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Monday, October 09, 2017

Preview: The Maltings Jazz Weekend - October 13-15

(By Russell)
Berwick upon Tweed is the place to be this weekend. The Maltings’ inaugural ‘jazz weekend’ is a welcome addition to the region’s buoyant jazz scene. Bebop Spoken Here defines ‘the region’ as anything and everything jazz between Berwick in the north to Saltburn by the Sea in the south of the region and way out west to Haltwhistle.
Berwick Maltings presents occasional, high-quality jazz concerts and this new venture is nothing if not a top quality programme. Five events over three days, beginning on Friday evening (Oct 13th) with Don Paterson’s all-star Situation and concluding with a gumbo jazz brunch on Sunday (15th). Three concerts – Don Paterson’s Situation, Geoff Eales’ entertaining and informative ‘The History of Jazz Piano’ and an evening of Pat Metheny by way of Fred Thelonious Baker – plus a workshop with Baker and a farewell brunch make for a busy weekend up on the border.
The Don Paterson Situation (8:00pm Friday), formed last year by award-winning poet Paterson, is a quartet worth seeing any time and a fine way to launch this new venture at the Maltings. A guitar player from his youth, Paterson has found fame, if not fortune, as a poet. His first collection Nil Nil was awarded the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection in 1993 and it was at this time that Lammas, the jazz-folk ensemble he formed with Tim Garland, was recording and touring regularly. Last year Paterson put together the ‘Situation’ featuring three of Scotland’s finest; Steve Hamilton, piano, Euan Burton, bass, and pocket dynamo, drummer Alyn Cosker. The concert takes place in the Henry Travers Studio starting at eight o’clock. Tickets £12.50. Further information and to book online www.maltingsberwick.co.uk

Saturday morning (11:30am) in the Stage Two Bar of the Maltings is an opportunity for jazz guitar enthusiasts to learn from one of the most respected tutors working in jazz education. Fred Baker,  widely known as Fred Thelonious Baker, will be conducting a guitar workshop for the intermediate to advanced guitarist examining the harmonic construction and modal aspects of improvisation. A rare opportunity to learn from a master craftsman. Tickets £8.00. Advance booking recommended.    

At two o’clock on Saturday afternoon (Oct 14th) Geoff Eales presents his ambitious ‘The History of Jazz Piano’ in which the Welsh-born pianist will survey the kaleidoscopic breadth of styles during a century or more of jazz from ragtime to Jelly Roll Morton, Art Tatum to Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans to Keith Jarrett and, of course, Eales himself. The performance will take place in the Henry Travers Studio, tickets £11.00.

American Dreams: The Music of Pat Metheny (at 8:00pm in the Henry Travers Studio) promises to attract a full house. Following his workshop earlier in the day, Fred Thelonious Baker will perform an affectionate set inspired by the great American guitarist Pat Metheny. Early career Matheny albums American Garage and Offramp will feature during the concert, and if anyone with a passing interest in jazz guitar is within striking distance of Berwick on Saturday evening, the Maltings is the place to be. The venue’s own publicity states: Sublime contemporary jazz of the highest quality. Tickets are £15.00. A sellout is likely, so, to avoid disappointment, telephone the box office: 01289 330999.

Berwick Maltings’ inaugural ‘Jazz Weekend’ concludes with a late Sunday morning (11:30am) New Orleans Jazz Brunch in the informal surroundings of the bar. Sunday newspapers, a Creole gumbo jambalaya and a ‘melting pot of jazz and blues’ is on offer for £25.00.
A three concert ticket package is available for £32.00. offering admission to Don Paterson’s Friday evening performance, Geoff Eales’ Saturday afternoon piano concert and Fred Thelonious Baker’s American Dreams: The Music of Pat Metheny. This first Maltings’ ‘Jazz Weekend’ is full of promise. To be sure of your tickets visit www.maltingsberwick.co.uk  or telephone 01289 330999.  
Russell.                       

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