Friday, 28 June 2013

Interview: Sarah Gillespie

                                                 Photo by Catherine Harbour

Sarah Gillespie is a singer-songwriter who has worked worldwide to critical acclaim. Perhaps best known to jazz listeners through her connection saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, Sarah is currently on the road promoting her new album Glory Days, which features pianist Kit Downes. As well as her work in music, Sarah also writes political papers and has an MA in Politics and Philosophy from Goldsmiths.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Jazz at The Field ends after 16 years

This evening marks the final gig at Jazz at the Field in Haslingden. Run by Denis Dundon for the last 16 years, the club has played host to numerous great musicians and touring groups. A number of factors including falling audience numbers and health issues has led to the decision to stop promoting jazz at the venue. We wish Denis all the best for the future and thank him for the significant contribution he has made to the jazz scene in the North.

Yamaha Jazz Scholars 2013

Congratulations to bassist Angus Milne, this year's LCoM recipient of the Yamaha Jazz Scholar award. He joins Elliot Galvin (Trinity), Dave Ingamells (Guildhall), Alex Woods (Birmingham), Lloyd Haines (Royal Welsh) Sam Miles (Royal Academy) and Pete Johnstone (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). Scholars receive £1000 prize, a slot to perform at the 606 in London, and are featured in a cd released through Jazzwise magazine later in the year.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Hull Jazz Festival 2013

Hull Jazz Festival is 21 this year and to celebrate they are bringing british and international jazz musicians to take part in the summer festival, which runs from 26th-28th July.

Mud Morganfield,  Fapy Lafertin and Courtney Pine headline the festival, and are joined by a host of other musicians including Snake Davis, Omar Puente and Stuart McCallum.

The Festival weekend centres on Hull Truck and full details are available  and tickets will be available from the Festival box office at Hull Truck Theatre (01482 323628)
As well as this summer festival, organisers J-Word are also hosting the Yellow Bus Jazz Stage at the Freedom Festival 6-9 September and the winter edition of the Hull Jazz Festival (22-24 November)

All Change at Seven Jazz

Seven Jazz organiser Steve Crocker has been in touch with news of the changes taking place at Seven Jazz and a glimpse at their upcoming programme...

Lots of change in Leeds this autumn as Seven Jazz spread their wings to include three new venues. The main gigs will continue to be Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, but the club has now agreed new partnerships with the University of Leeds for the Clothworkers Hall and with Leeds Mind for a series of “new shoots” young bands at Inkwell Arts in Potternewton Lane, Chapel Allerton. Their other new venue is the Leeds Irish Centre - the venue for the former “Leeds Jazz” organisation. 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Jazz at the Halifax Festival 2013

The 4th annual Halifax Festival takes place next month, between 5th and 14th of July. This year, the programme contains a number of jazz gigs from both northern musicians and international guests.

Thursday 4th July sees internationally renowned Venezuelan pianist Leo Blanco perform a solo piano concert at Dean Clough gallery.

Friday 5th July has an afternoon performance at Harveys restaurant from piano/vocals duo Francesca and Tom.

Monday 8th July back at Dean Clough has pianist Buster Birch performing to Buster Keaton's silent movie 'Sherlock Jr'.

Wednesday 10th July is a performance from Northern jazz duo Jamie Taylor and Russell Henderson playing the music of Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington.

For full details of the festival, see Halifax Festival website.

Jazz Services Touring Support Schemes

Jazz Services currently have two touring support schemes open for application.

Brass: Durham International Festival - Commission Opportunities

Brass: Durham International Festival is renowned for its diverse programme and a desire to have audiences and artists to explore its past, present and future with fresh eyes and ears.

Launched last year, Brass: Pitch has commissioned 9 new works, each with a remit to challenge audiences’ perceptions and understanding of brass music, either through exploring its historical and social contexts or expanding the boundaries of the genre by creating new forms of music production.

Brass: Pitch is now inviting new proposals for commission. £20,000 is available and though the number of commissions is not pitched, they look to support 4 new works. The deadline for submissions is Friday 30 August 2013 at 1pm.

BRASS Pitch 2014_Commissions Brief

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Sarah Gillespie Glory Days Tour

'Glory Days.. her best mix yet of hooky tunes and smart lyrics'MOJO ★★★★

Singer/songwriter Sarah Gillespie is set to visit Yorkshire twice during her current UK tour to promote new album, Glory Days.

Jazz listeners may be familiar with Gillespie through her work with saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, who was also the producer of Glory Days. During this tour, she is joined by a band featuring pianist Kit Downes.

From the Glory Days tour press release...

British singer-songwriter Sarah Gillespie’s first two albums won her critical acclaim for mixing folk, blues and jazz with vivid lyrical imagery. Her latest album Glory Days cements her reputation, not only as a starkly original songwriter, but also as a formidable musician.

Featuring eight original songs and one cover, the solo guitar tracks (Postcards to Outer Space, Oh Mary) mark her as a fiercely good guitarist and a Joni Mitchell for the new age. There is a sharp intelligence and wit at play, as she bestows her musical heritage (she is half American) of Delta blues, Cole Porter-esque wordplay and folk narrative onto visions of the modern world where church bells can be downloaded, wars watched on 24-hour news cycles and where relationships rely on the receptiveness of smart phones (Signal Failure).

Sarah will be performing at the Willowman Festival in North Yorkshire on June 23rd, and at the Junction in Goole on June 28th.

For full tour information, visit Sarah's website.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Phil Meadows 'Engines Of Creation' UK Tour

Chethams and LCoM graduate Phil Meadows is embarking on a UK tour to promote the release of his debut album, Engines of Creation.

Moving to London in 2011 to study a masters at at Trinity Laban, Phil enlisted the considerable talents of Laura Jurd, Eliot Galvin, Conor Chaplin and Simon Roth to perform his original compositions, gigging across the country. Earlier this year, they entered the studio to record Engines of Creation and will be at a venue near you soon.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Leeds musicians win Jazz Services Recording Support Scheme

Congratulations to Leeds-based musicians and LCoM graduates Sam Gardner and Matt Anderson who have won two of the the four places on the Jazz Services Recording Support Scheme (part one).

Each successful applicant will receive a grant of up to £1,500, plus a Touring Support grant of the same amount, if the band is able to put a tour together compliant with the requirements of the Touring Support scheme within two years of receiving the recording award.

Jazz to play at parties...

By Benji Powling

As a fan of and student of jazz music, I often find myself in situations where I am reluctant to disclose these pieces of information about myself. There have been countless occasions where upon meeting new people I have found myself answering the question ‘And what do you study?’ with the word ‘music’ rather than using the dreaded J-word, or occasionally, when I’m feeling particularly inventive, I steer clear of it altogether and opt for safer territory such as ‘history of art’ or ‘golf course management’.
However, the times when my ploys do not work and my cover is blown I can usually rely on my other musical tastes to continue side-stepping jazz, therefore not alienating myself from society. Like most jazz fans my musical horizons are quite broad, and I can usually lean on these other musical options when required to pick a record to be played in a social situation. However, perhaps there is a time when we need to take a stand and begin to push a few jazz records into the public eye. So, in order to begin this mission, I present a selection of the jazz(ish) records which I have begun to sneak into parties and gatherings around Leeds. Obviously, there are many Blue Note classics and various other jazz records that are more than palatable for someone new to the music, but they have all been written about before, so I have decided to write about a few albums that don’t get much air-time.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Seven Jazz BluesFest

Seven Jazz is hosting a weekend of Blues this month. Audience favourite Al Morrison and his Blues Experience opens on Thursday evening, and is followed by Colin Hodgkinson on Friday and James O'Hara on Sunday.

For more information, visit the Seven Jazz website.


Leeds-based musicians Kim Macari and Riley Stone-Lonergan are teaming up with NYC saxophonist Leah Gough-Cooper to tour their new group, LOCUS featuring pianist Sam Leak, bassist Tom Wheatley and drummer Jay Davis.

“We all have experience of different jazz scenes - NYC, Boston, London, Scotland, Ireland, the North of England. There’s a wealth of shared experience in the group - we all write, improvise, perform…And of course, we all came through the music conservatoire system. But for all our similarities, we’ve gone down 6 different paths and that makes for a very interesting musical result.”

The group, which features 4 LCoM graduates, will perform at venues across the country and appear at two UK jazz festivals during July.

20th July - The Verdict, Brighton
23rd July - The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh (Edinburgh Jazz Festival)  

24th July - The Lescar, Sheffield
26th July - Olivers, London
27th July - HEART, Leeds
29th July - Festival Pavilion Tepee, Manchester (Manchester Jazz Festival)

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Dennis Rollins in concert with Skelmanthorpe B Brass Band, 21st June

Trombonist Dennis Rollins is scheduled to perform with Skelmanthorpe B Brass Band on Froday 21st June. The concert is part of fundraising efforts to allow the band to participate in the National Brass Band Championship Finals in September.

The concert will be the first concert to held in the new theatre at Shelley College, Skelmanthorpe HD8 8NL. The theatre as a purpose built auditorium and promises to be a great new venue.

To book tickets, email (replacing AT with @)