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Saturday, 30 December 2017

Jazz Honours list from Jez Matthews

Cath Roberts Favourite Animals

From Jez Matthews, Jazz at the Lescar Sheffield - Jazz highlights 

Can I cheat? Its almost impossible to get it down to three gigs, such a rich year of music. I think this is actually seven gigs, but in four paragraphs :)

Alice Zawadzki, Shirley Smart, Alex Roth at the Colaboración Fiesta at Home, Manchester. On a cold wet night in Manchester under a marquee these three incredible musicians created something special; beautiful open music delivered with passion, flair, wit and subtlety. Alice repeated this gig at The Lescar, with a slightly altered line-up that featured Misha Mullov-Abbado, which was equally wonderful.

Richard Iles with Jamie Taylor, Eryl Roberts, Garry Jackson at The Lescar. Four stars of the Northern jazz scene, all of whom deserve wider recognition, with a night that was special for all sorts of reasons, some very personal. Honest, swinging, intimate and warm-hearted, and of course, a lovely atmosphere at The Lescar on a mid-summer evening.

Anton Hunter’s Article XI and Cath Roberts Favourite Animals at The Lescar. Two large bands playing creative, explorative music that was vibrant, original and also entirely accessible. A favourite for all sorts of reasons, again, but not least because of the reaction of the audience, including some of our best (but unprintable here) feedback, handed to me on a handwritten note during the second set, which really encapsulated the feeling of togetherness in the room created by a big, responsive audience and 15 wonderful musicians.

Thoughout the year, I also immensely enjoyed three gigs at different venues given by Kit Downes, in the company of Tom Challenger (at the Hop Hideout beer shop in Sheffield, and also at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival) and also with Lauren Kinsella playing the music of Paul Motian at Manchester Jazz Festival. Two very special duos, I’m looking forward to hearing more of both in 2018.

Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful and musical 2018.

Jazz at the Lescar

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