Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Peter Whittingham Award 2014

                                       Phil Meadows, winner of 2013 Peter Whittingham Award

Help Musicians UK has opened applications for the 2014 Peter Whittingham Award, a professional development award focused on emerging jazz musicians.

The £4,000 grant is given to jazz musicians in the first two years of their professional career or studying a full-time high education music course. Previous recipients of the award have included Phil Meadows (pictured), Roller Trio, Soweto Kinch and Led Bib amongst others.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 7th November at 5.00pm. Auditions will be held in London on Thursday 4th December.

See the Help Musicians UK website for more information and read about their other projects.

12 Points 2015 - Open for Applications

Applications are now being invited for bands to take part in the next 12 Points festival, which will be held in Dublin between 15-18th April 2015.

Each year 12 bands from 12 European countries are invited to take part in the 4 day festival, creating a unique networking opportunity and the chance to perform in front of European festival bookers and jazz media.

The deadline for applications is Friday 12th December 2014.

More information on the festival and accounts from bands who had taken part in the past can be found on the 12 Points website.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Haggis Horns & Friends at the Wardrobe, October 4th

After a summer break, DJ Lubi' Soul Rebels night at the Wardrobe in Leeds is back with a bang with a 2nd Birthday Celebration featuring the Haggis Horns, Cleveland Freckleton and some special guests.

The Haggis Horns will perform alongside three guest vocalists, all of whom feature on their soon to be released third album; John McCallum (Corrine Bailey Rae), Nia Saw (Zap Mama) and John Turrell (Smoove & Turrell).

In addition to the Haggis Horns, a new soul/jazz record label will be officially launched. ATA (All Things Analogue) is a label run by Pete Williams and Neil Innes and is dedicated to analogue recordings and vinyl. To launch the label, Cleveland Freckleton (recently guest vocalist with the New Mastersounds) will front an 8 piece ATA band performing new, original material.

This Birthday celebration marks two years of promoting high quality live music and the night has hosted a range of internationally renowned groups including Jose James, Riot Jazz Brass Band, Omar, Abstract Orchestra, Homecut, ExtraCurricular, Nubiyan Twist, Wonky Logic and more.

Tickets are £10 and can be bought in advance from Seetickets, Jumbo Records, Crash Records and at the venue. Doors from 9pm, bands from 10pm until 12.30, club night until 3am.

More information on the upcoming Soul Rebels season can be found on DJ Lubi's website.

Eyes Shut Tight Resonance Tour

Eyes Shut Tight, led by bassist and composer Paul Baxter, embark on their Resonance Tour (supported by the Jazz Services Touring scheme) across the UK in October and November, with 15 dates from Aberdeen to London.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Go-Go Penguin shortlisted for Mercury Prize 2014

Manchester trio Go-Go Penguin have been announced as one of the shortlisted groups for this year's Mercury Prize for their album v2.0.

The shortlist is significant this year for the world of improvised music as it contains not only Go-Go Penguin but also Polar Bear's In Each and Every One. (And Nick Mulvey's First Mind, which is not a jazz/improvisation based album in itself but Nick was previously shortlisted for the prize with Portico Quartet.)

The winner will receive a £20,000 prize.

For more information on the other nominees, see the Mercury Prize website.

Gig Preview: FUSEBOX & You at Light Night, October 3rd

                                                       Fusebox favourites Shatner's Bassoon

Light Night, an annual event in Leeds which hosts over 50 free arts event between 5pm and 10pm on October 3rd, will this year feature an evening of improvised music curated by FUSEBOX. The evening will showcase a number of different ensemble sizes with prominent members of the improvised music scene moving in and out of the performance. The unique aspect of this evening, however, is that every one of the ensembles will be conducted by members of audience.


Come and listen to the sounds of the Leeds improvising community with the chance to conduct the band yourself. Manipulate, gesticulate and pull faces at them, or otherwise coerce them into playing the music you want to hear! Tonight, for one night only, the improvisers of Leeds are under your control.  A night of interactive improvised music, free and open to all members of the public, celebrating Leeds' rich heritage and ongoing subculture of improvised and creative music making. The event will focused on shifting the control of the music from the musicians to the audience. Members of the public will be invited to have a go at controlling the band through simple gestures, facial expressions, and even dance; the musicians will then interpret these to create new, uniquely collaborative, pieces of music.

The large ensemble performances will be interspersed with small group sets ranging from soloists to quartets. This will provide the audience with a range of ensembles to experience, and allow the musicians to have breaks whilst the event continues. The audience will be free to come in and out, interact or listen at any time during the evening adding to the welcoming and playful atmosphere.

The event takes place at Levantes Dance Theatre in Carriageworks (Millenium Square) and is free. 

The entire programme of events plus a map detailing locations can be found on the Light Night website.

Outer Circle Presents: The Dors

Anglo-French group The Dors have been selected to be the first group to tour through the newly established Outer Circle network.

The Dors brings together Christophe De Bezenac and Chris Skarkey (Trio VD) and Eve Risser and Yuko Oshima (Donkey Monkey) to form a group which showcases their formidable talents in contemporary improvisation, composition and performance. The group is supported by Jazz Shuttle, a scheme which facilitates collaborations between English and French musicians.

A little about Outer Circle...

Outer Circle is a grass roots UK touring scheme that co-ordinates the activities of DIY promoters working in areas of music outside of the mainstream. The core idea is co-operation between like minded promoters, sharing ideas, experience and resources, and ultimately co-ordinating their separate activities into a cohesive touring network. The scheme is a celebration of the fantastic musical activities that are happening every day across the country on minimal budgets but fuelled by passion and excitement for outsider music. By simply bringing these geographically spread individuals together and opening a dialogue, we can strengthen each respective music scene and through open co-operation, can each become stronger!

Tour Dates:

Sunday 21st - Splinter, The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle - 8pm
Tuesday 23rd - The Family Album, Derby - 6pm
Wednesday 24th - Jazz at the Lescar, Sheffield
Thursday 25th - Lost Voices, Liverpool
Friday 26th - Freedom Principle, Dulcimer Bar,  Manchester


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Leeds Jazz Orchestra Auditions, October 2nd

Leeds Jazz Orchestra, led by drummer and bandleader Colin Byrne, will hold their annual auditions on October 2nd at HEART in Leeds.

Colin says...

The audition process is very informal. It’s simply a question of sitting in with the band and playing with us. You may be asked to play a solo along with the rhythm section, but this is optional and you don’t have to play like Charlie Parker – just be willing to give it a go. 

You should be over 18 and about Grade 6/7 (or have equivalent experience). You will need your instrument (and amp if applicable) and a music stand. Pianist will need to bring a keyboard and amp as unfortunately we are presently unable to provide one. Drum kit and stands is provided (no cymbals).

Leeds Jazz Orchestra is a not-for-profit organisation so in order to cover expenses there is an annual membership fee of £150. You will not have to pay anything on the audition night. Auditioning is free!  

Audition night runs from 7pm until 9pm on October 2nd. More information can be found on the Leeds Jazz Orchestra facebook page and website, as well as through their twitter - @leedsjazzorch


Friday, 5 September 2014

Apollo Presents: LOCUS Tour, November 2014

Apollo Jazz Network have announced their Autumn tour featuring international collaboration LOCUS.

Following a successful UK tour last summer and following on from a recording project in NYC, the group have five UK dates lined up in November to showcase new material including a date at the London Jazz Festival.

The inception of LOCUS in 2012, as a project to birth brand new music globally and begin the growth of a collaborating platform for some of the UK’s up-and-coming musicians, wouldn’t have been possible without the support of an internationally forward-looking enterprise as Apollo. Performing and working with musicians such as Kim, Riley and members of LOCUS, is a joy not only because their musical stylings are rich and diverse individually but it has brought about the incredibly important factor of community to the table (and an inclusive one at that). Our November tour will be an exciting prelude to 2015 and beyond - Leah Gough-Cooper, alto/co-leader

Trumpeter Kim Macari and tenor saxophonist Riley Stone-Lonergan will spend October in NYC working with Gough-Cooper on new material, which marks the latest in Apollo's international development strand.

Tour Dates

November 7th - JATP, Bradford
November 12th - The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh*
November 13th - Art Club, Glasgow*
November 15th - HEART, Leeds
November 16th - Front Room, Southbank Centre (London Jazz Festival)

*Supported by Bridge Music.

For more information, see Apollo Jazz Network website.

LCoM launches Games to Improve Reading and more

Jazz Tutors at Leeds College of Music have devised a game to improve reading skills and are set to launch more games soon.

Although the initial game works on reading rhythms, plans are underway to launch games which focus on areas like interval recognition, comping transcription and polyrhythms.

The idea behind these resources is to create realistic exercises that will help you consolidate fundamental performance issues," says Jazz pathway leader, Jamil Sheriff. "Whether the exercises are focusing on rhythmic, harmonic or melodic areas of your assimilation of language, the nature of the recorded material will give you a contextualised learning experience, replicating familiar textures from a live performance setting.

The games are available for anyone to play and can be found on the LCoM website.

Gig Preview: Zhenya Strigalev's Smiling Organizm, Sela Bar

                                                   Zhenya Strigalev (photo: Angus Forbes)

Guitarist and promoter Nik Svarc has announced a special gig scheduled for November 24th at Sela Bar in Leeds which will feature a host of internationally renowned musicians.

Zhenya Strigalev's Smiling Organizm has performed across the UK and internationally in recent years as well as recording an album (self-titled). The line-up of the group has changed a number of times but what has remained consistent is the level of world-class musicianship showcased in the group.

The band have performed at Sela Bar previously with US drummer Eric Harland and this time the line-up includes trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, Eric Harland, Mike Janisch, Liam Noble and Linley Marthe.

This gig is sure to sell-out so keep an eye on the Jazz Jam at Sela facebook page for news on buying tickets as well as their other gigs coming up this autumn.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Jazz in Leeds - Autumn/Winter Programme

Photo by Jon Stanley Austin

Seven Jazz in Chapel Allerton Leeds have announced their Autumn/Winter programme which began with the Chapel Allerton Festival Jazz Sunday on 31 August in Regent Street and will run through to the Christmas Party at Inkwell on Sunday afternoon 21 December with the Nicola Farnon Trio.
2014 marks the seventh anniversary of Seven Jazz – the club started on the 30 September 2007. Seven Jazz now run international fortnightly concerts on Thursdays at Seven Arts and weekly showcase events for local bands at both Seven Arts and Inkwell, along with two fortnightly jazz workshops for musicians and a jazz choir. Since 2007 Seven Jazz (which is run by volunteers) has run over 500 gigs. In 2015 will embark on yet another venture, the Leeds Jazz Festival

Details of all of the gigs can be found on the Seven Jazz website www.sevenjazz.co.uk and are listed below. The evening international concert series start at 8.30pm, and the Sunday afternoon showcase gigs run between 1 and 4pm; ticket prices are detailed on the website; evening gigs are typically £16/14 concessions with a £5 standby ticket for full time students, Sunday lunchtime gigs are £7/5 concessions.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Musicians & Digital Media - 7th October

Jazz North are to host an afternoon of discussion on Digital Media & Music aimed at jazz musicians led by renowned bassist, writer and speaker Steve Lawson.

Steve will offer his unique and considered perspective on the music industry, utilising the internet and digital media as a musician and its uses in developing and communicating with audiences as well as generating income.

As well as a talk led by Steve, a participant will be invited to act as a case study to illustrate points on music industry and development.

The session will run from 12pm until 3pm at Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds and is free to attend but signed up is required. Those interested in attending should email info@jazznorth.org or register their interest through the contact form on our (NorthernJazzNews) website.

CDs and Recordings Wanted for Reviews

We are inviting musicians and ensembles to get in touch with their latest recordings and releases to be reviewed by Northern Jazz News.

The team at NJN are focused on providing news and articles on the Northern Jazz scene but as yet, we haven't done many album reviews and we'd like to hear more of the music going on here and further afield.

If you'd like to get in touch with links to recordings, press packs or CDs, please use our contact form to tell us more about your music.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Chapel Allerton Jazz Sunday, 31st August

Seven Jazz in Chapel Allerton will be hosting a day of jazz as part of the Chapel Allerton Arts festival, an annual festival which runs between 29th and 31st August.

Steve Crocker writes...

At present Leeds doesn't have a jazz festival so the nearest thing to a celebration of the fine music being produced in the city is at the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival held every summer in Regent Street Chapel Allerton.

This year the jazz blues and salsa afternoon of the festival (on 31 August) features the Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra, just back from a tour of South Africa, bassist Simon Read's new Octet with rising trumpet star Laura Jurd, Richard Ormrod’s seven piece ska tribute to John Coltrane  “A Dread Supreme”, trumpeter Enrico Marchesi’s brand new edition of his salsa band “Bourbon et Tequila” and the nine piece blues band led by guitarist Al Morrison- the  Blues Experience. The music starts at 12.30pm and finishes at 5.30pm and costs only £3 in the famous festival buckets.

Elsewhere in the festival weekend there are appearances from The Abstract Hip Hop Orchestra (Friday evening 29 August 9pm) and Chunky Butt Funky (Saturday evening 30 August 9pm) plus also Leeds jazz singer Tessa Smith directing the new Chapel Allerton Festival Community Choir on the Saturday afternoon main stage at 3.15pm.

More information on the festival can be found on the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival website and further details on the jazz events and others run by Seven Jazz can be found on their website, Seven Jazz.