Saturday, 27 February 2016

North East Gigs list – March

ACV - Black Swan Mar 29th 

Russell Corbett's gig listings for March. All gigs Newcastle unless stated otherwise

Mar 3 Milne-Johnston Quartet Empty Shop, Durham DH1 3NJ
Mar 3 Redemption Independent, Sunderland SR1 3JE
Mar 4 James Birkett/Bradley Johnston (lunchtime) Gala Theatre, Durham DH1 1WA
Mar 4-6 Great North Big Band Jazz Festival North Shore, Sunderland SR6 0AN
Mar 4 New Orleans Heat Saltburn Community Hall & Theatre, Saltburn TS12 1JW
Mar 4 Jam Experiment Jazz Café. NE1 5DW
Mar 5 Red Stripe Band St Augustine’s, Darlington. DL3 7TG
Mar 5 Big Muddy Jazz Co-op @ The Globe NE4 7AD
Mar 5 Jam Experiment Traveller’s Rest, Darlington DL3 9ER
Mar 5 Ray Johnson & Tom Lapworth Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Mar 6 A Big Hand Bridge Hotel NE1 1BQ
Mar 8 Safe Sextet Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Mar 8 Motherese + Jennifer Parry + Zoë Gilby Trio Lit & Phil NE1 1SE
Mar 10 Pilgrim Street Set Hoochie Coochie NE1 8SF
Mar 11 Mick Shoulder’s Swing Manouche St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook DL15 9DN
Mar 11 Ray Harris Hoochie Coochie NE1 8SF
Mar 11 Svarc, Hanley, Longhawn Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Mar 12 Ruth Lambert & Paul Edis Vermont Hotel NE1 1RQ
Mar 12 Taupe + Mat Riviere Empty Shop, Durham DH1 3NJ
Mar 12 Gabi Heller & Steve Glendinning Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Mar 13 Paul Edis & Friends Quakerhouse, Darlington DL3 7QF
Mar 13 Taupe + HLK Bridge Hotel NE1 1BQ
Mar 17 Gerry Richardson’s Big Idea Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Mar 17 Grew Quartet + Grew-Watts Duo Lit & Phil NE1 1SE
Mar 18 Ruth Lambert Trio (lunchtime) Lit & Phil NE1 1SE
Mar 18 Customs House Big Band Customs House, South Shields NE33 1ES
Mar 18 Will Howard Quartet Traveller’s Rest, Darlington DL3 9ER
Mar 18 Lindsay Hannon Plus Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Mar 18 Paul Edis’ Cuthbert Suite Ushaw Ensemble Ushaw College, Durham DH7 9RH
Mar 19 Milne-Johnston Quartet Jazz Co-op @ The Globe NE4 7AD
Mar 19 Paul Edis’ Cuthbert Suite Ushaw Ensemble Durham Cathedral. DH1 3EH
Mar 19 Faye MacCalman & John Pope Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Mar 20 Strictly Smokin’ Big Band Black Bull, Blaydon NE21 4JJ
Mar 22 Mo Scott Band Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Mar 24 Not Now Charlie Jazz Co-op @ The Globe NE4 7AD
Mar 25 Dave Weisser Jazz Café NE1 5DW
Mar 26 James Birkett & Bradley Johnston Queen’s Hall, Hexham NE46 3LS
Mar 27 Jazz Esquires Jazz Co-op @ The Globe NE4 7AD
Mar 29 ACV Black Swan NE1 1SG
Mar 30 Guisborough Big Band Saltburn Community Hall & Theatre TS12 1JW
Mar 30 Frank Vignola The Cluny NE1 2PQ        

Big Band fest, new Sunderland jazz venue and St Cuthbert celebration in March!

World premiere of St Cuthbert Suite, Durham 18 and 19 March by Paul Edis

One of the delights of doing this blog is discovering the amazing work people put in to helping to promote the jazz scene in their own time. We asked Liverpooljazz to do a feature on their work  - that appeared in the blog earlier this month. Another such person is Russell Corbett who prepares a monthly summary of jazz happening in the North East! Here's his March highlights...

"Sunderland comes alive once a year with a three day big band jazz festival. Hundreds of participants travel from far and wide to engage in friendly but intense competition in the hope of winning glassware (not silverware). The Great North Big Band Jazz Festival hosts in excess of thirty big bands ranging from school ensembles to youth orchestras to senior big bands. This year’s event Mar 4-6 will be staged once again at North Shore on the banks of the River Wear. The Sunderland University Students’ Union building takes on the mammoth task of getting bands on and off stage to schedule and never fails to run like clockwork. The coveted glass-blown trophies were commissioned from the adjacent National Glass Centre. 2015’s senior section winners Durham Alumni Big Band intend to hold onto their title but expect the competition to be hot!

Pianist Paul Edis presents a world premiere of his St. Cuthbert Suite at Ushaw College on Mar 18 in the surroundings of the magnificent chapel of the former Catholic seminary on the outskirts of Durham. Dr Edis has recruited several first call players including Graham Hardy (brass) and Graeme Wilson (reeds) to realise this major undertaking. The work is a commission to commemorate Cuthbert and his links with the north east region. There is a second opportunity to hear the work the following evening (19) in Durham Cathedral.
The winner of the inaugural BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year returns to his roots in the company of his Royal Academy and Guildhall student friends to play a couple of gigs in Newcastle and Darlington. Altoist Alexander Bone plays the Jazz Café (Mar 4) and a hometown gig (Mar 5) at the Traveller’s Rest in Darlington with Jam Experiment. Full houses are guaranteed. Will Howard (another County Durham-raised reedsman) makes a return visit to the Traveller’s Rest (Mar 18), on this occasion with his own quartet.

A new jazz venue is always reason to celebrate. Independent on Holmeside in Sunderland promises jazz every Thursday and it’s free admission. Tyneside’s Redemption are guests on Mar 3. On Tyneside, one-time regular associate of Les Paul, Frank Vignola plays the Cluny’s basement venue (Mar 30). Two local six stringers – adopted Geordie Dr James Birkett and Wearsider Bradley Johnston – team up once again for a lunchtime gig at the Gala Theatre, Durham (Mar 4) and an engagement at Hexham’s Queen’s Hall (Mar 26).      

Jazz North East’s activities include welcoming A Big Hand to the Bridge Hotel (Mar 6), an International Women’s Day triple bill at the Lit & Phil (Mar 8) featuring Motherese, Jennifer Parry and the Zoë Gilby Trio and the Tyneside debut of bassist and composer Andy Champion’s revamped ACV in the Black Swan basement venue within Newcastle Arts Centre (Mar 29). Veteran ex-pat American trumpeter Dave Weisser makes a long-overdue appearance as a vocalist accompanied by pianist Alan Law at Newcastle’s Jazz Café on Good Friday (Mar 25). Weisser is a fine singer, this should be a treat.  

Blaydon Jazz Club’s first concert of the year sees the return of Michael Lamb’s Strictly Smokin’ Big Band (Mar 20). A dynamic outfit without a weak link in sight, hearing the band up close in a small venue like the Black Bull is an exhilarating experience. Saltburn Community Hall hosts the Guisborough Big Band (Mar 30) during the venue’s annual week-long celebration of the Grand Ole Oprey. Your guess is as good as anyone’s!

So many gigs – Svarc, Hanley, Longhawn at the Jazz Café (Mar 11), Don Forbes’ Safe Sextet (Jazz Café, Mar 8) playing the music of the Emcee 5 and Stan Tracey, Taupe, the self-styled ‘power jazz commandos,’ raid Durham’s Empty Shop (Mar 12) and follow up at the Bridge Hotel, Newcastle (Mar 13) and N’Awlins gets a look in at Saltburn on Mar 4 with a visit by the popular New Orleans Heat and on Mar 5 the Red Stripe Band gig in Darlington (12:30) at St Augustine’s on Larchfield Street – the best bet is to switch off the tv and get along to a gig!                  


Friday, 26 February 2016

Rhythm Changes and JPN annual conference

The national Jazz Promotion Network annual members’ meeting and first formal AGM is scheduled for THURSDAY 14 APRIL at BIRMINGHAM CITY UNIVERSITY.  Put the date in your diary - more details of the discussion subjects and agenda for the day will come shortly.

The JPN meeting will dovetail with the University’s Rhythm Changes jazz research symposium "Jazz Utopia!".
Fancy being a JPN Board member? The first election for members of the JPN Board will also take place at the AGM.  Only paid-up JPN members are eligible to vote and stand for election.  More details on the election and constitutional procedures for candidates and voters will be posted soon on the JPN website.

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival, March 4-6

Stop press - winners the Tom Sharp Jazz orchestra from Leeds...

Big bands from across the North are soon to descend on Sunderland for the 13th Annual Great North Big Band Jazz Festival on March 4-6, held at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at Sunderland University.

Over the course of the weekend, there will be two competitions - an Open Section competition on Saturday 5th and a Youth & School Group Section on Sunday 6th. The winners of the Open Section on Saturday will then remain at the venue to perform in a Winner's concert.

The festival kicks off with the performance by the Musicians Unlimited Big Band and Festival Big Band on Friday 4th March.

Festival tickets cost £10 and there is food and licensed bar available throughout.

For more information, visit the festival's website

Sheffield Jazz Spring Season

Tim Garland - 14 April Foundry 

From Vince Keddie.

"This spring Sheffield Jazz have gigs at three different venues Millenium Hall, The Foundry and the Crucible Studio as follows

Friday 26 February at 7.30 pm at the Foundry  -Partisans.
Phil Robson: guitar; Julian Siegel: saxophone; Thaddeus Kelly: bass; Gene Calderazzo: drums. “This heavyweight jazz quartet continues to carve its own niche, with an eclectic jazz mix."…***** BBC Music Magazine.

Friday 4 March at 8.30 pm at Millennium Hall - Jason Rebello, 
Solo Piano. One of the most inventive pianists to emerge from the UK since he burst onto the scene in the early 90’s.

Friday 11 March at 7.15 pm at  Crucible Studio.  - Kofi/Barnes Aggregation.
Tony Kofi: saxophones; Alan Barnes: saxophones; John Turville: piano; Adam King: bass; Rod Youngs: drums. "This band is about enjoyment for performers and audience alike”  Alan Barnes

Friday 18 March at 8.30 pm at Millennium Hall.- Jeff Williams Quintet.
Jeff Williams: drums; John O’Gallagher, Josh Arcoleo: saxophones; Kit Downes: piano; Sam Lasserson: bass.  Jeff Williams features some of the UK’s leading young players plus John O’Gallagher, alto saxophonist from New York.

Friday 1 April at 7.15 pm at Crucible Studio, Malija.  
Mark Lockheart: saxophones/bass clarinet; Liam Noble: piano; Jasper Hoiby: bass. “Music-making of this calibre is rare indeed” Peter Quinn

Thursday 14 April Tim Garland Electric Quartet 
(now postponed to Friday 14 October 2016. We apologise for any disappointment.  Tickets purchased in advance will be valid for the rearranged gig.  Alternatively, we are happy to reimburse purchasers.)
Tim Garland: saxophone; Jason Rebello: keyboards; Ant Law: guitar; Asaf Sirkis: drums. This super group bristles with virtuosic and soulful energy.

Friday 22 April at 8.30 pm at Millennium Hall -Tom Cawley’s Curios. 
Tom Cawley: piano; Sam Burgess: bass; Joshua Blackmore: drums. One of the most successful and acclaimed jazz acts in the UK.

Friday 6 May at 8.30 pm at Millennium Hall. -Vein Trio + Greg Osby.  
Greg Osby: saxophone; Michael Arbenz: piano; Thomas Lähns: bass; Florian Arbenz: drums.  New York saxophonist Greg Osby joins the magnificent Swiss trio Vein, to produce a powerful, passionate quartet.

Friday 20 May at 8.30 pm at Millennium Hall. -Allison Neale  Quintet.  
Allison Neale: saxophone; Nathaniel Steele: vibes; Leon Greening: piano; Julian Bury: bass; Steve Brown: drums.  “Inspired by such masters as Art Pepper and Paul Desmond, she has her own distinctive style in the same cool-intense idiom”. - Dave Gelly

Millennium Hall, 520 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield S11 8PY.  Tickets from or on the door.  Ticket prices: Full - £14; Concessions - £11; Students with NUS card - £7; 15 to 18 - £2; under 15 – free

The Foundry, Sheffield University Students Union, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TG. Tickets: Full - £14; Concessions - £11; Students with NUS card - £7; 15 to 18 - £2; under 15 – free.  Available from  ,, or 0114 222 8777

Crucible Studio, Tudor Square, Sheffield S1 1DA.  Tickets: Full £15; Concessions £12; Students with NUS card £7; under 16s £3.  Advance tickets from the Box Office – 0114 249 6000 - or )

Gateshead International Jazz Festival is back

Gateshead International Jazz Festival is back! As always there’s the best of the UK, European and Friday 15 – Sunday 17 April 2016 at Sage Gateshead.

International jazz scene, hotly-tipped emerging talent and exciting cross genre artists with a programme that truly brings something for everyone. The festival, the UK’s biggest held under one roof, runs from

Headliners include American funk & soul supremo Charles Bradley, GRAMMY award-winning singer Gregory Porter, leading British saxophonist Courtney Pine with pianist Zoe Rahman, and former Jazz Messenger, Terence Blanchard with his new quintet, the E-Collective. 

Plus there will be free music on the Concourse, festival workshops, family fun, talks, a late night club and much more. For the full line up visit

We’re proud to welcome back GRAMMY award-winning singer Gregory Porter after his sell out show last year to open this year’s festival. In Sage Two, British-Asian clarinettist and composer, Arun Ghosh, will captivate audiences with his trademark IndoJazz sound. He will be followed by award-winning singer-pianist Liane Carroll, described by Jamie Cullum as 'one of the greatest singers we have in this country', for a late night show with special guest acclaimed jazz vocalist Ian Shaw. Fans of free jazz and improvisation will be treated to a rare solo performance from one of the most admired and influential saxophonists on the planet, Evan Parker, in the Northern Rock Foundation Hall.  Rounding off the opening night’s concerts, award-winning British punk-jazz-funk specialists, WorldService Project bring to the festival high-octane experimental but accessible music – think Frank Zappa, Loose Tubes and Stravinsky, played loud.

Saturday night’s stellar double bill opens with leading British saxophonist and festival favourite Courtney Pine with MOBO award-winning pianist, Zoe Rahman who play the music from their acclaimed album Song (The Ballad Book).  The second set sees trumpeter and composer and former member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers Terence Blanchard with his new quintet, the E-Collective, in a powerful fusion of funk, R&B and rock. Late night concerts include GRAMMY nominated and award-winning Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca with his trio and Kris Bowers, past winner of the coveted Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. In a special matinee concert, rising star Phil Meadows brings together the repertoire of his acclaimed Engines Orchestra in a special collaboration with Gateshead’s rising young stars and Royal Northern Sinfonia. In the first of two afternoon double bills presenting musicians from across Europe at the forefront of contemporary jazz, Luzembourg’s pianist/composer Michel Reis performs with his band, followed by John Law with his new project, Congretation. Plus, Saxophonist John Surman will be joined in a brand new quartet by the Alexander Hawkins Trio, for a late afternoon show.

 Ibrahim Maalouf 

Headlining Sunday night is American soul maestro Charles Bradley whose well-documented against-all-odds rise saw him transcend a bleak life on the streets before being discovered by Daptone Records.  Café Society Swing tells the true story of the legendary New York nightclub which promoted racial equality and great music and following sold-out gigs at Ronnie Scott’s and the Brecon Jazz Festival we’re pleased to welcome award-winning British jazz saxophonist Simon Spillett and his quartet to the festival in a tribute to a revered British modern jazz star, the late Tubby Hayes. The second of two afternoon double bills presents the Airelle Besson Duo and Malija - a brand new all-star trio, featuring saxophonist Mark Lockheart (Polar Bear), pianist Liam Noble and bassist Jasper Høiby (Phronesis). Closing this year’s festival one of the finest trumpeters of his generation, Ibrahim Maalouf brings the music of his Lebanese roots to the festival in the UK premiere of his new album Red and Black Light.

A link to our online brochure with days/dates/times is below

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Darlington Jazz Festival needs your help!

Building upon the success of last year, the 5th Darlington Jazz Festival promises to deliver a high quality and diverse program of jazz performances The festival is run as part of the Darlington Arts Festival in the town and is held between 21 and 23rd April 2016.

The festival needs to raise £1000 towards the cost in order to be able to continue. If you wish to donate here's the fundraising page:

Festival highlights are as follows

Day 1- Thursday 21st April 6pm -9pm Venue: Crown Street, Art Gallery Jazz Workshop London based Jazz educator and trumpeter, Matt Roberts will again return to his home town to lead the workshop assisted by tutors performing at the festival. Book your place through: or 03000 262368 Cost £5

Day 2- Friday 22nd April Doors 8.30pm Venue: Voodoo Cafe Jazz After Dark Matt Robert’s Sextet The Voodoo Cafe on Skinnergate. Matt Roberts will lead his very own sextet playing the music of Nat Adderley £6 OTD

Day 3- Saturday 23rd April Afternoon Saturday will see the best of Darlington’s young musicians playing in various ensembles as they converge on the pedestrian areas surrounding the Blackwellgate to provide an outdoor festival atmosphere. Free outdoor jazz Coffee House Jazz 10am-3pm. Jazz at The Quaker House continues during the afternoon (1pm-5pm ) with top class north east jazz combos including: Dean Stockdale ( Piano) and Noel Dennis ( Trumpet), Vocalist Ruth Lambert Trio and Lyndsay Hannon with guests. Free/Collection

Saturday 23rd April Evening Venue: Central Hall, Dolphin Centre. Darlington Jazz Festival presents: ‘An evening of swinging big band music’ Dennis Rollins and Durham Alumni Big Band Internationally renowned trombonist Dennis Rollins will join the Durham Alumni Big Band directed by Al Wood to bring the music of Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Billy May and many more to the town. The award winning Durham County Youth Big Band will perform in support of the main event commencing at 7.15pm. £12

Saturday 23rd April 10:30 - late Venue: Quakerhouse Late Night Jam Saturday night concludes in similar style to last year. Free/Collection

The final day of this year’s festival will commence at St Cuthbert’s Church with the intention to widen the range of music performed to include jazz influenced choral, and contempory vocal commissions featuring Darlington and County Durham Youth Choirs, Northern Spirit and the Durham County Youth Big Band. £4 OTD

Sunday 24th April Evening 7pm -9pm Venue: The Keys Night Club, Skinnergate The Hot Diamond Aces The Festival concludes on Sunday Night with a grand finale and party atmosphere at The Keys on Skinnergate. £6 OTD

More information

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Yorkshire Post Jazz Band request- an update

 George Webb at Studio 20 - Bob Barclay looking on (Terry Cryer, c Leodis)

 Jimmy Rushing at Studio 20 (Terry Cryer, c Leodis)
Yorkshire Post Jazz Band at Studio 20 (Terry Cryer, c Leodis)

From Simon Barclay

I've had a great response from the the post you published about Bob Barclay and the Studio 20 club in Leeds. Such amazing people - I've had photographs, stories, a one hour documentary, news paper and magazine articles. I've been tracing my ancestry for the last couple of years and here's where I've got to so far...

Bob Barclay, "the Yorkshire King of Jazz" who was the leader of the Yorkshire jazz band in the 1940-70 in Leeds. Most of the people who played with his band went on to create their own bands, some who played in the band are Bob Barclay (Tuba), Ray (Happy) Harker (Clarinet), Dickie Hawdon (Cornet) Ed O'Donnell (Trombone), Arthur Mann (Drums), Arthur Rigg (Piano), Edie Encell (Banjo). I have a list of 40 other members who played with them over the years I also have photographs and original recordings from first to last from 1948 to late 60s. My dad was a larger than life character who owned Studio 20 a Leeds jazz club that entertained nearly all the jazz players of the early days of jazz.

My aim is to publish this work in some form as its an amazing piece of social, cultural and musical history. Could people contact me with memories, photographs, stories and information of Studio 20, Bob Barclay and the Yorkshire Jazz B? Any guidance or advice would be great thanks.

Warm wishes

Simon Barclay

Facebook Page: 


Tel: 07793095680

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Redemption, Robocobra and Taupe at Durham

Redemption Jazz 
Thursday 18th February £5
A jazz quartet, Redemption deliver hard driving Bebop, Latin and funk jazz in an upfront, uncompromising and distinctive style.
Jim Hall – Piano / Keyboards
Keith Tulip – The Basses
Martin Wake – Drums / Percussion
John Hall – Saxophones (Tenor/Alto/Soprano)

Video here

Doors from 7pm

Robocobra Quartet
Weds 24th Feb - £5
Taking equal influence from jazz, hardcore & hip-hop, Robocobra Quartet began performing live in Belfast in April 2014. Since then, their unique improvisation-laden approach – centred on a howling drummer-vocalist and offset by menacing saxophones – has garnered them a reputation as a compelling & challenging live act.
This unique brand of ‘sprechgesang’ vocals over an improvising instrumental has taken them to festivals as varied as Electric Picnic & the Brilliant Corners Festival of Jazz whilst putting out releases on Smalltown America, Fringe Sound Records & their own Abbreviated Records.

Bolstered by support from BBC Radio 6, Impose Magazine & Hot Press, 2016 will see the band performing dates throughout the UK, Ireland & Europe, followed by a 12″ vinyl release funded by the PRS Foundation.”

See a video here:


Sat 12th March - £5
Taupe are a Newcastle upon Tyne based trio specializing in razor-sharp polyrhythmic play, exploratory improvisation and raw, high energy live performance.
The group’s sound is built of influences drawing from free jazz and math metal to hip-hop grooves and post-bop, with a healthy dollop of skronk, all navigated down a path that seeks to blur the line between carefully constructed rhythmic compositions and explosive group improvisation.

Adam Stapleford \ Drums
Mike Parr Burman / Guitar
Jamie Stockbridge \ Saxophone

See a video here:

Venue: Empty Shop
35c Framwellgate Bridge Durham DH14SZ
Doors 7pm

Neil Hughes takes over at Southport festival

Neil Hughes

Sunday evening February 7th saw the closing night of the 12th ‘Jazz on a Winter’s Weekend’; created in 2005 by Southport Melodic Jazz (SMJ) under the direction of Chairman Geoff Matthews,
the event has been held annually on the first weekend of February at Southport’s Best Western Royal Clifton Hotel & Spa. The 2016 festival had close on 2500 seats filled over the 11 two hour concerts with capacity audiences from all over the UK enjoying  a variety of jazz from  international groups from France (Daniel John Martin), Denmark (Mads Mathias), Norway (Marius Neset), the USA (Patrick Cornelius) and a strong UK contingent including bands led by  Alec Dankworth, David Newton-Iain Dixon, Alan Barnes-Dave O’Higgins and Jim Mullen.

Said Geoff    “It’s been an absolute joy to have been involved with my enthusiastic SMJ team in the development of ‘Jazz on a Winter’s Weekend’; the time has just flown by and we’ve hosted some incredible concerts with world class musicians and built up an equally enthusiastic and loyal audience in those 12 years.

We all want the festival to continue beyond our teams’ working lives and have had that in mind for a while. So I was delighted to be able to announce to the Sunday afternoon concert audience and to introduce on stage my successor Neil Hughes. He will be taking over as festival Director from 2017.”
Neil Hughes, who has been running The Cinnamon Club in Manchester for 13 years, said “he was very excited to be taking over” and added

“As someone who programmes Jazz, and has been an attendee at Southport before, I know just how important it is to keep this festivals going. I have inherited a unique, single venue, multi-room festival in an iconic building with all the facilities to keep over 200 Jazz  fans happy for every concert, and I fully intend to do just that. We have world class musicians and composers in the UK and the festival has international jazz links and I am looking forward to revealing my very first festival line-up for ‘Jazz on a Winter’s Weekend  3-5th February 2017 at the Royal Clifton Hotel Southport.”

Jazz promoter wanted!

Keswick Jazz Festival parade in 2015

From the Workington Times and Star: "Keswick Jazz festival's future hangs in the balance" 

After 25 years, this May's Keswick Jazz Festival might be its last. The town's Theatre by the Lake announced today that it will not be in a position to manage the festival in its present format from 2017. Falling ticket sales and public funding cuts are among the reasons the theatre said it could not carry on. It wants a promoter or event manager to take it on. Theatre bosses said the venue would be available for performances from 2017 onwards but a new arrangement would have to be put in place. This year's festival, from May 12 to 16, will go ahead as planned.

Patric Gilchrist, Theatre by the Lake’s executive director, said: "We regret that we are no longer able to bear the responsibility for the festival. "The present arrangement is unsustainable for the theatre and there has to be change if the festival is to survive.

"We hope to find an experienced and enthusiastic promoter who can devise a credible business plan to take the festival forward and ensure its financial stability by our deadline of May 9.

"If no credible offers are received by that date then 2016’s festival will be the last in its current form."

The theatre said even if a full-scale festival did not go ahead, it would commit to a week of jazz in May 2017.

A spokesman added that other factors in the theatre's decision were a shortage of affordable and flexible accommodation for artists, the complexity of managing multiple temporary venues and demands on the time of Theatre by the Lake staff. The number of tickets sold has fallen steadily since 2011, leading to significant loss of income for the festival.  Keswick Jazz Festival's only regular financial support has been from Jennings Brewery.  It said without the Cockermouth firm, the festival would have become unsustainable several years ago.

Mr Gilchrist added: “The festival makes very heavy demands on Theatre by the Lake staff in almost all departments.

"At a time when the theatre is having to adapt to public funding cuts, with the prospect of further cuts to come, we cannot continue to support the festival in the way that we have since the theatre opened in 1999."

Full article here:

Monday, 15 February 2016

Ronnie Scott's story told in York

The history of the Ronnie Scott jazz club's rise from basement bar to sacred spot, featuring hot sounds from The Ronnie Scott’s Club Quintet – James Pearson (piano), Sam Burgess (bass), Alex Garnett (sax), Freddie Gavita (trumpet) and Chris Higginbottom (drums) will be told in York this summer.

The Ronnie Scott's story, recounts the blazing trajectory of the legendary jazz shrine with a creative combo of live band action, natty narratives and rare archival footage. It will be a visual and musical celebration of the club. Mixing classic music from the jazz greats who have performed at Ronnie Scott’s, alongside tales of old Soho, miscreant musicians and police raids, this is unique evening celebrating one of the world's most famous jazz venues, it's music, and history.

"Outstanding players. For poise, balance and swing they’re a joy to listen to" - The Observer

Great Yorkshire Fringe, York (17, 24 and 31 July) The White Rose Rotunda York

Interested in Dutch Jazz?

from Nod Knowles at the Jazz Promotion Network

"The national Jazz Promotion Network has been asked by Dutch Performing Arts to research the potential for Dutch jazz artists to perform in the UK and Ireland, with the possibility of support if necessary.  The research is looking at various options, including a basic survey to understand the current state of play.

Please help with survey.  It only takes a short time.  You'll hear more from JPN as the research goes forward.  It could provide our promoters and audiences with an even wider range of music....

Click the link below to start the survey - and thanks for your participation!"

Geoff Matthews steps aside...

From jazz photographer Robert Burns

"This is a portrait of Geoff Matthews who has directed the Southport Melodic Jazz Club for the past 25 years and the "Jazz on a Winter's Weekend" for the past 12 years, eleven of which I have documented. It has been a massive job and although he is now passing the baton to Neil Hughes who runs the Cinnamon Club in Altrincham

I'm sure that Geoff will still be somewhere in the background. Neil Hughes has all the qualities to run these events and I'm sure that he will make a great success of running "Jazz on a Winter's Weekend" in the future."

Friday, 12 February 2016

Jazz at Leeds Howard Assembly Room

From Jo Nockels at Howard Assembly Room

Here are our jazz shows for Spring/Summer - hope all well with you....

4 May Courtney Pine and Zoe Rahman Necessity is often the mother of reinvention when it comes to sustaining a career; Courtney Pine’s latest project sees him abandoning his funky, feelgood soprano-sax-and-soca band of recent years in favour of the intimacy of a duo setting and the challenge of the bass clarinet. There’s a small but respectable body of bass clarinet work in jazz, tending mostly towards the avante-garde, usually as a ‘double’ alongside the player’s main instrument; Pine’s forthcoming record features him exclusively on the freakishly elongated horn, accompanied by longtime collaborator Zoe Rahman.

14-May Cory Henry, The Revival Project. As well as being a member of Grammy Award-winning collective Snarky Puppy, Cory is an in-demand, multi-instrumentalist and producer, long-term member of Snarky Puppy and an artist who has worked with innumerable high-profile musicians such as Kenny Garrett, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Glasper and The Roots. "The Revival", his latest release and touring project, showcases Henry on solo Hammond B3 organ showing his musical roots in gospel, jazz and soul. 

28-May Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis A rare chance to see the two jazz innovators reunite, combining Masekela’s exuberant horns with Willis’s elegant pianos solos. Larry Willis and Hugh Masekela met whilst studying at Manhattan School of Music in the 1960s. The artistic freedom they experienced in New York, inspired their music making and their activism as Masekela became a leading figure in the fight against apartheid in his home country. Masekela’s music has a distinctly African, more relaxed feel, whether on his political pop or experimental jazz; Willis’s is ambitious, frantic free jazz, inextricably linked to New York.

More details here...

Howard Assembly Room
Leeds Grand Theatre
Upper Briggate

Ian Shaw, international jazz singer, refugee campaigner

Ian Shaw - Seven Arts Leeds, 18th February

Many jazz singers are known for an instantly recognisable tone. Billie Holiday or Louis Armstrong are known the moment they open their mouth, for a particular quality of delivery. Jazz singer and comedian Ian Shaw, who appears at Seven Jazz Club in Leeds on Thursday works differently. His best performances are about the blend of comedian’s timing and musician’s tone - tears and giggles a plenty.

Ian leading a bit of a double life these days - by day performing at venues like Ronnie Scott's in London, releasing an well received new album ("Theory of Joy") and the rest in the mud and squalor of the jungle - the unofficial refugee camp in Calais for 7000 refugees in France

For the past few months he has been visiting regularly, initially because he was outraged by the conditions in the camp he saw on television. Once out there – having taken out much-needed clothes and sleeping bags – he discovered there were decent players among the refugees who had lost their instruments along the very tough way. So later he loaded his car and took over drums, guitars and basses (including one that once belonged to Jack Bruce of Cream, donated by Jack’s family). But he now also helps build, fund, organise and raise awareness of what is going on just a few miles from the Kent coast.

Ian is keen that people know about life in The Jungle, to share the story of the people he has met and the sometimes terrible things that have happened and are happening . He is also keen to refute what he calls the “vile lies” about the camp, such as the inhabitants having so many clothes from charities, they burn them for fuel. In fact, charities are very thin on the ground – there isn’t a large UK one active in The Jungle at all. Just an ad hoc group of musicians (as well as a larger contingent of non-musicians) who aren’t doing it for the cameras or some high-profile telly marathon". Here's his video of a singel he recorded to raise money for the work in the Jungle -

Ian is singing at Seven Jazz Leeds at the Seven Arts venue this Thursday 18th April - he's there with pianist Barry Green  singing some songs from the famous Jewish Jazz composers - Stephen Sondheim, George Gershwin in a programme entitled "Tower of Song" after the legendary composition by Leonard Cohen. There will be a collection  at the gig for his work as Ian heads back afterwards to the Jungle.

Hear Ian at Ronnie Scott's
Tickets for the concert are here

Big Bands wanted!

From Colin Byrne, Leeds Jazz Orchestra

"I've been presented with one of those "opportunities" for a residency. The New Headingley Club Leeds want a jazz night. Once a month, or there abouts. Free room, we take the door, they take the bar. I'd like to do a big band/jazz orchestra night. 🎶👌🏻😎👍👎🕷🦂🦄

Any big band leaders interested? I only need about 6 bands on board the jazz bus to jazz utopia land to make this viable! More bands appreciated though. "


Derrick Harris and Mark Chandler at Scarborough

Wednesday sees a new pairing of front line guests when guitarist Derrick Harris is joined by trumpeter Mark Chandler.

Welsh born Derrick is always a popular visitor to Scarborough having been associated with the town through his tenure with The Geoff Laycock Orchestra. Since training at Leeds College of Music (LCM) Derrick has become a bandleader, composer and arranger with many t.v. And radio credits to his name. He has also worked on over twenty West End theatre  and national tours including Grease, Chicago and West Side Story.

Mark Chandler makes a welcome return to Scarborough Jazz, having been too busy to visit us in recent years. For many years he was based in London and was a first call session player and a member of the renowned Syd Lawrence Orchestra. Now based in the North, Mark is a senior lecturer at LCM and still a very busy player. His credits include work with Marvin Hamlish, Shirley Bassey, Harry Connick Jnr. and Barbara Streisand.

Backing will be provided by Tom Townsend (drums) and Bob Walker (bass).

Admission £5

Derrick Harris and Mark Chandler  24th. February

For more details, go to our website: Doors at The Cask open 8.00pm.

Scarborough Jazz @ The Cask Inn  Cambridge Terrace, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 2LQ tel 01723 500570

Speakers for 2016 Education Conference confirmed

Gary Crosby

From Kim Macari at Jazz North -

We are pleased to announce the speakers for our Jazz North 2016 Jazz education conference and networking day. Keynote speakers are

  • Gary Crosby OBE, Tomorrow’s Warriors (Keynote)
  • Heidi Johnson, Director NYMAZ
  • Chris Sharkey, artist & educator
  • Ian Chalk, York Music Forum

Who should attend?
Music Education Hub leaders, Music Education Hub board members, delivery organisation leaders and project leaders, jazz educators, jazz musicians who teach or lead jazz ensembles, music teachers wanting to learn more about using jazz and improvisation in the classroom.

Tuesday 8th March 2016
11:00 am – 3:30 pm
Leeds College of Music

Reserve a free place here (first come first served)

Monday, 8 February 2016

Boston Spa highlights

Red Stripe Band Mar 5th

Feb 13th – Mysto’s Hot Lips – long standing friends from Gothenburg in Sweden return to bring us their distinctive and enthusiastic style of traditional jazz modelled on the sounds of Ken Colyer and Chris Barber and described as “revival jazz at its best”. £10.

Feb 20th – Boston Spa Beer Festival Weekend – no evening session this week but Ron Burnett’s Mardi Gras Quartet will entertain the real ale aficionados during Saturday afternoon. Great selection of ales and ciders and always a terrific atmosphere.

Feb 27th – Dave Mott’s Jazz Classics – Led by maestro Dave on reeds, the group includes young trumpet star Jamie Brownfield plus our favourite piano star, Tom Kincaid with Richard Vernon on bass. Traditional jazz plus the standards coupled with vocals by the delightful Suzanne.

Mar 5th – Red Stripe Band – back by request and something a little different. Red Stripe led by the dynamic Neil Drinkwater on keyboards - boogie woogie, jump jive, blues, swing and rock and roll for nigh on twenty years. Infectious energy coupled with lashings of high octane music. £10

Mar 12th - Old Fashioned Love Band – old friends but with a new format. This session will appeal to those who enjoy the Chicago-type traditional jazz in the Condon style. Led by trombonist Mike Pembroke, the band also features Any Wallace on reeds, John Critchley on trumpet and Ian McCann of the Harlems on banjo/guitar. This group is well able to blow up a storm.

Mar 19th - Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz – a long time favourite with the JITS audience, we welcome Manchester Jazz which has been delighting audiences in the North and abroad since 1984. Traditional jazz at its best - and  a rather special birthday for Mart!

Mar 26 Tame Valley Stompers   -Easter’s early this year so just to egg you on we look forward to  the annual visit of the Stompers – otherwise known as Terry’s Dead Good Boys. One of our most respected trombone players leads this group dedicated to wholesome traditional jazz with a sense of humour. Terry’s rendition of Ory’s Creole trombone is legendary.

Jazz in the Spa – Village Hall, High Street Boston Spa, Leeds LS23 6AA. Weekly Live Saturday Traditional/Mainstream Jazz.

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

Thanks for your support!

Firebird Quartet at Scarborough

Firebird Quartet - 17 February 

The Firebird Quartet are in the north and are fast establishing themselves nationwide performing original compositions with energy and groove, as well as music from the great contemporary jazz composers such as Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and Wayne Shorter.

The quartet are fronted by trumpeter Ian Chalk, a popular regular at Scarborough Jazz who is well respected as both a player and musical educator. He is joined by John Marley (bass), Tim Carter (drums) and Martin Longhawn, a keyboard player who is so inventive he is fast becoming the first call player for artistes on national tours.

Their first visit to the club in March 2015 was a triumph and reviewer Dick Armstrong was moved to write “The Firebird Quartet gave us an evening of stimulating jazz all the way through to their sizzling encore. The audience went home on a cloud of delight.”

Admission £6 (£5 in advance).

For more details, go to our website: Doors at The Cask open 8.00pm.

Scarborough Jazz @ The Cask Inn  Cambridge Terrace, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 2LQ tel 01723 500570

Friday, 5 February 2016

Jazz into Doncaster: February Gigs

Southside Trad Jazz Band  11 Feb

From Brian Askew in Doncaster 

A quick reminder of forthcoming events on Thurs 11 Feb we present The Southside Trad Jazz Band featuring Will Robinson on Trumpet. 

On Thurs 25 Feb we welcome back Frank Brookers Happy Chappies featuring Frank on Reeds and Rod Macmanara on Drums.

Venue- the Doncaster Conservative Club, 2 South Parade, Doncaster. DN1 3ET.

Havana Club 5 at Durham's "Empty Shop"

Working in association with the Jazz Co-Op in Newcastle The Jazz Sessions at Durham's Empty Shop venue continue for 2016 on the first Thursday of every month.

We encourage anyone with an interest in live jazz, or an ear for discovery to come along and support these events and please, spread the word!

Havana Club 5
Alan Law: Piano, Paul Grainger: Bass,,Paco Rivera: Congas, Percussion, Carlos Luis Rivera: Timbales, Bongos, Vocals, Antonio Marerro: Vocals, Percussion

A Jazz ensemble with Latin flavour, playing a spirited mix of standard and original tunes, to authentic Latin and Afro-Cuban grooves.

Thursday 4th February
Doors from 7:00pm // Music starts at 8pm // £5 / £4 students - pay on the door

Venue: Empty Shop
35c Framwellgate Bridge Durham DH14SZ