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COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Celebrated London Pianist to Close Popular Jazz Programme at Middlesbrough Town Hall

(Press release)

Sunday Jazz is returning to Middlesbrough Town Hall for its final instalment of critically acclaimed live music which, since launching in September, has brought some of the UK’s leading jazz musicians to Teesside.

Closing the popular 6-month programme is award winning pianist and band leader Nikki Iles, who will be performing alongside her recently formed 18-piece jazz orchestra on Sunday 29th March for one of the first times in the UK.

Described by The Guardian as “formidably creative”, Nikki Iles has established herself as a leading voice in the national jazz scene, earning numerous nominations for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards and winning Best Pianist in the 2017 British Jazz Awards.

For her latest project, Iles brings together some of the UK’s finest musicians to produce a concert that ties together her long and distinguished career, drawing on her vast back catalogue of compositions along with a number of new works.
Commenting on the forthcoming concert, Iles said: “Playing original music for the first time is such a special experience and one I can’t wait to share with our audience in Middlesbrough.

“The music ranges from gentle swing pieces - very much influenced by the big bands I listened to in my youth, through to exciting funk grooves inspired by more contemporary music.

“First and foremost, my band want to create a friendly, relaxed and approachable concert, so it really is for everyone; of any age, background or experience of concert going.

“It is unusual to see so many jazz musicians together, so if you are unsure, give it a go. It is exhilarating hearing the contrast between the beautiful sound of the muted brass and woodwind against the electrifying sound of the band in full flow!”

This is not the first time Iles has performed on Teesside. Speaking of her last concert in Middlesbrough as part of the Town Hall’s Jazz Weekender Festival in 2018, Iles commented:

“The Jazz Weekender was a wonderful event and Middlesbrough Town Hall is such a great venue. It’s the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon of live music to bring the family together”

Support comes from Manchester-based rising star Nishla Smith whose live sets are noted for their incredible variety, including breath-taking originals, dark jazz standards and dreamy ballads.

This special performance will also involve Teesside’s young musicians, giving members of Tees Valley Youth Jazz Ensemble the opportunity to take part in a workshop led by Nikki Iles and the Head of Jazz at The Royal Academy of Music, Nick Smart.

The concert will see the youth ensemble perform alongside Iles’ professional orchestra, playing a piece of music rehearsed during the workshop.

Iles commented: “Nick Smart and I are sending some new charts up to the Tees Valley Youth Ensemble and we will be working with them on improvisation and ensemble playing.

“Some of the guys and girls from my Orchestra will be joining them for a performance to kick off the event - we can’t wait to hear how it sounds!”

The youth band is led by music educator Justin Down for Tees Valley Music Service and formed as a result of the Town Hall’s 2018 Jazz Weekender Festival, where the young musicians performed alongside the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Lead programmer of the Sunday Jazz concert series, Ros Rigby commented:

“The March 29th Sunday Jazz will give the audience a chance to see some of the finest players in UK jazz today.

“Amongst the star-studded line-up are guitarist Mike Walker, saxophonists Julian Siegel, Tori Freestone and Karen Sharp, trumpeters Henry Lowther and Nick Smart, trombonists Richard Henry and Ollie Martin, and of course the wonderful Nikki Iles herself on piano.

“When they are joined by the Tees Valley Youth Jazz Collective the numbers on stage will swell to nearly 40 which will be quite a sight to behold in the intimate surroundings of the Crypt.

“This concert is particularly special as it is the last in this series of Sunday Jazz, so we want to go out on a high!”

Sunday Jazz ft. Nikki Iles Jazz Orchestra and Nishla Smith will take place at Middlesbrough Town Hall on the 29th March 2020.

Tickets can be purchased for £12 (+bf) via the Town Hall website or by calling the box office on 01642 729 729.

For tickets and more information about Sunday Jazz visit:

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