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Aubrey Logan: "I chose trombone because trombone just kicks my ass, and I needed to do something that was hard" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Thursday May 23

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Elina Duni + Trio FCT - Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £10.00. & £8.00.

Tees Hot Club w. Richie Emmerson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Preview: Ushaw Jazz Festival (August 24-26)

(Preview by Russell)
Tomorrow sees the start of the third annual Ushaw Jazz Festival. Now firmly established in the jazz calendar, this year's headliners - Nicola Farnon, Jo Harrop and Alan Barnes - are guaranteed to attract large audiences to the magnificent Ushaw estate. 

The action begins at six o'clock on Friday (August 24) in the Francis Thompson Room. The Early Bird Big Band - an expanded line-up of Paul Edis' young musicians' workshop band - will set the standard for the August bank holiday weekend. Such is the talent within the ranks that some former members have gone on to secure places at prestigious music schools at home and abroad. 

At eight o'clock Ushaw Jazz Festival director Paul Edis features alongside the first of the event's headline names. Yorkshire-based Nicola Farnon returns to the region having made a lasting impression with a winning performance at Durham's Gala Theatre. The double bassist-singer will arrive at Ushaw - located a couple of miles from Durham City - with drummer Phil Johnson. The trio will entertain festival-goers with a programme comprising gems from the Great American Songbook together with one or two original compositions. The Nicola Farnon Trio comes highly recommended.
Ushaw day two (Saturday 25) begins with a corker! The Graeme Wilson Quartet is, as London Jazz News stated, 'a surefire winner'. Multi reeds master Wilson will make the trip from his Edinburgh home to reunite with his north east of England friends Paul Edis, Andy Champion and Adam Sinclair to play a set of tunes, mostly, if not exclusively, written by bandleader Wilson. A new album is in the offing and you can be assured some of the material will be heard at Ushaw. It's a one o'clock start in the elegant Francis Thompson Room and it's no exaggeration to say this could be the set of the weekend. 

It could be a good idea to hang onto your seat in the Francis Thompson Room as the Tulip/MacKellar Quartet follows at four o'clock. Guitarist Francis Tulip and drummer Matt MacKellar are graduates of the aforementioned Early Birds. As autumn approaches they are turning their thoughts to resuming their hothouse studies - Tulip in Birmingham, MacKellar in Boston, USA - so do take this opportunity to hear these rare talents before they depart.

It's all happening in the Francis Thompson lounge! Stay where you are because at six o'clock the guitar duo of Giles Strong and Roly Veitch will be playing a selection of their favourite numbers by some of their all-time favourite guitarists. Expect to hear some Jim Hall, perhaps Joe Pass, and one of Roly's guitar heroes, Canadian Ed Bickert. 

Saturday's closing concert at eight - this one is in the Exhibition Hall - features the wonderful Jo Harrop. The London-based singer will be returning to her County Durham roots and she'll be bringing with her the Copasetic Foundation's pianist Alex Webb and alto saxophonist Tony Kofi! Jo will meet up once again with Andy Champion, double bass, and drummer Russ Morgan to play a set titled: Jo Harrop sings Peggy Lee. There is so much great jazz to hear during the weekend but if you can make it to just one concert then this one won't disappoint. Unreservedly recommended. Nite-owls will have a ball from 10:15 when a free admission jam session gets underway. Sit and listen, or sit-in, the choice is yours. 

Ushaw day three (Sunday 26) dawns - in truth, it's an afternoon start at 1:00 - in the spectacular setting of St Cuthbert's Chapel. If you know Durham Cathedral but are yet to visit Ushaw then you're in for a treat. As you take a pew, see if you can stifle a cry of WOW! The place is truly impressive and the music, a suite written by Ushaw Jazz Festival director Paul Edis, has garnered universal praise. Originally a commissioned work celebrating the life of St Cuthbert with performances at Ushaw and Durham Cathedral, it has subsequently toured across the north of England and this homecoming concert by the all-star Ushaw Ensemble presents a further opportunity to hear the suite in an amazing architectural space. 

Festival director Paul Edis is committed to offering performance opportunities to emerging musicians. BABA represents a Tyneside - by way of Portugal! - success story. Alto and tenor saxophonist Thomas Dixon co-leads BABA (translating to 'Spit' in Portuguese) with Portuguese born pianist/vocalist Inês Gonçalves. They met at Sage Gateshead on the BMus degree course and with Tom having recently graduated and Inês to follow next year, they're embarking on a career in music.  The other half of the BABA quartet comprises fellow Sage student Adam Cornell, bass, and Early Bird/Jambone/session drummer extraordinaire Dylan Thompson. Citing Binker and Moses and Cuban piano sensation Alfredo Rodríguez as two of many influences, BABA brings together elements of straight ahead, Latin and free jazz to create a sound that is unmistakeably BABA.    

With so much great jazz across three days, the question arises: How to go out on a high? Well, the closing concert at this year's Ushaw Jazz Festival features one of the finest big bands in the country. The Strictly Smokin' Big Band is a major attraction in its own right with top-flight soloists in the sections and the dynamic vocal duo of Alice Grace and F'reez fronting the band.

MD Michael Lamb has paired the Strictly Smokin' with a succession of star names - Bruce Adams, Paul Booth, Hailey Tuck, to name but three - resulting in memorable performances and here at Ushaw the one-and-only Alan Barnes will join the band for what can best be described as a barnstorming session. Barnes has topped polls year after year, his popularity showing no signs of waning. Tickets for the six o'clock show in the Exhibition Hall are £10 and details of a range of admission prices for the other concerts, including day and weekend tickets, are available at www.ushaw.org. Put the dates in the diary - August 24-26, better still log on to book your tickets or telephone the box office on 0191 373 8500. Please note - if you plan to arrive by car (free parking!) use the following SatNav postcode: DH7 7DW. Ushaw offers catering throughout the weekend, the building is wheelchair accessible and baby change facilities are available. See you there!
See John Nesbitt video.
Russell
Nicola Farnon photo © Brian Ebbatson.
Jo Harrop/Alan Barnes photos © Jerry E.         

2 comments :

John Nesbitt (on F/b). said...

The fabulous Nicola Farnon. Here's a taster; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0InGmEqMTc

Unknown said...

Hi Russell
'In Other Words' are also now confirmed to play at 2.30pm on the Sunday.
Andrea

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