Friday, 21 November 2014

Jazz Services - Organisational Restructuring & the Closure of JazzUK


Jazz Services have issued a press release detailing their plans to restructure and cease production of their magazine, JazzUK.

2015 marks their 30th year and following the withdrawal of NPO status in the last Arts Council funding round, the organisation are to undertake a radical new business model to ensure the longevity of their work in the UK jazz scene. Though details are yet to be confirmed, Jazz Services will now focus more closely on artist and audience development and working in partnership with other organisations to contribute to the jazz scene at a national level.

One change which has been announced is the closure of JazzUK. Jazz Services have been working closely with Jazzwise to produce listings and have said that they intend to further this partnership in the future.

Full press release below.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Roger Beaujolais at Dean Clough - Cancelled


Due to unforeseen circumstances, this Saturday's performance by vibes player Roger Beaujolais at Dean Clough in Halifax has had to be cancelled.

Those who have purchased advance tickets will be contacted and refunded.

The next concert which will take place at Dean Clough will now be on February 4th and will feature The Impossible Gentlemen. Tickets are due to go on sale from mid-December.

To keep up to date, visit the Dean Clough website.

Mike Walker's Ropes Crowdfunding Project


A few weeks ago, we reported on Mike Walker's new Ropes project. Since then, the Crowdfunder page has been launched and the campaign has so far raised £2,980 of their £5,000 target.

With 30 days left to reach the target, donors can enjoy a range of incentives to pledge money including signed albums, private masterclasses and backstage passes to the launch concert.

For full information, visit the Mike Walker Ropes Crowdfunder page.

Voting Open for APPJAG Jazz Awards



Voting is now open for the 2015 APPJAG Jazz Awards. Due to the May 2015 election, the jazz awards have been moved forward and the winners ceremony will take place in London on March 10th 2015.

The first round of voting, open to the public, covers all 11 categories (including ensemble of the year, album of year etc) and will contribute to the shortlist produced and given to a panel to decide on the winners.

Votes are cast online and close on December 12th 2014.

APPJAG Jazz Award Voting Form.

Take Five Edition X Participants Announced


The eight musicians selected for the 10th edition of Take Five, the professional development scheme run by Serious, have been announced and the group features four musicians with links to the North.

Saxophonist Phil Meadows (Chethams & LCoM Alumnus), violinist Alice Zawadzki (Royal Northern College of Music alumnus), saxophonist Sam Andreae (Manchester based) and vocalist Lauren Kinsella (LCoM Voice Tutor) will take part in a residency and receive specialist support in progressing their musical careers from industry experts.

The full list of participants includes Emilia Martensson (voice), Percy Pursglove (trumpet/bass), Heidi Heidelberg (voice/guitar) and Hyelim Kim (taegum).

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

MJF Originals 2015 - Apply Now






Applications are now open for the 2015 Irwin Mitchell MJF Originals scheme, the flagship commissioning project run by Manchester Jazz Festival.

Aimed at developing the work and careers of musicians working primarily in Manchester and the North West, the scheme has produced 16 unique works in recent years. 2015 marks the 20th year of MJF and proposals which reflect this are particularly welcome.

Applicants are invited to submit a 100-word synopsis of their idea and, if it fits the criteria of the scheme, will be asked to submit a full application. The deadline for this 100-word synopsis is Monday 8th December at 10am.

This year, guitarist Anton Hunter (pictured above) was awarded the commission and premiered his new work, Article XI at the festival in July. Previous composers have included The Felonious Monks (Mike Hall & Debbie Rogers), George King and Pete Moser.

For more information, visit the MJF website.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

B-Jazz International Jazz Contest 2015


B-Jazz International Jazz Contest is open for submissions to take part in their 2015 competition, with a deadline of November 30th 2014.

The competition is open to musicians aged 30 or under (band members must not exceed 40 years of old, band leader must be 30 or under). Bands submit an online application (HERE) and upload three recordings, one of which must be an interpretation of a standard and one must be an original composition. A panel selects 4 finalists from these submissions to take part in the finals to be held in Belgium in March 2015. B-Jazz provides contributions to travel for these finalists (1000euro per band) and all backline equipment is provided.

There are cash prizes attached to 1st to 6th place, plus extra awards given to best bassist, soloist etc. Winners are also invited to perform at part of the festival the following year.

Visit B-Jazz for more information.

Evan Parker at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival



The annual Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival takes place between 21st and 30th November at various venues throughout the city. Each year, the programme is diverse and adventurous, featuring the best in contemporary classical, improvised and experimental music. This year, saxophone giant Evan Parker will perform in two different settings during the festival.

Evan Parker's Twelve for Twelve Musicians (November 23rd, Hepworth Gallery Wakefield) is a new work commissioned by Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival to mark Evan's 70th birthday. Playing this new work alongside Evan will be

Neil Metcalfe flute
John Rangecroft clarinet
Percy Pursglove trumpet
Matt Wright computer/turntables
Sten Sandell piano
Toma Gouband percussion
Paul Lytton percussion
Mark Nauseef percussion
Damien Harron percussion
Richard Barrett live electronics
Paul Obermayer live electronics

Evan Parker & Sten Sandell (November 24th, St Thomas' Church Huddersfield) is a saxophone/church organ duo which Evan recorded with in 2010. Keen to work with this soundscape again, this gig will make use of the acoustics within the church to allow the two musicians to explore sounds and compositions.

These two highlights represent a small portion of the programme during the festival, so visit Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival to see the full line up.

Bennie Maupin at Capstone Theatre, Liverpool (Sunday 16th)






American bass clarinettist Bennie Maupin will appear at Liverpool's Capstone Theatre on Sunday November 16th with his quartet featuring Carl Orr, Larry Bartley and Rod Youngs.

Maupin is perhaps best known for his work on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, On The Corner and Jack Johnson as well as being a founding member of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters. He maintains a busy schedule of performing and teaching in Europe and in the US.

Tickets can be booked on the Capstone Theatre website which also provides full information on this and all of their upcoming concerts.

Bennie Maupin website.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

New Jazz Workshops start in York


Trumpeter and educator Ian Chalk is starting a new series of workshops in York commencing November 20th.

The workshops are aimed at adults (16+) with little or no previous knowledge of jazz and play melody instruments (not drummers or percussionists). Over the 10 week course, the workshops will cover areas including jazz harmony, history and solo construction amongst other things.

Alongside the course, Ian has prepared materials and recordings to allow students to practice and work on exercises at home.

Each session cost £10 and are payable in blocks of 6. Only 10 spaces are available so people may be swapped to a different class if necessary.

For more information, visit the York Music Service website.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Gig Preview: LOCUS at HEART, November 15th


LOCUS, the collaborative project led by trumpeter Kim Macari and saxophonist Leah Gough-Cooper was launched by in 2012 and the group have since toured the UK, recorded in the US and are now back to perform 5 UK dates including two Northern dates, one at JATP Bradford (7th November) and one at HEART in Leeds (15th November.)

Kim Macari writes...

Leah and I started talking about putting something together about 18 months before we actually did the first gig (being 3,000 miles apart meant a lot of skype and email exchanges). It was always a risk to put a new group together that we thought would work theoretically but not having a chance for some of the band members to play all together until the first gig! That risk paid off and we had a great time on that tour last year.

Since then, Riley and I have been to NYC twice for extended visits, giving us and Leah the chance to record and play through material with some fantastic American musicians and plan our next project.

I'm really looking forward to these upcoming November dates. We've learned a lot about how we all play together and so this time, we are armed with a lot of new material which I think will really play to the bands' strengths. For me, there are certain things about each player that I really love - the way Riley plays over static harmony and build solos, Leah's playing over grooves and hits, the way Sam, Jay and Tom can play over free passages...So I've tried to make sure the material allows each of them to do what they do best.

LOCUS perform at JATP Bradford on the 7th, The Jazz Bar in Edinburgh on the 12th, Glasgow Art Club on the 13th, HEART in Leeds on the 15th and London Jazz Festival on the 16th. 


Youth Jazz in Grimsby...


Following the success of the first Grimsby Jazz Prom, organiser Gill Wilde is to host another event featuring another youth jazz outfit, Phase 2 Orchestra.

On 19th November, saxophonist Stuart MacDonald will lead some workshops with the young musicians, culminating in a performance with the 30 musicians at 7.00pm. Afterwards, Stuart will take to the stage with his own band from 8.30pm featuring Thom Whitworth, Warren Jolly, John Perry and Pat McCarthy.

For more information, visit Grimsby Jazz website.

Jazz in North goes to London Jazz Festival...


The annual EFG London Jazz Festival kicks off officially next Friday (14th November) and runs until Sunday 23rd November. As ever, the programme is varied and expansive, featuring music from across the world, a balance of nationally and internationally renowned musicians, youth music initiatives and talks.

This year, the rich jazz scene in the North is well represented by a variety of performances throughout the festival. Dave Kane and Chris Sharkey both appear during the festival leading workshops and sessions designed to make improvised music accessible and appealing to young people, numerous LCoM alumni bring their groups to perform and Phil Meadows' Engines Orchestra debuts.

Below is a full list of events (full information can be found on the EFG London Jazz Festival website)

Thursday, 30 October 2014

North Represented in Eddie Harvey shortlist


Leeds-based composer James Hamilton has been announced as one of the three finalists for the Eddie Harvey Award for Jazz Arrangement.

James, whose composition and arranging has garnered numerous awards and critical acclaim, will attend a special awards concert at the Polish Jazz Cafe in London on November 6th, during which the winner will be announced and NYJO will perform it and other Eddie Harvey arrangements.

Eddie Harvey Award
Polish Jazz Cafe
James Hamilton website 

News: Jazz TV series announced


Metropolis Studios in London is to become the home of a new Jazz TV series with pianist Neil Cowley in the works to present it.

The project will be similar in content to the popular Abbey Road series which aired on Channel 4. Each episode will feature live performances as well as discussion of jazz past and present and a look back to the vaults of jazz history.

Already scheduled to perform live on the show are Kurt Elling, Cyrille Aimee, Kris Bowers and Arun Ghosh, amongst others.

Members of the public can apply to be in the studio audiences of the shows by visiting the Jazz at Metropolis website, where a trailer for the show can also be found.