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Thursday, April 21, 2016

GIJF: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Sage Gateshead. April 16

Graham Hardy (trumpet), Alastair Lord (trumpet), Jamie Toms (tenor saxophone), David Gray (trombone), Mark Ferris (trombone), Phil Rosier (tuba), Adam Sinclair (snare drum) & Brendan Murphy (bass drum)
(Review by Russell/Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)
And now on Radio 3, from north-east of England, the Northern Monkey Brass Band. The 2016 Gateshead International Jazz Festival hosted Radio 3’s Jazz Line-Up on Sage Gateshead’s concourse stage. Recorded for (near) future broadcast, Graham Hardy, top trumpeter, assembled the A-team for a BBC radio broadcast gig. Presented by Kevin Le Gendre, the programme featured music from the likes of Courtney Pine, Zoe Rahman, a solo spot from Ian Shaw, the steel pan sound of Yorkshire’s Pan Jumby and the amazing Roberto Fonseca Trio.
The Northern Monkey Brass Band is one of the sure-fire bands on the scene. Every time they play you can’t fail to have a good time. And these boys can play! They’re all busy in other bands but when they get together for some Horn Doggin’ (perfectly legal) you’re in for a funkin’ good time. From Louisiana by way of the Dirty Dozen and the Young Blood Brass Band, Graham Hardy’s all stars entertained a large festival crowd and when the set hits the Radio 3 airwaves (watch this space) the listening millions are in for a treat.
Earlier Roberto Fonseca wowed the afternoon audience. They were hanging off the stairs, standing on chairs, anywhere for a vantage point to hear and see pianist Fonseca give one of the great performances at this or any other edition of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Dynamic, virtuosic, high-energy, what a trio! Yandy Martinez (double bass) and Ramsés ‘Dynamite’ Rodriguez (drums) didn’t stop for breath. Astounding piano playing, Fonseca’s gig hit the heights and, without question, a great bass and drums team made it an extra special occasion.  
Russell.            

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