November’s outstanding event in Tyneside is Mike Durham’s Classic Jazz Party. The event, formerly known as the Whitley Bay Jazz Festival, was founded by the late Mike Durham. Trumpet player, bandleader and authority on New Orleans and Dixieland jazz, for two decades and more, Durham developed the festival into perhaps the premier event of its kind in Europe. This year musicians will be travelling from all four corners of the globe: Josh Duffee and Duke Heitger from the USA, Michael McQuaid from Australia, Henry Lemaire (France), Sweden’s Frans Sjöstrom and many more will join some of Britain’s finest, including the piano virtuoso Keith Nichols and County Durham’s Hot Club violinist Emma Fisk. Many fans travel from across Europe and America and the three day event is held at the Village Hotel, North Tyneside, conveniently located just off the A19. The dates for your diary are Nov 6-8.
Two CD launch events will elicit contrasting emotions. At the Lit & Phil in Newcastle (Nov 19) pianist Paul Edis will celebrate the release of his new double album with a solo piano concert. At the Jazz Café (Nov 27) there will be an early evening CD/DVD launch commemorating a memorial concert earlier in the year at Gateshead Town Hall given by musician friends of the late Keith Morris.
Sage Gateshead’s jazz offer ranges from Brian Auger (Nov 6), to a live broadcast of Alyn Shipton’s revitalised Jazz Record Requests programme (Nov 7) to the BBC Big Band and three of the scene’s top vocalists – Liane Carroll, Claire Martin and Ian Shaw – in what is sure to be one of the year’s better Frank Sinatra centenary affairs.
Jazz North East programmes across three city centre venues: at the Bridge Hotel (Nov 1) drummer Tony Bianco makes a first appearance on Tyneside working in duo format with Paul Dunmall and one week later (Nov 8) there is the double bill of Tipping Point and the Long Lonesome Go. At the Lit and Phil (Nov 11) Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur will be one half of another double bill with Belgium’s LAB Trio. A third double bill, this time at the Jazz Café, features Metamorphic and Røyst (Nov 20).
The Newcastle Jazz Co-op presents Polish guitarist Maciek Pysz’s trio (Nov 21). There is likely to be a full house at the Globe for this one considering the bass and drums pairing – Yuri Goloubev and Asaf Sirkis! Similarly, it should be standing-room-only for the return of Samuel Eagles Quartet (Nov 7). Eagles and Dan Casimir will lead a Jazz Co-op – Sage Gateshead workshop earlier in the day at the iconic Gateshead venue.
London-based Jo Harrop returns to her native north east to work with pianist Paul Edis on four gigs. The highly successful Cherry Tree Restaurant in the leafy Newcastle suburb of Jesmond has booked vocalist Harrop with Edis’ trio for two nights – Nov 4 & 5 – and the Gala Theatre, Durham will host the same line-up Nov 6 (lunchtime). Harrop concludes a flying visit to the region with a vocal/piano duo gig with Edis at the Jazz Café (Nov 6).
Two key bands of the brass ensemble renaissance will be calling in at the Cluny. The Hot 8 Brass Band (Nov 8) and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Nov 19) will attract many of the region’s top brass players. Graham Hardy’s Northern Monkey Brass Band will show they know how to play street jazz at Ushaw College, Durham on Nov 20. Durham’s Empty Shop initiative – an empty shop operating as a music venue – continues to present jazz on a regular basis. The Steve Glendinning Quartet (Nov 5) and the duo of voice/electronics and guitar – Diachronicx – will be at the Framwellgate Bridge venue on Nov 19. At the other end of the bridge at Durham Town Hall the Gala Big Band (Nov 29) will be well worth hearing. Led by Paul Edis, the recently established community band is a work in progress with further dates in the diary.
St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook welcomes Djangologie (Nov 13). The Hot Club quartet goes from strength to strength, selling out venues in double quick time. Saltburn Jazz Club has an eclectic programming policy and November’s visit by the Jazz Worriers (Nov 6) could see another large turn out at the Community Hall and Theatre. In nearby Redcar (Nov 4) a venue new to jazz – Tuned In! – will get to hear the Lindsay Hannon Plus. If you’re in the area on the night why not go along and show your support?
The market town of Morpeth in Northumberland doesn’t get to hear much jazz. Two gigs in November could help to change that: the hugely successful guitar duo of James Birkett and Bradley Johnston will entertain a weekday lunchtime audience at St George’s Church (Nov 11) and on Friday 20 Dave Hignett takes not one, but two, big bands back to school. The Tyne Valley Big Band and the Tyne Valley Youth Big Band will be in concert in the Lower School Hall, King Edward VI School on Cottingwood Lane.
A new venture – jazz at the Pizza Express, Dean Street – shouldn’t be confused with the famed London establishment. Dean Street, Newcastle is the place. Vocalist Mo Scott will sing jazz and blues (Wed 11) and the award-winning Durham University Big Band can be heard on Wednesday 18.
Finally, Newcastle University’s popular Thursday lunchtime concert series continues, but you’ll need to get along to Brunswick Methodist Church, not Armstrong Building. Major renovation work means that for the next year regular events will take place off campus. A Dave Milligan Trio date (Nov 5) will begin, as usual, at one o’clock. The venue is behind Waterstone’s and admission is free.