Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Gig Preview: Nigel Price Organ Trio feat. Alex Garnett at Seven Jazz and Wakefield

 Thursday October 2nd - Seven Jazz, Leeds

Seven Jazz in Leeds celebrates their 7th birthday this year and to mark the occasion have invited guitarist Nigel Price's trio featuring saxophonist Alex Garnett to perform.

Starting up in 2007, Seven Jazz have since put on more than 500 gigs. They've recently expanded to include the Inkwell in addition to their regular venue at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton and as well as a full concert programme, they also run a series of jazz workshops and a jazz choir.

Nigel Price will play alongside London-based saxophonist Alex Garnett and his regular trio of Jim Watson (hammond organ) and Matt Home (drums).

Friday October 3rd - Wakefield Jazz

Following on from the birthday celebrations, the band will appear at Wakefield Jazz on Friday. As well as their gig, Nigel will also give a guitar masterclass at Wakefield Jazz Club at 6.00pm. (participants are asked to bring their guitars and a small amp)

For more information on the musicians, visit Nigel Price's website.

Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition, 3-5th October

The semi-finals and grand final of the Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition take place this weekend featuring pianists from across Europe and the USA.

Semi-finals will take place on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th at the Arkwright Building (Nottingham Trent University) and the Grand Final will be held at the Nottingham Albert Hall on Sunday 5th October.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Jesse Bannister's 'Play Out' To Tour This Autumn

UK’s leading classical Indian/Indo jazz Saxophonist Jesse Bannister will be touring his new quartet a
cross the UK this autumn. Featuring MOBO award winning pianist Zoe Rahman, highly acclaimed drummer Eddie Hick (Gilad Atzmon), groove infused lines of highly original and talented  bassist Kenny Higgins (Corrinne Bailey Rae), this powerful line up promises to deliver a challenging and uplifting performance and features tracks from Jesse’s long awaited new album “Play Out”. The record is a fantastic testament to Jesse's strength both as a performer and composer, as well as a stunning realization of his vision of tastefully fusing contemporary jazz with Indian classical.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

MOBO Awards 2014 Jazz nominees announced

The nominees for Best Jazz Act at this year's MOBO awards have been announced and include Phronesis (pictured), Peter Edwards, Zara MacFarlane and 17 year-old guitarist Andreas Varady.

Last year, the award was given to Sons of Kemet (also nominated were Soweto Kinch, Courtney Pine, Lineage and Jazz Jamaica) with Birmingham-born singer Laura Mvula picking up two other awards.

Members of the public can vote for their choice on the MOBO website and the winners will be announced at the ceremony in London on 22nd October.

Gig Preview: Dylan Howe's Subterraneans, October 1st at Dean Clough

Dylan Howe's Subterraneans with Andy Sheppard
Dean Clough, Halifax
Wednesday October 1st at 8.00pm
 £15 (£12)

Drummer Dylan Howe has received widespread critical acclaim for his latest album, Subterranean, which explores the music of David Bowie from two 1977 albums, 'Low' and 'Heroes'.

Howe brings his group to Halifax on October 1st and will feature special guest Andy Sheppard alongside Dave Whitford on bass, Ross Stanley on piano, Steve Lodder (+screened effects) plus Howe himself on drums.

The album has been described as an audacious and astounding piece of work and received a 4-star review from the Guardian's John Fordham.

More details can be found on the Dean Clough website and on Dylan Howe's website.

Metamorphic & Royst Kickstarter Campaign

Following on from a successful collaborative tour in 2013, Laura Cole's Metamorphic and Royst Trio led by Kari Bleivik have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce an album together.

The 2013 tour coincided with the release of Metamorphic's second album, Coalescence (which received a 4-star review from John Fordham) and was supported by the PRS foundation. The two groups performed together to critical acclaim and now wish to bring the musicians back together to made a studio album of original music.

With Metamorphic bandleader Laura Cole knowing the members of Norwegian vocal trio Royst (www.roystrio.com) from her time in Leeds, they decided to create a tour where both groups would come together, writing new material and rearranging previous work. The lineup was made complete with very special guests Seth Bennett (www.sethbennett.com) on double bass and Ollie Dover (www.shatnersbassoonband.com) on bass clarinet. The result of this collaboration was a special musical chemistry, leaving a profound mark on all involved (as you can see from the photo). Here's a great review of the Royst/Metamorphic gig at the Vortex on 25/06/13, which was the official album launch gig for Coalescence (http://blueflamingo.eu/music/reviewmetamorphicroysttriovortex/).

The Kickstarter fund would allow the musicians to pay for studio and rehearsal time, sound engineer and mixing/mastering amongst other things. Their target is £2,000 and the campaign ends on 24th October.

More information can be found on the Metamorphic & Royst trio Kickstarter page.

Album Review: Pete Lyons LX:V

Pete Lyons – LX suite – LX:V – the quintet

Pete Lyons (tenor sax)
John Hulme (trumpet/flugelhorn)
Dan Whieldon (piano)
Gavin Barras (double bass)
Johnny Hunter (drums)

Saxophonist Pete Lyons has been an integral part of the Sheffield jazz scene for many years, both as a player performing regularly and as a part of the long-established Sheffield Jazz Workshop. To mark his 60th birthday, Lyons composed the LX suite; 19 compositions to be played by a quintet of Manchester-based musicians plus a Sheffield duo and septet. The three strands of this ambitious project were called LX:V, LX:II and LX:VII and were premiered at Sheffield Millennium Hall in April of last year. LX:V for quintet was the first of the groups to be recorded and released as an album.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

New Leeds Night 'The Blackout' Begins This Week

A new Leeds jazz night begins this Thursday 25th September at Santiago's bar. 'The Blackout' aims to present new, cutting-edge improvised music from Leeds and the North of England that both draws from and separates itself from the jazz cannon.
This first event will feature three exciting Leeds College of Music alumni groups performing originals spanning the genres of jazz, punk, latin, metal, free improvisation, electonica, Indian classical, afrobeat and more. Cameron Vale, Zeitgeist and Shark Squad each have their own individual sound but share the same goal of creating new, passionate music that pushes the sound of British jazz onwards.

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