Saturday, 9 February 2019

Leeds Jazz Festival is back!

After last year's success we've decided to do it all again! This year’s festival is being held from Thursday - Sunday, 18 - 21 July 2019 with build-up events taking place during the week before.

Our festival headliner this year is Andy Sheppard, one of Europe’s leading saxophonists and one of a few British musicians to have made a significant impact on the international jazz scene, playing and writing for settings from solo to big band and chamber orchestra. Andy has composed over 350 works that incorporate a strong and characteristic sense of lyricism alongside a very personal use of rhythms from Asia, Africa and South America. He appears with Norwegian piano trio led by Espen Eriksen

We also feature a Jazz Celebration of Windrush. The Windrush generation made a lasting impact on the UK’s jazz scene. Internationally acclaimed UK jazz pianist Trevor Watkis has assembled an outstanding Anglo-American band to perform a special musical retrospective of jazz trumpeter Dizzy Reece who began his ascent into the jazz scene after arriving in London from Jamaica and cutting his teeth among the best musicians in 1950s London, who included Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Scott and Victor Feldman. Later, Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins put the word out about him and he was sought out by a Who’s Who of American jazz greats.

Another festival highlight will be the all-star Electric Lady Big Band - "50 years of Hendrix Masterpiece". A 16-piece ensemble featuring an all-star cast of leading jazz improvisors - including Laura Jurd, Yazz Ahmed, Nathaniel Facey and Iain Ballamy - tackle Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 album Electric Ladyland. The band feature brand new arrangements by guitarist Denny Ilett inspired by the legendary Gil Evan’s reworkings of Hendrix in the 1970s.

Also appearing is stunning ECM record label artists, Israeli-born pianist Shai Maestro's trio. Shai is familiar to UK audiences through his thrilling work with bassist/composer Avishai Cohen. He's now confirming that promise in his own group, with sometime Lee Konitz drummer Ziv Ravitz and Peruvian bassist Jorge Roeder, one of the most powerful and harmonious collaborations in the jazz world today and so we are pleased he can perform for us at this year’s Leeds Jazz Festival.

British Jazz is going through a thrilling phase at present and we have a number of the best of this new wave at the Leeds Jazz Festival.  Young pianist Sarah Tandy’s band includes some of the best voices on the London jazz scene. Sarah, still in her early 20’s has recent appearances at the Love Supreme Festival and Berlin Jazz Festival to her credit and has appeared as a classical soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Other young stars at the festival include the sextet led by bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado and the quartet of saxman Leo Richardson 

Events with a Leeds resonance include drummer and big band legend Ronnie Bottomley's 90th birthday celebration with his Jazz Orchestra, a jazz film about the life of Leeds late young trumpeter Richard Turner, and the premiere of a new album from Leeds trombonist Kevin Holbrough. Have fun too with Simon Thackray's "Mrs Boyes Bingo" - a game of prize bingo (you win prizes!) with simultaneous drumming and percussion disruption from Mark Sanders and John Edwards!

The festival finale will be a tour de force of trios - Trio Trio Trio” rolling seamlessly from one trio to another, one set to another and one style to another - from the soulful street vocals of Maggie Sommers to the raging urban horn of Alan Wilkinson

The Festival takes place in the city’s arts quarter area - the main venues are Leeds College of Music and the Wardrobe.

More information about the Festival is on the Festival website
Earlybird festival tickets are now on sale - priced £99 here

Steve Crocker
Festival Organiser, JazzLeeds

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Scarborough Jazz Festival Line up 2019

Jeremy Sassoon’s Ray Charles Project

This year’s Scarborough Jazz Festival takes place at Scarborough Spa over the slightly earlier weekend of 20-22 September 2019.   The 2019 line up has just been announced by Festival Director Mike Gordon

Mike says "There are lots of new performers amongst the line-up, however one constant face since the festival started in 2003 has been the compere and multi award-winning reeds player Alan Barnes. Alan has performed at every Scarborough Jazz Festival and will be celebrating his 60th birthday this year by bringing together twelve amazing UK musicians. He has commissioned world class trombonist Mark Nightingale to write 13 charts for the 12 piece big band of tunes written in 1959 by, for example, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Horace Silver and Duke Ellington. That should bring Friday to a stirring climax.

Saturday night’s finale should get everyone on their feet.  Jeremy Sassoon’s Ray Charles Project – Jeremy sings and plays piano – has seventeen instrumentalists and singers, a great spectacle on the Grand Hall stage. 

Sunday night sees what promises to be a perfect finish to the festival.  Legendary ‘musician’s musician’ guitarist Jim Mullen has brought together the ‘Volunteers’: an All Star nine piece band who play jazz with hints of blues, soul, funk and rock. Jim has played and recorded with, among others, Mose Allison, Claire Martin, Jimmy Witherspoon, Dave O'Higgins and Georgie Fame,  He is warmly remembered as joint leader, with tenor saxophone player Dick Morrissey, of the British jazz funk band Morrissey–Mullen.

Yet again over 98% of the 2018 Scarborough Jazz Festival audience evaluations rated the festival as excellent or very good. This comes after winning Best Festival at The Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2017 and we hope this year’s event reaches another high”  - Mike Gordon

Earlybird Weekend Tickets are now on sale, priced at just £90 until 31 March 2019. Tickets can be purchased via Scarborough Spa’s Box Office (01723) 821888 and the Jazz Festival website:  

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Hull Jazz - February and March dates

Dave Ellis post on the latest programme at Hull Jazz

Feb 6 Nicki Allan Quintet
Feb 20 Players Night
13 March Players Night
27 March JazzOrbit 

At the Goodfellowship Inn Cottingham Road Hull HU5 4AT
8.30 start

Monday, 4 February 2019

Great music at Jazz at the Spa

March 2nd – Ralph Allin
From Les and the team at Boston Spa

February 2019
9th – Alan Barnes + John Hallam + Tom Kincaid Trio – you could describe this as one of our “hardy annual” presentations. It’s certainly one of the highlight sessions of the year. Two superb saxophonists join together with the magical piano and rhythm sounds of the Tom Kincaid Trio to recreate the “standards” in their own inimitable way. A melodic musical evening par excellence.
16th – Wabash Jazzmen – “…….refreshing, vibrant hot five jazz” is an excellent description for this group which is driven along by the superb banjo playing of leader, Mark Challenor. Then add the talents of Mike Hayler on reeds, the memorable old alliance of Bill Smith and Mike Pembroke on cornet and trombone plus Richard Vernon on bass. Looking forward to a rousing, full spirited session.

March 2019
2nd – Ralph Allin Quartet – making a first appearance is this highly recommended violin virtuoso. Described by one critic as “Nigel Kennedy, Stephan Grappelli and Victor Borge rolled into one” as a result of his musical versatility and his witty presentations. By day, a leading light on the classical scene but, as the shadows lengthen, he spellbinds the world of jazz with his interpretations of the jazz standards. He has appeared at numerous festivals and with Van Morrison and Jools Holland. Sounds like a more than lively evening!
9th – Louis Louis Louis – and fast becoming a favourite of the Boston Spa audience is this energetic group of young musicians from Leeds whose repertoire – as the name suggests - reflects the hits of Armstrong, Jordan and Prima. Always a stirring performance and a joy for the R & B fans amongst you.
23rd Savannah Jazz Band – they just can’t stay away! Yorkshire’s Premier Jazz Band playing Yorkshire’s Premier Jazz Venue. Rollickin’ traditional jazz with a smattering of R & B and all tinged with a definite element of humour. We love them dearly.
30th – Manhattan Sound Big Band – and now to end the month on a high note, a welcome return by one of Yorkshire’s most respected Big Bands. As on previous occasions, there’s a wide ranging repertoire of classic big band tunes interspersed with some memorable vocal numbers. Nostalgia par excellence.

Thanks for your support – it’s what keeps music live!
Spread the word – JITS is live, fun and friendly – no better way to spend Saturday evening.

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.

Wakefield Jazz presents...

Here’s Ivo Neame on the piano, preparing for the 15th…

Jazz of all shapes and sizes at Wakefield Sports Club on a Friday night - after the flourish of January, February means that spring is nearly here - don’t let it hang you up!

8th Feb Clark Tracey’s Ruby Anniversary Quintet - hard bop with a band of hand-picked young musicians

15th Feb - Ivo Neame Quartet - on a European tour playing tunes old and new

22nd Feb - Snake Davis Trio - sax/trumpet/guitar, mellow with a pop tinge

Music at 8.30pm, food at 7.30pm (pre-book please) - more details and tickets via 

Friday, 1 February 2019

The Frog and Henry Band at Dove Holes Jazz

On the 16 February 2019 Dove Holes Jazz Club has The Frog and Henry Band making their inaugural visit to the Club as proud Dove Virgins and as part of their 2019 British Tour. They come with an impeccable, almost world-wide reputation that has been deservedly earned by their enthusiastic playing, of their brass and string instruments, of an extensive repertoire of old dance and jazz music. They are firmly convinced that over a period of ten years they have arrived at an ensemble sound that comes as close as is achievable to that of the earliest New Orleans Jazz and Dance Bands. Their journey has seen them come under the influence of The Dixieland Jug Blowers, Frenchy’s Stringband, Johnny Dodds and King Oliver not forgetting the Bull Ring Boppers. These experiences have given them the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge of the ins and outs of what it takes to be a valuable member of a top notch street performing group.

The orchestra’s young personnel have an undeniably colourful cosmopolitan look to them. On this evening you will be enjoying the playing of Ewan Bleach from London on Reeds, Piano and Vocals, David Neigh with his unique foot operated Tuba that is played simultaneously with a six stringed, Mandolin Banjo. Dave is one of two musicians who are based in Torronto, the other being F H Henry who gives of his all on the Guitar as well as contributing with the odd Vocal. He is also to be found plying his trade with panache for a largish part of the year in New Orleans. The second spirited Reeds contribution comes from a Berlin resident who goes by the name of Laurin Habert whilst Kermane Arken who hails from the birth place of Jazz namely New Orleans features on Fiddle and Vocals.

Tickets/enquiries to Roger on 01298-814722 or Barry on 07833-890928.

Visit our website at 

Dove Jazz, Dove Holes Village, nr Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 8BG

Janette Mason’s Red Alert at Davenham

Red Alert - Contemporary Jazz with a groove

Janette’s unique contemporary jazz compositions, drawing on her wide-ranging influences (from Dave Brubeck to David Bowie and Herbie Hancock to Goldfrapp), combine interesting timescapes and strong grooves with a cinematic texture and are underpinned by a mature and inventive jazz vocabulary. Her vision is brought to life by the explosive combination of Jack Pollitt on drums and Tom Mason on Bass and is a direct musical response to the political and social challenges now facing us all – hence the name Red Alert.

Janette’s powerful and rhythmic approach to the piano is subtly fused with the keyboards to create a musical journey that is as engaging as it is thought provoking.

Thursday 28th Feb 8 pm

Bookings 01606 74502 or 44253 

Doors and Bar open 7.30pm - Concert starts at 8.00pm
Bookings on 01606 74502 or e mail to

Gig venue - Davenham Theatre: 59 Church Street, Davenham, Cheshire CW9 8NF

Sponsors - Tatton Brewery

Jazz North's Jazz Camp for Girls

Jazz North have arranged events that offer the first experience of improvisation and playing in a band to develop confidence and musical curiosity for girls.

These one-day workshops are taking place on the same day (Sat 10th February 2019) across the north of England and they will enable girls aged between 9 and 15 to flourish under the mentorship of female role models. Jazz Camp for Girls is a gender-positive space, this means we welcome all girls, including those who don't fit stereotypes.

Jazz Camp for Girls is inspired by an original project created by JazzDanmark and Copenhagen Jazz Festival to address the gender inbalance in jazz. The Danish version is now in 7th year and runs for one week simultaneously in 16 cities around Denmark. Our 5 year goal is to build up a UK Jazz Camp for Girls by adding new partners each year. If you're interested in becoming a partner in 2020 please contact Helena Summerfield on the link below.