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.

Monday, 27 October 2014

James Hamilton launches New Jazz Records

Trumpeter and composer James Hamilton has launched a record label, New Jazz Records, to showcase up and coming artists in the North.

James says...

Over the 11 years I’ve lived in Leeds I’ve seen some incredible live jazz music. The city's jazz scene is alive and vibrant with a consistent turn over of new projects and original music. New Jazz Records will document some of this amazing creative output from the Leeds jazz scene and beyond, giving up and coming artists the opportunity to record, release and help promote their music.

The Label's debut release will be Drawing Hands by bassist Sam Jackson. This is available in digital formats from the New Jazz Records website for pay-what-you-want. You can also sign up to the mailing list on the site to be kept abreast of the future releases and news from the label. 

Twitter - @newjazzrecords and @drawhandsmusic

Gig Preview: Clark Tracey at The Globe

Clark Tracey Quintet
November 1st (doors open 8pm)
The Globe, Newcastle

Clark Tracey is to be perform at the Globe in Newcastle with his quintet featuring some of the UK's up and coming young jazz artists.

Tracey, the son of the late Stan Tracey, has been a mainstay of the UK jazz scene for decades and has been leading his own groups since the 1980s. This performance will showcase the new quintet's latest release 'Meantime'. The quintet features -

Chris Maddock: alto and tenor sax
Henry Armburg-Jennings: trumpet and flugel horn
Harry Bolt: piano
Daniel Casimir: bass
Clark Tracey: drums

Prior to the gig, Clark will lead a masterclass (3.30pm) and participants can attend both the masterclass and the performance for £22.

Tickets can be purchased in advance through Skiddle (with a £1.75 booking fee).

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Trio Riot nominated in Danish Jazz Awards

Manchester saxophonist Sam Andreae's group Trio Riot have been nominated for two awards in the Danish Jazz Awards this year.

The group, who are on the roster of Efpi Records, are up for New Danish Jazz Act of the Year and Special Release of the Year. The winners will be announced at the ceremony in Denmark on 24th November.

Full information of the nominations can be found HERE (in Danish) and you can find out more about Trio Riot and Efpi Records on their websites.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Sam Healey wins International Jazz Competition

Beats & Pieces saxophonist Sam Healey has won first prize at the Johnny Raducanu International Jazz Competition in Romania.

Healey joined 13 other musicians to participate in the competition over two days and was selected by the panel of judges to receive the first prize of €5000.

From the Epfi press release...

“I'm feeling over the moon! It has been my first solo competition and so a real honour to not only win the grand prize but have the opportunity to meet like minded musicians  and  make connections all across is very apparent how important music and sustaining performance are to the Romanian public.”   

As well as his work with Beats & Pieces, Sam has recently debuted a new quartet featuring Stuart McCallum, Richard Hammond and Luke Flowers. He plans to use the prize money to record his debut album with this group, his first as leader.

For more information, visit and

Monday, 20 October 2014

Album Review: Jesse Bannister's 'Play Out'

Jesse Bannister: Alto Saxophone, Zoe Rahman: Piano, Kenny Higgins: Bass Guitar, Seb Rochford: Drums

The incorporation of Indian music into jazz is something I am often skeptical of. Although it is certainly not a new phenomenon on the British scene, dating back to the 1960s work of the British avant-garde such as Jamaican born saxophonist Joe Harriott, in recent years I feel it has sometimes been too easy to add some odd time signatures and a tabla player to a record and call the music 'indo-jazz'.

This is not the case with 'Play Out', the new album from alto saxophonist Jesse Bannister. Jesse's deep understanding of and respect for the traditions of Indian classical music run deep through the album, and the music is delivered with such skill and taste that there is not the slightest hint of gimmickry to the indo-jazz fusion presented here. 'Play Out' makes it clear why Jesse has earned the reputation of being the UK's leading Indian/Indo-Jazz saxophonist.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Become a Sponsor of Wakefield Jazz

Wakefield Jazz have launched a range of sponsorship options for businesses and individuals to support their work presenting high quality live jazz.

Businesses can opt to sponsor a full season or one-off gigs and be featured on all Wakefield Jazz promotion (printed, website, social media etc). Options are also available for annual sponsorship and multiple gig sponsorship as well as other ways to be involved including sponsorship of raffle prizes, provision of hotel rooms for musicians etc.

Full information on the sponsorship programme and details of how to get in touch can be found on the Wakefield Jazz website.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere releases new album

Sheffield-based improvising group Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere are set to release a new double CD through Martin Archer's Discus label.

The group's first album garnered many positive reviews not only from the UK but internationally and the new double album is sure to make an impact yet again.

A sample of the new material can be found on the Discus website, where the album can also be pre-ordered.

BBC Music Consultation

The BBC is inviting listeners to send in their views about their music radio provision until October 29th.

Participants will be able to share their views on the main radio stations that broadcast music (Radio1, Radio 2, Radio 3, 1 Xtra, 6 Music and Asian Network, identifying things which they like and dislike about the service and giving suggestions for ways to improve.

Their remit is to collect views from people of all social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and the consultation is a chance for the jazz community to have a voice and be part of the future programming of jazz on the BBC.

To be involved in the consultation, you can visit the BBC Music Consultation form on the website and there is also an option to download the forms and email them (address listed in above link.)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Enrico Pieranunzi comes to the North

Piano heavyweight Enrico Pieranunzi is to play in the North this week, with performances and workshops scheduled in Leeds and Sheffield.

Italian pianist Pieranunzi has an impressive CV including recordings and performances with Chris Potter, Joey Baron, Chet Baker and Lee Konitz amongst many others. His compositional talents have been showcased by the inclusion of his work in Real Books as part of the jazz canon and he remains one of the most highly regarded pianists in jazz today.

Leeds College of Music will host a masterclass led by Enrico (alongside a trio including drummer Steve Hanley and bassist Angus Milne) on Thursday 16th October between 2pm and 4pm. Later that evening, Enrico will perform at Seven Arts in Leeds with drummer Dave Walsh and bassist Pete Turner. On Friday October 17th, the trio will perform at The Crucible (Sheffield Jazz).

For more information, visit The Seven Jazz website, Sheffield Jazz website and Enrico Pieranunzi website.

28th British Jazz Awards - Voting Now Open

                                          Jamie Brownfield wins Rising Star in 2012 British Jazz Awards

Voting has now opened for the 28th British Jazz Awards run by Big Bear Music. The Birmingham-based awards are decided through public vote after a shortlist is chosen by a judging panel.

Voting closes on 31st October 2014 and voters are able to vote for other musicians not listed in the shortlist if they so choose.

Below is the shortlist and a link to the online voting form.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Roller Trio seek funding for second album, Fracture

Leeds-based group Roller Trio have launched an Indiegogo funding campaign to support their second album, Fracture.

Since forming two years ago, the group have received widespread acclaim including a Mercury Prize nomination, the prestigious Peter Whittingham Award and travelling across the UK and Europe to perform.

The group have decided to release their second album independently and are trying to raise a total of £5,747 to go toward mastering, artwork, manufacturing of CDs etc. To date, the campaign has raised £1,467 of their goal.

The campaign will run until November 16th and Roller Trio are offering a number of incentives to donors including signed vinyl, t-shirts, lessons and private gigs.

To find out more, see the Roller Trio Indiegogo page.

Gig Preview: Grimsby Jazz Prom, October 18th

Grimsby Jazz will host their first every Jazz Prom on October 18th at Grimsby Minster.

New York Brass Band will open the event in St James Square at 2.00pm, eventually leading the audience inside the Minster. From there, Steel the Rhythm, a steel pan drum group led by Lisa Oliver will perform until 3.00pm when afternoon tea is served. Grimsby favourites Ultraswing will close the gig later that afternoon.

Tickets are priced at £10/5 for adults (with/without afternoon tea) and £4/free (with/without afternoon tea) for children.

Tickets can be booked by contacting Grimsby Jazz on 01472 873730, Tourist Info Centre on 01472 323111 or Grimsby Minster Office on 01472 357610.

Album News: Mike Walker's Ropes

Guitarist Mike Walker will release a new album in 2015 as a follow up to his critically acclaimed debut, Madhouse and the Whole Thing There.

Ropes will feature music originally commissioned by Manchester Jazz Festival in 2008 and features a 22 piece string orchestra alongside a jazz quintet featuring Les Chisnall, Iain Dixon, Adam Nassbaum and Steve Rodby.

A fundraising gig will take place on November 8th at the Cinnamon Club in Manchester to raise funds for the creation of the album and a Kickstarter campaign will also be launched. This gig will feature Mike with Les Chisnall, Iain Dixon, Gary Culshaw and Tom Higham. Tickets cost £20 and all proceeds go to making the new album.

To keep up to date with news on this album and Mike's other projects, see his website.