Saturday, 12 April 2014

Spring Break for Northern Jazz News

The team at Northern Jazz News are taking a spring break this week.

Normal service will resume on Monday April 21st!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Things we've read

We take a look at the world of jazz journalism and highlight what we've been reading this week.

There's been widespread coverage of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival this year. As always, Lance and his team at Bebop Spoke Here have added a huge number of articles. Our favourites are Fragments of Splinter with Wilson & Williams and Andrew McCormack & Jason Yarde.

The first acts have been announced for this year's London Jazz Festival and Seb at LondonJazzNews has a list of who's appearing.

Bebop Spoken Here have also been reporting on the Jazz Times critics poll and the full list of winners is on The Jazz Times website.

Peter Bacon at the Jazz Breakfast is great at sparking discussion and starting a dialogue between writers, readers, audiences and musicians. Particularly interesting to us is the topic of free gigs (financial, not style!) and the Open Letter to Every Young Jazz Musician.

Vibraphonist Corey Mwamba is an eloquent writer, too and his website contains a number of articles ranging from Coltrane to surname pronounciation! See the full list of articles here.

Led Bib - The People In Your Neighbourhood

NorthernJazzNews' writer Ben Powling wrote a review of Led Bib's latest album, The People In Your Neighbourhood for LondonJazzNews.

On the 10th anniversary of their incarnation, jazz/rock trailblazers Leb Bib are back with their fifth studio album The People In Your Neighbourhood, the result of a successful crowdfunding campaign. Led Bib have not been particularly visible on the scene or in the jazz press in the time since their 2009 Mercury nomination for their fourth album Sensible Shoes, but this new release may change that.

Read the full review here.

Jazz at Swaledale Festival, 24th May-7th June

                                                        Martin Taylor (photo:

The 2014 Swaledale Festival programme has been announced, with arts, music and poetry events running from May 25th until June 7th.

Among the many music events scheduled for this year, there will be two jazz acts  - Brass Jaw and Martin Taylor.

From their press release

Glasgow-based four-piece Brass Jaw has recently made waves at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam and the Rochester Jazz Festival in New York. Working without a traditional rhythm section, Brass Jaw has established a name for drive and charisma, and for venturing into new musical territories. Brass Jaw performs at 7:30 on Monday, 26 May.

Martin Taylor, described by Pat Metheny as "one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument" closes the 2014 Swaledale Festival at 7:30 on Saturday 7 June, when he appears with Martin Simpson, one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world.
The Swaledale Festival runs from 24 May to 7 June. There are 60-odd events, including classical music, folk, jazz, talks, poetry readings and guided walks. Events are individually ticketed, and take place in dozens of venues in the beautiful North Yorkshire dales. Details and tickets at or through the Festival Box Office (01748 880019, 10-4, Monday-Saturday).

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Spring Quartet and Herskedal/Neset at Gateshead International Jazz Festival, 05/04/14

On the Saturday night of this year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival was the performance by The Spring Quartet; a concert that was regarded by many to be the headline attraction of the weekend. This ensemble is something of a supergroup, featuring the stellar line-up of Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese under the leadership of the legendary Jack DeJohnette, and their photographs could be seen on posters, leaflets and programmes throughout the festival, further increasing the hype and excitement gathering around this performance.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Gig Preview: Uri Caine & Dave Douglas at Howard Assembly Room, May 2nd

Uri Caine and Dave Douglas perform in Dave Douglas Quintet alongside Donny McCaslin, Clarence Penn and James Genus

Uri Caine & Dave Douglas 'Duos' 
Howard Assembly Room, Leeds
Friday May 2nd

In connection with Serious Productions, Howard Assembly Room in Leeds are to host a rare Northern appearance by two internationally recognised musicians; trumpeter Dave Douglas and pianist Uri Caine.

Music, cyclists and a travelling piano at The Grand Departs (April 5th)

                                Cyclists prepare for Saturday's challenge (from The Grand Departs)

Cyclists, pianists and audiences are preparing for a very unusual gig tomorrow as part of the Yorkshire Festival; pulling a grand piano uphill from Mytholmroyd to Blackstone Edge.

A team of Calderdale’s most determined cyclists will pull a grand piano, on a PianoPort√© designed and engineered by sculptor Andy Plant, up the longest continuous ascent in England. While it climbs the six miles up Cragg Vale, local amateur and professional pianists, including star performers from Hebden Bridge Piano Festival, will play a specially commissioned musical cycle, live and in transit. 

Music played on the route (selected as part of the Tour De France route as a particularly gruelling stretch) has been written by pianist Dave Nelson, the director of the Hebden Bridge Piano Festival and former promoter of HX7 Jazz club and will be played on a piano donated by The Piano Man.

Spectators are invited to attend this free outdoor event both at the send-off from Mytholmroyd and along the route itself.

Read more about sculptor Andy Plant.

Read more about Dave Nelson and the Hebden Bridge Piano Festival.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

APPJAG Parliamentary Jazz Award shortlists announced

Jazz in the North is well-represented this year in the APPJAG Parliamentary Jazz Award shortlist, which was announced today.

Arun Ghosh and Mike Walker are both nominated for Instrumentalist of the Year, while Reuben Fowler and Phil Meadows are up for Newcomer of the Year. Leeds College of Music has been nominated for the Jazz Education Award, as has John Ellis for his work with the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association. All the nominations for Venue of the Year as festivals this time round, including Manchester Jazz Festival and Beats & Pieces are up for Large Ensemble of the Year.

The winners will be announced at the House of Commons on May 13th.

These shortlists demonstrate the wealth of talent and commitment that exists in the British jazz scene. Now in its 10th year, the Parliamentary Jazz Awards honours the best of British jazz. MPs and Peers in the All Party Group are delighted to host another ceremony in the House of Commons and we are extremely grateful to PPL for sponsoring the event. Michael Connarty, MP

Monday, 31 March 2014

Edition Records Prepares For Next Stage Of Growth

In the course of it's 5 year existence, Cardiff based Editon Records has become something of the perfect business model for the small jazz label. The label has earned a brilliant reputation among fans, musicians and the press and has released almost 50 records featuring some of the biggest names in the European scene.
In a press release this week, co-founder Dave Stapleton announced that the label has secured funding that will enable it to continue to grow and keep releasing outstanding music, as it has done for the past 5 years.

Friday, 28 March 2014

European Young Artists' Jazz Award announced

Pianist Elliot Galvin has been announced as the winner of the European Young Artists' Jazz Award Burghausen 2014.

Elliot's trio, featuring Wakefield-born Tom McCredie on bass and Simon Roth on drums, wins a cash prize of 5,000 euros and a further financial boost for use in promotion of the group.

For more information on Elliot, see his website.

A Night of Free Improv and 'Dinner Opera for Two' At Wharf Chambers.

Tonight, Warf Chambers in Leeds will host a night of free improv and the avant-garde performed by stellar musicians from across Europe.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Gig Review: Polar Bear and Shiver at The Wardrobe, Leeds.

On Friday 21st March, Polar Bear played The Wardrobe in Leeds as part of a tour to promote their new album In Each And Every One. The long wait for this new release meant that there was anticipation of a change in the band’s direction and this was delivered without losing the recognisable sound that has won the band so many fans over the last ten years.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Trio Riot Playing Northern Gigs This Week

Photograph by Chris Payne
Acclaimed Epfi Records group Trio Riot are playing two northern dates this week before heading south.
The group, formed in Helsinki in 2009, features Mette Rasmussen on alto saxophone, Sam Andreae on tenor and David Meier on drums. Their music is a visceral blend of free jazz and punk rock, these two influences blending well under the strength of the band's high energy performances.

Trio Riot will be playing Schmazz in Newcastle tonight (25th) and Dulcimer Bar in Manchester tomorrow (26th).
Click HERE to see a video of Trio Riot playing their composition 'Candid'. 

Friday, 21 March 2014

JM World Jazz Orchestra seeks top young musicians

The JM World Jazz Orchestra is looking for top young professional musicians to take part in its' 2014 programme as part of the Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway this summer.

Participants will spend a week rehearsing under the directorship of jazz musician Erlend Skomsvoll, culminating in a performance at the festival (27 July - 4 August).

The orchestra's mission is to provide young professional jazz musicians with career opportunities, gain international exposure, increase their networking globally and work to high artistic standards in large-scale venues and festivals.

Musicians must be under 26 and applications are accepted until 11th April 2014. For full information, visit the JM World Jazz Orchestra website.

Eddie Harvey Arranger of the Year Award

In honour of Eddie Harvey's enormous contribution to Jazz in the UK, an award has been set up which reflects his view that jazz composers and arrangers should receive due acknowledgement of their work and position in the jazz community.

The £2,000 prize will be awarded to the winner at a premiere of the new work. Submissions will be judged through a 'blinding listening' process and the identities will remain hidden to the judging panel until after a decision has been made.