Friday, 5 February 2016

Women Make Music in the North East

Jazz North East launched their Women Make Music programme on Thursday February 4th with a performance by Dee Byrne's ENTROPI and an exhibition by artist Gina Southgate.

The programme of work will feature 45 female musicians in total, with 11 gigs and 2 workshops. The list of participating artists is highly impressive - Shelly Knotts and Mariam Rezaei Duo, Motherese, Jennifer Parry, Zoë Gilby Trio, Archipelago, Thermal Threshold, Faye MacCalman, Diachronicx, Ingrid Jensen Quartet, Ruth Lambert Trio, Sue Ferris Quartet, Sue Richardson, The Lauren Kinsella Ensemble, Sarah Gail Brand, Unfurl name some of them!

Full details of the gigs will be available on the Jazz North East website, as will information about the many other events going on in 2016, Jazz North East's 50th year.

Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra team up with NYJOS for special collaboration

Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra are to team up with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland for a special Double Big Band collaboration led by Jo McCallum.

Supported by Arts Council England, the project will see NYJOS travel to the Greater Manchester area for a weekend of rehearsals with WYJO culminating in a performance on April 17th at Halle St Peters which will also showcase the two bands individually.

The funding will allow for two new works to be commissioned; one by saxophonist Iain Dixon and the other by composer Mike Gibbs. It is hoped that the double big band material will be available shortly after the concert for any youth jazz orchestra to use across the UK.

Tickets are on sale now for the concert and are priced at £8/6. Seating is limited so early booking is recommended. Doors open at 1.30pm and the concert beings at 2pm.

For more information, visit the NYJOSWYJO Project website.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Jazz Line-Up explores UK hotspots for jazz talent

                                                                      Reuben Fowler

Aside from the cities home to jazz degree courses, there are many small towns and cities that can boast large numbers of their residents (or former residents) becoming professional jazz musicians. This can often be traced back to the passion of a single music teacher or the work of a youth jazz initiative to encourage enthusiasm for the art-form in seemingly unlikely places (including the North's very own Wakefield!)

BBC Radio asked Sebastian Scotney to explore four of these hotspots for a segment on their weekly Jazz Line-Up show which airs this Saturday 6th February at 5pm.  

 Two musicians from each of the four locations were interviewed and invited to discuss their reflections on jazz education. The segment will be interspersed with music from each participant.

Reuben Fowler and Matt Robinson represent Wakefield and are joined by Alton's Laura Jurd and Gwyneth Herbert, Norwich's George Crowley and Kit Downes and Dunfermline's Calum Gourlay and Kim Macari.

You can find the programme on the BBC website and it will be available live and for a time on Catch-Up. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Lancaster Jazz Festival - Submissions Open

2016 marks the 6th Lancaster Jazz Festival and under the watchful eye of festival director Matt Robinson and his team, it continues to grow year on year.

They have opened the floodgates for artist submissions to take part in this year's festival and will be accepting submission until the 20th March at 5pm.

When programming we look for exciting artists that we feel might bring more to the festival than just a performance. This could be something very tangible, such as a workshop or a seminar (like Seth Bennett or A Dread Supreme from last year for example) or the hosting of a jam session or a new collaboration (like Word of Moth). Or, it could be something else, a buzz from peers about being on the same bill (Trevor Watts or Richard Illes), a truly amazing performance that is talked about for months (Thunkfish or Dakhla Brass), or a million other things that we haven't thought of yet.
We aim to promote the best in contemporary music and jazz from around the UK as well as locally. We are especially interested in promoting a diverse programme of events, including new works, emerging artists and underrepresented groups.

The application process is simple and is done through an online portal. Applicants are required to provide two tracks to be listened to (linked to directly so that the panel can listen online) and answer questions to describe their project. The festival open useful advice on their guidance page (like staying away from stock phrases like 'a new take on jazz standards' which incidentally was used over 30 times in applications last year...!)

Those under 25 can also apply to the Festival Commission fund. Each year, one group or artist is selected to develop a new piece of work to be premiered at the festival. These artists receive support from the festival and mentorship from the artist in residence throughout their project.

All the information you need can be found on the Lancaster Jazz Festival website. Good luck!

Monday, 1 February 2016

Kala Sangam's Journeys of Jazz, February 27th

Kala Sangam is hosting an evening of music to celebrate UNESCO's International Year of Global Understanding in Bradford on February 27th.

Vijay Venkat, the Musician in residence at Kala Sangam - a multi-instrumentalist and multi-genre performer and composer will play the violin and the bamboo flute with a group of expert musicians - Jack Warlop, a professional musician trained in New York and well versed with jazz and other musical genres will be playing the piano/keyboards, Hugh Bradley a bassist and a very popular musician on the festival concert circuit will play the bass, Claudio Kron a multi-percussionist and singer will bring the rhythmic beauty of music through his percussive brilliance whilst the well known percussion experts and brothers Bangalore R. N. Prakash and Pratap will be adding colours to the percussion part through the south Indian Classical two faced drum Mridangam, Ghatam (the mud pot), Kanjira (single framed hand-held drum) and vocalised rhythms. 

Away from the usual Jazz standards, these musicians coming together on this special occasion of celebrating the multi-cultural and multi-genric meeting of creative minds, will endeavour to understand each other's specialities in a global perspective to create New Music. They will endeavour to journey through various musical genres which is the hall mark of improvised music. This seamless multi-genric excursions into creativity - a hall mark of all embracing Jazz, is what will be explored considering the diversity of musicians that are involved.
The event takes place at the Kala Sangam Arts Centre based in St Peter's House, Bradford, BD1 4TY. Tickets cost £7.50/5.00 concessions and a family ticket is available for £20. 
Find out more by visiting the Kala Sangam website

Friday, 29 January 2016

Let's Get Lost Festival, Doncaster 4th February

There's a jam packed concert going on in Doncaster on Thursday 4th February presented by the Let's Get Lost Festival.

From the event page...

Bringing together people of all ages from across Yorkshire, this event looks to explore an eclectic blend of styles from across the globe. Expect a diverse experience at an incredible venue in the heart of Doncaster.

The line-up includes Dennis Rollins & DYJO, Garforth Jazz Rock band, Arts Live Folk Band, Roma Khamoro, Vale Academy's Taiko Drummers and Wind Band, Semi-Skimmed Soul and Don Valley Academy.

The event starts at 7pm and there are a limited number of free tickets available through the CAST Doncaster website. You can also contact for further information (at time of print, the CAST Doncaster website was not working!)

This event is part of the School Partnership Trust Academies festival programme, supported and funded by Arts Council England, CapeUK, D.A.R.T.S, Doncaster Youth Jazz Association and Arts Live.

Jazz North Education Conference - 8th March

                                                  Dr Kathy Dyson (Photo: Porl Medlock)

Jazz North have announced the date for their annual Education Conference and networking day as March 8th. As in previous years, the event will be held at Leeds College of Music.

This will be our fourth annual jazz education conference day and a valuable opportunity to find out what Jazz North can offer Music Education Hubs and the jazz education sector, listen to case studies from hubs and delivery organisations, network with colleagues and discuss how we might work together to mutual benefit. 

Music teachers, youth music leaders, Music Hubs and freelance musicians/teachers are invited to attend the event and for the first time, there will be 5-minute bulletin slots offered to all attendees to provide a snapshot of the work they do or perhaps a pitch for a new project.

A full list of speakers is expected within the coming weeks and you can visit the Jazz North website to sign up and read reports from previous conferences.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Jazz January - Can Jazz Work on Normal People?

There's an interesting experiment going on in London this month as Matt Pannell asks the question - Can jazz music work on normal people?

The project will see a number of people who haven't been to jazz venues before attend gigs with 'jazz advisers' to guide and inform. Matt then logs the results, noting their highs and lows and overall views.

There are a number of reviews already completed on the site with one more to go before the result is published. It seems that the majority of the concerts are big band gigs, but the final gig with the Steve Gadd trio.

An interesting look into people's perceptions of jazz and it's especially nice to see some children being taken to gigs (their reactions seemed to be the most positive of all).

Head over to JazzJanuary and have a read...

Artist Submissions welcome for the first LUME Festival

Cath Roberts and Dee Byrne are champions of original, improvised music and their work with LUME has been praised across the country. Their programming is full of surprises and the team are at the forefront of the wave of musicians now involved in promoting jazz and improvised music.

This year, they have announced that they will round of their season of gigs with the first ever LUME Festival. The one day event will take place on 26th June at I’klectik Artlab near Waterloo in London and they have issued a call out for musicians and groups who want to be a part of it.

As part of programming this, we’re putting the call out for submissions. Bands, soloists, new collaborations: we’d like to hear from you. These are the things we’re looking for:

Original music. To us this means new music composed by the musicians who are playing.
Improvised music. We are also into spontaneous composition! Totally improvised music created in the moment. If your project fits into one or both of those categories then we want to know about it.

There is an online submission form for the interested musicians on the LUME website and submissions will be accepted until 5pm on February 12th.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Funding Success for Corey Mwamba and Out Front!

                                                Corey Mwamba (Photo by George Harris)

Highly respected vibes player Corey Mwamba has received an Arts Council grant over over £31,000 to produce a 9 month programme of work and a mini-festival intended to raise the profile of contemporary improvised music.

The initiative is called Out Front! and will feature a number of high profile artists performing in Derby starting from March, with the festival scheduled for Autumn.

In a recent article for Derby Telegraph, Mwamba said

This latest funding from Arts Council England will enable us to create a fantastic series of events here and work with others to further strengthen the music and arts scene. We're looking forward to hosting local innovative jazz and improvised music groups who haven't had the chances to perform in the area, as well as national and international acts. It's very exciting and we are also hoping to have more involvement and support from people in Derby and the wider Midlands.

Corey's website is full of information on all of his projects and further information on Out Front! will be available soon.


DYJA Announce New Appointment for Dennis Rollins

Doncaster Youth Jazz Association have announced Dennis Rollins as their new Associate Director of Band Studies. In this role, Rollins will lead the senior DYJO ensemble and work closely with John Ellis (both pictured above) to develop the strategy of the organisation.

Rollins has been associated with the organisation since his early days as a musician and since leaving as a player, he has regularly returned to give workshops and feature as a guest soloist in concerts.

In a press release, John Ellis says 
I could not be more pleased. Dennis will bring a wealth of jazz knowledge and experience to this position. I cannot thank him enough for joining me on this journey. I am now very optimistic for the long-term future of the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association John Ellis MBE

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Gig Preview: Printmakers in York (January 27th)

The Printmakers have become one of the UK's most beloved groups. The band's line-up features some of the country's most creative musicians - Mike Walker, Mark Lockheart, Norma Winstone, Steve Watts and James Maddren. In May 2015, they received their debut album, Westerly, to critical acclaim and on January 27th they are to perform at The Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall in York.

‘Wonderful playing from some of Britain’s best jazz artists, not to mention a deeply creative, almost orchestral approach to the collective sound that totally serves the music, or more accurately, serves the song.’ Jazzwise Magazine

Tickets for the event cost £16/14/5 and audiences are advised to book soon as it's sure to be a full house. For full information visit the York University website and the website of bandleader Nikki Iles.

Still time to apply for 12Points Festival 2016

There is still time to apply for a place in the 2016 12 Points festival, with their submission deadline extended to January 30th.

This marks their 10th festival and it will take place in San Sebastian in Northern Spain (pictured above). The 4 day event will run concurrently with Jazzaldia, Europe's longest running jazz festival and coincides with San Sebastian being named European Capital of Culture 2016.

Applications must be made through the online portal on the 12 Points website and applicants should include press materials, videos, audio and descriptions of their music. For full information and guidance on applying, see the website.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Paris Sur Tyne to Celebrate 50 years of Jazz North East

                                          Syvlain Darrifourcq Photo by Caroline Pottier

 It's a big year for Jazz North East as they celebrate 50 years of promoting live jazz. Their programme is jam-packed with special events throughout the year but next on the agenda is Paris sur Tyne, an all-day extravaganza of Anglo-French jazz.

On January 24th, the Lit and Phil in Newcastle will be taken over by JNE to host a day of music performed by some of France and the UK's leading improvisers. There will be two sessions, one running 2pm until 6pm then another from 7pm until 11pm. Audiences can attend all day for £20/16 or attend one of the sessions for £12/10.

The line-up and schedule are listed below but for more information on JNE's 50th year visit their website or book tickets for the event at 


Afternoon Session (2pm until 6pm) - In Love With, Sonsale, Theo Ceccaldi Trio, Garibaldi Plop

Evening Session (7pm - 11pm) - Babies, Milesdavisquintet!, Liaisons Dangereuses,  Menage a Huit

Friday, 15 January 2016

Gogo Penguin Tour 2016

2016 is already shaping up to be a busy year for Manchester trio Gogo Penguin, with the release of their Blue Note debut Man Made Object and extensive touring in the UK and internationally.

The group have been invited to perform at Coachella Festival in California, as well as some NYC shows and they are scheduled to make their debut at the Blue Note in Tokyo - all of this before June!

Those closer to home will be able to see the band as they tour the UK in February with dates in Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff, Glasgow, Aberdeen and London amongst others. Following this, the band head to Europe for a further 20+ dates.

See below for their full tour dates and head to the Gogo Penguin website to find out more and pre-order the new album.