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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Leeds gets two summer jazz festivals

It's like buses - none for ages then two come along at once! There are now two Jazz Festivals in Leeds to enjoy this summer both run by the new JazzLeeds network, both showing off the huge variety of jazz from the city.

Jazz Leeds Festival Millennium Square Thursday 3 August 
A new festival held in Millennium Square and the Carriageworks as part of this year's Leeds summer music events on Thursday 3 August.

Free events - early in the day there are free concerts in Millennium Square for JazzLeeds Fest 17 featuring 12-2pm Hyde Park Brass and The Big Easy then from 5-8.30pm  Slide Area,"Open Letter to Mingus", Tom Sharp's Jazz Orchestra 

Ticketed events - there is a jazz workshop in the afternoon if you want to learn to play jazz led by Dom Moore 2-4pm. Then who better to be the headline act at the JazzLeeds day of jazz than Snake Davis one of the most talented saxophonists in the music business today. Snake is performing at the Carriageworks, doors open 7.30pm, music 8-10.30pm Support  is from the Ben Powling Quintet.

Jazz Leeds Festival is supported by Leeds Inspired. Website 

Village Jazz Festival, Chapel Allerton, Leeds 1-3 September
The second Village Jazz Festival forms part of the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival 2017. Get in the party mood with Leeds bassist Dave Kane’s Magic Ya Ya Band and the bluesy Chunky Indulgence and enjoy a swinging jazz quartet led by top UK saxman Dave O’Higgins and the music of Monk from Pete Rosser's Trio. There are free bands in The Woods and Inkwell on Saturday afternoon so grab some refreshment and enjoy the music Then finish off the weekend on Sunday afternoon at Regent Street for more jazz, funk and blues on the main festival stage

Ticketed events: Friday 1 September : Magic Ya Ya BandChunky Indulgence @Seven Arts
Saturday 2 September: Dave O’Higgins Quartet. + Pete Rosser’s “Monk” trio. @Seven Arts
Tickets £12/10 concs NUS £5
Dave's Quartet will be taking a masterclass at 5pm £5

Free events: Saturday 2 September 12.30-4pm Washboard Resonators, Tempo Feliz, Terri Shaltiel and Esmond Selwyn @The Woods, 5 Stainbeck Ln, Leeds LS7 3PG,
Saturday 2 September 1.30pm Marlena Rose vocals with Jeff Hewer group  @Inkwell 31 Potternewton Lane Leeds LS7 3LW
Sunday 3 September Mojo 78 Big Band, Hyde Park Brass, Dan Goldman Elec-Trio, Nag Champa, James O’Hara Blues Band 12.30-6pm @Regent Street Main Stage, Leeds LS7 4PE,


The Village Jazz Festival is supported by Arts Council England

Steve Mead's top tips at Manchester Jazz Festival

Steve Mead, mjf Artistic Director offers his top tips for those discovering jazz for the first time or for those feeling ‘spoilt for choice’ at the Manchester Jazz Festival (28 July - 6 August)

Riot Jazz Brass Band – energetic, fun, with an opening party vibe. This is music for dancing feet and dancing heads.

Afternoon Tea: Charlie Cooper Trio – a vintage soul songstress whose tuneful music makes for a classy all-round experience in the splendid surroundings of The Midland; a special treat for friends and family and a chance to see the musicians close-up.

Haggis Horns at Matt & Phreds – the classic jazz-club experience, with danceable soul, funk and rhythmic jazz in Manchester’s renowned jazz venue. Hot and sweaty and great fun!
At Band on The Wall – The African Salsa Orchestra; a foot-tapping Cuban salsa melting pot – try it for yourself in their African Salsa workshop beforehand (part of the ticket for this gig!).

The Breath: fast-rising Manchester band with players from the Cinematic Orchestra: folky songs and a big sound led by Rioghnach – the charismatic Irish vocalist who fronts the band.

The Improvisation Salon: your chance to improvise and/or play an instrument for the first time! Get to make music with friends and strangers and play xylophones, marimbas and tuned percussion. Anyone can do it!

Shri – Just a Vibration: a prize-winning, big-sounding, fun ‘Bombay mix’ of styles. Composer-producer, Shri  and his musicians are joined by seventeen members of the Hammonds Saltaire Brass Band to create music described by The Guardian as: “An entertainingly varied set that would make great film music.”

Mali Hayes: a young Mancunian vocalist on the free outdoor stage in Albert Square where you can relax with friends after work to soulful sounds and be the first to witness rising talent.

Zee Guveya and the Heritage Survival: dance the night away with easy Afro beats and lively rhythms – feel-good music with a warm and tropical vibe.

Clouds Harp Quartet: a rare chance to see 4 harps together: beautiful, enchanting sounds in the cool and calm setting of Central Library.

Baked à la Ska: another Manchester favourite – they turn the unlikeliest of pop tunes into a ska-jazz dance party; funny, foot-tapping and fab.

Horse Orchestra: from Copenhagen, these guys turn jazz on its head – anarchic and fun, superb instrumentalists but with a cheeky sideways glance across jazz, their theatrical antics will raise a smile and make you marvel at how they keep it all together.

Lucy Mae: on the free outdoor stage on our chill-out finale Sunday, Lucy is a relaxed but passionate singer-songwriter and perfect for afternoon easy-going beats. Songs that sound familiar but new at the same time.

More details

Saxophone Massive open the Halifax Piece Hall

Andy Sheppard’s Saxophone Massive is always an epic performance. A huge number of sax players from across the region will mark the reopening of The Halifax Piece Hall at a free event on 18 August 2017

Led by world-renowned jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard, the big band will perform an original composition amongst the colonnaded galleries of our Georgian building, filling the whole space with music and celebration.

An ECM recording artist, bandleader and composer, Andy Sheppard is one of Europe’s leading saxophonists and one of a very few British musicians to have made a significant impact on the international jazz scene.

An international phenomenon, Saxophone Massive has been performed in cities across Europe including in the UK, France and Norway and is now commissioned for Halifax.

"It is an immense honour to be bringing my Saxophone Massive to Halifax and to be the first major event to take place in the new Piece Hall.  Music unites" communities and by reaching out to and including local musicians to be part of the massive, amateur and professional alike, we will present an event that showcases the best regional talent to an audience celebrating The Piece Hall, one of the most stunning buildings in Yorkshire.”
Andy Sheppard

Redemption play Durham's Empty Shop

Durham's Empty Shop venue welcome back Redemption who always go down a storm at HQ.
A jazz quartet, Redemption deliver hard driving Bebop, Latin and funk jazz in an upfront, uncompromising and distinctive style.

Jim Hall – Piano / Keyboards
Keith Tulip – Bass
Martin Wake – Drums / Percussion
John Hall – Saxophones (Tenor/Alto/Soprano)

The Jazz Sessions: Redemption
Thursday 3rd August
Doors from 7:00pm // Music starts at 8pm // £5 / £4 students - pay on the doo


Thursday, 20 July 2017

Wigan Jazz Festival hosts the Norvoljazz July network

Northern Jazz promoters held their latest Norvoljazz network meeting hosted by Ian Darrington of Wigan Jazz Festival on 8 July.  Full copies of the minutes can be viewed on The pies were wonderful (!)

The network was healthy with much innovative work going on by volunteer promoters, with the Jazz North East Women make music scheme, new jazz festivals in Newcastle and Leeds and the "Fish Tales" music and poetry commission developed and promotes in venues and schools by Gill Wilde of Grimsby Jazz. The network also noted the sad demise of two long running Northern promoters - Doncaster Jazz and Leeds Fusebox.

Some highlights were as follows-

1. Jazz promoter internship scheme – the was agreed to go ahead with a joint bid by Jazz North and Norvol to Arts Council England for a none month paid internship scheme to help voluntary promoters with succession planning and provide opportunities for younger promoters to learn the jazz promotion ropes.  Northern clubs and promoters would be contacted in the near future with outline of the project and an expression of interest form to apply for hosting one of the internships
2. Emerging artists programme– interested Northern promoters were asked to offer dates in April and early May 2018 for a Norvoljazz emerging artists programme to take three groups from final year BA jazz student from Leeds College of Music
3. Peer reviews –agreed to offer Northern promoters who were interested a chance to be involved in peer review and evaluation  - and to put forward a couple of gigs in their forthcoming programme that can be offered out for peer review by other clubs and promoters

Next network to be held at Scarborough Jazz festival on Sat 23 September 10 for coffee, 10.30am start- 1.00pm. All jazz clubs and promoters welcome to attend.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Surprise piano player in Liverpool...

Well well well - amazing who plays piano on the streets of Liverpool!

Palestine Jazz dates in Leeds and Manchester

Two Northern dates for two of the most exciting musicians to emerge from the cultural renaissance in Palestine

Nai Barghouti captured the hearts of concert halls across the UK last year when she toured with the Palestine Youth Orchestra, selling out shows from Glasgow to London. She returns this summer with her Amsterdam-based band of musicians from Palestine, Korea, Tunisia and Nigeria. Based in Paris,

"Nai Barghouti ejects as much into a single note as most vocalists manage in a whole song" The Scotsman

Mohamed Najem & Friends have quickly become favourites of the Paris jazz scene, with international performances this year including Hamburg, London and Gabon. Featuring traditional Arabic instruments alongside standard jazz line-ups, both musicians move effortlessly between Arabic music and jazz, respelling the music of the Middle East in a new musical language.

All musicians are donating part of their fee to UNICEF Syria fund

Wed 26 July RNCM Manchester, 0161 907 5555

Thus 27 July Howard Assembly Room Leeds, 0844 848 2720