Friday, 29 July 2016

Mike Walker's Ropes Project - RNCM, October 12th

Guitarist Mike Walker is getting ready to perform his newest work, Ropes, for only the second time ever, at the RNCM in Manchester on October 12th.

This epic piece had its première as part of the 2008 Manchester Jazz Festival. This, the work’s second ever live performance, will feature Mike’s internationally-renowned jazz quintet with the 22-piece Psappha Strings who recorded the work for CD earlier this year.

As well as the Psappha Strings, Mike will be joined by Iain Dixon, Gwilym Simcock, Steve Rodby and Adam Nussbaum.

The gig is part of the new Psappha concert season and two other works will be performed that evening; Steve Reich's Triple Quartet and Gavin Bryar's Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £20/17.50 (a limited number of early bird tickets are also available.) More information and bookings can be found on the RNCM website.

Sean Foran - Album Launch and UK Tour

Australian pianist Sean Foran is a familar name to many jazz listeners in the UK. Foran studied his Masters degree at Leeds College of Music and has toured many times in the UK as part of Trichotomy.

Sean's latest album, Frame of Reference, features a group of musicians he 'really admires' and the tracks on the album were written specifically with the players in mind. Foran describes the music as being different from his usual output, focusing on textures and coming more from a chamber music angle. The album features Julian Arguelles, Ben Davis, Stuart McCallum and Joost Hendrickx.

In October, Foran will tour the UK performing music from the album. For these dates, he will be joined by the band with one alternation; James Mainwaring takes the saxophone chair.

Frame of Reference is launched on September 2nd on Jazzhead.

For more information, visit Sean Foran's website.

Tour Dates - October 2016

3rd October - Pizza Express, London
4th October - Watermill, Dorking
5th October - Lakeside, Nottingham
6th October - Future Inns, Bristol
7th October - Turner Sims, Southampton
9th October - Newcastle Jazz Steps (Sean Foran/Stuart McCallum duo)
11th October - Capstone Theatre, Liverpool

Dave Evans leads brand new Festival Band for Chapel Allerton Village Jazz Festival

Dave Evans is putting together a brand new big band to perform twice during the Chapel Allerton Village Jazz Festival.

The idea behind the group is to bring together community musicians - local musicians who play instruments but may not perform regularly with a band. Between now and the performances (2nd and 3rd of September) Dave will work with the band six times to show how quickly a band can come together and perform.

The band have already had one rehearsal but if you're keen to be involved, email Dave at and see if there's a space to join in the fun. There will be sessions on August 4th, 25th August, 2nd September and more sessions will be announced.

The performances will take place on Friday 2nd September at Seven Arts (8pm) and then on Saturday 3rd September in Regent Street (4.30pm).

Lancaster Jazz Festival 2016

The full line up for this year's Lancaster Jazz Festival has been announced so it's time to take a look at the programme and plan who you're going to see between 16th and 18th September.

This year, the headline artist & artist in residence is the extraordinary saxophonist, Cath Roberts. On Saturday 17th, Cath will perform a specially commissioned, one-off performance in The Round. She will be joined by a core ensemble of close musical collaborators (Anton Hunter, Sam Andreae, Johnny Hunter and Seth Bennett AKA Sloth Racket) and augmenting with a number of exciting improvisers from around Europe.

The rest of the programme is as diverse and exciting as ever, cementing Lancaster Jazz Festival's reputation as a true supporter of original and improvised music. On Friday, Dee Byrne's Entropi performs and saxophonist Phil Meadows makes two appearances; first as a guest soloist with the LRGS Big Band and then with his own trio, SKINT.

As well as Cath Roberts commission, Saturday sees a number of performances - Craig Scott's Lobotomy, Let Spin, Nodha and ensemble selected to be part of this year's Jazz North Introduces scheme (to be announced soon!).

Sunday sees internationally renowned trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard perform with the brand new Inner City Music ensemble as part of Band on the Wall's Jazz Director Series. You can also hear solo cellist and Jazz North Northern Line artist Maja Bugge, Archipelago and Cath Roberts' duo with Anton Hunter, Ripsaw Catfish.

There's much more on offer than what we've listed above; check out Lancaster Jazz Festival website to find out more and to book tickets.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Winner Announced: Antonio Sanchez Migration tickets

Congratulations to Anton Hunter, winner of the Antonio Sanchez tickets for his Band on the Wall show tomorrow.

Thanks to all that entered and keep an eye out for more ticket offers in the future.

Enjoy the gig, Anton!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Win two tickets to see Antonio Sanchez's Migration at Band on the Wall, July 26th

Last week, we reported on the very exciting gig happening at Band on the Wall on July 26th featuring Antonio Sanchez and his band Migration (Seamus Blake, John Escreet, Matt Brewer).  Read full article here.

Well, Band on The Wall have very kindly given us a pair of tickets to the gig and we're offering them toone lucky reader!

All you have to do is give us the answer to the following question:

Which 2014 film starring Michael Keaton did Antonio Sanchez create the film score for?

To enter, use the contact form on this website to submit your answer and give your full name. We will be accepting entries until Sunday July 24th at 7pm and announcing the winner of the two tickets at Midday on Monday 25th July. 

Good luck!

Visit the Band on the Wall website for full information on the Antonio Sanchez & Migration gig, plus all other upcoming shows.


Sunday, 17 July 2016

A Day of Music at the Three Cranes, Sheffield - July 23rd

If the Dandy Warhols, Kelis and Dizzee Rascal aren't your thing, you probably shouldn't go to the Tramlines Festival in Sheffield. Instead, you should join Martin Archer and his musical comrades for a day of music ala Discus at the Three Cranes on July 23rd.

Martin has invited lots of Discus artists and friends to perform throughout the day, a celebration of improvisation, electronic music and the avant-garde. What's more, it is free to attend (donations gratefully received and a CD stall will be set up to purchase albums released by Discus) and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Visit the Discus website to check out the artists and albums connected to the label, and see below for a schedule of the day.

Venue: The Three Cranes, 74 Queen Street, Sheffield

13.00 - Walt Shaw & Martin Archer - percussion / sax duo

14.00 - Das Rad - Nick Robinson (guitar) / Martin Archer (sax) / Steve Dinsdale (electronic drums) - melodic motorik

15.00 - Chris Bywater - solo laptop abstraction

17.00 - Modulator ESP - solo synths and electronics from Jez Creek

18.00 - The Unkillable Clerics - song based post-metal Chamber Music

20.00 - frostlake - haunting songs and electronics

- Inclusion Principle - Martin Archer & Herve Perez (laptops, saxes) / Peter Fairclough (drums) - in a space between electronics, nu-jazz, contemporary electroacoustic music and free improvisation

22.00 - Meson - freewheeling floating collective improv and poetry under the misdirection of Bo Meson

Gig Preview: Zhenya Strigalev's Never Group at The Phoenix, York - July 26th

Russian saxohonist Zhenya Strigalev is well known on the UK jazz scene and one of his great skills is putting together A list bands for his projects. His latest album, Never Group, continues with this thread and brings together Eric Harland, Tim LeFevre and Bruno Liberda with guest appearances by John Escreet, Alex Bonney and more, all with Striaglev at the helm.

Zhenya is currently on his Never Group tour, accompanied this time by US bassist and label owner Mike Janisch and Spanish drummer Marc Ayza. On July 26th, jazz audiences in York will get a treat at the band performs at The Phoenix, a special gig which is free to attend.

"A typical Strigalev collision of hip jazz virtuosity and surrealism... Strigalev's alto displays bebop agility, shivery lyricism, or sometimes a bluesy Ornetteish swerve." ★★★★ The Guardian

For more information Zhenya and the band, you can visit Zhenya's website and his Whirlwind Records page.

Sandhouse Stompers embark on another Coast to Coast Stomp to raise funds for Favela Brass

The Sandhouse Stompers, an intrepid group of musicians from the North, are setting off on their second Coast to Coast Stomp on July 20th, performing at venues from Morecambe to Whitby over nine days to raise funds for Favela Brass.

From the Sandhouse Stompers facebook page -

We hope to raise as much money as possible for this fantastic charity through sponsorship, musical performances and impromptu busking en-route, but we need your help! If you have any ideas of where we can perform (pubs, halls, galas, village greens, Bar Mitzvahs), can offer us a field to pitch our tents, can provide us with pies or frosty libations, we would love to hear from you. If you want to walk with us, play with us or rattle some collection boxes for us you are more than welcome to join us. 

The cause they are raising funds for is Favela Brass, an initiative set up by trumpeter Tom Ashe which provides free brass, percussion and English lessons to children in a Brasilian favela. Last year, the Stompers raised over £4,000 for the project.

The group are already off to a flying start, securing a donation of 2 trombones and 3 trumpets from the company PBone, which will be sent to Rio to be used in the favela.

Below is a list of their gigs between 20th and 29th July but as they said, they are always on the look out for more places to play and raise more money so if you have a suggestion of a venue, get in touch through their facebook page

To donate, visit their JustGiving page.

The Sandhouse Stompers are - Mark Ellis (Sax), Gareth Smith (Trumpet), Paul Grady (Trumpet), Neil Morley (Trumpet), Stuart Garside (Trombone), Mark Kerrigan (Drums), Jim Stretto (Tuba) and Rowena Jameson (Trombone).

Coast to Coast Stomp gig list - 

20th July The Black Bull at Bentham
21st July Knights Satinforth
21nd July Victoria Hall, Settle
22rd July Foresters Arms, Grassington
23rd July The Crown Inn, Pately Bridge
24th July The One Eyed Rat, Ripon
25th July Thrisk Royal British Legion
26th July Helmsley Brewing Co.
27th July Coach House Inn, Rosedale
28th July Abbey Wharf, Whitby 

Friday, 15 July 2016

VIDEO: Matt Anderson's October Ending

LCoM graduate and favourite of the Northern jazz scene Matt Anderson has released some new footage of his quartet playing a new composition, October Ending.

Matt says

This new video of my group the Matt Anderson Quartet finds us playing an original composition of mine entitled ‘October Ending.’ It’s the first in a series of four videos I’m calling the ‘St. Mark’s Series’ which I’ll be releasing weekly over the coming month, and is filmed ‘live in the studio’ at the St. Mark’s Church, Marylebone, where we did a session with the Royal Academy of Music recording team. The quartet features myself on tenor saxophone, Ashley Henry on piano, Will Harris on double-bass and Jay Davis on drums, and this is a relatively new project which we started last winter while three of us (myself, Ashley and Will) were studying on the MA course at the Academy. Jay is also an alumnus of the same course.

Audiences in the North are sure to recognise both Jay Davis and Ashley Henry as they too studied at Leeds College of Musix before moving to London to continue their studies at the RAM.

For more information, visit Matt Anderson's website.

Jazz Sunday Lunch with SK2 in Wakefield, July 17th

Wakefield Jazz are inviting the jazz community to join them for Sunday Lunch this coming Sunday for a special gig featuring SK2, the acclaimed Stan Kenton orchestra led by drummer Dave Tyas.

Founded in 2013, SK2 play the music of Stan Kenton from 1949-1979. Populated by the North's finest musicians, this band have wowed audiences at Wigan Jazz Festival, Southport Melodic Jazz club and more.

The event runs from 12.30pm until 5pm, with lunch at 1pm and music from 2pm. Tickets cost £14.00/£13.00.

For full information, visit the Wakefield Jazz website.

Gig Preview: Antonio Sanchez & Migration at Band on the Wall

This is a date for the diary of every jazz fan in the North and it is sure to be sold out, so get your tickets soon for Antonio Sanchez & Migration at Band on the Wall on July 26th.

Moving to New York in 1999, Sanchez has developed a reputation as one of the leading lights in jazz across the world. His work with Pat Metheny is well known, having worked with the guitarist in almost every project he has put together for the past 15 years. Sanchez has been featured on 8 Metheny albums, three of which have won Grammys.

His collaboration with Metheny are just one piece of the puzzle though, and you'll see and hear Sanchez work with a myriad of world class musicians - Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, Avishai Cohen, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Donny McCaslin...

In 2013, Sanchez was asked to create the film score for Birdman, and his work was recognised with numerous award nominations.

The band he brings with him this time is Migration, a quartet of extraordinary musicians including Seamus Blake, Matt Brewer and John Escreet.

Tickets cost between £17 and £22 and can be purchased through the Band on the Wall website.

Don't miss it!

Northern Line Showcase at Manchester Jazz Festival, Monday 25th July

This summer's Manchester Jazz Festival is almost upon us and as part of their programme, there will be a day long showcase featuring the new crop of Northern Line artists.

This free to attend day of gigs has become traditional at MJF and festival goers can experience a huge range of jazz and improvised music from midday until 10pm. The bands will be split between three venues - the Hobgoblin Pavilion, Central Library and St Ann's Church.

Below is a full timetable of the day, but be sure to visit the Manchester Jazz Festival website to find out more and check out the full programme for the festival.

Monday 25th July - MJF Northern Line Showcase Day

12.00 - Jamie Brownfield Quartet
1.00  - HTrio
1.50  - Pat McCarthy ft. Shannon Reilly
2.40 - Inclusion Principle
3.30 - Maja Bugge
4.20 - Family Band
5.20 - Taupe
7.00 - Firebird Quartet
8.00 - Johnny Hunter Quartet
9.15 - Portmanteau

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Playing Stories Jazz Workshop in Manchester, July 29th

ADM productions, run by pianist and composer Alexander Douglas, is running a one day workshop entitled Playing Stories: Jazz and Beyond on Friday July 29th at the Trafford Music Centre in Manchester.

Aimed at young musicians aged between 11 and 18, this event will be led by Alexander himself and saxophonist Helena Summerfield. Special guests Gary Crosby and Nathaniel Facey will also tutor.

The workshop will take participants through a range of sessions and offer the chance to perform in both small and large ensembles to work on improvisation techniques, reading, interaction and more.

For more information on the workshop, visit the Playing Stories facebook event page, which also contains the email address to contact for enrolment forms. For more information on the work ADM Productions do, visit their website.

Terence Blanchard announced as first artist for Brighter Sound scheme

US trumpet Terence Blanchard has been announced as the first artist in the Jazz Director Series run by Band on the Wall and Brighter Sound with support from Jazz North. They have put out an open call to find 11 young professional musicians to form the first Inner City Ensemble to work with Blanchard over the course of a week in September, rehearsing and performing original work by Blanchard and some of the musicians has has worked with in his expansive career.

For Jazz Directors Series #001 with Terence Blanchard we are looking for emerging professionals aged over 18 who play to a very high standard (graduate and above) with excellent reading skills and who work in jazz and related ‘crossover’ genres. This is a paid professional engagement.

Instruments required: piano, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, trombone, tuba, french horn, flute, oboe, clarniet, bass clarinet and saxophone.

Musicians selected for the ensemble will take part in a rehearsal residency between 11th and 14th September before embarking on a short tour between 15th and 18th September to perform at Band on the Wall, Parr Hall in Warrington, Bradford Playhouse and Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal.

There is a fee and expenses are covered.

Applications will be accepted until July 29th at 5pm and successful applicants will be notified by Friday August 5th.

To find out more and to apply online, visit the Band on the Wall Jazz Directors Series website.

Huddersfield Jazz Guitar Festival 22nd-24th July

Last year saw the launch of a brand new festival - the Huddersfield Jazz Guitar festival. After the success of the first festival, the team are running a second this year between 22nd and 24th July. 

From the festival website...

This year is going to be bigger and better. This year the festival is over three days and has some definite themes covering a wide range of jazz guitar styles. Friday is very much a gypsy jazz night with two of the U.Ks  leading exponents. Saturday is a celebration of the great Charlie Christian while Sunday sees a leaning towards the organ trios. In addition to all this there are free concerts throughout the day, workshops, jam sessions, raffles and competitions.

Friday night's gypsy jazz gig will features set from Remi Harris and Gary Potter, both accompanied by bassist Paul Baxter. Saturday features a number of workshops by Sam Dunn (pictured above), Jamie Taylor and Remi Harris as well as gigs throughout the day with guitarists including Darren Dutson Bromley and Adrian Ingram. The day concludes with a celebration of the legendary Charlie Christian featuring Alan Barnes. The final day is packed with gigs and workshops led by musicians like Al Morrison, Jez Platt, Jon Shaw and the Sonny Intervals duo.
To find out more, visit the Huddersfield Jazz Guitar Festival website. 

Vote for Jazz in the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grassroots Awards

It's that time of year again - voting is open for the 2016 Yorkshire Gig Guide Grassroots Awards. These awards celebrate the regional music scene and the people who make it all happen with awards for promoters, venues, festivals, media and more.

This year, the awards ceremony will be held at the Marsden Jazz Festival on Sudnay October 9th. The public are invited to vote to decide on the winners and the very simple online voting form will be available online until August 31st.

To see a full list of nominees and to vote, visit the Grassroots Awards 2016 website.

Below, we've listed the nominees connected to the jazz scene - great to see some familiar faces and names on the list!

Oustanding New Festival of 2016: Ilkley Jazz Festival

Oustanding Established Festival of 2016: Marsden Jazz Festival

Outstanding Contributon of 2016: Barney Stevenson

Outstanding Promoter of 2016: Barney Stevenson, Martin Powell

Oustanding Small Live Venue of 2016: Glyde House (home of JATP), Seven Arts, Cafe Lento, Fox and Newt (home of Fusebox), Wharf Chambers (home of Sproggits), Inkwell (venue for Seven Jazz)

Yorkshire Outstanding Music Club of 2016: Wakefield Jazz Club

Friday, 1 July 2016

Festival Preview: Hull Jazz Festival, 21st-24th July

J-Night are hard at work, gearing up to present the 24th Summer edition of the Hull Jazz Festival later this month. Running between 21st and 24th July, the programme is predominantly hosted at the Hull Truck Theatre with a small number of other events held at venues across the city.

You can see the full festival programme on the J-Night website but we've selected a couple of events that caught our eye to get you started...

Thursday 21st July - Minima

Kicking off the festival is a a very interesting gig at Hull Truck Theatre. Minima are a four piece featuring guitar, cello, bass and drums that perform live scores to silent film. They were a hit when they performed at Hull Freedom Festival back in 2015 when they performed to Phantom of the Opera. They return to Hull to provide music to Nosferatu.

“Minima's spine-tingling music clung to each twist of the movie... spellbinding accompaniment.” Guardian

Friday 22nd July - Daj Dook

A firm favourite of Hull, violinist Matt Holborn brings his gypsy jazz quartet Daj Dook to Kardomah94. Based in the London, these four musicians have come together through a love of Django Reinhardt and the gyspy jazz scene. They bring the music to live in a modern way that audiences love.

Saturday 23rd July - Jean Toussiant Young Lions: Roots & Herbs the Blakey Project

Saxophonist Jean Toussaint brings his latest project to the Hull Truck Theatre, performing the music of the legendary musician (and Toussaint's former band leader) Art Blakey. He is joined by a band of rising stars including Mark Kavuma on trumpet, Ashley Henry on piano, Daniel Casimir on bass and Femi Koleoso on drums.

Through the music, Art encouraged us to strive and reach beyond ourselves and work as one to create excitement while never losing sight of the audience. - Jean Toussaint

There are a couple of special ticket offers for festival goers - Saturday Saver allows you to see all three Saturday gigs at Hull Truck Theatre for £30 and the Festival Saver allows you to see 3 Hull Truck shows for the price of 2 across the festival.