Alexander Bone, 2014 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year. New rising star pianist/vocalist Theo Jackson or 6 voice a cappella sensation “Vive”. Or maybe The Birmingham Conservatoire Jazz Orchestra or American trumpeter
Gordon Vernic with Scottish rising star pianist Alan Benzie. Or a double tribute to Monk and Mingus with
a brilliant quintet lead by Tony Kofi.

If you come for the weekend you can see them all for £135! or maybe just choose a day (£44-£65)
or even just the odd concert you fancy (£14-£22). For a free 12 page full colour programme or to book
tickets ring SMJC Tickets 01704 541790. Full details on www./ to view the programme and download a booking form.

Venue - The Royal Clifton Hotel, The Promenade, Southport PR8 1RB.

Scarborough Jazz Winter Season

Tom Green Septet

Dick Armstrong from Scarborough writes

In these recessionary times it’s heartening to report that Scarborough Jazz goes from strength to strength. Audience figures are healthy and the atmosphere on Wednesday nights is welcoming and happy.

February 4 Jim Mullen Organ Trio
As winner of a clutch of ‘Best Guitar Awards’, Jim is first choice of guitarists for visiting US musicians such as Mose Allison, Jimmy Smith, Gene Harris, Plas Johnson and Teddy Edwards. Naturally, Jim has played with every top UK Jazz musician. Jim’s fellow musicians in this trio are the very accomplished Mike Gorman on Hammond Organ and the world class Matt Skelton on drums.
Tickets are £8 (£7 in advance)

February 11 Frank Brooker+MG3
Frank’s tenor sax and clarinet skills have endeared him to audiences for decades. He plays regularly with the Kid Boyd jazz band and the Dave Brennan band. Frank leads his own quartet and trio and works as a soloist throughout the North. He presents a repertoire from across jazz history, often reviving unfairly neglected tunes. His playing sounds effortlessly fluent and he swings wonderfully.  £4

February 18 Jim Birkett+MG3
A swinging and melodic guitarist, Jim has played with Scott Hamilton, Guy Barker, Alan Skidmore and Snake Davis. After studying at the Leeds College of Music at the same time as Alan Barnes and David
Newton, Jim went on to gain a Phd in teaching jazz improvisation. Since retiring from his educational work, Jim is even more active on the jazz scene, leading a trio, working as a duo and playing with the gypsy jazz group Djangologie.£4.

February 25 Tom Green Septet
Tom Green is one of the most exciting young trombonists currently active in the UK. He has played at Ronnie Scott’s, The Vortex and the 606 Club as well as the jazz festivals of Montreux, Toronto and
Montreal. His septet brings together some of the most talented young musicians on the London jazz scene. They create a warm, melodic sound using the full range of textures available to a seven piece ensemble. The band weaves diverse influences together to form striking melodies, colourful harmonies and propulsive grooves. “ Some of the most exciting original new music heard for a long time” said Dame Cleo Laine. Tickets £7 (£6 in advance)

Date for your diary:
18 March Firebird Quartet
1 April A J Brown

Tickets can be bought in advance, and at discount, from The Cask, The Bookshelf on Victoria Road and from Record Revivals on Northway (open on Tuesdays and from Thursday to Saturday)

For more details, and to subscribe to our mailing list, please go to our website:
The newly refurbished Cask has a range of real ales and a comprehensive food menu. It has wheelchair access and a toilet for the disabled. Information and directions are at

(01723) 500 570