Friday, 16 June 2017

Jazz Promoter Fellowship Announced by Help Musicians UK

Help Musicians UK have announced their new Jazz Promoters Fellowship in partnership with award-winning composer Issie Barratt.

From the Help Musicians UK website...

This fully-funded HMUK Fellowship has been developed out of the need to create a gender balance within the jazz scene in the UK and provide a framework for best practice in training for promoters. The move has been supported by industry leaders across the sector.
Recent evidence—from Issie’s extensive four-year research project—shows that women are hugely underrepresented in jazz, often excluded from performance opportunities, rarely booked as often as their male counterparts, and infrequently considered in development initiatives.
The Fellowship will aim to change perceptions and create a new, inclusive jazz landscape. It will focus on equipping the next generation of male and female promoters for a career in the industry by working closely with many of the UK’s best jazz promoters, venues and festival directors.
By the end of this Fellowship's pilot year (July 2018), participants will have had invaluable opportunities in order to deliver a year-long personal project aimed at addressing the equality gap.
Key opportunities of the programme include:
• Seven seminar days hosted at key points in the jazz calendar
• Development of a promoter’s job description and toolkit
• Monthly tutorials
• Mentoring from leading experts and peers
• Participation in roundtable discussions
• Devising and delivering a year-long self-initiated project
Applications are being accepted until July 7th 2017 and successful applicants will be notified in late July.
For more information and to apply, visit the Help Musicians UK website.

Volunteer at this year's Marsden Jazz Festival

Set in beautiful surroundings, the Marsden Jazz Festival takes over a village each October and fills it with jazz from mainstream to cutting edge in venues indoors and out. Each year, they run a programme packed full of performances ranging from youth ensembles from the local area to internationally recognised artists.

The festival team have put a call out to recruit volunteers to help run the festival. They have a very simple form to fill in and have a range of jobs on offer.

To find out more, visit the Marsden Jazz Festival website.

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band in Manchester, 25th & 26th June

In collaboration with Wigan Music Service, the RNCM in Manchester will host two performances by LA-based and internationally renowned jazz orchestra, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band.

An additional date was added due to popular demand so there are now two opportunities to see the band - at 4pm on Sunday 25th June and then at 7.30pm on Monday 26th June.

From the RNCM website...

Even for a successful composer and arranger in Hollywood, Gordon Goodwin’s numbers are impressive: A 2006 Grammy Award for his instrumental arrangement of Incredits from the Pixar film The Incredibles, three Emmy Awards, and thirteen Grammy nominations.
There are eighteen musicians in Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, one of the most exciting large jazz ensembles on the planet. Populated by L.A.’s finest players, the Big Phat Band takes the big band tradition into the new millennium with a contemporary, highly original sound featuring Goodwin’s witty, intricate, and hard-swinging compositions in a veritable grab bag of styles: swing, Latin, blues, classical, rock and more.
Established in 2000, the Big Phat Band’s debut recording, Swingin’ For The Fences (Silverline Records), featured guest artists Arturo Sandoval and Eddie Daniels. It made history as the first commercially available DVD-Audio title ever released and the first DVD-Audio title to receive two Grammy nominations.
Tickets cost £32 and these gigs are sure to be well attended, so audiences are advised to book soon. For more information and book tickets, visit the RNCM website.

Cleethorpes Jazz Festival, 23-25th June

The Cleethorpes Jazz Festival will take place at the Beachcomber Centre between 23rd and 25th June. Former festival director Gill Wilde stepped down after last year's festival and for the first time, Charlotte Bowen will run the weekend event.

The programme this year is a mix of some of the North's finest talents alongside guests from across the UK. There's a strong Northern Line theme running throughout the weekend with performances by Pan Jumby, Maja Bugge and Firebird Quartet. Fans of vocal jazz are in for a treat with North East's finest Zoe Gilby bringing her quartet and the Family Jazz All Stars. London-based Georgia Mancio will also perform.

Saturday features two large ensembles to book-end the day, first with the North East Lincolnshire Jazz Orchestra and ending with the Steve Walker Big Band and their Miller to Motown show.

For full information on the weekend line-up, visit the Cleethorpes Jazz Festival website and to book tickets, see their wegottickets page. Full weekend tickets are priced £60 with day tickets ranging from £20 to £26.

We wish Charlotte all the best with her inaugural festival and here's to many more!

Friday, 9 June 2017

PRS Announces latest Beyond Borders funding recipients

PRS has announced the latest projects to be supported by their Beyond Borders initiative. The scheme supports co-commissions and tours and seeks to develop relationships between composers, musicians and ensembles and music organisations throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A number of names familiar to the jazz community are featured this time including LCoM alumnus Phil Meadows, Lauren Kinsella and Chris Hyson's duo Snowpoet and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Below are the full list of recipients and a brief description of their projects. To see the full press release, visit the PRS website.

  • Cryptic – the UK tour of Oliver Coates’ first full length music theatre, Shorelines is set in the aftermath of the North Sea flood of 1953 is a work for string quartet (Ragazze Quartet) and electronics commissioned by Cryptic, in partnership with Belfast International Arts Festival, Sound Aberdeen and Southbank Centre, London
  • Decibel Ensemble –a landmark 35-minute work ‘Togetherness’ for amplified large ensemble and electronic media by the acclaimed Northern Irish composer Ed Bennett. The work explores the contradictory notions of independence, pluralism and unity in music, culture and society, and will tour in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland
  • Engines Orchestra – ‘Phronesis’ mind expanding collaboration with composer Dave Maric and the Engines Orchestra ‘Decade Zero’, tours the UK in 2017 in partnership with Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz and the EFG London Jazz Festival
  • Falkirk Community Trust –a live dynamic alternative reinterpretation of Mazzetti’s ground-breaking work together with acclaimed musician/composers Raymond MacDonald and Christian Ferlaino composed for saxophone and percussion, with engagement opportunities for D/deaf/HoH audiences.
  • Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival – A new commission for UK harpist and composer Rhodri Davies, for voice and ensemble working with different systems of time to govern musical interactions. Touring to Huddersfield, Cardiff and Glasgow.
  • Snowpoet – an ambitious tour for album number 2 across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
  • Sound Festival – a new cross art-form project from composer Colin Riley exploring ‘a sense of place’ comprising a 70-minute multi-media song cycle for singer and 4-piece instrumental/electronic ensemble which will be toured across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • The Wallace Collection Ensemble – Composer Jay Capperauld will shake up the British brass band movement with an exciting and atmospheric new work for brass quintet and brass band called ‘New Moves for The Movement’ to be toured in Scotland, England and Wales

Tunde Jegede's Testimony Tour comes to Newcastle, 12th & 13th July

The Jazz Cafe in Newcastle, in collaboration with Waka Waka Africa, will present a solo concert by Kora player Tunde Jegede on 12th July as well as two workshops, all as part of Jegende's Testimony Tour: 21 concerts in 21 cities.

Known throughout the world, Tunde Jegede has built a career exploring both Western and African music, performing in a huge range of contexts - from working in film and TV, recording in the pop and RnB world and working with numerous classical orchestras.

In addition to his solo performance, Tunde will also run two workshops.

Wednesday 12th at Black Swan (6-7pm) - An Introduction to the Kora and the Griot Tradition, this will be a workshop and talk open to students, musicians and audience members. Cost - £10.

Thursday 13th at The Jazz Cafe (10.30am - 12pm) - A creative music workshop for students and musicians exploring composition from an African perspective. Cost £15.

Tickets for the concert and workshops are available from the Jazz Cafe website. For more information on Tunde, visit his website.

Artists Announced for brand new Ambleside Festival, 31st August - 3rd September

Zeffirelli's will host an all star line up of internationally recognised jazz musicians during their first festival, in honour of the great pianist and composer John Taylor.

Derek Hook has run jazz at Zeffirelli's for a number of years and the well known composition Ambleside Days was the result of a commission offered to John Taylor by Zeffirelli's and Northern Arts.

Performers will include Dave Holland, Norma Winstone, Tim Garland, Gwilym Simcock, Mike Walker, Nikki Iles and Joe Locke amongst many others. This impressive roster displays the huge influence Taylor's contributions to the art-form had on musicians across the world.

For more information on the concerts, visit the Zeffirelli's website.

Jazz on a Summer's Day in Chapel Allerton, June 10th

To celebrate (or perhaps to encourage) the lovely weather, Chapel Allerton Club are putting on a full day event, Jazz on a Summer's Day this Saturday, June 10th.

Starting at 1pm and free to attend, the day will include performances by Brendan Duffy, Nicki Allan, Ros Lewis and Marlena Rose.

See the poster below for full details!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Tour Preview: Mike Gibbs 80th Birthday Tour, September 2017

Renowned composer Mike Gibbs is to undertake a large ensemble tour in September to celebrate his 80th birthday.

"Gibbs music is full of intriguing inner detail that does not deflect from the ultimate destiny of his pieces." – BBC Music Magazine

From the cuneiform records website...

Brit-jazz composer and arranger Michael Gibbs was born in 1937 in Zimbabwe. Starting in 1959, he studied in Boston at the Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory , Tanglewood and the Lenox School of Music, where he studied with a who's who of contemporary jazz and modern composition: George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Iannis Xenakis, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss and others. In 1964 he moved to the UK, where he engaged himself in the rapidly emerging contemporary UK jazz scene. Starting in the late 60s and continuing into the mid 70s, he recorded a number of highly acclaimed and influential albums featuring many of the most prominent British-based jazz players who, like Michael, were beginning to flirt with jazz/rock. Since the mid 70s he has worked as a educator as well as a free-lance arranger, doing arrangements and orchestrations for major names such as Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Peter Gabriel among many others, while too infrequently recording his own music.

Mike will be joined by an all-star jazz orchestra 

Trumpets: Ryan Quigley, Henry Lowther, Percy Pursglove, Nick Smart
Trombones: Mark Bassey, Jeremy Price, Trevor Mires, Richard Henry (bass trombone)
Saxophones: Jason Yarde (alto/soprano), John O'Gallagher (alto), Julian Siegel (tenor/bass clarinet), Alex Garnett (tenor/baritone)
French horn & accordion: Jim Rattigan
Guitar: Mike Walker
Bass: Michael Janisch
Piano: Hans Koller
Drums: Andrew Bain

Percussion: Paul Clarvis​​

The first of the tour dates in the UK will take place in the North as part of the Scarborough Jazz Festival on September 24th, followed by the Vortex (25th and 27th), The Watermill in Dorking (26th September), CBSO Centre in Birmingham (28th) and Turner Sims (29th September).

Ronnie Scott's Charitable Foundation - Jazz Education Grants

In 2015, the Ronnie Scott's Charitable Foundation was set up to support jazz education projects across the UK and overseas. So far, 11 projects have received funding to support their activities including Young & Gifted, The York Music Service, Doncaster Youth Jazz Association and NYJO.

The foundations are now accepting applications for the next round of funding available. Their aim is to support activities that provide access to music education for all young people, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds.

To apply for a Ronnie Scott’s Foundation Grant contact:
Fatine Boumaaz, RSCF Projects Manager
For more information on The Foundation:
Ronnie Scott’s
47 Frith St, London, W1D 4HT
Box office 020 7439 0747

Jazz Promotion Network AGM & Conference, June 26th and 27th

At the end of June, the Jazz Promotion Network will hold a two day college at Leeds College of Music including talks, presentations and discuss on the current and future jazz scene in the UK.

As a brief overview, you can expect -

  • Discussion groups (led by facilitators) exploring the future of jazz
  • Facilitated meetings for different areas of the sector on shared opportunities and challenges
  • Updates on new and ongoing JPN projects
  • Live music from some of the north’s leading jazz artists
  • The formal JPN AGM (open to JPN members only)
Promoters, musicians and industry professionals will travel from all over the across to attend this two day event and tickets are available for non-JPN members. The prices are as follows - 

Under 30s - £15 for one day, £30 for both days

Non-members, individuals and volunteers - £30 for one day, £45 for both days

Non-JPN  organisation - £99 for one day, £139 for both days

For more information and to register to attend, visit the Jazz Promotion Network website.

Happy Birthday, Noise Upstairs! June 8th

To host any kind of regular event for 10 years is an extraordinary feat. In the world of improvised music, it's even more extraordinary! The Noise Upstairs, an improvised music night that runs in Manchester, celebrates its 10th birthday on June 8th at Fuel Cafe Bar and it's set to be a big one.

From the event information...

IT'S OUR TENTH BIRTHDAY YEAH!! We’re preparing some special presents for those of you who turn up this week (not telling you what though, but it will be limited edition and exclusive and awesome). We’re starting at the earlier time of 8pm to fit in a series of short guest sets throughout the night, in addition to the evening’s special guest Luigi Marino. And the usual hat jams of course.

Guest sets from:

findlay_hunter_rennie (Kate Mroczkowski Tul Lis Anton Hunter)

Constanzo/Tremblay (Rodrigo Constanzo, Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, (plus a special guest?))


Luigi Marino is a musician native to Rome. His recent work has focused on interactive systems able to create interactions between an extemporary performer-driven source and a computer, with particular attention to how intuitive decisions can profoundly affect predetermined structures. He is also an active improvisor performing on both electronic media and percussion, especially zarb and bowed custom cymbals.
He holds a BA in arts and philosophy from University of Rome Tor Vergata, and an MFA in electronic music from Mills College, where he studied with Roscoe Mitchell, John Bischoff, and Chris Brown. He studied zarb with Mohssen Kasirossafar.
He is the recipent of many awards such as the full teaching assistantship at the Center of Contemporary Music at Mills College, the Paul Merritt Henry Prize, and the doctoral grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK).
His music has been presented at festivals such as the San Francisco Tape Music Festival, Intonal Festival (Malmö), Seoul International Computer Music Festival, Acousmatic for the People (Malmö), ICMC (Athens), Sincronie (Milan). As a performer, he played at venues such as Rainforest World Music Festival (Kuching, Malaysia), Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (Rome), Offene Ohren (Munich), WIM (Zurich), ImprovvisaMente (Lodi), Teatro Ca’ Foscari (Venice), Spektrum (Berlin), Blutopia (Rome), Spazio O’ (Milan).
He currently lives in the UK, pursuing a joint PhD at University of Birmingham and De Montfort University.

Come down for eight! We anticipate it being busy and we want everyone to get a chance to perform! 

For more information, visit the Noise Upstairs website. Happy Birthday!

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 -