Friday, 30 January 2015

Gig Preview: Impossible Gentlemen in Halifax

Wednesday 4th February
Dean Clough, Halifax

Described as 'nothing short of sensational' by the Guardian, the US/UK super-group The Impossible Gentlemen are touring their new album, Internationally Recognised Aliens.

Formed five years ago, the band have been a firm favourite of audiences and venues across the UK. Their new album introduces a whole host of new material written by the members of the band, particularly Mike Walker and Gwilym Simcock.

Their 2015 tour includes a lot of time in mainland Europe but their UK dates feature two Northern dates; this one in Halifax and the previous evening (3rd Feb) at Band on the Wall in Manchester. Their London date sold out quickly so audiences are advised to book tickets to avoid disappointment.

Impossible Gentlemen website.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Jazz for Young People in Manchester

New Jazz Workshop is a series of sessions for young musicians aged between 8 and 18 at The Claremont Centre in Manchester. The course runs each Saturday from 11am until 2pm and although this course is now part-way through, newcomers are welcomed at the remaining sessions. The course is led by Helena Summerfield and Kathy Dyson and focuses on learning by ear, group transcription, improvisation and instrumental technique. The course will conclude with a performance at the final session on February 7th. Full information on New Jazz Workshop.

Manchester Youth Jazz Foundation at Band on The Wall have two more Sunday sessions in the coming weeks (15th February and 15th March). These sessions run from 12 until 4pm with a jam session taking place between 3pm and 4pm. Tutors include Kathy Dyson, Helen Pillinger, Helena Summerfield and Les Chisnall. After these sessions end, there will also be a 4 day course running over easter (13th-16th April). Full details of these sessions will be added to the Band on the Wall website.

Darlington Jazz Festival

The 4th annual Darlington Jazz Festival takes place over the last weekend in April (24th-26th) at venues across Darlington. The festival features a mixture of youth groups, local bands and musicians returning to Darlington after spending their formative years there.

Friday 24th April

 8pm - Matt Roberts Sextet Plays Fats Navarro (Voodoo Cafe)

Saturday 25th April

Street Bands perform in Joseph Pease Row and High Row.

1pm until 5pm - A showcase of small combos featuring Dean Stockdale & Will Howard (Quakerhouse, Mechanic's Yard)

7.15pm - 10pm - Big Band Evening with Al Wood and Durham Alumni Big Band with support from Durham County Youth Big Band (Central Hall, Dolphin Centre)

10.30pm until late - Festival Jam Session (Quakerhouse, Mechanic's Yard)

Sunday 26th April

5.30pm - Simon Read Octet (St Augustine's Parish Centre)

Monday, 26 January 2015

Tour Preview: Beck Hunters UK Tour

Sheffield-based saxophonist Mick Beck set up his new trio around 18 months ago, featuring Anton Hunter on guitar and Johnny Hunter on drums. To mark the release of their debut album on Discus, The Hunt Is On, the trio will be playing dates across England during February and March.

The album caught the attention of many critics and has received positive reviews:

Aggressive when it needs to be, but comfortable winding down into unhurried, meandering humour, it sounds like a miniature Art Ensemble at play. - Daniel Spicer, The Wire

…truly mind-blowing, ranging between a cardiac arrest, epileptic fit and a nervous breakdown. The trio are extremely tight, threatening to unravel before skilfully coming back into sync. - Rob Aldam, Now Then Magazine 

Full information on the album can be found on the Discus website and the tour dates are listed below.

Thu 5th February - Over the Top, Sheffield
Thu 12th February - Noise Upstairs, Manchester
Sun15th February - Vortex, London
Wed 25th February - Safehouse, Brighton
Sat 14th March - Halton Mill, Lancaster

New Project Director Appointed for Jazz Services

Heulwen Phillips has been announced as the new Project Director for Jazz Services in a press release posted today.

The new role was created as part of the organisation's redevelopment activities following the lose of their NPO status last year. Phillips will work to make Jazz Services more efficient and focused, ensuring its ability to be a central figure of support for Jazz in the UK.

The organisation has announced that as of April, activities will cease to allow for full concentration on the restructuring process. It will then resume operations later in 2015, with a focus on artist and audience development.

From the press release...

Ms Phillips comes to JSL with a wealth of expertise from across the arts sector, including strategic planning, organisational management, fundraising, marketing and more.  While JSL was fortunate to receive several excellent applications for the role, Ms Phillips clearly demonstrated that she has the experience and qualifications needed to immediately get to grips with the specific issues surrounding JSL’s situation and its future, as well as appreciating its place in the wider context of the UK’s modern arts funding landscape.

Speaking of her appointment, Ms Phillips said, “Having followed Jazz Services’ work closely for several years, I’m very excited to be given the chance to help develop its future.  I firmly believe there is huge potential for this organisation to continue offering support and services that will be of huge benefit to the jazz community, and indeed the wider arts scene.”

Thursday, 22 January 2015

LCoM Alumnus Scores New Mark Lobatto Film

LCoM alumnus Jonathan Chung has been invited to write the music for a new film by Mark Lobatto entitled Blue Borsalino.

BLUE BORSALINO is a neo-noir detective film set in the present day with flashbacks to the 1960s, written and directed by Mark Lobatto. 

It's a gripping murder mystery which touches on themes of guilt, forgiveness and redemption, told in Mark's unique style which puts a modern, quirky twist on film noir. Think 'Mulholland Drive' meets 'Amour'.

The film is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter and has generated over £7,000 of the £10,000 goal. Full details of the Kickstarter can be found HERE.

Saxophonist Jonathan Chung moved from Glasgow to Leeds to study his undergraduate at LCoM before moving to London to complete his masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music. As well as being a sideman in a number of projects, he leads Glasshopper featuring Corrie Dick and James Kitchman.

Blue Plaque Unveiled for Wheeler

A plaque honouring the great trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler has been unveiled at his home in Leytonstone.

In a joint initiative between the London Borough of Waltham Forest and National Jazz Archive, Wheeler now joins Sir John Dankworth, Dave Shepherd and Jackie Free to have been commemorated in this way.

The unveiling was attended by Wheeler's family and close friends including Dave Holland, Norma Winstone and Nick Smart.

Gig Preview: Elliot Galvin Trio in York

Wednesday 28th January
University of York
£14/12 or £3 for students

Award winning pianist Elliot Galvin brings his trio to York next week featuring drummer Simon Roth and Yorkshire-born Tom McCredie on bass.

The group released their debut album, Dreamland, on Chaos Label last year and have performed extensively across the UK. They were the deserving recipients of the European Young Jazz Artists Award in 2014 and were invited to open the Burghausen Jazz Festival to a crowd of over 1,000 people.

Audaciously accomplished... This set hops all over the musical landscape, but the awesome Galvin's intelligent musicality always reminds him, and us, of the plot. - John Fordham, The Guardian

National Youth Jazz Summer School - Applications Now Open

The annual summer school run by the National Youth Jazz Collective will take place between 9th-16th August at Uppingham School in Rutland.

The course will focus on developing improvisational skills and interaction within a small group setting and will feature an A-list group of tutors including NYJC's Artistic Director Issie Barratt, Tori Freestone, Jim Hart, Tom Hewson, Mark Hodgson, Chris Montague, Omar Puente, Nick Smart, Malcolm Earle Smith, Rowland Sutherland, Norma Winstone & Jason Yarde.

Applications are being accepted until February 20th and full details on how to apply can be found on the NYJC website.

Dave Hatfield Funeral - Call for Musicians

Last week, we reported on the sad passing of promoter and jazz supporter Dave Hatfield and the arrangements for his funeral. Pianist Laura Cole has asked for musicians who knew Dave and his work to be a part of the funeral procession and subsequent performances at Seven Arts.

From facebook...

Call out for musicians: As most of you now know, Dave Hatfield sadly passed away peacefully on January 12th. The funeral is at 3pm at Rawdon Crematorium on January 29th, with the wake/gig celebration for Dave at Seven Arts from 4.30 til late. Dave requested that a New Orleans inspired procession lead his hearse through Chapel Allerton, stopping at Seven, before the funeral, from around 2pm. We are just putting the call out for any horn players in the Leeds music community who would like to be involved in this procession to lead Dave through Chapel Allerton. It would be great that as a music community we were able to grant Dave his wish with a big send off. Equally if you'd like to be involved with any playing at Seven in the evening please let us know. Please message me on here [facebook] if you'd like to be involved in any way. 

If you do not use facebook but would like to be involved, use the contact form on our website and we will ensure that messages are passed onto Laura.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Gig Preview: Tom Riviere Quartet at HEART, January 24th

Jazz at Heart Presents: Tom Riviere Quartet
Saturday 24th January, 7.30pm

 Bassist and composer Tom has been a valuable part of the Leeds Jazz scene since moving from Brighton to study at LCoM in 2008. Leaving with a 1st Class Honours degree, Tom also won prizes for his compositions and had them performed by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and Leeds College of Music Big Band.

Although he can be seen regularly with a number of ensembles in the North, this performance is one of the few occasions to catch Tom as a band leader. His quartet, featuring Young Jazz Musician of the Year Matt Anderson on saxophone, pianist Martin Longhawn and drummer Steve Hanley, the group will perform Tom's original compositions as well as some much-loved standards.

Read more about Tom at his website and follow him on twitter.

Dave Hatfield

                            Dave Hatfield, second from right, with Leeds Jazz gang

It is with sadness that we report the death of Dave Hatfield, one of the founders of Leeds Jazz and programmer of Fusebox in Leeds, who passed away on Monday.

Dave was a part of Leeds Jazz from their first gig in 1984 until their final gig in 2009 and you can read about their history on the Leeds Jazz website. When Leeds Jazz wound down, Dave went on to run Fusebox, a monthly night focused on innovative, improvised music both from the UK and abroad.

The funeral will take place at Rawdon Cemetery on January 29th at 3pm. Afterwards, there will be a celebration of Dave's life at Seven Arts to which everyone is welcome.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Applications Open for Jazz North's Northern Line

                                                   Simon Read Octet, Northern Line Artists

Development agency Jazz North has announced that applications are now open for the third round of their flagship programme, Northern Line. Bands accepted onto the scheme will be supported throughout the year and promoters are able to host these bands at a subsidised rate. There have so far been 24 groups who have taken part in the scheme, all of whom can be found on the Jazz North website.

Applications are submitted online via their application form which also contains all guidelines for applicants. Potential groups should be available for the following dates -

Tuesday 21st April - Induction Day
Monday 3rd August - Showcase Day

Applications close on February 2nd.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Jazz Education at the Jazz Coop

The Jazz Coop are gearing up to launch their educational programmes for 2015. The Coop run a number of workshops throughout the year at the Globe as well as a monthly session at The Sage. Details of the courses starting in January are outlined below and for full details, visit the Jazz Coop's Education page.

Play Jazz!

Frequency: Monthly, first Saturday of each month
Location: Sage Gateshead
Duration: 2pm until 6pm
Suitable for: All instruments, aged 16 and above
Content: Largely practical sessions in a small ensemble format; improvisation, listening, theory.
Led by: A team of tutors including James Birkett, Stu Finden and Steve Glendinning.
Cost: £20 or £18 for jazz coop members

Play More Jazz!

Frequency: Weekly, Tuesday evenings from 20th January until 24th March
Location: The Globe
Duration: 7.30 - 9.30pm
Suitable for: All instruments, aged 16 and above
Content: Complements the Sage Gateshead sessions. Largely practical; improvisation, theory, repertoire, ensemble playing.
Led by: Judith Thompson
Cost: £15 per session or £125 for 10 week course.

Saxophones Together

Frequency: Weekly, Monday evenings from 19th January until 23rd March
Location: The Globe
Duration: 7pm - 9pm
Suitable for: Saxophonists of intermediate level
Content: Learn to construct melodic solos over scales and modes, play fluently over chord progressions, look at reharmonisation and learn about saxophone technique.
Led by: Gary Turner
Cost: £15 per session or £125 for 10 week course.

Advanced Jazz Guitar

Frequency: Fortnightly, Tuesday evenings starting 20th January until 17th March
Location: The Globe
Duration: 5pm - 7pm
Suitable for: Guitarists
Content: Topics include technique, practicing, interpretation of chord symbols, harmonic analysis and substitution, comping and improvisation.
Led by: James Birkett
Cost: £15 per session or £65 for 5 session course.