Jackie Thompson writes
The global reach of jazz and the sheer range of music in today’s jazz scene are the threads that run through Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2017. The festival presents a mix of artists from Cuba, South Africa, Cameroon and throughout Europe alongside artists from the UK and USA. The festival runs at Sage Gateshead from Friday 31 March to Sunday 2 April 2017. Tickets go on sale on Friday 2 December.
In the tradition… Clare Teal and her 17 piece Hollywood Orchestra (led by Guy Barker) open next year’s festival in a programme of timeless songs from the standards repertoire. A more intimate approach to the art of vocal jazz is reflected in the collaboration between GRAMMY-winning pianist Alan Broadbent and singer Georgia Mancio, whilst the legacy of the jazz and swing big band continues to light the fire of young musicians in a collision between three of Europe’s finest – our own National Youth Jazz orchestra re-visiting their meeting with Germany’s BuJazzO and now joined by the NJJO (Netherlands Youth Jazz Orchestra). The story of a basement bar in Soho that became one of the world’s most famous jazz venues is told by the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, with anecdote, visuals and live band.
Sounds of tomorrow...Topping the bill on Saturday night are GoGo Penguin and Shobaleader One. Miles Mosley has been described as the “Jimi Hendrix of the upright bass”. Neil Cowley is an original talent whose series of piano trio albums are remarkable for their individual approach .
Jazz Africa/Jazz Cuba...Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings combines with a band of South Africa’s finest young players. The exquisite voice and irresistible basslines of Cameroonian Richard Bona features his exuberant Mandekan Cubano Project, whilst the trio of fast-rising pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, draws inspiration from a rich Cuban heritage.
European Legends...The festival welcomes celebrated Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko, a seminal figure in the evolution of jazz in the 60s, with Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila and US rhythm pairing of bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gerald Cleaver. The festival also welcomes Amsterdam’s ten-strong ICP (Instant Composers Pool) Orchestra led by the iconic drummer Han Bennink. The Orchestra has been probing the boundaries of jazz for four decades.
UK and Europe today... Award-winning trumpeter/composer Laura Jurd is one of the British jazz stories of recent years. She returns to Sage Gateshead with her quartet Dinosaur in a concert also featuring Norwegian tuba virtuoso and composer Daniel Herskedal and his trio. Saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes presents her new project My Iris in a double bill with influential saxophonist Stan Sulzmann performing here in duo with pianist Nikki Iles.
Tickets go on general sale Friday 2 December, 10am online at www.sagegateshead.com or by calling 0191 443 4661.