Thursday, 2 July 2015

New Funding Platform for Emerging Musicians

Help Musicians UK have announced their latest funding source for emerging professional musicians - Career Development Bursaries. This fund offers bursaries between £500-£2000 to musicians between 21 - 30 or to those who have completed their full time music studies within the last 5 years.

Applicants can apply for funds to assist them with activities which would have a significant impact on their career. These include -

Masterclasses and short courses
Time-limited period of study with an expert in your field
Short period of intensive coaching ahead of a major performance or project

This kind of activity was previously funded through their Emerging Excellence Awards; recently Help Musicians UK split the fund into two parts - this one focused on career development and mentoring and the Emerging Artist Fund focused on working with crowdfunding to support album releases etc.

The deadline for applications for the first round of the career development bursaries is 18th September 2015, with another later in the year (20th November 2015).

Details on how to apply and full guidelines on the scheme can be found on their website.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

New Youth Jazz Orchestra in York seeks players

Jazz educator Ian Chalk has announced that a new Youth Jazz Orchestra will be starting in York in September.

The ensemble will be run as part of the York Jazz Initiative and their aim is that 'this youth ensemble will be one of the finest in the UK and something that York can be really proud of.'

Rehearsals will run on Saturday afternoons during term time and the ensemble is open to anyone under 21 (through audition or invitation). Some of the chairs have already been filled, but Ian is on the look-out for the following -

2 trombones
1 tenor sax
1 (possibly 2) trumpets

Anyone interested in taking part should get in touch via the email address listed on the flyer above.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Vote Jazz in the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grassroots Awards

The Yorkshire Gig Guide is running a Grassroots Awards ceremony honouring the venues, promoters and festivals for live music across Yorkshire. Members of public are invited to vote on categories including promoter of the year, established and new festivals of the year and outstanding contribution amongst others. Public voting closes on Sunday August 16th and a Top Five in each category will be announced. Winners will be revealed at a ceremony at Musicport Festival in Whitby on Friday October 16th.

Scattered amongst the many nominees are some jazz promoters, venues and festivals. We've listed them below and if you'd like to cast your votes, visit the Grassroots Awards online voting form.

Outstanding Established Festival of 2015 - Marsden Jazz Festival

Outstanding Contribution - Barney Stevenson (director of Marsden Jazz Festival)

Outstanding Small Live Venue (nb - these venues don't exclusively host jazz but it's a part of their regular programming so we've included them)

Glyde House, Bradford (home of JATP), Fox and Newt (home of Fusebox), Seven Arts (home of Seven Jazz)

Outstanding Songwriting - Jasmine Kennedy (who recently appeared with James Hamilton's Jazz Orchestra)

Beats & Pieces All In album launch dates

Since it's release on June 8th, Beats & Pieces' new album All In has received four star reviews from the Guardian, The Times, Jazzwise and The Evening Standard.

The band have two album launch dates coming up; one at the Soup Kitchen in Manchester on July 7th and another at Ronnie Scott's in London on July 8th. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you are in the band!) the Ronnie Scott's date has already sold out so you're advised to get in quick to ensure you get into their Manchester gig.

There are also a couple of Northern dates for the band coming up later in the year -

September 27th - Scarborough Jazz Festival
November 18th - The Wardrobe, Leeds
November 19th - Sheffield Uni Student Union

More information on those dates, getting tickets and where to buy the album can be found on the Beats & Pieces website.

They embrace old-school big-band bravura; backbeat-driven soul-jazz swelling to massive horn harmonies; Steve Reichian keyboard minimalism… The pumping, R&B guitar-powered Hendo also drops an exuberant hint as to how hard they rock on a live show… The young band’s collectively grooving energy – and the gifted Cottrell’s composing – have moved up a few notches further - John Fordham, The Guardian ****


Weekend Workshop at The Globe - Sign-up open now

The Globe in Newcastle, run by the Jazz Coop, is hosting their first weekend-long jazz workshop in August (1st and 2nd) and sign-up is open now.

The course will be led by James Birkett and Judith Thompson, two of the jazz tutors at the Globe's regular series of jazz workshops. The weekend has have sessions split into two abilities and will cover areas like learning tunes, arrangements, leading bands and an improvisation skills/jazz theory class. Saturday 1st's session will run from 9.30pm until 5pm and will also feature an evening performance by the Williams-Tanton quartet and jam session. Sunday 2nd will run from 9.30am until 5pm and will culminate in a performance by all participants.

The cost of the weekend is a very reasonable £82 and participants can opt to pay an extra £16 for the provision of food and refreshments. Accommodation is not included.

Full details of the course structure can be found on the Jazz Coop website.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Mike Walker's Rope Project Fundraiser

A couple of months ago, we reported on guitarist Mike Walker's new project-in-the-making, Ropes. It's an ambitious project featuring a 22-piece string orchestra and Mike is currently working to raise the funds necessary to record a band of that size!

On July 10th, there will be a special fundraiser gig at Zeffirellis in Ambleside. The gig will feature Mike alongside pianist Les Chisnall and saxophonist Iain Dixon, both of whom feature on Mike's new project.

At the gig, audience members will be able to preorder the new album for £10. We've heard that there are only 80 places available for the audience so we suggest getting in there quickly as we suspect it will be a sell-out!

Gig Preview: Tom Maddison Nonet

Tom Maddison Nonet
Sunday June 28th, 1.30pm
Seven Arts, Leeds (Harrogate Road)

Here's a gig for those of you who enjoy large ensembles! Tom Maddison is a recent graduate of LCoM and since leaving, he's been busy gigging as a double bass player in a number of groups including the Big Easy and Portmanteau. For this group he's not only the bassist and band leader but the composer, too. His writing has been described as being akin to Brian Blade's Fellowship and the band have been working hard toward this gig so it's sure to be a good one. This ensemble is another prime example of the talent being produced by LCoM each year (incidentally, LCoM is 50 this year so we should perhaps expect some celebrations later in the year...)

The band features -

Thomas Maddison - double bass/composer
Simon Dennis - trumpet/flugel
Will Howard - tenor/flute
Jonny Faull - clarinet/alto
James Boyes - alto/tenor
Tom I'Anson - trombone
Jonny Tunnard - piano
Craig Scott - guitar
John Arnesen - drums

Thursday, 25 June 2015

News: Royst Trio announces Canada/USA Tour

Leeds-based vocal trio Royst have announced their complete touring schedule for their Canada/USA Tour in July 2015.

The group will tour from 6th-22nd July, performing 8 dates across Canada and New York The tour is supported by The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Canada, Norsk Jazzforum and Stikk/Music Norway.

For more information on the band, visit their website.

Tour Schedule -

9th July - Scandanavia House, New York
10th July - Bar Thalia, New York (collaboration with Mimi Jones)
11th July - The Rainbow Bistro, Ottawa
12th July - BBAM! Gallery, Montreal (double bill with Fruiting Bodies)
13th July - Workshop with Fruiting Bodies, Montreal
15th July - Workshop and Performance at Lula Lounge, Toronto (supporting Paulo Flores)
18th July - Hamilton World Music Festival
19th July - Hamilton World Music Festival

Ribble Valley International Piano Week

The world of jazz piano is well represented at Ribble Valley International Piano Week in July with a rare solo appearance by Gwilym Simcock.

The festival runs from 15th until the 18th July and takes place at The Croston Theatre in Westholme School, Blackburn. Gwilym Simcock will perform on July 16th at 7.45pm, with a pre-concert talk with Gwilym and Steve Berry at 6.30pm.

Gwilym Simcock is one of the UK’s most gifted pianists and composers, able to move effortlessly between jazz and classical styles and also to inhabit both at once. His skill in dovetailing different musical traditions, and his dazzling keyboard skills will, we’re sure, result in one of the most exciting performances we’ve ever heard at the Piano Week. It is a little different for us, undoubtedly – but we think you’ll be enthralled by his astonishing talent. You may hear glimpses of Ravel or of Stravinsky as he takes us on an original journey through jazz standards and his own compositions.

Visit the Ribble Valley Piano Week website for more details.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Burton Agnes Jazz Festival, 3rd-5th July

The annual Burton Agnes Jazz Festival takes place this year from 3rd until the 5th July. Set in the beautiful surroundings of Burton Agnes Hall, this indoor and outdoor festival features a wide range of jazz from the UK. You can check out their full programme on the website, but we've selected a few highlights across the weekend.

Friday 3rd July

A Dread Supreme - This 10 piece group have built up a strong following with their unique Roots take on jazz from the 60s and protest folk. One for those with their dancing shoes.

Saturday 4th July

The Mahakasyapa Ensemble - Led by bassist Paul Baxter, this ensemble will premiere a new suite commissioned by the festival. Featuring Neil Yates, Stuart McDonald and Olivia Moore.

Sunday 5th July

Nicola Farnon - Sheffield-based Nicola Farnon was selected to take part in the Jazz North Northern Line scheme and for good reason; arranged standards mixed with original works.

Instrument Amnesty at Ronnie Scott's

In partnership with Sistema England and Music Fund EU, Ronnie Scott's will hold a musical instrument amnesty on July 11th to provide instruments for young musicians in the UK and abroad.

People with old instruments stashed away and never used are invited to make an appointment on July 11th to have their instrument looked at. Instruments will have tracking numbers fitted so that donors can be informed of their final destination.

Sistema was set up by Julian Lloyd Webber, inspired by El Sistema in Venezuela. Their aim is to transform the lives of children, young people and their communities through music making. Sistema will distribute the donated instruments in the UK.

Music Fund EU provides instruments to international conflict zones from their base in Brussels. They support musicians and music schools in areas like Africa, The Middle East and Central America. Music Fund EU will distribute donated instruments internationally.

For full information, see the Ronnie Scott's website.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Gig Preview: Nadim Teimoori at The White Rabbit, Leeds

Nadim Teimoori Quintet
The White Rabbit, Leeds (York Place)
23rd June, 8pm
Free Entry

Saxophonist Nadim Teimoori is widely regarded by the musicians community as one of the UK's finest and most exciting improvisers. Mention his name and you'll be guaranteed to hear high praise and excitement. Originally from Doncaster, Nadim first studied at Leeds College of Music on their Btec course before moving to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. For many years he was first tenor in NYJO and he caught the attention of Stan and Clark Tracey with whom he regularly played with (see this clip of the Stan Tracey Quintet). In 2014, he was a finalist at the Riga International Jazz Competition.

On 23rd June, he makes a rare appearance in the North as a band-leader at the popular White Rabbit in Leeds. Playing with him will be Riley Stone-Lonergan, Martin Longhawn, Steve Hanley and Simon Read. The band will be play a set before opening up to a jam.

Free entry - don't miss it!

NEWS: Aaron Parks Trio in Leeds

October might seem like a long way off but audiences are advised to get in early and book tickets for what is sure to be a sell-out performance by NYC pianist Aaron Parks in trio with Ben Street and Billy Hart.

Appearing at the Howard Assembly Room on October 2nd, this date is part of Parks' first UK tour. Lauded as a musician at the forefront of the improvising scene in NYC, he has already built up an impressive discography including four albums for Terence Blanchard and his own records Invisible Cinema and his ECM solo release Arborescence.

Drummer Billy Hart has a career that spans decades and includes time with musicians like Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery. Continually looking forward, Hart has produced a number of acclaimed albums in recent years including All Our Reasons and One Is The Other, both on ECM.

Finishing off the line-up, Ben Street appears on Billy's two ECM releases and has also recorded with people like Kurt Rosenwinkel and Mark Turner. A student of Buster Williams and Miroslav Vitous, he is a sought after musical collaborator for many.

Tickets cost £12.50 and can be ordered from the Howard Assembly Room website.

Tutors All-Stars group Perform at LCoM

Five of the LCoM jazz faculty are hosting an evening of original material at the college on Tuesday 23rd June, 7.30pm. The band will feature Joel Purnell (sax), Steve Fishwick (trumpet), Jamil Sheriff (piano), Zoltan Dekany (bass) and Sebastiaan De Krom (drums).

The college has welcomed a number of new teaching staff in recent years and seems to be focusing on performance opportunities and raising the profile of the college. In addition to this event, LCoM also hosts B-Side, a monthly night featuring live jazz and vinyl.

Tickets are free and can be obtained at the LCoM desk.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

LCoM Alumni nominated for LMA Rising Star Awards

Three graduates from the LCoM jazz course have been nominated for Rising Star Awards in the London Music Awards. The winners will be announced tonight at a ceremony at the Roundhouse in London.

Pianist Sam Watts graduated from the jazz course in 2010 and has since moved to London to study a Masters degree. Saxophonists Riley Stone-Lonergan and Phil Meadows graduated in 2011 and were both featured heavily in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra for a number of years. Phil Meadows currently directs the Engines Orchestra in London who recently picked up  Parliamentary Jazz Award and Riley, a winner of the Yamaha Jazz Scholar Award, has gone on to study with Seamus Blake, Chris Cheek and Joel Frahm in New York.

Congratulations to all three nominees and we wish them luck!