Mike Durham’s Classic Jazz Party 27-29 Oct
October promises to be a busy month in the North East. A major festival, a new festival, a stellar trio, new kids on the block, the return of a tenor saxophone master and a CD launch gig.
Mike Durham’s Classic Jazz Party is the major event by far. Formerly the prestigious Whitley Bay Jazz Festival, the three day festival at the Village Hotel near West Allotment on North Tyneside is named after its founder, the late Mike Durham, trumpeter, band leader and promoter. The Village Hotel, October 27-29 (one week earlier than usual) will see an amazing assembly of ‘classic jazz’ era specialists working in numerous combinations. Several American musicians regard the event as their highlight of the year, as do their British and European counterparts. The jazz is non-stop, jam sessions continue into the early hours, forget about sleeping! www.whitleybayjazzfest.org
A welcome new development is a first ever Jazz Weekend at the Maltings in Berwick upon Tweed, October 13-15. Small scale perhaps, but the weekend festival is one of quality. The Don Paterson Situation opens the event (Oct 13). Perhaps better known as a poet, guitarist Paterson will have a top notch band working with him; Steve Hamilton, keyboards, Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year David Bowden, bass, and Alyn Cosker, drums. A Saturday afternoon concert (Oct 14) has all the makings of an entertaining hour or two. Pianist Geoff Eales will be playing ‘The History of Jazz Piano’ and in the evening Fred Thelonious Baker plays the music of Pat Metheny.
Binker and Moses are currently sweeping all before them. They are predicted to blow away a sell-out crowd at Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle on Oct 12. In support will be local improvising trio Archipelago. The following week Glowrogues visit Newcastle’s Ernest music venue (16) and Empty Shop in Durham (18). Expect a fusion of electronica, hip-hop and jazz from the seven piece band drawn from some of the finest young musicians from Birmingham and Manchester including Beats and Pieces Big Band. Birmingham Conservatoire alumnus Mark Pringle makes a third visit to Pink Lane’s Jazz Café on Oct 7 alongside guitarist Tobias Andersson, bassist James Banner, and João Lopes Pereira. Veteran improviser Evan Parker will be at Sage Gateshead on October 21 working in the company of Mat Maneri, viola, and pianist Lucian Ban. www.sagegateshead.com
The Lindsay Hannon Plus launches a new CD – Make Dark Heaven Light – at Newcastle’s Literary and Philosophical Society on Saturday 28. Earlier in the month, at the Jazz Café (Oct 20), another of the region’s fine vocalists – Julija Jacenaite – will hold court in a duo with pianist Alan Law. Along the road at the Jazz Co-op there is a varied programme of gigs including the Julian Costello Quartet (Oct 7), Alan Glen Trio (15) and Hexham Jazz Club’s Exiles (21). Out at the Fox Inn (Hexham Jazz Club HQ) on Oct 3 the Gerry Richardson Trio returns due to popular demand.
Finally, Vasilis Xenopoulos makes his now annual visit to the North East. This time he’ll be bringing with him guitarist Nigel Price to work with the Paul Edis Trio at Darlington’s Traveller’s Rest, Oct 20, and Blaydon’s Black Bull, Oct 22. So much jazz to hear, sleep some other time!