Tuesday, 31 March 2015

BBC Big Band and Clare Teal at Garforth Arts fest

BBC Big Band, featuring Yorkshire jazz singer Clare Teal are one of the headline acts for the annual summertime festival’s closing night Playground Party, which will be held in the grounds of Garforth Academy in Leeds on Saturday July 11th. Also playing are Acid Jazz and funk band The Brand New Heavies

They are joined on the bill by singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman and afrobeat star Femi Kuti And The Positive Force. Local heroes the Garforth Jazz Rock Orchestra are also on the main bill

Festival director Dave Evans says “I think we’ve put together a line-up that’s high quality and really varied. Hopefully there will be something there for everyone.”

Taking place this year for the 11th time, the festival will run from June 29 to July 11. A packed programme of shows and activities will be staged in Garforth throughout the fortnight. Stand-out attractions include The Borealis Saxophone Quartet, an award-winning chamber ensemble which will be playing at St Mary’s Church on July 4.

The Playground Party is on Sat 11 Jul 2015 Sat 14:00
Garforth Academy,
Lidgett Lane,
West Yorkshire
LS25 1LJ.

Tickets http://www.garforthartsfestival.co.uk/Holdticket_15.html

Monday, 30 March 2015

Matt Roberts Sextet at Heart

Lesley Jeffries writes

Saturday 25th April: Matt Roberts Sextet plays the music of Fats Navarro

Matt Roberts (Leader and Trumpet)    Matt Anderson  (Tenor)    Ben Lowman (Alto)
Sam Gardner (Drums)    Sam Watts (Piano)    Simon Read (Bass)

Graduate of Leeds College of Music and Trinity College of Music, Matt Roberts is a London-based trumpeter and composer who regularly appears at large venues and international festivals with his band Gentleman’s Dub Club and has recently worked with Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Paloma Faith, Hurts and Everything Everything. Recent visits to jazz-at-heart have included tributes to great trumpeters such as Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan. For this occasion, Matt and his sextet will be paying tribute to the short-lived, but influential bebop trumpeter Fats Navarro. Fats performed and recorded with Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Tadd Dameron, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus and many more. Expect a combination of choice standards alongside more obscure bebop compositions.

Don't forget - Matt and the sextet are doing a workshop 2.30 - 5pm (£15) before the gig at 7.30 

HEART – Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre
Bennett Road

Jiannis Pavlidis Organ Quartet @Sela

Matt Anderson writes -

This month at The Cooler we have the return of the amazing Jiannis Pavlidis, as he brings his organ quartet featuring world-class drummer Luke Flowers. The band plays music by Thelonious Monk, Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter among others, with grooves provided by Martin Longhawn on the mighty Sela organ!

Jiannis Pavlidis - Guitar
Matt Anderson - Saxophone
Martin Longhawn - Organ
Luke Flowers - Drums

Guitarist Jiannis Pavlidis was born in Sweden and attended Berklee College of Music, studying guitar with Jon Damian (tutor for Bill Frisell, Wayne Krantz, Kurt Rosenwinkel) and attending classes under the direction of Rick Peckham, Hal Crook, Fred Lipsius (Blood Sweat and Tears) as well as having external private lessons with Jerry Bergonzi. He has been working professionally since 1983 and has frequently performed all over England and Greece for the last 10 years, participating in tours and recordings as a leader and with world renowned artists David Liebman and Adam Nussbaum. His latest album, 'Migration', is with George Kontrafouris and Adam Nussbaum on FMR records.

Matt Anderson is a Leeds-based saxophonist who leads many of his own projects, notably the Wild Flower Sextet which has just released and toured their debut album. Martin Longhawn, also based in Leeds, is a pianist and keyboard player for many leading groups in the area such as the Svarc/Hanley/Longhawn trio. Renowned drummer Luke Flowers is well-known especially for his work with the Cinematic Orchestra, Corine Bailey Rae and Stuart McCallum.

We'll also have support from Nel and the Elephants, playing an assortment of original music and easy listening standards with a chilled, feel-good vibe.

Eleanor Begley - Vocals
Kieran Gunter - Guitar
Aleks Podraza - Keyboards
Roz MacDonald - Bass
Tom Higham - Drums

Support band starts at 8:30pm, main band 10pm. Free entry, but please drink copiously to support Sela in booking live music!

Spring Jazz in Liverpool's Capstone

 Marius Neset 

In April and May there will be an exciting series of Jazz concerts at The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool.

On Friday 17th April Norwegian composer and saxophonist extraordinaire Marius Neset performs new material from his acclaimed new release Pinball with an all star line-up including Petter Eldh on bass and Jim Hart on vibes.

The fun continues the following week with a solo concert on Wednesday 22nd April by multi-award-winning pianist/composer Gwilym Simcock, a musician who Chick Corea famously described as a 'creative genius'.

Following this will be a succession of Friday evening concerts by a range of excellent contemporary artists including piano trio Vein (24th April), bassist Max Luthert's Sextet (1st May), Stretch Trio (8th May) and ace guitarist Ant Law's group (22nd May).

On Friday 15th May The Capstone welcomes Liverpool's The Weave, a group led by trumpet player/composer Martin Smith and featuring some of Liverpool's most wonderful jazz musicians, for the album launch of their second album "Knowledge Porridge".

Full details of all concerts can be found at www.thecapstonetheatre.com 

Capstone Theatre Liverpool Hope University, 17 Shaw Street, Liverpool L6 1HP

Darlington Jazz Festival returns for its 4th year.

Darlington Jazz Festival returns for its 4th year, bringing live music to venues across the town.

Advance tickets for Saturday evenings and both Sunday sessions are now available online from darlingtonjazzfestival.ticketsource.co.uk or in person from Darlington Jazz Club on Sunday evenings. Tickets for Saturday evening at Central Hall can also be purchased at Dolphin Centre reception.

The first bands are confirmed and listed below:

Friday 24th April: 8:00pm - late
The Matt Roberts Sextet plays the music of Fats Navarro
Voodoo Café
£7 on the door

Saturday 25th April: Afternoon
Various Street Bands: a taste of the festival
Joseph Pease Place, High Row and Clervaux Bakery.
Plus various small jazz combos including Dean Stockdale (piano) and Will Howard (saxophones)
The Quakerhouse, Mechanic’s Yard
£5 on the door

Saturday 25th April: 7.15pm - 10pm
An evening of swinging big band music from the 1950s and 1960s.
Multi-instrumentalist Al Wood joins with The Durham Alumni Big Band and guest, to bring the swing music of Billy May, Count Basie, Ken Mackintosh and many more.
The award winning Durham County Youth Big Band will perform in support of the main event at 7:15pm Central Hall, Dolphin Centre
Advance tickets: £12 (£10 for students, under 18s and Darlington for Culture members)

Saturday 25th April: 10:30pm till late
Jazz Festival Late Jam: Join our house band and friends.
The Quakerhouse, Mechanic's Yard
Free entry/donations

Sunday 26th April: 2pm - 5pm
An afternoon of big bands and jazz combos: Darlington Big Band, Nicola Farnon Trio and Darlington Little Big Band
St Augustine’s Parish Centre
Advance tickets available: £6 or £10 for both Sunday sessions.

Sunday 26th April: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
The Simon Read Octet with Jamil Sherif and Laura Jurd
St Augustine’s Parish Centre
Advance tickets available: £6 or £10 for both Sunday sessions.

Darlington Jazz Club are moving also - they held their final gig at the Forum, the venue that has played host to the club for many years. The Jazz Club will re-emerge on April 12th at a new location, the Quakerhouse pub in Mechanics Yard which will be one of a few new venues used to host events. 

Howard Alden masterclass in Saltaire

Award winning New York based jazz guitarist Howard Alden will be running a workshop/masterclass at the Yorkshire Music School in Saltaire on Sat 9 May 2015. 

Limited places available - contact info@ymss.co.uk tel 01274 595954.

Yorkshire Music School
Salts Mill
Victoria Road
BD18 3LA

Huddersfield Jazz Guitar Festival 11-12 July

Jim Mullen

A jazz guitar festival, the first of its kind in Huddersfield and with headline acts from some of the top names in the genre, is coming to the town this summer.

Organised by Huddersfield Jazz Guitar Society, which was founded just three years ago by a group of enthusiasts, the July festival has a line-up that includes Jim Mullen, and John Etheridge.
The two headliners will be joined by other nationally and internationally-known players as well as homegrown talent, including Remi Harris, Trefor Owen and Sam Dunn.

Darren Dutson Bromley, one of the four founders of the society – along with Adrian Ingham, Ian Wroe and Martin Chung – says the festival will celebrate a musical genre that is growing in popularity. The society has built up a membership of over 100 in a relatively short time and regularly attracts 40 or more guitarists (and the occasional jazz singer) to the monthly meetings, workshops and concerts.

He added: “There is a thriving music community in Huddersfield but there was nothing for jazz guitarists. Ours is the only society in this part of the country. The workshops are for people to come along and play and critique each other. We put together a monthly number so that members can build their repertoire. We cover a mixed ability and have people who have just started out and those who are more accomplished and want to move into jazz and improvisation in order to stretch themselves.”

The society meets on the first Tuesday in the month in the Rat and Ratchet pub on Chapel Hill and has chosen this venue for the festival, which will take place on July 11 and 12.

“Ideally, we’d like to have multiple venues,” says Darren, “but we’re all doing this as volunteers and we have limited funds. We would definitely like some help, if anyone would like to support or sponsor us. At the moment we have a Facebook page but we haven’t got a website yet so it would be great if someone could help with that.”

In the run-up to the event the society will continue to welcome guest musicians to the monthly meetings. Appearing at the next get-together, on Tuesday, April 7, will be Shaun Ward, a session musician with Simply Red who played on the band’s Stars album. Darren met Shaun while jamming with him at a session in Sheffield and asked if he would play for the society. The event begins at 8.30pm.

Jazz Guitar Society membership at the moment is male-dominated and the group would like more female musicians and singers to join.

“There are some absolutely brilliant women in jazz guitar and jazz singing and we’d love for them to come along,” says Darren.

For further information visit www.facebook.com/HuddersfieldJazzGuitarSociety or email huddjazzguitsoc@gmail.com

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Urban Jazz Society at Heart

Krzysztof Urbanski

Lesley Jeffries writes

Sat March 28th 2015 Jazz-at-heart presents:

Urban Jazz Society was founded by the saxophonist and composer Krzysztof Urbanski. He has started to work with some of the most innovative musicians in the UK including Sam Gardner - drums Stuart McCallum - guitar Sam Vicary - bass Martin Longhawn – keys  Ashley Henry - piano. Together they are creating a fresh sound, incorporating elements of modern styles like Hip-Hop, Urban, R&B and Jazz.

Krzysztof is a multi-award-winning saxophonist recommended by the "Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz'' as a one of the best in his generation. He won the Taichung International Saxophone Competition and the Idol International Saxophone Competition in Chicago IL USA, both in 2013 and in 2012 was selected from hundreds musicians from all over the world to the live audition at "The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz" in Los Angeles California (USA) where judges such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath and Kenny Burrell commended his playing. In 2010 Krzysztof recorded his debut album named simply “Urbanski” which was very well received by the critics.

Our mailing address is:
Jazz at Heart
Heart Centre
Bennett Road
Leeds, West Yorkshire LS6 3HN
United Kingdom

See website for more info www.heartcentre.org.uk/jazz-at-heart

Scarbro' Jazz Easter Parade

AJ Brown 

Matt Ball
Bob Walker writes:

Two special Easter gigs at Scarborough Jazz to celebrate the Easter break

Wed 1 April AJ Brown
With supporters including Clare Teal and Sheila Tracy it seems likely that the singer/songwriter/saxophonist, dubbed “Britain’s Buble”, is destined for Stardom. Hailing from Halifax, AJ rose through the ranks of The Calderdale Youth Big Band, followed by The Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, finally honing his skills at Leeds College of Music. Appearances with Clare Teal, Sir Tim Rice and Ian Shaw have ensured this young performer a place in the hearts of a fast growing audience.With influences including Michael Buble; Stevie Wonder; Frank Sinatra; Nat King Cole; Mel Torme; Ella Fitzgerald; Tony Bennett and Gregory Porter we can expect a fine mix of originals and covers - many from his own rich library of recordings. AJ will be accompanied by his own finely tuned trio which includes the very talented Martin Longhawn on keys. This night is generously sponsored by SIV (Sheffield International Venues).  £7 (£6 advance)

Wed 8 April Matt Ball
Wednesday night sees the much awaited return to Scarborough Jazz of Matt Ball, a trombonist with the most impressive c.v.  Matt has played with many of the UK’s top vocalists and musicians including Clare Teal, Alan Barnes, Andy Prior, Dennis Rollins and Elbow. Matt’s festival credits include Manchester, Wigan, Southport and Scarborough. Amazingly he also finds time to teach and has gained a fine reputation as a composer. Matt’s gig, which features Peter Elsdon on piano, begins at 8.45 pm. Admission is only £4

Scarborough Jazz @ The Cask Inn
Cambridge Terrace, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 2LQ

01723 500570

For more info go to www.scarboroughjazz.co.uk

Important news about northern line

Lucy Wooley writes

Thanks to your support northern line has exceeded all our expected goals since we launched the scheme in 2013. We’ve now taken 220+ bookings since then and from April 2015 there will be another 60+ gigs taking place with Round 2 artists. Round 2 bookings now closed

Due to the volume of uptake and success of the scheme, and the demand we have experienced for bookings from April - December 2015, we’ve now reached maximum budget capacity for bookings for the current roster of artists on Round 2 of northern line. As a result, northern line is now closed for any new bookings for Round 2 artists. We will honour any bookings already agreed with Lucy Woolley by the end of 25th March 2015. We’ve extended our budget to cover all committed activity up to this date, with over £100,000 spent on artist fees alone in the last year.

Round 3 artists will be available for dates from 1 September 2015 - December 2016. We will launch the new roster on Wednesday 22 April and you will be able to submit booking requests from 1 May. Round 3 looks to continue the high quality pedigree of artists featured on the scheme. Round 3 showcase at Manchester Jazz Festival (mjf). We hope you will be able to join us on Monday 3 August when we will be showcasing our new roster of artists throughout the day at this year’s manchester jazz festival - so keep this date free in your diary and we will be in touch with more details soon.

Thanks to Jazz North being awarded National Portfolio Organisation status by Arts Council England we have plans to run further rounds of northern line up to 2018. This means promoters you will be able to continue to programme northern line artists for the next three years. This news is proof of the success achieved by northern line and its promoters, and demonstrates the impact of and demand for such an innovative touring scheme.

Thank you for your ongoing support – we hope you’ll continue to work with us on northern line and other Jazz North projects in the near future.

Best wishes,
Lucy and the Jazz North team.

Lucy Woolley


mobile: 07816 327503
email: lucy@jazznorth.org

Southport Jazz Festival programme 8-10 May

Pee Wee Ellis

Emma Lloyd and Su Williams have let us know about the 15th Southport Jazz Festival taking place over the weekend of 8-10 May 2015. The headline events are promoted by Norvoljazz member the Atkinson Theatre. There are a number of other events at various venues around the town - the majority of these gigs are free.

Festival fun starts on Friday 8 May at 8pm with something truly special, James Morton Quartet Featuring Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown fame). James Morton is one of the most exciting saxophonists in the UK today. Pee Wee has been a major influence for James’ music and development over the last 15 years. This project influenced by the funkier side of jazz reminiscent of the 1960’s blue note era will bring grooves, blues and gospel inflected melodies and soloing along with the unmistakable Hammond organ style with shuffles and funky back beats. Tickets: £12
Riot Jazz Brass Band on Saturday 9 May at 8pm is exciting and something not seen at Southport Jazz Festival before. They bring the feel of summer early and have you dancing the night away with their original sound. Riot Jazz Brass Band is a 9-piece brass band made up of trumpets, trombones, a sousaphone, drums and an MC. They play a uniquely twisted mix of funk, soul, hip-hop and aggressive jazz. Tickets: £10 standing / £12 seated.
Sunday 10 May at 3pm as we welcome ‘Jazz in the Afternoon’ with Digby Fairweather and Craig Milverton.  Trumpet-legend Digby Fairweather and poll winning pianist Craig Milverton are currently celebrating twenty years of musical partnership in Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen which has won the British Jazz Award for ‘Top Small Group’ for nine out of the last ten years and is re-nominated for the award in 2015.Tickets: £17 (including afternoon tea)
Sunday evening 7.30pm The Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley Group are at the very start of their career, forward-thinking and highly energetic they perform original compositions that cover a wide range of styles and dynamics bring our 2015 programme to a close.  Tickets: £6

Tickets for The Atkinson’s Southport Jazz Festival events  can be booked  online at theatkinson.co.uk or by calling the Box Office on 01704 533333.

Meanwhile around the town jazz organiser Su Williams has organised a series of concerts introducing new bands,  with Leeds hothouse trio Zeitgeist, Liverpool bands White Canvas and The Angry Men, guitarist Hugo Corbin from Paris, trumpeter Lukas Oravec from Slovakia and The Cal Tjader Project from the Midlands. Pianist Andrzej Baranek pays tribute to the late Horace Silver and London based pianists Peter Edwards and Alex Hutton bring their trios, with this festival being amongst the first to hear Alex's highly anticipated fourth CD 'The Magna-Carta Suite'. Festival debuts will be made by two Yorkshire vocalists, Nicki Allan and her quartet with sax giant Rod Mason and Kate Peters and her septet will play music from their forthcoming CD. JazzNorth supported bands Nicola Farnon, Dread Supreme and John Ellis play and this year the festival welcomes powerhouse big band The Northern Jazz Orchestra. Those who like Trad, Gypsy, Swing and Mainstream jazz are catered for and the town's arts centre

Full details are on  www.visitsouthport.com.

Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival

The 9th Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival is taking place this summer, from Friday 3rd July to Sunday 5th July 2015.

2015 marks one hundred years since the birth of perhaps the greatest of all jazz singers, Billie Holiday. To celebrate, the critically acclaimed tribute to Billie, ‘Lady Sings The Blues’, is coming to Burton Agnes, featuring Val Wiseman, twice crowned ‘best singer’ in the British Jazz Awards. Six jazz stars will perform alongside Val Wiseman, including Alan Barnes and Digby Fairweather; all bar one are British Jazz Awards winners.

Moving from Billie’s jazz of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s to a present day star...the festival organisers are delighted to announce that the wonderful Jo Harman and Company is appearing this year. With a world-class band and a stunning voice, Jo draws heavily on a compelling mix of roots, blues, gospel and soul influences in a style that has been compared to Eva Cassidy.

Festival favourites Octopus, whose talented tentacles of this eight-piece band will open the festival on Friday evening with classic swing.

The wonderful Mahakasyapa Ensemble will perform 'Meditations on Burton Agnes’: an original suite. This new ensemble formed by bassist and composer, Paul Baxter, will premiere an original suite commissioned and in dedication to The Burton Agnes Jazz Festival. The Mahakasyapa Ensemble will explore the sounds of Burton Agnes combining elements of Jazz, Blues, Folk and Classical, music synonymous with the festival and the area and features Top UK Trumpeter and Jazz/Folk crossover artist Neil Yates, Fiery, UK Jazz favourite.

The festival is also delighted to welcome back Nicola Farnon, who is widely recognised as one of the classiest Jazz and Swing musicians in the UK and Ben Beattie's After Midnight Band plus Simon Cunliffe-Lister who will once again play out the weekend.

More details and tickets

Norvoljazz meet Heulwen Phillips

Heulwen Phillips

Jazz Services Ltd recently announced the appointment of Heulwen Phillips as Project Director. She comes to JSL with a wealth of expertise from across the arts sector, including strategic planning, organisational management, fundraising, marketing and more.  

Speaking of her appointment, she said, “Having followed Jazz Services’ work closely for several years, I’m very excited to be given the chance to help develop its future.  I firmly believe there is huge potential for this organisation to continue offering support and services that will be of huge benefit to the jazz community, and indeed the wider arts scene.”
Jazz Services regular activities, including their funding programme for musicians and promoters, will be suspended from April onwards while the restructuring process takes place, and no funding schemes will be offered before the organisation re-launches later in 2015. 

The renewed organisation’s activities will centre on artist and audience development, and as such JSL greatly anticipates being able to offer some exciting new prospects for supporting UK jazz professionals in the near future.
Members of NorvolJazz met with Heulwen on 19th March in Leeds as part of her visits to meet jazz and arts organisations in the North. Norvoljazz made the case for supporting and strengthening the voluntary promoters that are the backbone of the jazz scene in the North of England. We are hoping that at least one joint project, relating to the development of new jazz venues, will emerge from future joint working between Norvol Jazz and the new Jazz Services

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2015

This year’s Parliamentary Jazz Awards took place in a buzzing Terrace Pavilion at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 10 March, two months early than usual due to the upcoming General Election on 7 May. The awards, which are organised by All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG), PPL and Jazz Services are now in their eleventh year, and were presented by well-known broadcaster and jazz fan Moira Stuart to a packed room of leading jazz musicians, industry professionals and jazz-loving parliamentarians.

The winners are as follows with links to the websites for each:

Jazz Album of the Year: Swamp by Partisans

Jazz Venue of the Year: St Ives Jazz Club

Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Engines Orchestra

Jazz Education Award: National Youth Jazz Orchestra

Jazz Media Award: London Jazz News website

Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Laura Jurd

Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Norma Winstone;

Services To Jazz: Chris Hodgkins

Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Peter Edwards; 

APPJAG Special Award: Peter Ind

For more info go to www.ppluk.com/

Our congratulations from the NORVOLJAZZ network to Mike Gordon who was shortlisted for the Services to Jazz award for all his work at Scarborough Jazz and for the Scarborough Jazz Festival - what a terrific supporter of the Jazz scene!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A Dean Clough Suite

From Vic Allen - more about the "Dean Clough Suite" - the premiere of a new suite of music inspired by the history, aesthetics and acoustics of Dean Clough Mills, the nationally renowned business and arts centre in Halifax on Friday March 13th.

The suite will be devised during a four-day residency at Dean Clough by leading musicians Kit Downes (piano) and Lucy Railton (cello), aided by electro-acoustic expert Alex Killpartrick.

Kit Downes has played in Dean Clough's International Jazz season on several occasions – at the last of which he unexpectedly premiered a piano and cello suite with Lucy Railton that received rapturous applause from the audience.

It was this that led Kit to suggest a residency where he and Lucy would befriend some of Dean Clough’s 4,000 workers, explore the atmosphere and acoustics of its extraordinary Victorian architecture and seek to learn something of its industrial past (it was once the world’s largest carpet mill).

Working on Dean Clough’s Fazioli grand piano, Kit and Lucy will compose a musical suite that will be recorded during the gig so that the audience can receive a free digital download shortly afterwards.

“I thought it would be great to write, perform and document a suite especially for Dean Clough," said Kit. "It’s an exciting challenge for Lucy and me to work on a site-specific project like this. I really expect it to produce some great work and a genuinely unique set of music.”

"We've got our faithful and discerning jazz audience to thank for this," said Vic Allen, Dean Clough's arts director. "It's hard to advise the curious what to expect, of course, but – while there's sure to be a light-touch of jazz improvisation – it's more likely to have a concert ambience that draws on minimalist lyricism. Oh. And some quintessential Dean Clough quality that Alex Killpartrick will no doubt have a hand in.”

Kit Downes and Lucy Railton: A Dean Clough Suite
Friday, March 13th 2015 at 8.00pm
Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough HX3 5AX
Tickets £20/£15 concs (inclusive of free download via email)
Box Office: 01422 255266
On-line Booking: www.deanclough.com

Jazz at Hebden Bridge Piano Festival

The first Hebden Bridge Piano Festival took place in April 2013 in the newly built Hebden Bridge Town Hall. It was so well received by both audiences and participants that that we immediately set about planning the 2014 event

The current 2015 festival runs from April 17-19th. Although our main focus is on Classical music, we will always present other forms too. In 2014 we were proud to welcome the extraordinary jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock, who added to the magic of his captivating performance by bringing on two of the BBC Young Jazz Musician finalists to join him for his encore.

Early evening, informal performances in the Town Hall’s café have included blues, jazz, and boogie-woogie. In 2013, the weather was good enough for us to have a piano on the riverside terrace outside the café and for several hours anyone who wanted to could play. Apparently delightful piano music could be heard from as far away as the hillsides surrounding our town.

The main jazz artist this year is Zoe Rahman who appears on Sunday 19th April @Waterfront Hall, 4pm £15/£12

Zoe Rahman has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene. A vibrant and highly individual pianist/ composer, her style is deeply rooted in jazz yet it reflects her classical background, British/Bengali heritage and her very broad musical taste. Known for her powerful technique, wide-ranging imagination and exuberant playing

Tickets here - https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/hbpiano

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Gilad Atzmon's gig cancelled at RNCM

In earlier post listed the Orient House concert on Thus 5 March in Manchester at the Royal Northern College of Music. The College have now issued this notice cancelling the concert:

"Over the past few days the RNCM has received a significant amount of negative correspondence relating to the booking of Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble on Thursday 5 March.

After careful consideration, and to ensure the safety of all involved, the RNCM decided to withdraw the concert. This decision was taken and actioned prior to the launch of an associated petition and in no way reflects any political view of the College. We apologise for any inconvenience caused"

This is one comment is from saxman John Dyson

"Disgusted with the RNCM re the Gilad Atzmon gig. What kind of message are they sending out to the world, never mind their own students, about the censorship of an artist's freedom of expression? We expect this kind of behaviour in a dictatorship, and rightly condemn it. We do not expect to see this in a democratic state. They should be thoroughly ashamed of this decision which I suspect is more to do with their funding streams than the safety of Gilad's band. The safety of the public is none of their business anyway. That is a police matter. If the gig has artistic merit, and it certainly has in this case, it should go ahead."

Here's the link to a petition objecting to the cancellation by RNCM 

April at the Spa

Louis Louis Louis

Les and the team write:

Next month's April treats at Jazz at Boston Spa

4th – Louis Louis Louis – something different and recommended to us by a number of our regulars. Playing the hits of Armstrong, Prima and Jordan, this group is guaranteed to keep your feet tapping and your body swaying with four part harmonies, honking horns and a driving boogie-style piano. Just the ticket for the many R & B fans amongst you.

11th – Laurie Chescoe’s Reunion Band + Roy Williams – a roll call of the finest traditional jazz musicians from the 60’s and 70’s. Laurie is well known as the cheerful drumming man of the late Phil Mason Band. Then add the undisputed talents of Allen Bradley (“Lord Arsenal”) on trumpet, John Lee on reeds, Colin Bray on piano, Jim Douglas on guitar/banjo and Pete Skivington on bass. Top it all off with the superb Roy Williams on trombone and it’s as good as it gets.

18th - Richard Leach’s Seven Stars of Jazz – one of the UK’s most accomplished jazz bands. Rip roaring traditional jazz in the famous Chicago style of the Eddie Condon and Alex Welsh Bands, Superb musicians, exuberant music and a first class evening guaranteed.

25th – Savannah Jazz Band – we are in danger of running out of superlatives here! Something a little subdued for the end of the month? Not so. Here’s the Savannah - always in sparkling form. Yorkshire’s Premier Jazz Band playing Yorkshire’s Premier Jazz Venue!

NB Cans into the Red Bucket to support the Air Ambulance Landing Strips for Children’s Hospitals

Jazz at the Spa 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.

Diachronicx at Hexham Jazz

On Tuesday 10th of March Hexham Jazz club  present "Diachronicx" featuring Steve Glendinning - guitar and Gabriele Heller  - vocal, electronics

"We heard GH at her best with an intriguing and highly effective use of two  walkie-talkies. Glendinning’s jazz guitar credentials acted as an effective counterpoint to Heller’s committed agit-prop approach, exposing the political undertones in tunes written and/or performed by Billie Holiday, Kurt Weill and others……"  Bebop Spoken Here blog Jan 20 2015.

Hexham Jazz club at Angel Cafe@Queens Hall, Hexham - Tues 10 March 8pm - plus a jam session!

John Etheridge and Kit Holmes at Clothworkers

Jillian Johnson from the University of Leeds writes

"On Friday March 13th at 8:00pm we have our lovely guitar duo of John Etheridge and Kit Holmes here at the Clothworkers Hall, University of Leeds. All the details and online booking can be found here http://concerts.leeds.ac.uk/events/john-etheridge-with-special-guest-kit-holmes

We also have an excellent programme of “Student Bands” on Wednesday night 11th March - short sets by eight bands working in a variety of styles and genres .http://concerts.leeds.ac.uk/events/the-band-project/ 

We have the added attraction of a licence for both events!

Clothworkers Hall,
The School of Music
The University of Leeds
West Yorkshire LS2 9JT

Alan and Phil in Southport

Alan Barnes and Phil Shotton

Geoff Matthews writes

On SUNDAY 22nd March at 2.00 pm we are putting on a matinée - “The Duke and his friends” with Alan Barnes guests with Swingshift Big Band

Duke Ellington was reputedly a ‘workaholic’.     Always touring, he wrote snippets of new music in planes, trains, airports and even in the back of his chauffeur driven car - for enhancement by his musicians . He absorbed himself in improvisation and composition and relished handing out part formed musical ideas during rehearsals to create feedback from his band. He employed some of the most creative musicians of the period who effectively became his collaborators. Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges, ‘Bubber’ Miley, Barney Biggard and Juan Tizol to mention just a few. His most trusted and prolific partner in the creative art was Billy Strayhorn. We are delighted to welcome reedsman extraordinaire Alan Barnes to guest  with our resident Swingshift. He will join MD Phil Shotton in a look at the Ellingtonia catalogue to see if they can find some of the answers to “who wrote what?”

Tickets £15 each   club members £14 doors 1.30 pm, The Balmoral Suite-Royal Clifton Hotel Southport PR8 1RB



Vote for Al Wood!

Al Wood writes - "The perfect antidote to General Election Fever!  Relax before casting your vote and enjoy an evening of great music with the Al Wood Nine!  - Wednesday 6 May 2015 at 8.00 p.m at the Cairn Hotel, Ripon Road, Harrogate, HG1 2JD.

Recreating the music of the great big bands specifically for this nine piece line up, plus new arrangements of classic jazz standards. The programme will include a number of brand new charts arranged by Al, including Opus de Funk, You Took Advantage of Me, It's de-lovely and many other classic standards.

Al Wood trumpet/saxes
Jim Corry/James Russell alto saxes
Simon Kaylor/Stuart McDonald tenor saxes
Sam Thornton baritone sax and vocals
Graham Hearn piano
Garry Jackson bass
Gordon Kilroy drums

Tickets £12 - email al.louise.wood@gmail.com or tel 07882 957471 or on the door

It would good to see you there and we look forward to hearing from you.

All the very best"

Al Wood
07882 957471

Samadhi at the Sela

Matt Anderson writes - Samadhi Quintet combine the rhythms of Indian and Latin American music with the beats of hip hop and the language of jazz to create a truly unique sound. Led by drummer and composer Sam Gardner, the group has just released their debut album ‘The Dance of Venus‘ on the F-IRE label. The album is a celebration of life, consciousness and the universe and the group explore the role of meditation and still consciousness in music.

Samadhi – achieved through meditation – is a state of consciousness where the logical and analytical ability of the being becomes silent. It is thus a space from which music flows, unimpeded by the ego’s thought and judgement.

Samadhi Quintet explore ‘number in time’, the essential nature of music by combining the highly structured numerical systems of rhythm found in Indian classical music and the pinpoint precision grooves and rich harmonic progressions of hip-hop.

Watch/listen to the band recording their new album on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8FM5zmTcrY 

Band website: www.samadhiquintet.com 

Sam Gardner - Drums
Krzysztof Urbanski - Saxophones
Dominic J Marshall - Piano/Keyboards
Sam Vicary - Double/Electric Bass
Sam Bell - Percussion

Gig details:

Sunday March 15th, 10pm

Sela Bar, 10 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU

Free entry

7 Pieces of Silver in Grimsby and Leeds

Two gigs for Paul Baxter's Seven Pieces of Silver in our region - Wed 11 March at the Old Clee Club in Grimsby and then Thus 12 Mar at the Central in Leeds. Led by bassist/composer Paul Baxter, 7 Pieces of Silver is dedicated to the music of Horace Silver from the 1950's Blue Note days to the present day. www.paulbaxtermusic.com 

At Grimsby "Jam Experiment", a talented group of students from Chetham's School of Music are on the same bill and the gig is at the Old Clee Club, Clee Crescent, Grimsby, DN32 8LS. Doors open 7.00 pm music starts 7.30 / 8.30 pm. Tel: 01472 873730 / gill.wilde49@gmail.com Tickets - Off the Beaten Tracks Louth 01507 607677 or www.event-tickets.org.uk. More details- www.grimsbyjazz.com/

In Leeds Seven Pieces of Silver will be at the Central, Wellington Street Leeds LS1 4LT starting 9pm

Big Bands at the Hi Fi!

The Leeds Union University Big Band - The Leeds College of Music Student Union Big Band

Get ready for Atomic Swing, a big band bonanza with not just one big band but two! Followed up with an amazing electro swing beats from our special guest DJ.

A swinging set from the heavy 20-piece Leeds College of Music Student Big Band will get you throwing some of your finest moves to some traditional swing to start off the night. Expect more superb swing from the exceptional Leeds Union University Big Band who will keep you jumping and jiving. They’re followed up an electro-swing set from one of Leeds’ hottest DJ’s.

Attendance is a must for Jazz fans and non-Jazz fans alike. The atmosphere will be atomic all night.

Thursday 12th March - The HiFi Club, 2 Central Road, Leeds, LS1 6DE
8:30pm – 2am Tickets: £3adv/£5otd Info – atomicswinggg@gmail.com
Tickets available from: Leeds College of Music SU/University of Leeds SU