Friday, 27 May 2016

Tom Thorp premieres new East Yorkshire inspired work on June 4th

Saxophonist Tom Thorp will premiere a new work on June 4th as part of the Howden Minster summer concert series which is inspired by East Yorkshire.

The concert will seek to capture the essence of the East Yorkshire town and surrounding area by blending classical chamber music with Tom’s engaging and lyrical jazz improvisations.
The event will be the first public performance by new venture Tom Thorp and the Taka Ensemble.

Tom will be backed by David Austin Grey on piano, double bassist Geth Griffiths, and string quartet Faz Shah (violin), Graham Clark (violin), Tim Rathbone (viola) and Michael Newman (cello).

While all are jazz musicians, they are also regulars in orchestras such as the Halle and BBC Philharmonic, and will augment Tom’s melodic sensibilities with the rigours of the classical canon.

Tickets are priced at £7.50 and under 16s can attend for free.

For more information on the event, visit the event website and for more on Tom and his work, visit his website.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

New Jazz Radio show coming to Ribble Valley

Ribble FM is a brand new radio station being built from the ground up by a group of hardworking volunteers. Supported by lottery funding, the station will feature a number of programmes including one dedicated to jazz and run by the team at Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club.

From the Ribble FM website -

At Ribble FM we are planning to reflect and enhance the local area, the towns and many villages which make up this unique place. Ribble FM has been working towards operating a truly local and professional radio station here for many years and will launch before June 2016.
We are now streaming online via this website, along with the TuneIn Smartphone App and our own app which is available on iPhones and Android devices. What you can hear today is a small taster of what we'll be bringing to our FM frequency when we launch early next year. Many thanks to our sponsors so far for making it possible, and we look forward to working with even more Ribble Valley businesses from launch.

Jazz listeners should keep an eye out for the shows which will be broadcast in July and August. For more information, visit

Gogo Penguin and Beats & Pieces head to Rotterdam

North Sea Jazz Festival is one of the most well-known jazz festivals in the World. For three days in July, musicians from across the world perform to thousands of audience members. This year, there are three UK jazz musicians/ensembles taking part and two of these are from Manchester!

Beats & Pieces Big Band perform on July 10th on the Mississippi stage. The band have already had some European dates this year, touring in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Austria back in March.

Also on the 10th, Gogo Penguin perform on the Darling stage. The Manchester piano trio have had a great few years, recently being signed to Blue Note and embarking on an extensive tour across the world. As well as their performance, they will also take part in a Q & A session in the Jazz Cafe area.

Also flying the flag for jazz in the UK, multi-instrumentalist wunderkind Jacob Collier performs on Saturday 9th July.

For the full festival line-up, visit the North Sea Jazz Festival website.

Recipients of PRS Funding Announced

The recipients of PRS for Music funding in the Open fund and the Women Make Music strands have been announced this week and jazz is represented in each category.

There are 9 musicians in the Women Make Music category, including LCoM tutor Lauren Kinsella and LUME founder and saxophonist Dee Byrne. This funding is described as a way to support the development of outstanding women songwriters and composers of all genres and backgrounds at different stages of their career. The fund can support projects by women songwriters, composers, artists, bands and performers who are writing their own music.

Jazz in the North is well represented in the Open Fund for music creators with the inclusion of Beats & Pieces' Ben Cottrell. Byron Wallen and Yazz Ahmed are also featured in this list, receiving funding to create new original music.

A number of organisations received funding from PRS, too including the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, an annual festival that features a lot of improvised music. Swanage Jazz Festival also received funding.

To find out more about the funds and to read the full list of recipients, visit the PRS website.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Whitman Review at Wakefield Jazz

Wakefield Jazz is renowned across the UK and beyond as a top class venue for live jazz. Many touring bands make a point to stop off there as they travel across the country and its programming is always varied and diverse.

To ensure that even those who couldn't make a gig still get to experience it, they have started to post in-house reviews of each gig on their website. The review archive goes back to February 2016 and each review (which is full and comprehensive) is posted promptly after the gig.

Hats off to a great idea by the team at Wakefield Jazz - head over and have a read of the Whitman Review!

Olie Brice Quintet Tour, May/June 2016

Double bassist Olie Brice is an in-demand musician. In the last year, he has released a number of albums - Immune to Clockwork featured his quintet and was his first album as a leader, released by polish label Multikulti Project. Somersaults saw him record in a trio setting with Mark Sanders and Tobias Delius and was released by Two Rivers Records. Finally, Blood Moon is a duo record which features and Tom Challenger. That kind of output is telling of Brice's creative appetite and also of his reputation amongst his peers.

Brice makes the entire body of his bass sing. He has the ability to deliver a fractal line that is as purposeful as any by the great jazz bassists, but to do so within an entirely abstract setting – Brian Morton, Point of Departure

Now, Olie is about to embark on a UK tour with the quintet which features George Crowley, Alex Bonney, Mike Fletcher and Jeff Williams. Luckily for us in the North, there are a number of opportunities to catch this incredible band in May and June -

24/05/16 – The Spotted Dog, Birmingham
25/05/26 – Dempsey’s, Cardiff
26/05/16 – Soundcellar, Poole
27/05/16 – Fusebox, Leeds
29/05/16 – Future Inns, Bristol (afternoon gig)
30/05/16 – The Wonder Inn, Manchester
31/05/16 – Jazz Café, Newcastle
01/06/16 – The Lescar, Sheffield
02/06/16 – The Vortex, London

For more information, visit Olie's website.

Efpi Festival in London, June 25th

Manchester record label Efpi will run an evening of music at King's Place in London on June 25th, showcasing three of the ensembles they represent.

The evening will celebrate two of the latest releases on the label - Johnny Hunter Quartet's While We Still Can (which will be officially launched at the event) and Let Spin's Let Go. Joining these two ensembles, award-winning Beats & Pieces will round off the event.

From the King's Place website -

A big band for modern times’, Beats & Pieces regularly perform across the UK and Europe to consistent audience and critical acclaim. The release last year of their second album All In reaffirmed their reputation as one of the most original large ensembles around, and anyone who has experienced one of their gigs before will attest to their high-energy live show.

Let Spin brings together members of Beats & Pieces, Melt Yourself Down and Led Bib, and is a band brimming with confidence, effortlessly switching between thrashy punk, wistful reflection and complex yet engaging improvisation.

Drummer and composer Johnny Hunter’s quartet explores the freedoms and challenges presented by the absence of a harmony instrument, drawing on the piano-less groups of Sonny Rollins, Dave Douglas and Jim Black amongst others.

Tickets for the event cost £19.50 and can be bought from the King's Place website.

Tour Preview: Julian Arguelle's Tetra UK Tour July 2016

Saxophonist Julian Arguelles is widely recognised as one of the brightest stars in British jazz. At last week's Parliamentary Jazz Awards he picked up Best Album for Let It Be Told, his newest release with his quartet Tetra. In a few weeks time, the band will embark on a UK tour performing material from Let It Be Told between 9th and 18th of June.

The band will visit the North for one of their tour dates, performing at the Royal Northern College of Music on June 11th.

For full details on the album and tour dates, visit Julian's website. Full tour dates are listed below.

Thursday June 9th - Cambridge Modern Jazz Club
Friday June 10th - Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham (with Percy Pursglove)
Saturday June 11th - Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
Sunday June 12th - Colston Hall, Bristol
Monday June 13th - Bexley Jazz Club, Kent
Thursday June 16th - The Vortex, London
Friday June 17th - Y Theatre, Leicester
Saturday June 18th -  The Hive, Shrewsbury

Full line-up announced for Ilkley Jazz Festival 2016

The full line up for the 2016 Ilkley Jazz Festival has been announced this week. The festival takes place between the 16th and 21st August at venues around Ilkley. The headline acts include vocalist Tina May and the Quentin Collins Brandon Allen Quartet.

Below are the complete listings for the festival. The festival's website provides more information on the events and details on how to book tickets for each event.

 16th August – Nicola Farnon – Monkmans 7.30pm - £32.50 inc. 3 course meal Bookings on 01943 817485
18th August – Firebird quartet – Craiglands 7.30pm - Free19th August – Emma Frisk – Monkmans 6.30pm - £22.50 inc. 2 course meal Bookings on 01943 817485  
19th August – Tina May – Winter Gardens 7.45pm - £18 Bookings on 01943 602 319 or in person at the VIC
20th August  - Jazz Workshop – Christchurch 11am - Free
20th August  - Garry Potter – Christchurch 2pm - £5 (or £30 day ticket)   
20th August  - Graeme Wilson 4tet – Christchurch 3.30pm - £5 (or £30)
20th August  - Beverley Beirne – Christchurch 6pm  - £12.50 (or £30)

20th August  - QCBA 4tet  – Christchurch 8pm -  £15 (or £30 day ticket)

20th August  - Late Night Jazz Jam – Black Hat 11pm – Free  
21st August – QCBA masterclass – Black Hat 10am – Free  
21st August – Matt Holborn 4tet – Black Hat 12.15pm – Free

Friday, 13 May 2016

Gig Preview: James Clark and the Lonely Hearts Rugby Clwb, May 19th

Painist James Clark was last seen in Leeds with his Manana Collective at Seven Jazz, a gig that went down a storm. Now he's back, this time with his joyfully raucous big band, the Lonely Hearts Rugby Clwb.

From the Seven Jazz website -

The Lonely Hearts Rugby Clwb is a spirited team of 20 musicians playing music from Bulgaria to Brazil via Wales and South Africa. This unstoppable force is a big band like no other featuring instruments of all shapes and sizes from saxophones to euphonium, tuba to squeaky chicken and cowbells to alarm clocks. You might find yourself dancing with ‘Goodbye Eye Contact Cat’ or singing along to ‘I am the squid pope’ whilst James Clark referees the calamity!

The gig is on Thursday May 19th and tickets cost £16 full price or £14 concessions. Arrive early to ensure you get a seat - large ensembles always draw a crowd!

See more at the Seven Jazz website.

Line-up -

Flute - Alex Griffiths
Flute/Clarinet - Joe Atkin Reeves
Soprano Sax - Jess Bullen
Alto Sax - Dan Smith
Alto Sax - Jack Perry-Cockings
Tenor Sax - Adam Macloughlin
Tenor Sax - Bryn Davies
Barri Sax - Matt Pearse
Trombone - Dan Soley
Euphonium - Gareth Trott
Tuba - Pete Greenwood
Piano - James Clark
Guitar - Alex Haines
Bass - Pete Komor
Drums - Rod Oughton
Percussion - Jon Reynolds
Percussion - Zoot Warren


Jazz at Music for Youth's National Festival 2016

LCoM's Jamil Sheriff and Dave Walsh are heading to Birmingham in July to lead a workshop as part of the Music for Youth's National Festival.

The festival runs from the 5th until th 9th of July and features a huge range of masterclasses, performances and activities including choirs, World music, orchestral ensembles and more. Friday 8th July will be the jazz day and as well as LCoM's workshop, Soweto Kinch and The Big Shake Up will also run sessions. There are also performances by a number of youth big bands and ensembles.

About Jamil and Dave's session -

Gain an insight into improvisation within a jazz framework with Leeds College of Music’s Jamil Sheriff and Dave Walsh.
Described by The Guardian as ‘someone who has made a real difference to the vitality of the jazz scene in the North of England’, Jamil Sheriff is the Curriculum Leader for Jazz at Leeds College of Music and has received national and international accolades for his recorded work. Jazz drummer Dave Walsh has similarly made a name for himself on the jazz scene having featured on over 60 albums, completed four tours of Europe and played in international music festivals.

Session 1: 10:15 – 11:15
Session 2: 16:30 - 17:30 

Those interested in attending must register by Monday 16th May. This can be done by visiting the Music for Youth website.

Look at all these Jazz Festivals in the North!

Jazz audiences in the North are spoilt for choice when it comes to jazz festivals. There are multiple festivals in every season throughout the year, catering for just about every preference you can think of.

NORVOL Jazz, the network of voluntary jazz promoters in the North, have recently put together a brochure which brings information about 17 of these festivals into one place.

Listed in the month they happen rather than specific dates, this handy guide can help audiences (and bands) plan their festivals for years to come. The 17 festivals included are -

Burton Agnes Jazz Festival
Chapel Allerton Leeds Village Jazz Festival
Cleethorpes Jazz Festival
Darlington Jazz Festival
Gateshead international Jazz Festival
Ilkley Jazz Festival
J Night – Hull Jazz Festivals
Lancaster Jazz Festival
Liverpool international Jazz Festival
Manchester Jazz Festival
Marsden Jazz Festival
Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival
Richmond Jazz Festival
Scarborough Jazz Festival
Southport Jazz on Winters Weekend
Whitley Bay/Keith Durham Jazz Festival
Wigan Jazz Festival

To check out the whole leaflet, click the link -

Thursday, 12 May 2016

AJ Brown to record Live EP at Dean Clough

Singer AJ Brown has been busy recently, embarking on a 30 date UK tour supporting Collabro. Now that he's back, he isn't resting on his laurels and has issued an invite to attend two very special gigs in May at Dean Clough in Halifax.

These gigs will be recorded and will form the material for his new EP, In The Moment Live. Audiences who attend either night will also be given a copy of the release.

The gigs take place on May 17th. one at 6pm and one at 8pm. Tickets cost £20 (inc. a copy of the EP) and can be booked through the AJ Brown website.

Good singers don’t always make good entertainers; those who do become stars and, having seen AJ on stage in London recently, he is headed for the top Sheila Tracy, Radio presenter & music journalist

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Seven Jazz wins Venue of the Year at Parliamentary Jazz Awards

Congratulations to Steve Crocker, Jean Watson and the team at Seven Jazz for scooping the Venue of the Year award at this year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards. The winners were announced at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament in London last night.

Full List of Winners -

Instrumentalist of the Year: Alexander Hawkins
Vocalist of the Year: Emilia Martensson
Ensemble of the Year: Empirical
Newcomer of the Year: Binker & Moses
Education Award: Dr Tommy Smith
Venue of the Year: Seven Jazz
Media Award: Jez Nelson
Services to Jazz: Mary Greig
APPJAG Special Award: Evan Parker & Michael Connarty.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Gig Preview: Arild Andersen Trio at Band on the Wall, May 17th

Ones eyes can tend to glaze over when the description of a musician is mainly a list of who they have played with. In some cases though, like Arild Andersen, the list bears repeating - a sideman for Stan Getz, Sam Rivers, Paul Bley and Pat Metheny, a band leader with groups that included Bill Frisell, Paul Motian, Ken Wheeler, a huge catalogue of recordings on the famed ECM label.

Andersen is currently to found with his trio featuring Tommy Smith and Paolo Vinaccia. The group released their first album in 2008 on ECM, Live at Belleville (for which Arild won the European Jazz Musician of the Year prize for the album) and since then have toured Europe a number of times as well as finding time to release another ECM album, MIRA.

The trio will make on stop in the North as part of their current UK tour, at Band on the Wall in Manchester on May 17th.

Widely regarded as one of the finest groups currently working in jazz, Andersen’s trio with the Scottish saxophone virtuoso Tommy Smith and the sensational Italian drummer Paolo Vinaccia presents music that thrills and moves the listener in equal measure. Drop-dead gorgeous melodies, razor-sharp interaction, urgent rhythms and the hallmark of all great jazz, spontaneous creativity converge in a live music experience that transcends style and genre and makes an Arild Andersen Trio concert an unmissable event.

Tickets cost £15.00 and full information can be found on the Band on the Wall website. You can find details on all the tour dates on Arild Andersen's website.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Full MJF 2016 Programme Announced

The full programme for this year's Manchester Jazz Festival was launched today with Rethink Jazz as the creative theme.

The 2016 creative is based around RETHINK JAZZ, reaching out not just to jazz fans, but those who might think that they know what jazz is and it isn’t for them – well we would like to encourage them to think again. 

Throughout the festival, Jazz Goes to the Movies will show a series of films that celebrate the relationship between jazz and cinema. There's a weekend of Beer n' Blues at Band on the Wall features groups like Jo Harman & company and Big Boy Bloater. As has become tradition, Monday 25th will feature the crop of new Northern Line groups from Jazz North and you can catch other rising stars like Young Jazz Musician of the Year Alex Ridout, too. Scattered throughout the programme are some big names - Tim Garland drops in with his Electric Quartet on Sunday 24th.

For full details on everything included in the festival programme, visit the Manchester Jazz Festival website.

Leeds College of Music's Jazz Festival at the White Swan

Leeds College of Music is continuing the 50th year celebrations with a two day jazz festival to celebrate the wealth of talent on their jazz degree course.

On May 9th and 10th, The White Swan pub in Leeds will host gigs from ensembles made up of LCoM students - some familiar, some new to the jazz community in Leeds.

The line-up for May 9th has been published on the LCoM website and we predict the 10th won't be far behind - 10 hours of live jazz each day, with groups playing 30 minute sets from midday until 10pm.

It's a great chance to meet the next batch of musicians coming through LCoM and all for free!

More information here -

Changes to Sheffield Jazz Programme

Recently, we wrote about the upcoming changes to Sheffield Jazz's venues and the introduction of Crookes Social Club as one of their main venues. Sheffield Jazz have been in touch to announce some changes to their scheduled gigs -

Because of the closure of the social club at Millennium Hall, we regret that the gig on 20 May by the Allison Neale Quintet has been postponed to Spring 2017 (we will update you on this when we circulate details of the Spring 2017 programme) and the Vein Trio + Greg Osby gig on 6 May is being transferred to Crookes Social Club, Mulehouse Road, Sheffield S10 1TD,  which will be our new home from Autumn 2016. The 6 May gig however will have to take place in the smaller room at Crookes so it is almost certain to sell out. Those wanting to see this great combination are therefore recommended to buy tickets in advance online at .