Monday, 23 June 2014

Doncaster jazz news...

Doncaster Youth Swing Orchestra
CAST Doncaster

Colin Jeynes from Doncaster Youth Jazz Association writes - 

Hi folks! Just in case any of you have not seen that there are two excellent concerts at Cast, Doncaster’s new performance venue. This Thursday 7.30pm we have an evening featuring young musicians from Germany and from Doncaster.

Thurs 26 June Eks Big Swing Band from Herten, Germany (directed by Thomas Vennes) with the Doncaster Youth Swing Orchestra and Doncaster Youth Stageband (directed by John Ellis MBE)

This much anticipated musical showcase will feature the amazing EKS Big Swing Band (from Herten, Westphalia in Germany), directed by Thomas Vennes, alongside our own Doncaster Youth Stageband and the Doncaster Youth Swing Orchestra, directed by John Ellis MBE. This special Celebration will mark 20 years of highly-successful tours, exchanges and musical collaborations between the two towns. Tickets £12.50 (incl. booking fee if paying online or by card) (£12.00 cash at Box Office) £8.50 under 16’s. We need to support these youngsters!

Thurs 3 July 8pm - 'The Big Easy' Band featuring members of Alligator Gumbo

Both concerts to be held at 'Cast Theatre', Waterdale, Doncaster DN1 3BU @ 8pm Tel 01302 303959,

Eugene Farrar at Doncaster Conservative Club

Also in Doncaster Charlie Worsdale from ‘Jazz into Doncaster’ writes  about their summer jazz programme

Thurs 24 July - Shirley Patterson accompanied by the Ralph Salt Quartet.

Thurs 28 August - Knights of Jazz Trad Jazz Band

Thurs 11 September - Washington Whirlygig Jazz Band

Thurs 25 September - Eugene Farrar and his Trad Jazz Band

All these four concerts to be held at Doncaster Conservative Club, 2 South Parade, Doncaster. DN1 3ET

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Wynton Marsalis/Lincoln Center Orchestra -stunning opener for their European Tour

Wynton Marsalis, trumpet, director
Ryan Kisor, Marcus Pintup Kenny Rampton, trumpets
Vincent R Gardner, Elliot Mason, Chris Crenshaw, trombones
Sherman Irby, Ted Nash, Walter Blanding, Victor Goins, Paul Nedzela, reeds
Dan Nimmer piano
Carlos Henriquez bass
Ali Jackson drums

Royal Hall Harrogate, Yorkshire 20/6/14

Sometime the Jazz press can be a bit sniffy about trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, almost as if his success and universal acclaim is unacceptable in a jazz world where celebrity is rare. At Harrogate on Friday night we heard why he's so acclaimed. He's a phenomenal bandleader no doubt, but he's no figurehead - his solo on Herbie Hancock's "Riot" for example took your breath away for ingenuity and dexterity.

The mission of his Lincoln Center Orchestra is to entertain, enrich and expand the audience and interest in jazz, something they've been doing for 26 years now. On this European Tour their various members have recrafted and rearranged some classic (and some lesser known) tunes from Alfred Lion and Frank Wolff's Blue Note record label. The opener was a tribute to the Horace Silver who passed away a couple of days earlier - "Senor Blues", arranged by the band's superb bassist Carlos Henriquez, was played with feeling and love for the music of one of jazz's legends. "The Thespian" by Freddie Redd, "Infant Eyes" by Wayne Shorter, "Search for Peace" by McCoy Tyner and Bud Powell's"Un Poco Loco" were given intriguing new forms The playing was phenomenal - Ted Nash on Woody Shaw's "Moontrane" showed just how to build a solo, Dan Nimmer's piano on Horace Silver's lovely "Peace" also stood out for me.

And Wynton was funny - classic anecdotes - about Lou Donaldson for example. The Harrogate audience (including a large number of younger jazz fans) applauded loud and long. Well done to the Harrogate International Festival for taking the risk and putting it on - the Royal Hall was packed. BBC TV were there to record it - watch out it when it is broadcast later in the year. Especially the encore - Wynton with just the rhythm section playing "Embraceable You" - worth the price of the ticket alone!

Steve Crocker

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra this Friday!

The irresistably swinging Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and its musical director Wynton Marsalis celebrate the 75th anniversary of iconic record label Blue Note. Launching in the UK right here in Harrogate, this show embraces the entire history of modern jazz from bebop to the dancefloor, performing big band arrangements of unforgettable classics.

Friday 20th June
Royal Hall

Box Office: 01423 562303

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Courtney and Dennis headline Lancaster Jazz Festival 2014

Courtney Pine
Matt Robinson writes

Heading into it’s forth year, Lancaster Jazz Festival runs between the 18th-21st September 2014 and features emerging and established artists from around the country including a brand new commission from Constella Ballet’s Artist Director Leo Geyer. Held in venues in the historic centre of the city expect new works in intimate cafe spaces, big bands in breweries, workshops, young artists and more.


Fresh from sell out shows across the US and Canada and slots at Bestival, Love Supreme and London Jazz Festival in the UK, Courtney Pine, and his critically acclaimed House of Legends set, will be the first of two headliners at Lancaster Jazz Festival 2014.

Deeply steeped in the traditions of the Caribbean, this very personal project sees Courtney Pine on soprano saxophone exclusively, and brings together musicians from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. Expect an exhilarating mix of Merengue, Ska, Mento and Calypso in the beautiful Rake Theatre of The Dukes.

Tickets £20, on sale from today from or follow the links at


Renowned band leader and virtuoso trombonist Dennis Rollins brings his latest creation to be the second headliner of Lancaster Jazz Festival in the very intimate Round Theatre. With a new album being released this summer this daring and incredibly successful endeavour features Dennis Rollins on trombone and effects, Ross Stanley on Hammond Organ and Pedro Segundo on drums.

Tickets £20-£5, on sale from today from or follow the links at

Heading into it’s forth year, Lancaster Jazz Festival runs between the 18th-21st September 2014 and features emerging and established artists from around the country including a brand new commission from Constella Ballet’s Artist Director Leo Geyer. Held in venues in the historic centre of the city expect new works in intimate cafe spaces, big bands in breweries, workshops, young artists and more.

The full festival programme will be announced very soon, join the mailing list at to find out before anyone else and/or follow the team on twitter

Hull Jazz Festival changes in 2014

Soweto Kinch

David Porter writes

The 22nd Summer edition of the Hull Jazz Festival runs from 24th – 26th July at Hull Truck Theatre. Artists taking part include the Honeybirds, Django a la Creole featuring Evan Christopher and Don Vappie from New Orleans, Mike Walker, Stuart McCallum, Jay Phelps and Soweto Kinch and Last Train to Skaville plus local talent Matthew Smith Eclectic4, Kingston Blues Band, Kris Wright Trio, Kingston Swing. This follows a series of previews with GoGo Penguin, Matthew Holborn Gypsy Jazz Eyes Shut Tight and Michael Cretu.

The Festival has in recent years moved away from presenting one 2-week operation and now programmes a series of weekend events and special performances throughout the year profiling a diverse range of international, national and regional jazz artists whilst also supporting and encouraging local talent. This is enabling the Festival to reach many more people and ensure that there is a spread of jazz and related activity throughout the year and throughout the city, as it prepares to become City of Culture 2017.

In September Hull Jazz Festival outdoor stage at Freedom Festival will welcome from New York Naturally7 plus Riot Jazz Brass Band, Ruby Turner, Dread Supreme, Arun Ghosh Sonic Boom, a tribute to Township Jazz featuring Al MacSween and Claude Deppa, Hannabelle and Midnight Blue and local artists Octopus and Pearls Cab Ride with more to be announced.

The November Festival will see the beginning of a new relationship with National Youth Jazz Orchestra working in residency with the Hull Music Hub and University of Hull Big Band and culminate in a special performance by NYJO with Hull big bands and special guest Soweto Kinch. Other artists working with the Festival include Gilad Atzmon Orient House Ensemble with the Sigamos strings playing Atzmon’s homage to Charlie Parker, Dutch gypsy jazz violinist Tim Kliphuis’ tribute to Grapelli and Arun Ghosh’s South Asian Suite.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Hot in Huddersfield!

From Roger Sawyer

Just a reminder that the North-East’s premier group DJANGOLOGIE is appearing at the Keys Restaurant, Huddersfield on Sat 14 June. (Tickets £13, including supper, from the Keys Restaurant - 01484 516777).

Firmly rooted in the Hot Club sound of the swing era, Djangologie bring a remarkable freshness to the style, and maintain the swinging spirit of the great Reinhardt/Grappelli outfits, but without trying to be a carbon copy.

“Djangologie evoke the authentic sounds of Django Reinhardt and St├ęphane Grappelli”
(Desmond Carrington, BBC Radio 2)

“A spirited celebration of the Hot Club.”
(The Times)

“Hot Club at its best.”
(Bebop Spoken Here – jazz blog)

Friday, 6 June 2014

Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin in Manchester

Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin

Two Jazz Star concerts in the North West this June and July promoted by Manchester's Band on the Wall

Tues 10 June Pat Metheny Unity Group live at The Lowry, Salford 
"A virtuoso guitarist, an expansive composer and, above all, an inveterate searcher" New York Times
Legendary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny made his return to small-combo performance with the Unity Group, a band gifted enough to keep up with the full range of his forty years of musical explorations. It is no surprise that with that band — "blazing virtuosi with musical intelligence to match"  The Guardian — Metheny won his astonishing 20th Grammy award in 2013.
The Unity Group boasts a once-in-a-lifetime lineup: saxophonist Chris Potter, whom Metheny calls "one of the most exciting soloists in jazz on any instrument", Ben Williams, "the baddest new bassist on the block" (The Revivalist); powerhouse drummer Antonio Sanchez; and extraordinary multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi

Pat Metheny - Guitars
Chris Potter - Saxophone and Flute
Antonio Sanchez - Drums and Percussion
Ben Williams - Bass
Guilio Carmassi - Percussion

Tickets £26.50 - £32.50 advance on sale now

Wed 9th July 2014 Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin
Internationally-acclaimed American pianist and arranger Dave Grusin, live on stage with the legendary jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour.

Growing up in L.A. in the sixties, guitarist Lee Ritenour received a rich cross section of exposure to jazz, rock and Brazilian music which has informed his dazzling playing ever since. From one of his first sessions at 16 with the Mamas and Papas to accompanying Lena Horne and Tony Bennett at 18, his forty-year career is highlighted by a Grammy Award win for his 1986 collaboration with Dave Grusin, Harlequin; 17 Grammy nominations; numerous #1 spots in guitar polls and the prestigious Alumnus of the Year award from USC. He has recorded over 40 albums, with 35 chart songs, notably the Top 15 hit Is It You, which has become a contemporary jazz radio classic. In the 90s, Ritenour was a founding member of Fourplay, the most successful band in contemporary jazz.

If ever there was a renaissance man in jazz and popular music, Dave Grusin would be it. In a career that spans somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 recordings across five decades, he has been highly successful in so many roles – pianist, composer, performer, bandleader, producer, arranger and record executive to name just a few. His work as a composer reaches far beyond that of the typical solo recording artist and deep into the realm of film and television scoring – a venture that has resulted in 10 Grammys and an Academy Award since the late 1960s. Anyone with even a casual interest in jazz, film or television over the past half-century has encountered Dave Grusin and his music somewhere along the way.

Tickets £28.00 Early Bird, £30.00 Advance


Northern clubs get the cash!

PRS_logo_colour JSLlogo300dpi_square_no_text

As well as offering funding schemes to help artists tour and record, Jazz Services also provides for those working to create opportunities for artists to perform – the PRS for Music Foundation/Jazz Services Jazz Promoters Awards are delivered in partnership by both organisations to offer financial support to both establish and new promoters putting on new jazz music around the UK.
There are two types of award – up to £2,000 is available for established Jazz Promoters and up to £500 for Fledgling Promoters who are in their first year of putting on live jazz events. The programme is run annually.

The following Northern Jazz venues have been successful in getting funding,with three clubs (Freedom Principle in Manchester, Jazz at Heart in Leeds and Splinter Jazz in Newcastle) winning the award for the very first time. 
Freedom Principle (Manchester)
Jazz-at-Heart (Leeds)
Jazz at The Lescar (Sheffield)
Jazz North-East  (Newcastle)
Seven Jazz (Leeds) 
Sheffield Jazz (Sheffield) 
Splinter Jazz (Newcastle)
Over the coming months these promoters will be offering some truly exciting jazz programming from some of the UK's best artists so let's say well done to the winners - but more importantly get out there and support live jazz near you!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

First UK Jazz Promotion Network Conference

Anton Hunter

Booking is now open for the first UK Jazz Promotion Network conference taking place during the Manchester Jazz Festival. The venue is the Midland Hotel, an Edwardian Baroque Grade II* listed building in the centre of Manchester. The date is Wed-Thus 23-24 July 2014, Manchester

As well as the conference programme, involving major keynote speakers from the world of jazz, plus workshops and ideas sessions, there will be the opportunity to see 20 free gigs for delegates as part of the Festival - for example Anton Hunter's "Article XI" a new commission premiered at Manchester's newly-restored Central Library on Thursday 24th June

There will also be discounts offered on a first-come-first-served basis for other gigs such as The Bad Plus and Tin Men and the Telephone

The event is free for JPN members. Membership starts at £50/year and gives you access to a fast-growing network of individuals and organisations coming together to make the case for live jazz, pool resources and develop new collaborations.

If you wish to stay at the Midland Hotel there is a special rate of £120 (bed & breakfast) for conference delegates on Wednesday 23rd July. Availability is limited, so contact us now if you wish to book. We've also listed other options on the JPN website, starting at £18 per night and all within walking distance of the conference venue. register now to get priority booking.

If you wish to become a member or sign up for the conference then register here

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Potato Head, Hailey Tuck, Neil Cowley@Atkinson

Hailey Tuck

Three jazz events at the Atkinson Theatre in Southport over the summer...

Potato Head Jazz Band
Thursday 24 July, 7.30, £8 (£10 door)
The Potato Head Jazz Band from Granada in Spain includes six musicians from around the world who have all performed in many notable jazz clubs and festivals. Their most recent album This is Not New Orleans… has been welcomed with high critical and popular acclaim. The band’s live shows are full of energy, highly participate , with the origins and influences of each musician coming through very clearly.

Hailey Tuck
Saturday 23 August, 7.30pm , £12 (£14 door)
Born in Austin, Texas, and raised on a diet of 1930′s jazz, vintage dresses and black and white films, Hailey’s love of the old school saw her move to France aged just 18 in search of ‘la vie en rose’.
She has firmly established herself as a favourite on the underground Parisian scene with an authenticity originating from a childhood spent daydreaming to the soundtrack of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday and following the exploits of Judy Garland and the stars of the silver screen.

Neil Cowley Trio- Touch and Flee Tour
Friday 26 September, 7.30, £15
In 2006, Neil Cowley Trio burst onto the scene with a debut recording that turned the concept of piano trio on its head.   Fizzing with energy, their rip-roaring riffs, hook laden tunes and thrilling climaxes sat side by side with heart shattering musical whisperings.  Since then, Neil Cowley Trio has carved out a reputation as one of Britain’s most exciting bands.

The Atkinson
Lord Street
0151 934 2110

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Rothwell gets the thumbs-up!

Joel Purnell

James Robinson writes

Further to the success of the first 3 monthly gigs at The Hare and Hounds in Rothwell, we are pleased to announce we're going ahead with gigs for the remainder of the year:

Monday 7th July - Robin Sunflower - harmonica and vocals

Monday 11th - Rothwell Jazz Festival - Lee Hallam, Laurie Briggs and Jim Corry (7pm start)

Tuesday 12th - Rothwell Jazz Festival  - Kim Macari, Kate Peters and Joel Purnell  (7pm start)

Monday 1st September - Stuart McDonald - sax

Monday 6th October - Vanessa Rani - vocals

Monday 3rd November - Andy Wallace - sax

Monday 1st December - Nicki Allan and Rod Mason

All artistes supported by the James Robinson Quartet featuring Adrian Ingram on guitar, Ian Rose on Organ, Paul Chamberlain on bass and James Robinson on drums.

All gigs, at the Hare and Hounds in Rothwell, Leeds, free admission and start at 8.30pm

Looking forward to seeing you all there.

"I like Rotherham, reminds me of Detroit!"

Will Gaines at Weston Park Museum Sheffield 1987

Graham Brook Jazz and Swing at Wilmslow writes

"I had a 'phone call from Chris Parry last night to inform me that her longtime partner, Will Gaines, had passed away at the age of eighty-six. You may recall that Will was a hoofer who worked with the very best on the jazz circuit, perhaps most famously with the Alex Welsh band. Anyway, for many years he lived in Rotherham and Chris wondered if I could think of any way of letting Yorkshire jazzers know so hope that you can do something with it. She tells me that quite extensive obituaries appeared in both the Guardian and the Telegraph (being a Morning Star reader, I have not yet seen them but will no doubt find them online!). It seems he had a stroke a year or so ago and had the perfect ending in many ways. He felt tired, dropped back in his favourite armchair to take forty winks and passed on".

Will Gaines, the American “hoofer”, who has died aged 86, began his 70-year career in Detroit, went on to the Cotton Club in Harlem, but ended up settling in Rotherham. An unashamed entertainer, Gaines hated being described as a “tap dancer”. Instead he spiced up “hoofing”, a shuffling form of tap, with stories, reminiscences and gags. A reviewer in The Daily Telegraph described his mesmerising footwork as making a sound “like crumbling ice cream wafers”. Though principally he accompanied, or was accompanied by, jazz bands, Gaines was able to improvise steps to genres ranging from flamenco to the Baroque of JS Bach. In the course of his long career, he performed with Duke Ellington and graced the same stage as Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr and Louis Armstrong.

In 1963, when his agency, William Morris, told him that they had booked him a gig at the London Palladium, Gaines told them: “No way. I don’t want to go. It’s too cold over there.” But he relented, and recalled that when he got off the plane he was wearing “a suit, long johns, an overcoat, a scarf, gloves, and a hat – and you know what, they had a heatwave over there”.

In Britain he discovered that “white folks got rhythm after all. Jack Parnell’s band played with Count Basie and Duke Ellington when they were there”; he decided to stay. As well as appearing at London venues including the Pigalle and Ronnie Scott’s and touring extensively in Europe, he appeared at the Royal Festival Hall in a tribute to Honi Coles in 2001, and in 2008 celebrated his 80th birthday with a sell-out concert at the Purcell Room. He also stole the show at arts festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival where, in 1996, he tap-danced an accompaniment to poems read by John Dowie. He also danced for Princess Margaret in a command performance at Covent Garden and, in 2006, at St Paul’s Cathedral in a performance of Ellington’s Sacred Concerts.

When Gaines first came to Britain he lived in London, but later moved to Rotherham, explaining that he felt more at home there because it reminded him of Detroit. His final years were spent at Leigh-on-Sea.
Will Gaines’s marriage was dissolved, and he is survived by a daughter. A son predeceased him.
Will Gaines, born April 5 1928, died May 7 2014

Sunday, 1 June 2014

And the long and the short of it is...

From Lesley Jeffries

Jazz at Heart Leeds hosts the first Transatlantic tour by the Apollo jazz network this month by the Fat Face trio Saturday 7th June 7.30p.m.

Hailing from North Carolina, Fat Face Trio features trumpet, tuba and guitar. Led by trumpeter Matt Postle with Molly Jay tuba and Troy Conn guitar, the group plays a diverse range of music and embraces the challenge of their unconventional line-up. A rare UK appearance from a group which promises unexpected turns and a fresh take on the jazz trio.

Tickets: £8 (£5 concs)

Heart jazz workshops...
Monday workshops continue in June... with saxman Matt Anderson in charge! Currently working on tunes of Dexter Gordon, these workshops are good for all abilities and instruments and are stand-alone for those who can't make every week. From 7.30 - 9 p.m.

Hear jams...
This coming Friday (6th June) too - it's the monthly jam-at-heart. Come and play or listen - it's very friendly and safe for novices but also attracts some great players. The house band will be led by Matt Anderson and will be killin'!

See you at an event at HEART soon

Jazz-at-Heart gigs
HEART – Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre
Bennett Road
T: 0113 275 4548