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Bebop Spoken There

David Binney: "In this age, we musicians need to do anything we can to make a living, and ninety-nine percent of us will have to do a wide variety of things." - (Jazz Times May 2019)

Archive

Daily: July 6 - October 27

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden - Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA. Tel: 0191 478 1810. Screenings at intervals during the day. part of Akomfrah's exhibition Ballasts of Memory. Exhibition (daily) July 6 - October 27. 10:00am-6:00pm. Free.

Until July 21

Today Tuesday July 16

Afternoon

Jazz

Precarity John Akomfrah’s film (2017, 46 mins) about Buddy Bolden. See above.

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Gala Big Band w. ALAN BARNES: Strictly Come BRASSing - Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £15.00. (£12.00. concs.). A Durham Brass Festival event.

River City Jazzmen - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NW. Tel: 01670 813983 (info). 8:00pm. £5.00. (inc. raffle). RCJ with Don Armstrong (clarinet, saxophone, penny whistle, vocals).

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SOLD OUT!

Zoe Rahman & Laura MacDonald - Lit & Phil, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 0192.. 8:00pm. £12.00. (£10.00. concs.). JNE.

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Northern Monkey Brass Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Blog Archive

About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Submissions for review

Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
Similarly, CDs received by post will only be considered if accompanied by sufficient background material.
Finally, bear in mind that this is a jazz-based site when submitting your album.
Lance