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Bebop Spoken There

Tineke Postma: “ I had a huge crush on him [Sting] when I was a teenager ". Jazzwise, June 2024.

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Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

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Postage

16476 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 356 of them this year alone and, so far, 68 this month (May 24).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sat 25: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Bywell Hall, Stocksfield. 2:30pm.
Sat 25: Baghdaddies @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Northern Monkey Brass Band @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 4:30pm. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sat 25: Paul Edis Trio w. Bruce Adams & Alan Barnes @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:30pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sat 25: Nubiyan Twist @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.
Sat 25: Papa G’s Troves @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Sun 26: Bellavana @ Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay. 11:00am. Whitley Bay Carnival (outdoor stage).
Sun 26: Tyne Valley Youth Big Band @ The Sele, Hexham. 12:30pm. Free. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Alice Grace @ The Sele, Hexham. 1:30pm. Free. Alice Grace w. Joe Steels, Paul Susans & John Hirst.
Sun 26: Bryony Jarman-Pinto @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Trio @ The Juke Shed, North Shields. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Clark Tracey Quintet @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 6:00pm. A Northumberland Jazz Festival event.
Sun 26: Saltburn Big Band @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Sun 26: Ruth Lambert Quartet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: SARÃB @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.

Tue 28: Bold Big Band @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Jazz Night @ The Tannery, Hexham. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. The first night of a new jam session!
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 30: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests Josh Bentham (sax); Neil Brodie (trumpet); Garry Hadfield (keys); Adrian Beadnell (bass);

Fri 31: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 31: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 31: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Fri 31: Borealis @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Fri 31: Redwell @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Monday, May 08, 2023

Preview: Hexham Jazz Festival (May 12-14)

Post-pandemic, and after many a year, in 2022 Hexham Jazz Festival returned to the Northumberland market town. Way back when, the late Ray Brown and co were at the helm, now, with a new management team in place, this year's event looks bigger and better than ever. Beginning on Friday (May 12) the festival is set to expand its activities with concerts once again in Hexham Abbey and, this year, in Queen's Hall on Beaumont Street. Additional performances are scheduled to take place in the grounds of the Abbey, fingers crossed the weather is kind! Throw in a couple of masterclass sessions at Core Music on Gilesgate and an intriguing film presentation at the Forum Cinema and it's beginning to look something like a proper jazz festival!
On Friday evening Paul Edis opens this year's festival in Hexham Abbey with a performance by his acclaimed Ushaw Ensemble. Previous performances in suitably ecclesiastical venues - Ushaw on the outskirts of Durham and off the north Northumberland coast on Holy Island (Lindisfarne) - attracted considerable interest, not to mention large audiences, and this festival concert (7:00pm) is likely to do likewise. The Ushaw Ensemble is a star-studded affair including Northumbrian piper Andy May and violin virtuoso Emma Fisk. Recommended. Following the Ushaw Ensemble at half past eight, An evening with Rachel Sutton presents vocalist Rachel Sutton with her A-list trio featuring pianist Roland Perrin, bassist Andy Champion and drummer Steve Hanley. It all adds up to a superb start to the 2023 Hexham Jazz Festival!

Saturday (May 13) it's Hexham Abbey once again for another double bill. At seven o'clock Freddie Benedict takes to the stage with a 'who's who' of a band! Emerging from his role as vocalist with the renowned National Youth Jazz Orchestra and sellout concerts at Ronnie Scott's, Benedict will be accompanied by Paul Edis, piano, Jamie McCredie, guitar, APPJAG winner Emma Rawicz, saxophone, bassist extraordinaire Andy Champion and drummer, the redoubtable Steve Hanley. The publicity blurb reads: ...a perfectly mixed cocktail of cool jazz standards and Brazilian sambas. Rest assured, it'll be much, much more than that! And you'll really get your money's worth with the evening's closing concert featuring the wonderful Jo Harrop. Originally from Chester-le-Street, Jo is currently riding the crest of a wave with a series of sell out shows around the country and the little matter of a successful recent trip to the Big Apple. Join Jo and the 'house band' (see Freddie Benedict) at 8:30pm. And if you're up for it, at 10:30pm Jazz FM's Nigel Williams will present a DJ set in the Great Hall.

Earlier on Saturday, there is an opportunity to attend masterclass events at Core Music. At 11:00am Freddie Benedict, accompanied by pianist Paul Edis, conducts a workshop aimed at aspiring singers. Emma Rawicz follows at two o'clock, again in the company of Paul Edis, to lead a saxophone workshop. Places are limited, be sure to book in advance.   

On Sunday (May 14) the action moves away from Hexham Abbey as the Forum Cinema and Queen's Hall are pressed into action. At three o'clock there is a rare screening of Ernest Lubitsch's 1921 film The Wild Cat. What's more, Graeme Wilson has bee commissioned to write a score for the occasion. Join Graeme, Paul Edis, bassist Paul Susans and drummer Steve Hanley for what promises to be an intriguing, one-off experience.

Queen's Hall hosts the closing event of the 2023 Hexham Jazz Festival. Guitarist Joe Steels leads his Borealis sextet comprising local lad (and superstar in the making), trumpeter Ferg Kilsby, vocalist Asha Nicholson, and the fine rhythm section of Dan Brown, piano, Paul Susans, bass and Berklee graduate drummer John Hirst. And to close, it's a real blockbuster with none other than Claire Martin and Jamie Safir in concert! Claire, get this for an endorsement - She ranks amongst the four or five finest female jazz vocalists on the planet  (Jazz Times) - will be on stage with pianist Jamie in what promises to be a memorable closing concert. 

Hexham Jazz Festival in partnership with Hampstead Jazz Club is presented in association with Hexham RotaryNorthumberland County Council and Hexham Town Council. Ticket options are available from the box office, see: www.queenshall.co.uk. Russell      

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