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Thursday, 2 January 2020

2019 Northern Jazz highlights, from Pete Rosser

Three special 2019 moments from Pete Rosser - promoter at Wakefield Jazz

-Veryan Weston’s Crossings (at the Arthouse, Wakefield Jan 2019) - having first been inspired by Mr Weston with Trevor Watts’ Moiré Music in the 80s, it was pleasure to bring his latest project of idiosyncratic rhythmic/pentatonic impro/compositions to a select audience in Yorkshire (with Pei Ann Yeoh violin, Hannah Marshall cello and Yusuf Ahmed drums).

-Alexander Hawkins/Laura Cole (at Wakefield Jazz Oct 2019) - two contrasting sets of solo piano, from Ms Cole’s more compositional intense depth, to Mr Hawkins’ more ebullient and angular riffs and reflections (with Take The A Train making an unexpected appearance).

- Heiner Goebbels (piano)/Gianni Gebbia (sax) (Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, St Paul’s Hall, Huddersfield Nov 2019) - uncompromising improvisations with a soupçon of Brecht/Eisler and a brief encore on the organ - a real event.

In my first full season as promoter at Wakefield Jazz, there has been little time to get out to see other live music, but I can recommend excellent new CDs from Richard Dawson, Matana Roberts, Steve Lehman and Tomeka Reid - all artists unlikely to be gracing Wakefield in the near future alas. 

One other personal musical experience - at the end of a frustrating month working in South Africa, I found myself doing a turn at a primary schools concert and so played a version of Dudu Pukwana’s Angel Nemali on the piano - coals to Newcastle etc, but I wasn’t convinced that those young people there had any idea of the great South African jazz tradition that has been so inspirational to so many British musicians. 
Best wishes to all for 2020!


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