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Bebop Spoken There

George Shearing: "Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach I think he'd be a real jazzer if he were alive today. I mean any man who has two wives, twenty kids, gets kicked out of the church for being too harmonically radical and drinks beer can't be all wrong can he?" - (Crescendo March 1984.)

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Today Thursday December 12

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 12:00pm. Free.

Note earlier time for this week only!

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Evening

Jazz

Hot Club du Nord - Lubetkin Theatre, East Durham College, Willerby Drive, Peterlee SR8 2RN. Tel: 0191 518 2000. 7:00pm. £10.00. (£5.00. under 18s). 'Jazz at the Lubetkin'.

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. (£8.00. concs.). ‘Gala Big Band Does Christmas’.

Durham University Big Band - Dunelm House, New Elvet, Durham DH1 3AN. Tel: 0191 334 1777. Free. 7:30pm. ‘Jazzy Christmas’.

Indigo Jazz Voices - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £5.00. (£2.00. student).

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

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Dave Stansfield (tenor sax); Ted Pearce (keys) - Dorman’s Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

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

Blues/Soul/Funk/Etc.

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

Friday, August 09, 2019

Preview: Ushaw Jazz Festival 2019

(Preview by Russell)
Photo credits where known: 
Buck Clayton Legacy Band - Alan Ainsworth
John Pope Quintet - Ken Drew
Tony Kofi Geoff Davies. 


This year's Ushaw Jazz Festival gets under way two weeks today (Friday August 23). Ushaw College,set in sprawling grounds a couple of miles from Durham, is an idyllic location to celebrate the best of jazz. From six o'clock on Friday to early Sunday evening’s concert finale there is much to look forward to with something for everyone over the bank holiday weekend.

Friday (23rd) begins with a performance by an expanded Early Bird outfit. Paul Edis' teenage hothouse development project has produced several undergraduate music students and more are sure to emerge in the future. The Early Bird Big Band at 6:00pm in the Francis Thompson Room will knock the audience for six and, what's more, it's free admission. At eight o'clock in Ushaw's Exhibition Hall there should be a large turnout for Emma Fisk's Hot Club du Nord. Virtuoso violinist Fisk will be joined by fellow virtuosi James Birkett and Dave Harris, guitars, and everybody's favourite, king of the swinging slap bass, Bruce Rollo, to present an entertaining and informative programme inspired by the legendary Quintette du Hot Club de France, famously led by Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.  
Saturday (24th) is shaping up to be something special. The day's opening concert is a headline event anytime, anywhere. Jo Harrop with the Paul Edis Trio in the informal setting of the Francis Thompson Room with its licensed bar offering a range of beverages and oh-so tempting cakes is simply unmissable. If ever an event could be described as world class this is it. Ms Harrop is an established name on the London scene and if it took her fancy the County Durham-born vocalist would knock 'em dead in the Big Apple. Working with Harrop will be the dream trio of pianist Paul Edis, bassist Andy Champion and drummer Russ Morgan. One o'clock, £10, don't miss this one! 

At 2:00pm saxophonist Matt Anderson conducts an Improvisation Workshop. In addition to being a busy, gigging musician Matt is an experienced tutor and this Ushaw workshop for musicians aged 18+ is an ideal opportunity to learn from an engaging character on the jazz scene. The session, priced at £10, is scheduled to run from 2:00 'til 5:00 followed by a short public performance at half past five. For details of how to enrol email: www.meet@ushaw.org

Nathan Lawson could well be a new name to some. Southpaw guitarist Nathan emerged from Sage Gateshead's education programme under the watchful eye of Dr James Birkett and here at Ushaw the personable young man will win many new admirers with a solo guitar set in the stunning setting of Ushaw's Chapel of St Cuthbert. 3:15, free admission, highly recommended.   

It isn't every day of the week that the winner of the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year competition breezes into town. Well, Saturday will be one of those rare days when Xhosa Cole arrives at Ushaw to play a quintet gig as co-bandleader (with guitarist Francis Tulip) of the aptly named Xhosa Cole-Francis Tulip Quintet. North east audiences will know Tulip from his numerous appearances across the region. A student at Birmingham Conservatoire, the County Durham-born guitarist played a quartet gig all of two years ago at the Ushaw Jazz Festival with fellow Birmingham undergraduates. This year two of those friends - pianist Will Markham and drummer Kai Chareunsy - return, this time in the company of bassist Shivraj Singh. These guys are destined for great things and the presence of saxophonist Xhosa Cole simply adds lustre to an eagerly anticipated set (4:00pm, £8) in the Exhibition Hall. 

At six o'clock it's back to the Francis Thompson Room for a chilled duo set from Matt Anderson, reeds, and pianist Paul Edis. Master musicians at work, £6 admission, grab a beer, sink into an Ushaw sofa and enjoy!

The big attraction, rather, another big attraction is an appearance by Tony Kofi and the Organisation. Kofi plays most of the reeds (killer alto) and here at Ushaw the one-time Jazz Warrior will be working up a post-bop storm alongside the two Petes - Pete Whittaker (organ) and the drummer's drummer Pete Cater. Make your way from the Francis Thompson Room along the corridor to the Exhibition Hall for an eight o'clock start (£14 & £12). It promises to be a smokin' session! If you're still standing at 10:00pm head back to the Francis Thompson Room for a late night, free admission jam session. The house trio - Paul Edis, piano, Paul Grainger, bass, and drummer Russ Morgan - will invite sitters-in to have a blow. Now then, if the Birmingham and London boys fancy it we're in for a treat!

Day three, Sunday (25), looks to be shaping up well. It begins with an event for all the family, especially the younger ones. At one o'clock in the Francis Thompsom Room the Zoë Gilby Family All Stars will engage and delight the very youngest (to the very oldest!) of Ushaw's visitors. Bandleader Zoë Gilby developed this family-friendly show a few years ago with engagements at Gateshead International Jazz Festival and other major festivals receiving rave reviews (not least from BSH!). Gilby's Teaching Assistants - Mark Williams, guitar, Andy Champion, bass, and drummer Richard Brown - will be on hand to support 'Miss' Gilby. Note - a Sunday day ticket does not included admission to this event. A family ticket (two adults, two children) costs £20 or £6 per person. 

Be sure to keep your seat in the Francis Thompson Room for a free admission concert at 2:30. VHB is a five piece outfit which came together at York University. The one name regional jazz fans will know well is none other than Faye Thompson, alto sax. Faye will be joined by Marko Marsenic, tenor sax, Rebecca Holt, keyboards, Cameron McArthur, synths/synth bass, and drummer Susan Rutter. Expect a heady brew of jazz, funk and hip-hop referencing the likes of Alfa Mist and Robert Glasper. If the other members of the quintet are as talented as Faye then this gig could be the surprise hit of the weekend. 

Local bass hero/composer John Pope brings in his all-star quintet at 4:00 with special guest Chris Biscoe an added bonus. The John Pope Quintet will be playing original material alongside one or two choice selections from the jazz canon. Joining JP will be Chris Biscoe, alto sax, Faye MacCalman, tenor sax/flute, Graham Hardy, trumpet and drummer Johnny Hunter. Tickets £8 for a guaranteed, quality set in the Francis Thompson Room. 

The finale to this year's Ushaw Jazz Festival sees the return of Alyn Shipton to lead the accomplished Buck Clayton Legacy Band. Working with Matthias Seuffert, tenor sax, bassist Shipton will present the music of Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges. The project makes occasional forays north and this Ushaw date is not to be missed. Trumpeters Menno Daams (a familar face at Mike Durham's Classic Jazz Party) and Ian Smith complete an all-star frontline alongside alto saxophonist Robert Fowler (another Classic Jazz Party veteran) and trombonist Adrian Fry. The rhythm section is unquestionably of A-list quality; Martin Litton, piano (confirmed for this year's Classic Jazz Party), the aforementioned Alyn Shipton, bass, and drummer Bobby Worth. Take your seat in the Exhibition Hall for a seven o'clock start, tickets £14 & £12. 

Tony Eales' much admired Jazz Alley will once again be in situ. Do play the game...I've got that LP, I saw that band at Middlesbrough Town Hall (or wherever) in - when was it? - 19 something or other.    

For further details of this year's festival, including accommodation options, contact Ushaw on 0191 373 8500 or visit the website: www.ushaw.org

Weekend ticket: £60
Saturday day ticket: £30
Sunday day ticket: £20

Note to Sat Nav users! Postcode is DH7 7DW
Russell

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