Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Glasgow Jazz Fest Line-Up Announced

Glasgow Jazz Festival has announced the full programme for the 27th annual festival. International artists include Burt Bacharach, pianist Leo Blanco and Snarky Puppy. The festival also showcases the best of homegrown talent including Konrad Wiszniewski and Euan Stevenson's New Focus and Scottish Young Jazz Musician of the Year Pete Johnstone.

Full Glasgow Jazz Festival Programme

The J-Word

On Sunday evening, the J-Word kicked off their second tour at The Sage, Gateshead featuring Omar Sosa, Paolo Fresu and Trilok Gurtu with support from Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen. Although the attendance was fairly low (which Trilok Gurtu noticed, asking the audience where everyone else was but remarking in his upbeat manner "It's ok - we're used to it! We're having a great time anyway."), those in attendance were treated to an evening of beautiful music and many smiles.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Jazz Round-Up

                               Sonny Rollins sits next to a dog.

We're nearing the end of Jazz Appreciation Month and heading toward International Jazz Day (April 30th), so now seems like as good a time as any to look at what's happening in jazz...

Jazz Appreciation Month and International Jazz Day concert

A Global Concert is taking place on April 30th in Istanbul, Turkey. It is being broadcast live online at 9pm (Istanbul) / 7pm (London) / 2pm (New York) / 4am (Sydney - next day). You can watch it HERE.

The concert features Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Robert Glasper, John McLaughlin, Terence Blanchard, Ruben Blades, Ramsey Lewis, Hugh Masekela, Eddie Palmieri, Al Jarreau, Dianne Reeves, George Duke, Lee Ritenour, Marcus Miller, Jean-Luc Ponty, Milton Nascimento, John Beasley, Igor Butman, Anat Cohen, Vinnie Coliauta, Imer Demirer, James Genus, Bilal Karaman, Pedrito Martinez, Keiko Matsui, Terri Lyne Carrington, Hüsnü Şenlendirici, Joe Louis Walker, Ben Williams, and Liu Yuan.

(concert presented by UNESCO, Republic of Turkey and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.)

The Friday Interview: Nikki Iles

Pianist Nikki Iles is celebrating her 50th birthday with a UK tour featuring her group, The Printmakers. The group, which was nominated for a Parliamentary Jazz Award for Best Band last year, will perform across the country between May 2nd and June 5th. As well as doing that, what else does one of the UK's most sought after jazz musicians fill her time with? Well, she is writing a series of books for Oxford University Press, gigging with a number of different groups and maintaining a busy schedule of educational engagements in the UK and Europe.

Friday, 19 April 2013

The Friday Interview: Stuart McCallum

“Guitarist Stuart McCallum’s compositions are exemplary of everything that is exciting about new British jazz.” (Jazzwise). What is the best way to describe Stuart's career in music so far? Diverse, certainly. Ambitious. Impressive. There are few corners of the music world that he hasn't found himself in - he has worked with jazz musicians like Kenny Wheeler, John Surman and Mike Walker. His work with the Cinematic Orchestra has taken him all over the world from The Royal Albert Hall, to Montreal Jazz Festival, to Coachella. He has collaborated with artist Linder Sterling on large-scale improvised works and recently composed a score for a Ballet in collaboration with the Northern Ballet Company. (He has even written music for Disney...) On Saturday, he brings his trio with Dave Walsh and Les Chisnall to HEART in Leeds.

Seven Deadly Sings...

As her website says, you may have noticed that vocalist Louise Gibbs has been keeping a low profile for a few months. Well, that's because she has been working on an ambitious new project - a 50 minute song cycle for voice and septet based on the seven deadly sins.

Gibbs has brought together a group of accomplished musicians to perform this new work including Quentin Collins, Tim Whitehead, Tony Kofi, Tom White, Sam Leak, Oli Hayhurst and Sam Gardner.

As well as performances, the group are planning a number of outreach and educational activities connected to the project:

1. A lyric and song writing and improvisation project for schools/school age children (11-18yrs) (theme: employing improvisation to spur composing and song writing - and vice versa - using composing to create frameworks for improvisation); and/or
2. A open jazz and improvisation workshop for singers and instrumentalists and/or
3. A pre-concert discussion of psychological, philosophical and ethical issues behind the theme of Seven Deadly Sins. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Album Review: 'Places' - Aquarium

'Places' - Aquarium (Jellymould Jazz)

Review by Benji Powling

‘Places’ is the second album by Sam Leak’s all-star London-based group, ‘The Aquarium’. Featuring the precociously talented young line-up of James Allsopp (tenor saxophone/bass clarinet), Calum Gourlay (double bass) and Joshua Blackmore (drums) as well as Leak (piano/composition), ‘Places’ is a strong follow up to their eponymous album released in 2009.
The mood of the album is for the most part reflective. Leak’s elegant, concise compositions are engaging and manage to be melancholic without becoming overly sentimental. The music avoids any jazz clichés and feels distinctively British, but in no way alienates itself from the jazz tradition.

Jazz North - Get More Gigs

Jazz North hosted their first round of Get More Gig seminars, aimed at providing professional development through expert speakers on topics including media, marketing, promoter relationships and funding applications.

London Jazz Editor Sebastian Scotney spoke at the Leeds event on 15th April and talked about it HERE. Other speakers included marketing guru Sandra Marcy, Matt & Phreds' owner Claire Turner, F-IRE collective founder Barak Schmool and Jazz North's Steve Mead and Nigel Slee.

Jazz North would like to thank all the speakers who contributed to the event, the two venues who hosted the events - Sela Bar in Leeds and The Bridge Hotel in Newcastle and the promoters who helped to organise the event, Matt Anderson and Zoe Gilby & Andrew Champion.

Photographer Porl Medlock was present at the event and Jazz North will add photographs of the seminars soon.

London Jazz Festival 2013 News

                                Sonny Rollins

Yesterday, London Jazz Festival announced the first round of acts in their line-up for this year. Saxophone giants Sonny Rollins and Wayne Shorter are to perform, Mehliana are back in London after their appearance earlier this year, Madeleine Peyroux, award winning pianist Tigran Hamasyan and UK's own Stan Sulzmann Big Band.

The festival also announced their new sponsor, EFG (a banking group) after the departure of BBC Radio 3.

Tickets for the acts announced so far go on sale from 10am on Friday.

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Friday Interview: Takuya Kuroda

Takuya Kuroda is a Japanese trumpet playing living in NYC. Originally from Kobe, he moved to the States in 2003 to study at the New School and has stayed ever since, becoming a fixture on the New York jazz scene. He has released two albums as a leader "Bitter and High" (2010) and "Edge" (2011). He is currently touring with singer Jose James.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Cheltenham Jazz Festival looks for new Jazz Star

Cheltenham Jazz Festival (1-6 May) are teaming up with Decca Records' Verve label to search for a new jazz star. They will search for the best up-and-coming jazz talent from across the UK, offering a chance to perform at the festival on May 4th.

Their website says...

This competition is open to unsigned singers, instrumentalists and bands from across the UK. To enter, artists just need to submit a video or audio track showcasing their musical talent. Links to a one track youtube video or Soundcloud audio recording should be e-mailed to vervesubmissions@cheltenhamfestivals.com by 15th April.
A panel of leading industry experts will then choose a favourite from all videos submitted before inviting the winner to perform at the Jazz Festival on 4th May. They will also have the chance to meet with Verve’s A&R team at Cheltenham. 

This year's festival line-up includes Ravi Coltrane, Mike Stern, Dionne Warwick, Madeleine Peyroux and Mike Gibbs.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Happy Birthday, Tony Dudley-Evans

A surprise 70th birthday celebration was held for Birmingham jazz promoter Tony Dudley-Evans last night at Symphony Hall. London Jazz covered the event and collected the birthday messages read out at the event.

Happy Birthday, Tony!

London Jazz - Tony Dudley-Evans 70th Birthday

Venue Profile: Jazz At The Field, Haslingden

Where? Haslingden Cricket Club, 1 Bentgate Close  Rossendale, Haslingden, Rossendale BB4 6LT
When? 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. 8.30pm - 11pm

How much? £8 for members, £10 on the door 

What kind of jazz? Open to all jazz, but mainly modern jazz

Who runs the night? Denis Dundon

Jazz At The Field is run by Denis Dundon, a long-time supporter of Jazz in the North, who has been running jazz in the area for over 15 years. He started out at The Rhythm Station alongside Tommy Melville before moving to the Chambers Rawtenstall. He has been running Jazz at the Field for the past 2 years.

Upcoming gigs include Richard Wetherall trio (April 10th), Dean Masser (24th April), Roger Beaujolias (May 8th) and Steve Parry (May 22nd).

Friday, 5 April 2013

The Friday Interview: Sam Leak

"Sam Leak is one of the brightest young stars in the jazz piano galaxy, a heavenly improviser and a brilliant prospect for the future." - Helen Mayhew, JazzFM

Pianist and composer Sam Leak is in Leeds this weekend. On Saturday, he will lead a workshop at HEART and on Sunday, he brings his group Aquarium to Seven Jazz. Aquarium's debut album was listed as one of the Top Ten International Jazz Releases of the year by MOJO magazine and their newly released second album, Places, is shaping up to continue this successful trend.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Jose James Competition Winner

Congratulations to Chris Hiley, winner of our Jose James ticket and CD giveaway! Jose will be performing at the Wardrobe in Leeds on Wednesday April 10th.