Wednesday, 1 May 2019

North East jazz preview for May

The eighth Darlington Jazz Festival is undoubtedly the major event during May. Parish centre, cafe, church, pub, marquee, a multitude of town centre venues will accommodate a range of regional and national names at the friendliest of festivals. Local hero Matt Roberts makes his annual return from London to play to a full house in a room above the Voodoo Cafe on Skinnergate (Friday 3). Trumpeter Roberts will be bringing with him an all-star band featuring Josh Arcoleo (tenor), George Grant (alto), Sam Watts (piano), Daisy George (bass) and drummer Sam Gardener. This year Roberts will be playing the music of Blue Mitchell, no better way to start the festival! Saturday evening's marquee headliner is the Sebastiaan de Krom Quintet with its stellar line-up - Martin Shaw, trumpet and Brandon Allen, tenor but two of them. Sunday's events include Triptych at St Cuthbert's Church and Durham Alumni Big Band closing the weekend in the Market Square marquee.

The heir to Tubby Hayes' crown plays two gigs in a day on Friday 3. First, a lunchtime duo set with pianist Paul Edis brings Simon Spillett to Durham's Gala Theatre then in the evening (clashing with Matt Roberts' gig) the tenor saxophonist moves down the road to Ushaw College to gig with Edis' trio (Andy Champion, bass, Abbie Finn, drums).

It was an 'I was there' occasion when Manchester-based vocalist Nishla Smith sat-in at a Newcastle jam session. Within seconds Smith silenced a crowded room singing Don't Explain. Tumultuous applause followed. Now Smith is to gig in her own right at Newcastle's Black Swan (May 9) working with pianist Rich Jones (Beats & Pieces) and bassist John Pope.

Pianist Andrea Vicari travels north to renew acquaintance with bassist Andy Champion and drummer Russ Morgan to gig twice in a day on Friday (May 10) - at Newcastle's Lit & Phil (lunchtime) and Darlington's Opus 4 Jazz Club at the Traveller's Rest (8:00pm) followed by a Sunday evening gig in Newcastle, this time with Zoë Gilby as a guest, at Prohibition Bar on Pink Lane.

The 'big name' in the region this month is Kamasi Washington. Tuesday 21, Sage Gateshead, thirty quid a ticket, they're selling fast, check him out to see for yourself if he is the 'real deal'.

If you're after a piece of Tyneside jazz history get along to North Shields' Exchange on Sunday 26 (5:30pm) as there will be another screening of Abi Lewis' documentary film The Jazz Man with its subject the late Keith Crombie, the 'jazz man' who ran Newcastle's now closed Jazz Cafe

Gig list- (lunchtime gigs*)

May 3 Simon Spillett & Paul Edis Gala Theatre, Durham DH1 1WA*
May 3 Simon Spillett w Paul Edis Trio Ushaw College, Durham DH7 9RH
May 3 Matt Roberts Sextet Voodoo Café, Darlington DL3 7LX
May 4 Enrico Tomasso w New Century Ragtime Orchestra St Augustine’s, Darlington DL3 7TG*
May 4 Sebastiaan de Krom Quintet Market Place, Darlington DL3 5QA
May 5 Triptych St Cuthbert’s Church, Darlington DL1 5QG*
May 5 Durham Alumni Big Band Market Place, Darlington
May 6 Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra The Globe, Newcastle NE4 7AD
May 8 Gala Big Band Ushaw College, Durham DH7 9RH
May 9 Nishla Smith Black Swan, Newcastle NE1 1SG
May 10 Andrea Vicari Trio Lit & Phil, Newcastle NE1 1SE* 
May 10 Andrea Vicari Trio Traveller’s Rest, Darlington DL3 9ER
May 11 Borders Big Band Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1AJ*
May 12 Andrea Vicari Trio Prohibition Bar, Newcastle NE1 5DW
May 16 Ushaw Ensemble St James’ & St Basil’s Church, Newcastle NE4 9EJ
May 18 Sweet & Hot St Augustine’s, Darlington DL3 7TG*
May 19 Sue Ferris Quintet Black Bull, Blaydon NE21 4JJ
May 19 Philip Clouts Quartet The Globe, Newcastle NE4 7AD
May 21 Kamasi Washington Sage Gateshead NE8 2JR
May 23 Elina Duni + Trio FCT Black Swan, Newcastle NE1 1SG
May 24 Giles Strong Trio Bishop Auckland Town Hall DL14 7NP*
May 25 Federica Michisanti’s Trioness Bridge Hotel, Newcastle NE1 1RQ

Russell Corbett

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