Friday, 26 May 2017

Sloth Racket 'Shapeshifters' tour comes to Leeds, June 26th

Sloth Racket release their second album, Shapeshifters, on 12th June on the Luminous label. To accompany this release, the band are embarking on a 6 date tour of the UK including a gig at Sproggits, the jazz and improvised music night run at Wharf Chambers in Leeds.

Sloth Racket are -

Cath Roberts - baritone saxophone, composition
Sam Andreae - tenor saxophone
Anton Hunter - guitar
Seth Bennett - double bass
Johnny Hunter - drums

From Cath's website...

To launch the album we’re heading out on tour at the end of June, with support from Arts Council England. The tour takes us to some new places, perhaps the most exciting of which is the first ever edition of Listen! in Cambridge. Listen! is being set up by dedicated London jazz scene supporters Carol Garrison and Graham Lee, who have relocated to Cambridge and decided to get their hands dirty setting up a new outpost for adventurous music there. As well as Cambridge we’ll be playing in Bristol and Norwich for the first time, plus returning to Leeds and Brighton to play at Wharf Chambers and Safehouse. To start things off we’ll be doing a set on the Saturday of the second LUME Festival, which presumably you’ve already got your tickets for…
Here’s the tour itinerary, with links to more info on the gigs:
24th June London: IKLECTIK (LUME Festival)
26th June Leeds: Wharf Chambers (presented by Sproggits)
27th June Bristol: The Old England (presented by Pull The Strings)
28th June Brighton: The Verdict (presented by Safehouse)
29th June Norwich: York Tavern (presented by Plink Plonk)
30th June Cambridge: Unitarian Church (presented by Listen!)

Beats & Pieces, Engines Orchestra & Matt Bourne announced for EFG London Jazz Festival

It may be the hottest day of the year so far and we're only in May, but Serious have begun announcing some of their headline acts for this year's EFG London Jazz Festival, which takes place between 10-19th November.

This year's festival will be the 25th and there are some special events to celebrate this milestone birthday. The 25 for 25 programme sees a host of newly commissioned works premiered during the festival. Manchester's finest Beats and Pieces will perform a new work (Rich Mix, November 18th) and LCoM alumnus Phil Meadows brings his Engines Orchestra to perform their latest collaboration with Phronsesis and Dave Maric, Decade Zero (Milton Court, November 12th).

Yorkshire-based pianist Matt Bourne will join forces with Keith Tippett, too, on November 10th at King's Place.

To find out more about the festival, visit the EFG London Jazz Festival website.

Jeremy Sassoon on Manchester

Manchester has been in the headlines throughout the week after the atrocious attack at the MEN arena.

Manchester's own Jeremy Sassoon, renowned jazz vocalist and pianist, wrote this moving piece for London Jazz News. We couldn't have put it better ourselves, so here is a link -

SCAM ALERT: Fake Jazz Festival gig offers

There is currently a scam offering bookings to overseas artists at EFG London Jazz Festival and Edinburgh Jazz Festival. They are copy and pasting information from the festival websites and offering gigs, complete with contracts. They ask artists to arrange their own work permits at a cost of $400 and direct them to their 'Work Permit Agent' Evelyn Scott to arrange this. If artists make this payment, they lose the money but also give their information to the scammers to use in identity theft.
The emails are coming from, purportedly from a Gerry Clarke.
Serious have spoken to the British Police about this but their position is that no crime has taken place so they won't pursue it.
The gig offers look legitimate enough that overseas musicians without working knowledge of the festival teams could be easily convinced of their authenticity.

We don't know how far-reaching this and there may be other festivals affected by this scam, too.
Please share this far and wide to make sure no-one else is caught up and if you have had an email from, send us a message to let us know!

Friday, 19 May 2017


Jazz100 had its official launch on International Jazz Day, April 30th. The campaign aims to raise awareness and engagement for jazz in the UK and Ireland. Led by musician and one of the UK music scene's most innovative thinkers, Dave Morecroft, there are a number of initiatives running as well as a very comprehensive website you can visit to find out more.

Visit the Jazz100 website to check it all out, and see below for an overview!

Some consider 2017 to be the 100-year anniversary of jazz and it’s certainly the centenary of some of its biggest stars, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. Focused on jazz in the UK and Ireland, the #jazz100 campaign highlights the diversity and energy of jazz today, celebrates the story of jazz music and culture and considers how the next 100 years will unfold. Centred around the hashtag #jazz100, the campaign will unite the jazz industry, inspire existing fans, and introduce new audiences to the music

Whether you are a seasoned jazz enthusiast or have never experienced jazz before, there are plenty of ways to get involved with the #jazz100 campaign. We're looking for people from all walks of life who are excited about seeing the jazz scene in the UK and Ireland grow to its full potential. With activities ranging from social media posts to hosting #jazz100 events, there is something for everyone!

NYJO to live stream concert from Swaledale Festival, June 6th

In collaboration with NYMAZ and their Connect:Resound project, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra will live stream a concert to schools and army bases across the UK on June 6th.

For full information, visit the NYJO website.

From the NYJO website...

On Tuesday 6 June at 11.10am children across the country will experience a jazz performance like no other: a live show from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) will be broadcast over the internet to UK schools and to British Army bases worldwide. It will be an unforgettable opportunity to hear – and see! -– twenty-three of the finest young jazz musicians in Britain, directed by trumpeter Mark Armstrong.
The broadcast is part of Connect: Resound, a project led by youth music development charity NYMAZ, to explore how technology can provide more musical opportunities for children and young people living in remote areas. This exciting event is presented by Swaledale Festival and will be broadcast live from Risedale Sports and Community College, with 500 pupils from the College and local primary schools in the audience.  Technology specialists UCan Play and the British Forces Broadcasting Service will be ensuring the broadcast reaches the eyes and ears of children across the world via the internet.

Heidi Johnson, director of NYMAZ, the youth music charity helping to present the concert comments: “This is hugely significant for us. The National Youth Jazz Orchestra has helped launch the careers of many notable musicians, including Amy Winehouse. All of the musicians are aged 25 or under which makes it particularly special as we are focused on broadening the horizons of young people in rural areas. It will be very uplifting for young people to hear their peers play and the orchestra will also be taking questions, so we’re inviting schools to tweet theirs to @NYMAZmusic on the day. Teachers can also download a resource pack with ideas for classroom activities from”

The broadcast forms part of a major music and visual art project put together for Swaledale Festival (27 May  10 June 2017) as Malcolm Creese, festival director, explains: “We wanted to give local children the chance to explore this rich and exciting art form. Living in the countryside can limit your exposure to different music genres so we were keen to create an absorbing cultural experience. Pupils from Risedale and seven neighbouring primary schools have been learning about the history and culture of jazz as well as listening to the music. They’ve also created their own jazz-inspired artwork which is on show at The Station in Richmond and Catterick Library.  Following the performance, thanks to support from NYMAZ, we’ll be running jazz music workshops in local schools, led by the Richmond Jam project, for those wanting to have a go at playing jazz themselves.”

Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet in Leeds, May 22nd

World class guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg is bringing his quartet to perform at Wharf Chambers in Leeds on Monday 22nd May, as well as an afternoon workshop.

Thanks to David Beebee and the team at the Guitar Hour, jazz audiences in the North will get to see this internationally renowned quartet perform in a small, intimate venue.

Combining timeless melodicism with forward–thinking lines and textures, the music of Jonathan Kreisberg continues to attract a growing international fan base. His compositions have been performed by his groundbreaking quartet on five continents. As a guitarist, his sound and technique has influenced the next generation of players and has arguably contributed to the evolution of the instrument in jazz. For their show at Wharf Chambers, JKQ will perform music from WAVE UPON WAVE as well as brand new compositions that combine jazz tradition, instrumental virtuosity, modern soundscapes and influences from every corner of the world and beyond.

A workshop will run at Wharf Chambers at 3.30pm and tickets for this cost £20 (£15 for students). The gig starts at 9pm and tickets cost £15. Tickets for both parts of the day can be purchased online at the Guitar Hour's Ticket Tailor page.

Feature Interview: Tim Garland

Tim Garland has been described as a world-class jazz improviser, one of the most versatile musicians in the UK, and even a living legend. The ‘honorary northerner’ speaks to Ann Chadwick on the run up to his appearance at Harrogate International Festivals.
Harrogate International Festivals present the Tim Garland Electric Quartet on Sunday 2nd July, 7.30pm at the Crown Hotel, Harrogate. Visit to book, Box Office: 01423 562 303.
“Some people think that I moved to America, but I never did – I just got off at Newcastle,” Tim laughs, speaking from his home in Whitley Bay, with a view of the sea. 
People thought he’d gone stateside after the American jazz icon Chick Corea invited Tim to join his band in the late 1990s, after Tim’s earlier collaborations with artists such as Ronnie Scott and John Dankworth. “I had no idea, when I first started out, I’d end up joining Chick’s band, it really was a dream come true.”
Despite having a home in London for easier access to Heathrow airport, Tim bought a home in the North East 13 years ago to bring his children up outside the big smoke. He wrote compositions for the Royal Northern Sinfonia when the Sage, Gateshead, just opened and the Arts Council was keen to encourage more creativity in the regions.
The juxtaposition of the north of England’s coastline and American jazz scene, mirrors Tim’s own yin and yang approach. Famed for his improvisation, he’s also loves composition, studying classical music and jazz at the Guildhall School of Music.
“I was already playing the piano and I loved composing and making things up but I didn’t have the patience to write it all down,” he laughs. “I was immediately taken by the rhythmic propulsion and the excitement and the spontaneity of jazz, you know, every time you played something it could be different and you didn’t need to write everything down. Perfect for me! I threw myself headlong into it. So there were these two aspects to me that continue right to this day. The love of something structured and written down, like writing a novel I suppose, against this absolutely unpredictable, very sociable, fun way of making music. The two are like my two arms, I don’t favour one against the other.”

Friday, 12 May 2017

Gina Southgate Exhibition - Dennis Kilgallon Gallery, Northumberland

Gina Southgate's name will be familiar to many musicians and listeners of jazz and improvised music in the UK. If it's not, it should be. As the artist in residence at Jazz in the Round as well as many festivals, Gina paints while musicians perform live.

I work with the frisson of the music observing the relationship between the musician and instrument. I try to capture  the energy and essence of the gig in the real time. Sometimes I work solely with sound and ignore the visual content producing abstract imagery. In performance situations I use my materials and surfaces sonically. 

From now until June 25th, an exhibition of her work will run at the Dennis Kilgallon Gallery in Northumberland. The gallery is located in a scenic location, providing the ideal excuse for an afternoon of fresh air and art.

If you'd like to find out more about Gina and see examples of her work, visit the Gina Southgate website.

New Jazz in Queensbury - Jazz At The Mill

One of Northern Jazz's greatest teams, Kathy and John Dyson, have set up a new jazz night in Black Dyke Mills in Bradford. The session will run weekly and they have now announced the programme until July 4th. Each gig runs on a Tuesday from 7.30 until 10pm and admission is £5.

It's always good to hear of a new jazz venue in the North and we wish the Dysons lots of success in their new venture!

May 30th - John and Kathy Dyson's Boptet with Jade Harris
June 7th   - Ed Kainyak Band
June 13th - Adrian Ingram's Jazz Dawgs
June 20th - Ben Crosland Trio
June 27th - John and Kathy Dyson's Boptet with Nicki Allan
July 4th - John Marley Band

Jazz at Swaledale Festival, 27th May - June 10th

The annual Swaledale Festival runs from 27th May until 10th June, with a diverse programme of events. The 2017 edition marks the 10th festival run by Malcolm Creese, renowned double bassist. This year's programme is wonderfully diverse, with something for everyone. Here's a preview of the jazz events to look forward to...


Stellar jazz singer Vimala Rowe will be appearing at Swaledale Festival for the first time this year. Partnered by the gifted and versatile guitarist John Etheridge, Vimala’s sophisticated and soulful vocals will be heard in the Cloister Room at Tennants Garden Rooms in Leyburn at 22:00 on Wednesday 7 June.

Tickets are £15 for adults and £3 for under 25s.


The massively funky brass and drum band from the North-East makes its first Swaledale Festival appearance at 19:30 on Monday 29 May in the delightful church of St. Oswald’s in Askrigg. The programme will include specially written pieces as well as classics from the New Orleans brass band tradition.

Tickets are £16 for adults and £3 for under 25s.


As part of this year’s Swaledale Festival, NYJO will perform a special concert in Richmond’s newly-refurbished Influence Church (formerly the Zetland Cinema) at 19:30 on Monday 5 June. Directed by Mark Armstrong, the band will perform classics from the Big Band era alongside brand new compositions.

Tickets are £18 for adults and £3 for under 25s.

Tickets for all of these events can be purchased at

In Sadness: Bootleg Eric

Sad news from Chris De Saram as a much loved member of the Wakefield Jazz team, Bootleg Eric, passed away on May 8th.

From Chris De Saram

It is with sadness that we announce the death of our Bootleg Eric (Eric Parkin), on the morning of 8th May 2017, after a short illness. He attended his last gig at Wakefield Jazz last Friday, but left at the start of the interval, not knowing that he had won his last raffle prize!

"Bootleg Eric"was the name given to him by drummer Clark Tracey - he had been in charge of the sound at the club since 1988 and had a massive archive of recorded performances.

It won’t be the same without him but I guess his legacy will live on through his bootleg recordings at the jazz archive that he made of all the visiting performers at the club

We are dedicating the 30th anniversary festival to Eric, and welcome any thoughts on how we can fully celebrate his life.

Friday, 5 May 2017

DJAZZ: Durham City Jazz Festival, June 2nd - 4th

A brand new festival is running in Durham next month and tickets are now on-sale. DJAZZ will host over 25 events in multiple venues and will be programming everything from big bands to club nights.

A number of artists have already been announced to whet your appetite and a full line-up is expected in the coming days. Artists already announced include - Triptych, Durham Uni Big Band, Mark Williams, Taupe, Swing Manouche and more.

The events will be hosted in 'Durham's most intriguing music venues' including Empty Shop HQ, The Miners Hall, The Old Cinema Laundrette and more.

To keep up to date with the coming announcements, check out their DJAZZ facebook page. You can also grab £10 festival passes for a limited time only and these can be purchased on the Tickettailor website.

Richard Turner Film - crowdfunding campaign now live

An indiegogo campaign has been launched to create a film about the well-loved trumpeter Richard Turner, who died in 2011 aged just 27.

Musician and friend of Richard's, Rob Cope, is leading the project and is hoping to raise £3,000 to support the creation of the film and soundtrack as well as to fund trips to interview a number of friends and colleagues about Richard and his life in music.

From the indiegogo page...

We are creating a film about Richard Turner. Richard was an extremely talented and generous young jazz trumpeter who sadly died in 2011, aged 27. This film will remember and honour Richard's memory. To say he was a culturally significant musician is an understatement and we want to document all of his achievements. We are also going to examine just how important Richard's music has been and explore his lasting legacy in jazz.

Richard grew up in Leeds and studied at LCoM before heading South to study his masters at the Royal Academy. As well as a busy performing life, he also set up jazz at the Con Cellar Bar in Camden, hosting regular gigs from both UK and international artists.

With 24 days still to go, the campaign has so far received £1,977 of it's £3,000 goal. To read more and to donate to this worthwhile project, visit the Richard Turner indiegogo page.

12 Points Announces Line-Up for 2017 Festival

Officially announced during JazzAhead in Bremen last weekend, 12 Points have their line-up for their 2017 festival which takes place in Aarhus, Denmark in July.

The full list of ensembles is listed below but a special congratulations goes to Taupe, a current Northern Line group and North East based trio who have been selected as the UK group to perform this year!

For more information, check out the 12 Point website.

12 Points 2017 will feature - BigSpoon, chuffDRONE, Francesco Orio Trio, Kirke Karja Quartet, Lars Fill Frit Fald, Marie Kruttli Quartet, Post K, SCHNITZL, Sheep Got Waxed, Significant Time, Taupe and Tommy Moustache.