Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Summer at Head of Steam

From Paul Smith

Latest gig list from the Jazz Wednesdays at Huddersfield's "Head of Steam"

7th May       Heavy Horns – featuring the talented Rod Mason, Jim Corry, 
Stuart McDonald

14th May     Jenny Smith (regular star on vocals) with Curtis Shaw (guitar)

21st May      Eddie Martell (vocals, not to be missed) with Derrick Harris (Mr Guitar)

28th May     Russ Henderson (Sax Talent) plus Ben Crossland (legal advice and bass)

4th June       Rod Mason (Rockin’ Rod Sax) with Paul Baxter on bass

11th June    Lee Hallam/Brian Archer (trombones) – play the music of J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding with Paul Baxter on bass

18th June    Jon Taylor (saxperience) with the vocalperience of the wonderful Kate Peters

25th June    Brendan Duffy (sax - back by popular demand)

Eclectic mix of Jazz/Blues & Latin

Show Time 8.30pm – support the music with raffle participation

Head of Steam, St George’s Square, Huddersfield, HD1 1JB

Ozzy Moysey's Bijou Big Band

Ozzy Moysey's Bijou Big Band, Sproggits at Wharf Chambers Leeds 28/4/14

Composer Ozzy Moysey predominantly writes jazz compositions but loves to listen (and write) in many musical styles. He studies Jazz Composition at Leeds College of Music - at least until the end of May.

"Bijou" as his Big Band is called he explained means "small or elegant"  but for a band of only eleven musicians they didn't half sound huge. Ozzy was on percussion – not your normal kit but one he made out of a tennis ball tubes, pickled onion jars, toilet brush handles and saucepans plus assorted paint tins and bells - while also conducting the band.

His compositions were lovely. There is a debt to Mingus - “Something for Mingus” was a respectful new take on the great man's compositional legacy (Ozzy received an email from Charles Mingus's wife Sue Mingus thanking him for this one), "Espionage" was fast and furious, the slightly surreal “You can swing a cat in here” and even more surreal “Open up it’s the police" - with the band swaying from side to side making siren noises - were both delightful The band swung like crazy - the rhythm section of Matt McGraw drums, Sam Quintana  and Ashley Henry on keys drove it along – despite a piano stand collapse halfway through one number. AJ Nash's flute and Luke Ledger's sax playing were out of the top drawer though it seems unfair to pick anyone out from the band, they were all so good.

The evening continued it’s happy, bizarre path – organiser Declan Forde, soon to go to Berlin adjudicated on the world’s oddest jazz raffle. There is to be a sauna here at the final May gig apparently. Earlier there had been a lovely duo set from saxman  Ashley Henry on piano and Luke Ledger on tenor. This jazz year has been a good one at Leeds College of Music – and watch out for Ozzy Moysey!

Ozzy Moysey on percussion and conducting, Chris Dale on bass trombone, Tom Bond on trumpet, Peter Johnson trombone, Ali Adair on baritone sax, Luke Ledger tenor sax, AJ Nash flute soprano and alto sax,  Joel Steadman guitar, Ashley Henry on keys, Sam Quintana double bass and  Matt McGraw drums.

Andy Sheppard and Joanna McGregor review

Sunrise: a song of two humans
Andy Sheppard and Joanna McGregor @Assembly Rooms Leeds Sat 26 April 2014

Sunrise, F.W. Murnau’s 1927 masterpiece of silent film was made in the twilight of the silent era and became a swan-song for the vanishing medium. It was a story about innocence and experience, urban and rural America, about love and violence – and with a happy ending.

Pianist Joanna MacGregor and jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard have a long musical partnership, both wide ranging and innovative musicians from the classical and jazz traditions. Together they  created a new live music score especially for the Howard Assembly Rooms performance in Leeds.

At the start Andy Sheppard explained a little bit about the genesis of the music and how it sought to explore the effect that music has on film and vice-versa.

The music was wide ranging – much inspired by Joanna McGregor and her visits to the American Deep South, with deeply personal connotations to Joanna's childhood and a father who was a lay preacher in an Evangelical church. So there were gospel numbers like “Up above my head”, and “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child”, Tom Waits “Picture in a Frame”, a version of Deep River that remixed bits of the original 1927 recording with darker treatment with layers of drums, disturbing incoherent vocal samples and dissonant layers of electronics.

The musicianship was a tour de force – live accompaniment to a silent film lasting over an hour and a half was an achievement in itself.  It was in great tradition of silent film music – it enhanced the film not taking over or swamping the action on the screen.

The concert, supported by the Opera North Future Fund, proved to be a very satisfying evening enjoyed by a full house in Leeds at the Assembly Rooms.

Steve Crocker

Dave Douglas/Uri Caine - only UK date

Dave Douglas

Jazz duos are difficult things to do well. They only really work if you have artists who not only have a good understanding of the music and each other, but who are able to play beyond their instrument to provide a full soundscape and range to the listener. In Dave Douglas and Uri Caine you have two individuals at their most creative parts of their careers, and with a wide knowledge of jazz, folk music, church music, classical music and music from the Jewish tradition. They are phenomenal technical players. More than this though they like and respect each other. Their music will be captivating.

Dave Douglas has been described as “the unassuming king of independent jazz” (Downbeat) has arguably become the most original trumpeter/composer of his generation. He explicitly cites such diverse influences as Igor Stravinsky, Stevie Wonder, and John Coltrane.

He has released many recordings under his own name. One of his most recent is the heart rending, achingly beautiful Be Still, in memory of his mother who had died of cancer. The album was the combination of hymns and folks songs that she asked him to perform at her funeral with his quintet including vocalist and guitarist Aoife O'Donovan of the contemporary bluegrass group "Crooked Still"

Uri Caine’s jazz education has been second to none. He’s played piano with the “greats” - Philly Joe Jones, Hank Mobley, Johnny Coles, Mickey Roker, Odean Pope, Jymmie Merritt, Bootsie Barnes and Grover Washington. Besides jazz he has made recordings featuring his jazz trio, his Bedrock Trio and his ensemble performing unorthodox adaptations of Mahler, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Verdi, Bach and others.

Well done to the Assembly Rooms in Leeds also for booking this duo - the only UK tour date on the current 12 date European Tour.

Dave Douglas and Uri Caine perform at the Howard Assembly Room on Friday, 2 May. For more information and to purchase tickets -

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Loads of top jazz in Sheffield!

Michael Wollny

From Paul Thomas...

Sheffield Jazz concludes its Spring 2014 season on Friday evenings at Millenium Hall with 3 contrasting gigs:

2 May brilliant German pianist Michael Wollny brings his Trio to Millennium Hall en route to the Cheltenham Jazz festival

9 May Julian Siegel Quartet returns with his Quartet (including Liam Noble on piano) which was one of the highlights of the 2011 season

16 May Anita Wardell/Dave O’Higgins Quintet round off the season (and their short Northern tour) with some great classic jazz

Venue: Millennium Hall, Polish Centre, 520 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield S11 8PY, 8:30pm – 11:15pm.

From Jez Matthews - over at the Lescar in Sheffield on Wednesday evenings we have

May 7th Michelson Morley 
Led by Get The Blessing saxophonist Jake McMurchie, this band from the Bristol features Will Harris on bass, the resourceful, energetic and tasteful Mark Whitlam on drums, and special guest Corey Mwamba (vibraphone).

May 14th SUJO 
In an attempt to break the record for the number of musicians in the back room of The Lescar, we're pleased to welcome the 17 piece Sheffield University Jazz Orchestra led by experienced pianist and trumpeter Nick Fletcher.

May 21st Christine Tobin with Phil Robson & Dave Whitford £7 
Another very special night! Irish-born singer-songwriter Christine Tobin was named Best Vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards in 2008, and hailed by Jazzwise as "probably the most adventurous jazz singer of her generation in this country".

May 28th Sam Leak - Alex Merritt Quartet 
Having visited us twice last year, including with his own critically acclaimed band Aquarium, Sam Leak, another one of the UK's very best young pianists returns to The Lescar with brilliant young tenor player Alex Merritt,

Entry £5 (unless otherwise stated). Music starts at 9pm, doors 8.30pm.

The Lescar Hotel, Sharrowvale Road, Sheffield, S11 8ZF

More details:

Sam Watts at the Festival of Ideas....

Leslie Jeffries writes...

Sat 17 May - Sam Watts solo piano 
HEART in Headingley, Leeds 7.30p.m.
Shire Oak Room

Pianist and composer Sam Watts gives a solo piano concert, interspersed with some of his thoughts and ideas about music as part of the Headingley Festival of Ideas which runs between 6th – 24th May 2014, with a creative and varied programme of events for all ages and groups..

He will be talking about how we listen to and perceive music and about exactly how it works and how we can better understand it, with illustrated examples. He is a great communicator and this concert/gig will suit music lovers, young and old.

There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and discuss the ideas collectively. The concert will include music by Duke Ellington, Claude Debussy, traditional Brazilian music, and many others as well as Sam’s own compositions.

Sam is a brilliant jazz pianist who has taken the capital by storm since he left Leeds College of Music. He has been known cause people to cry with the beauty of his playing, so bring hankies!

Tickets: £8 (£5 concs)

Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre (HEART),
Bennett Road, Leeds LS6 3HN.
Telephone: 0113 275 4548

JJ Wheeler/HSQ/Matt Bourne for Bradford

JJ Wheeler Quintet

May gigs in Bradford - Martin Powell writes..

JJ Wheeler Quintet -Fri 2 May 2014       

JJ Wheeler - d
Chris Maddock - as
Nadim Teimori - ts
Sam James - p
Sandy Sudocholski – b

Enforced by life threatening and debilitating illness, JJ had to adjourn his studies at the Royal Academy in 2012, but tough as old boots and single-minded as ever, JJ returned to JJ returned to RAM and is back in London 'jazzing' with a vengeance to great acclaim. So it was with exquisite pleasure and relief that I re-arranged JJ's planned 2012 gig at Bradford JATPjazz. Again catching the eyes and ears of London's Jazz cognoscenti do come along to see what all the fuss is about and catch some stunning updating of bebop and hard bop with delightful injections of Radiohead and even Genesis.      

HSQ + 2 - Fri 16 May 2014      

Jim Collins - f, as, bs
Will Lenton - ts
Helen Pillinger - as, ts
Helena Summerfield - bs, ss
Phil Bennett - perc
Rachael Gladwyn - h

HSQ perform classic and contemporary jazz composed and arranged especially for their line up permitting unusual combinations of saxes and other woodwind. Strong and experienced sax players, distinctive voices and style, blending different tonal qualities to create a special sound with bass, bari and 2 tenors. HSQ+2 yields the natural addition of percussion and harp enabling yet greater wondrous music. They can swing hard and remain true to their rich European musical traditions with subtlety and depth. Presented by Jazz North and JATPjazz‎ 

JATPjazz, at Glyde House, Bradford BD5 0BQ (tel 01274 271114 or 01274 543547)

Matthew Bourne - 24 May at 19:30 (doors 19:00) 

As part of Bradford's Threadfest 2014, Riddlesden's Matthew Bourne is revealing a glimpse of a new synth project he is about to record. This is a free gig !!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Hot 8 Brass Band play six northern dates

The Hot 8 Brass Band is the world-renowned New Orleans based brass troupe that blends marching music with hip-hop, jazz and funk, offering a thrilling update of the traditional brass band sound with stunning results.  Founded in 1995 by Bennie “Big Peter” Pete, the original members were drawn from the Looney Tunes Brass Band and the High Steppers Brass Band. Any incarnation of Hot 8 Brass Band will boast eight or nine players of the highest rate, bringing the passion and noise through a bevy of trombones, saxophones, trumpets, snare and bass drums, all buoyed up by the immense tuba baselines of band leader Bennie Pete. These musicians over the years have been inspired by artists such as Tuba Fats, Leroy Jones, Louis Armstrong, JJ Johnson, Stevie Wonder and Jackie McLean, and have variously recorded and performed with some of those mentioned and more.

Famous for their blistering, high energy performances - expect them to tear the roof off of the venue during their six northern concerts in May.

“Get your dancing shoes ready” The Independent

"Marching music for modern times... incendiary" - The Guardian.

“Hot 8 music is feel good music…music with a message. It’s life music.” – Band leader, Bennie Pete

Fri May 23
Band On The Wall M4 5JZ
**Sold Out**

Sun May 25
The Duchess YO1 7NP

Wed May 28 Wed
O2 Academy Newcastle (NE1 1SW)

Thus May 29 Thu
Belgrave Music Hall LS2 8JP

Fri May 30
Sheffield University Union
The Octagon, Fusion, Foundry & Interval Bar S10 2TG

Sat May 31
Liverpool Cathedral L1 7AZ

Anita and Dave, Dales Jam and LCM showcases for Seven Jazz Leeds

Seven Jazz in Chapel Allerton, Leeds have a welcome return this coming month from jazz vocalist Anita Wardell with the  Dave O’Higgins Quintet  - Dave on saxes, Mike Gorman on keyboard, Ollie Howell on bass and Tristan Maillot on drums- @Seven Arts Chapel Allerton Leeds on Thursday evening 15 May 8pm. Anita Wardell, renowned for her mesmerising vocal improvisation, won best vocalist in the 2013 British Jazz Awards. Dave O'Higgins is a popular and well-known sax player and educator on the international jazz scene. Tickets

May also sees two Leeds College of Music collections organised this year by final year guitarist Lorenz Bloom. The first on Sunday afternoon 11 May 1-4pm features sets from three band - “Moysey’s Noisy Sextet the Ashley Henry group and the Bloom Collective @Seven Arts Chapel Allerton

The second on Sunday afternoon 18 May 1-4pm features the much acclaimed Stretch Trio (they played the "Jazz North introduces" slot at the recent Gateshead Jazz Festival, then the highly rates “Zeitgeist” and guitarist Joe Simmons with his group @Inkwell Chapel Allerton Leeds Come and see the bands of the future!

Finally on Sunday afternoon 25 May 1-4pm, a much awaited jazz and film event with "The Dales Jam" band led by the irrepressible Richard Ormrod with music to accompany some West Riding silent short films @Seven Arts 1-4pm £7/5 conc

More information

Seven Jazz venues: Seven Artspace Chapel Allerton, 31(a) Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, LEEDS LS7 3PD, Tel 0113 26 26 777

Inkwell - the former Shoulder of Mutton pub, 31 Potternewton Lane, Chapel Allerton, LEEDS LS7 3LW, Tel 0113 307 0108

Led Bib oop North

Led Bib come play two more dates in the North in their current tour following on from their successful gig for Sheffield Jazz at the Millenium Hall on Friday.
They play Fusebox @ The Fox and Newt, Leeds on Sunday 27 April (with support from Silence Blossoms) and then Freedom Principle @ Dulcimer, Manchester (with support from Apes Grapes) on Tuesday 29th April. 

Led Bib was formed in 2003 by drummer/composer Mark Holub and played its first gig on February 24th, 2004. The group released their first album in May 2005 to widespread critical praise and went on to win the 2005 Peter Whittingham Jazz Award. Their second album Sizewell Tea was released in 2007 through iconic London based record label Babel. It was quickly followed by a limited edition live release, but it was the release of their 4th album "Sensible Shoes" that saw them experience widespread acclaim following the announcement that they were chosen as an Album of the Year in the Barclaycard Mercury Prize. The ensuing media storm saw them reach in excess of 20 million people as they performed on TV & Radio sessions including Channel 4 TV News with Jon Snow and playing live on BBC 2.

The tour is promoting their much acclaimed new album "The People In Your Neighbourhood" - a new direction though apparently still the same levels of excitement

Mark Holub: drums
Pete Grogan: alto saxophone
Chris Williams: alto saxophone
Liran Donin: bass
Toby McLaren: keyboards

Sun 27 April -Fox n Newt Leeds - Doors 8 pm Admission £8 / £6 Fox and Newt, 9 Burley Street, Leeds, LS3 1LD. Tel: 0113 245 4527

Tuesday 29 April -Dulcimer Manchester, 567 Wilbraham Rd, Chorlton, Manchester M21 0AE- Doors 8pm, music starts 8.30pm Admission £5 

Roger Beaujolais at the Capstone

Roger Beaujolais originally gained recognition with 80’s jump jive favourites The Chevalier Brothers whose musicianship & anarchic brand of humour took them all over the world.

After a brief spell with the chart topping Fairground Attraction, Roger formed latin jazz outfit the Beaujolais Band releasing two top selling albums on Acid Jazz Records. These were outsold by his jazz/funk/soul albums with Vibraphonic released on the same label.

Roger was later signed to Disney’s Hollywood Records in USA for two more Vibraphonic albums before concentrating on writing and performing acoustically with his quintet and quartet.

Along the way he has played sessions with many massive artists including Duffy, Rumer, Robert Plant, Morrissey, Kirsty MacColl, Roni Size, Paul Weller, Guy Chambers and Alexander O’Neal. He is a Professor of Music at Trinity College of Music.

His superb band include pianist Robin Aspland (who has played, toured and recorded with, amongst others, Stanley Turrentine, Benny Golson, Slim Gaillard, John Abercrombie, Joe Lovano, Eddie Henderson, Carmen Lundy, Freddie Hubbard, Art Farmer, Monty Alexander & Eddie Harris), bassist Simon Thorpe (noted for his work with Stacey Kent) and top session drummer Winston Clifford

Roger Beaujolais Quartet Sat17 May 2014 7:30 PM

Roger Beaujolais – vibraphone/composer
Robin Aspland – piano
Simon Thorpe - bass
Winston Clifford – drums


Capstone Theatre, Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus, Liverpool, L6 1HP
Tel: 0151 291 3578

Three gigs on the trot for Ben...

Ben Cox Band by William Ellis

The Ben Cox Band
This exciting young band are set to tour in 2014 with their new album "This Waiting Game" to be produced by Ian Shaw. All five are steeped in jazz history, but they write their own songs too. Influences range from Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon to James Taylor, but you'll also get some great American Songbook. Fronted by the sensational Ben Cox, whose voice takes in the cool stylings of Chet Baker and mixes it with the soulful, mellow tones of a modern jazz singer. Sassy and slick with great arrangements and beautiful songs mark out this vocal lead jazz group.

Neil  Hughes writes

As a jazz promoter at The Cinnamon Club for the last 11 years, I am constantly amazed by the young talent coming through but when I saw Ben Cox for the first time in 2013, I was absolutely stunned - an outstanding British male jazz vocalist, and still only 21. Ask Geoff Matthews, he was at the same gig. Anyway, I have agreed to help them out and the now have 3 gigs in May in the North.

As a special treat Alexander Bone is guest on the 1st 2 gigs, he has just won BBC Young Jazz Musician of the year 2014

So the Northern connections are very strong, especially with Jamie Safiruddin on piano and Adam Chatterton on trumpet.

May 9th  The Cinnamon Club
May 10th Bury Met
May 11th Southport Jazz Festival 

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

Wakefield Jazz in May

Gabrielle Ducomble

Wakefield Jazz has a sparkling array of five Friday gigs in May from the intimate duo of Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock to the Quintets of Clark Tracey and Gabrielle Ducomble.

2nd May sees Frank Harrison separated from Gilad Atzmon and playing his own arrangements / compositions in trio with Dave Whitford and Enzo Zirilli

9th May brings the cream of Scottish jazz with Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock.  Sophisticated fireworks will be sparked.

16th May has the renowned vibist Roger Beaujolais with Robin Aspland, Winston Clifford and Simon Thorpe.

23rd May sees Clark Tracey and his latest crop of newcomers in an Art Blakey-like quintet.

30th May is Wakefield's only musical contribution to the Grand Départ. Singer Gabrielle Ducomble's Notes from Paris, authentic Gallic jazz with a suitably French accent to preface the Tour de France in Yorkshire.


The Cooler Presents Andre Canniere Group

Sunday evening 18 May (8.30pm) at The Cooler in Leeds Sela Bar finds American trumpeter Andre Canniere touring his second album with pianist Ivo Neame (Phronesis) along with local rhythm section Sam Gardner (drums) and Sam Vicary (double-bass).

Andre Canniere is an acclaimed trumpet player, composer and educator currently based in London. Originally from rural Pennsylvania (USA), Canniere spent the first five years of his career in New York City where he worked with artists such as Maria Schneider, Bjorkestra, Ted Poor, Ingrid Jensen, Donny McCaslin and Darcy James Argue. He has toured widely throughout the United States and Europe with performances at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, the London Jazz Festival, The Hague Jazz Festival and the Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Since his arrival in the UK, Andre’s profile has been steadily rising, both as a solo artist and a collaborator. His album Forward Space, released in 2012 on the Whirlwind Recordings label, received widespread critical acclaim with a rave review from the Guardian, a Mercury Prize recommendation and inclusion in Jazzwise Magazine‘s ‘Albums of the Year‘. 2013 saw the release of Coalescence, his second album on Whirlwind, which received further accolades from the Guardian and firmly established Canniere as “one of the most compelling artists on the current London jazz scene” (The Scotsman).

Sela Bar
20 New Briggate
tel 0113 2429442

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Le Mini Depart at Burton Agnes....

The 2014 Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival takes place from Friday 27th June to Sunday 29th June. If you like your music while surrounded by the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds in the elegant grounds of a stately home - then this will be for you

The eclectic line up includes Chantel McGregor, British Blues Award's guitarist of the year AND female vocalist of the year 2013; the legendary jump, jive, swing, rhythm and blues of King Biscuit and the Pleasure Boys; New-Orleans-Bourbon-bar sultry vocals and boogie piano of Tipitina; festival band favourites, gospel tinged Polly and the Billets Doux. And if that isn't varied enough, we have master-saxophonist Alan Barnes, teaming up with Horace Silver experts The Give a Little Love Orchestra for 'Watching the Detectives': music that celebrates Sherlock Holmes and Columbo.

This year the Festival is proud to be an official fringe event of Le Tour de France's visit to Yorkshire. They'll salute the arrival of the Tour de France's 'Le Grand Depart' in Yorkshire with 'Le Mini Depart'. Taking place alongside the Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival, there will be time-trialled clown bike and toddler races on 'Le Mini Course'; a celebration of French cuisine on the food lawn; and the hothouse gypsy-jazz music of France's most famous jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt, performed on stage by Djangologie

As always, bands overflow from the outdoor main stage into the Great Hall, shops and cafe courtyard, and the late night sessions in the bar tent. Local, award winning Wold Top beers will be on tap, brewed just a few miles away and delivered by brewer and jazz fan Tom Mellor, who then picks up his guitar to play in the Hall.

‘Possibly the most enjoyable jazz concert I've ever attended’ The Independent

Tickets are now available

The venue is Burton Agnes Hall, Burton Agnes, Driffield, East Yorkshire, YO25 4NB
Tel: (00) 44 01262 490324

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

National Youth Jazz Orchestra at Ribble Valley

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra play a rare northern date at The Grand, Clitheroe BB7 2DL on Saturday 3 May. Doors 7:15 Stage at 8pm

Ribble Valley Festival organisers are really pleased to have this internationally celebrated Big Band on the line up, featuring 23 musicians and vocalists from around the country.

Tickets are on sale at £20.00 seated but they are offering special rates to anyone on their mailing list - single tickets at members rates £18.00 and groups of ten or more at £15.00 adults £10.00 under 18s - Quote reference: SL22414

The Grand is a lovely modern venue with excellent facilities and good acoustics and Clitheroe is a country market town well worth a visit with a Castle and lots of interesting countryside.  The Ribble Valley Jazz festival runs from 1 -5 May

The street festival is on the Saturday and is well worth a visit - lots of free events and good places to eat - details on their website

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Keswick Jazz Festival line up for May

Now in its 23rd year, the Jennings Keswick Jazz Festival in the Lake District is firmly established as the north's foremost celebration of traditional and mainstream jazz.

2014 promises to be a vintage year, with international guests including Europe’s legendary Hot Antic Jazz Band and the Netherlands’ storming young Oriental Jazz Band. Returning from New Orleans by overwhelming demand are top trumpeter Duke Heitger and Harry Connick Junior’s star trombonist Lucien Barbarin. Other favourites joining us from the USA will be breathtaking pianist Jeff Barnhart, trombone supremo Jim Fryer and dazzling vocalist Joan Viskant, while we also welcome back world-class reedsman Matthias Seuffert from Germany.

As always, the Festival will also feature a galaxy of UK jazz talent including Alan Barnes, Amy Roberts, Ben Cummings, Ben Holder, Craig Milverton, Enrico Tomasso, George Huxley, Jamie Brownfield, John Hallam, Julian Marc Stringle, Keith Nichols, Nicola Farnon, Spats Langham and Tom Kincaid – a four-day feast of jazz 8 - 11 May 2014!

4-day ticket: £109
Single day: Thu £25, Fri £30, Sat £39, Sun £25
Dance classes £5 per ticket (Beginners 10am daily; Improvers 11am daily)
Talks £5 per ticket (10am in the Studio)

More information:

Theatre by the Lake,
CA12 5DJ
Box Office: 017687 74411

Saturday, 19 April 2014

So there is a cure for the Summertime blues!

Leeds has got the blues with the second Blues Festival BLUESFEST14 this coming July held at Seven Arts and Inkwell venues in Chapel Allerton, Leeds

Sarah Gillespie starts off the festival at Seven Arts with her "Life of Bessie Smith" - Thursday evening 3 July 8pm
"(Gillespie) mixes urban folk, jazz and vivid intimate lyrics you can imagine scrawled in lipstick on Beat Hotel bed linen" – The Independent. 8pm at Seven Arts. Sarah Gillespie, guitar and vocals, Kit Downes, piano, Ben Bastin ,bass, Enzo Zirilli, drums. Tickets £16/14 concessions

Lucy Zirins appears at Seven Arts on Sunday afternoon 6 July 1-4pm.
 20-year-old Lucy has just been voted winner of the ‘Best Newcomer’ category in the British Blues Awards. Support from Leeds jazz/blues singer Marliana Kelli and her trio. Tickets £7/5 concessions kids under 16 free

An evening of authentic Chicago blues from The Giantkillers follows at Seven Arts on Thursday evening 10 July 8pm.
The Giantkillers are all sidemen to great blues artists. It's a gathering of great players, who've played with the best, and who all happen to be great mates. James O'Hara guitar/vocals, Paul Corry sax, Dean Beresford drums, Matt Foundling keys, Richard Hammond bass. Tickets £12/10 concessions 

Leeds hero Steve Phillips and his band The Rough Diamonds are at Inkwell on Saturday evening 12 July 8pm. 
Steve Phillips is an English traditional blues and country musician, mainly renowned for being part of the supergroup Notting Hillbillies along with the Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and Brendan Croker. Steve Phillips is on guitar and vocals, Chris Parkinson accordion, Burt Sawdon double bass, Jack Gibson drums. Tickets £12/10 concessions

And the festival finale is the one man show of blues guitarist extra-ordinaire Big Boy Bloater at Inkwell on Sunday afternoon 13 July 1pm. 
Big Boy Bloater is a well-known figure on the blues and roots music scenes around the world – his unique and powerful style has thrilled audiences from London to Las Vegas and his peformances have built an enviable profile and following. Tickets £10/8 concessions. Kids under 16 free

TICKETS, and FESTIVAL STROLLER TICKETS - (see all five gigs for £45, concessionary price £35) from

Presented by Seven Jazz Leeds

Save these dates...

Calling all jazz promoters (and friends!)...

The national Jazz Promotion Network are pleased to announce that they have received funding from Arts Council England to hold a jazz promoters conference later this year in our area – at the Midland Hotel Manchester during the 2014 Manchester Jazz festival on July 23rd – 24th. This will be a second such conference following on from the one held at the Colston Hall Bristol in 2013 and will be an opportunity to catch up on recent developments in jazz promotion as well as checking out bands playing at the festival.

The content and administrative arrangements for the conference are being developed and further announcements will be made here shortly. In the meantime, please hold the dates!


Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Grove jazz club bites the dust..

It seems that the Grove Inn Jazz Club may have now died. Leeds drummer Sam Gardner ran the venue for the last couple of years following on from the irrepressible Carole Eve Bell. The Grove has seen some amazing bands - in recent months Mike Walker and Stuart McCallum, Laura Jurd quartet, Magic Hat, and many more have squeezed into the tiny front room in the pub surrounded by huge office blocks in Holbeck just south of the Leeds rail station. Sam says says - "unfortunately the pub are no longer prepared to contribute any money to the night so I decided to pack it in. I didn't want to pay the musicians any less than they were already receiving. Sad but perhaps a sign of the times"

So another venue hits the dust; but people will have extraordinary memories of very special nights there. Leeds jazz singer Carole Eve Bell ran the jazz club for nine years before Sam running it with Leeds guitarist Guy Hatton. She put her heart and soul into the project. It was a time consuming commitment, but she treasured the privilege of all the musicians and singers who agreed to a low paid gig and recognized how extraordinary it was to play in such a place, with such a history and helped create such an atmosphere.

Carole says "It was an adventure I will never forget. When I was a lass, and first went to the 'Grove Inn,' that became over the years my second front room; where I was welcomed, unthreatened and allowed to drink alone, as a young woman, sharing gossip, music and artisan knowledge with so many folk, The landlord and landlady Madge and Ian made life wonderful in that extraordinary pub. They experienced great joy and personal tragedy over their few years there ,but ensured an ongoing inheritance of exceptional atmosphere. Ian died earlier this year, suddenly, shockingly and before his time. I was devastated for his wife and family, having shared wonderful conversation with him on the finale night for Rachael who has kept it alive and well for 22 years. Now Sam has decided to stop too the era is ending in so many sad ways"

There is still one jazz event there - the band Abtuse run a monthly jam session at there after their gig on the second Monday of every month (8.30 start) - for details contact Brian Whittington: or see the web page

The Grove Inn is on Back Row, off David Street, off Water Lane, Leeds, LS11 5PL

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

It's curtains for Jazz...!

From Sue Lightblown

Thanks to the generous donation for John Lewis manufacturer Herbert Parkinson Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival have got some fab John Lewis curtains for sale at £10 a pair - at St Mary's Church Hall Clitherhoe 11-3pm on 3rd May. This is a fringe event organised by Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival in conjunction with Child Action Northwest to raise money for Children in Need. The festival runs between 1-5 May. Pull yourself together and get down there jazz fans!

Ribble Valley rocks in May

From John Flanagan

The Ribble Valley Jazz Festival Committee are proud to present the 5th annual jazz festival on the first bank holiday weekend on 1st-5th May 2014.

The organisers have been busy trying to make the Clitheroe based event a weekend to stand alongside all of the UK's major jazz festivals. Boasting a national line up of fantastic performers there will be other new additions this year like the extended free to attend street festival, a jazz train, poetry meets jazz, an additional blues venue and even more workshops to participate in.
Clitheroe is a beautiful town and a great place to spend a weekend soaking up the vibrant atmosphere that the jazz festival has to offer. We are proud of what we have achieved already and we are also very excited about what the future holds.

There is a good balance between ticketed events and free to attend events but one of the biggest assets of this festival is the variety of entertainment on offer. This year alone there will be offerings of modern jazz, big band, trad, cafe jazz, western swing, gypsy jazz, easy listening, funk, dub, blues, soul, R&B, world roots, poetry and street entertainers. Venues are spread across the town centre and are all within walking distance. There will also be pre and post festival events in and around Clitheroe.

Involving the community is also very important to the organisers and what better way to get involved than signing up for one of the many workshops on offer? As well as the now very popular drumming workshop with Paul Rigby - the band leader of The Northern Jazz Orchestra, there are now some fantastic opportunities to join workshops by some of the UK's finest musicians like Dennis Rollins (trombone), Snake Davies (saxophone), Stuart Riley (double bass), Trish Ferrarin (multi-instrument improvisation). Festival partners 'Valley Gigs' will also be repeating their Ukelele workshop which was a sell out in 2013. Workshop places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

The festival line up this year includes; Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio, The National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Snake Davis, Tipitina & The One Voice Community Choir, JJ Wheeler Quintet, Marley Chingus, The Berry Trio, Rory Motion, Dub Jazz Soundsystem, Gary Boyle's Bruze and much much more!

For more information visit
Book tickets for all events at The Grand’s Ticket Office
Phone 01200 421599 - Book online at

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Osby/Abercrombie/Copland for Band on Wall

John Abercrombie/Mark Copeland
Greg Osby

Couple of big jazz gigs coming up soon at Manchester's Band on the Wall

"Vein" featuring Greg Osby

For twenty five years, New York based saxophonist Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz bringing insight and innovation to his own ensembles and as guest with other acclaimed outfits. Next month, he makes a very rare UK appearance as guest of the exciting Swiss trio Vein, who make their UK debut.

A piano trio with a difference, Vein create exciting, dynamic and innovative music with a nod to deeply held traditional values.  For these two UK dates they invite Osby, a passionate live performer and long time collaborator, to present music from the trio’s new recording, Vote For Vein, alongside original quartet compositions.  Expect a night of classy, powerful, music played with passion, drive, superb interplay and improvisational finesse.

Creating an almost symbiotic interplay with their stupendous musical togetherness and concept of ‘equality for all’, Vein never fails to find Greg Osby an incredibly inspiring addition, who in the 80’s served as a member of the renowned M-Base Collective and has worked with some of the most experimental figures in jazz including Andrew Hill and Steve Coleman. Together, the quartet perform groove-heavy, lyrical, rhythmically and harmonically complex pieces, fizzing with crackling energy.

Tue 22nd April 2014  – Doors open: 19:30
£15.00 Advance

John Abercrombie and Marc Copland

We welcome two of the most insightful musicians of Jazz, pianist Marc Copland and guitarist John Abercrombie, to Band on the Wall.

It is more than 30 years since a John Abercrombie group last included piano, but his and pianist Marc Copland’s association spans more than 40 years. Both men are virtuosos, but subtle, mostly quiet. Copland’s pianism is decidedly poetic; his uncanny ‘touch’ and his skill with pedals are widely admired by other keyboardists. Speaking of his ‘unlikely’ alliance with John Abercrombie, Marc Copland says, ‘by listening carefully and working together, it's possible to get stunning effects, textures, colours, sounds.’

The recordings are classic examples of the quiet, calm art of communication practiced at the highest level. The musical meeting of these two contemporary jazz maestros has a wonderfully organic feel. It is comparable to the finest chamber music. The pieces shimmer with multifarious shades and meanings. They are small sound sculptures of artful transience.

Tue 29th April 2014 – Doors open: 19:30
£13.00 Early Bird
£15.00 Advance
£17.50 Full

@Band on the Wall,
27 Swan Street,
The Northern Quarter,
M4 5JZ

Pink Lane gets the cash!

From the Pink Lane Jazz Co op team, Newcastle 15-4-14

Good news! Pink Lane Jazz Co-op at The Globe is going ahead.  It will be the first freehold music venue in the UK to be owned by its members.

We’ve raised the money we needed to get started and we’ve instructed our solicitor to proceed with the purchase.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the people who have invested in this exciting venture and to those who have helped to promote and publicise it.  Our community share issue exceeded our target.  We don’t know the exact sum invested yet because there are still cheques arriving in the post.  We’ll give you an accurate figure in the next couple of days. Thank you all.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Jazz at the Howard Assembly Room this Spring

Dave Douglas

April-May 2014

A magnificent duo take to the stage in Leeds this Spring as the Howard Assembly Room’s jazz programme brings you two of the great pioneers of American jazz: Dave Douglas and Uri Caine

Two highly influential jazz musicians from across the pond, distinguished trumpeter Dave Douglas and keyboard wizard Uri Caine unite in a compelling evening of vivacious, fierce and phenomenal playing. Jaw-droppingly talented, the duo will treat you to a special selection of songs, hymns and improvisations ahead of their 2014 CD release in summer 2014. Having worked together in various forms for over 30 years, their new album and tour brings out the very best of their collaboration.
True improvisers, you never know where the night may take you so get booking those tickets now.
‘The unassuming king of independent jazz’
Downbeat on Dave Douglas

Friday 2 May 7.45pm

Still to come this April:

Electrifying American jazz singer René Marie draws together jazz, soul, gospel and Americana in a stunning one-off concert. René Marie will dazzle with her powerhouse vocals and smooth tones as she joins us for a night of songs to her homeland. Taken from her album, Voice of My Beautiful Country the evening draws together jazz, soul, gospel and Americana in a stunning one-off concert, this is one for the diary.
‘It's her ability to step inside the song and make the lyrics come alive that really sets her apart’
The Arts Desk

Wednesday 23 April 7.45pm

Award-winning jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard and outstanding pianist Joanna MacGregor join forces to create a magnificent new live score for silent film Sunrise -  A Song of Two Humans, F.W.Murnau’s 1927 masterpiece especially for the Howard Assembly Room. A story about innocence and experience, urban and rural American, about love and violence, this is a sensational night out.

Saturday 26 April 7.30pm

For more information and to book tickets visit or call Leeds Grand Theatre Box Office on 0844 848 2727

Howard Assembly Room is situated on the 2nd floor of Leeds Grand Theatre