SK2 Jazz Orchestra
A Summer Special event (Sunday 17 July 2016)
12:30 – 5:00 pm
Big Band – Playing the music of Stan Kenton led by Dave Tyas
Founded in 2013 the SK2 Jazz Orchestra performs the Stan Kenton repertoire from 1949-79. The SK2 Jazz Orchestra was received with great acclaim when they played at the 2014 Wigan Jazz Festival, a very exciting big band with lots of good soloists.
Tom Sharp Jazz Orchestra
An Autumn Special event (Sunday 11 September 2016)
12:30 – 5:00 pm
Big Band – winner of Great North Big Band Competition
The Tom Sharp Orchestra has swiftly become one of West Yorkshire’s most in-demand jazz ensembles., recently winning the prestigious Great North Big Band Competition. The band plays music from all across the big band repertoire of the twentieth century, focusing on the big swingers of the 50s, as well as showcasing two singers.
Friday 7 October 2016
Outstanding all-star trio which has been turning heads wherever they play
Three of the most versatile contemporary musicians in the UK have combined to have fun and create unique music. Separately they are all band leaders , together they are as intuitive a set of music makers as you could hope for. Don’t expect any one style of jazz, even within the same number, but do expect wit, humour and the unexpected. Their output has been described as “Folky, melodically strong chamber music, with flavours ranging from bluegrass to tango to contemporary classical veering from the carefully written to the liberally improvised.”
Another reviewer said : “All the way there is a dense and fine cooperation between the three, with no one trying to dominate, but where everything is based on the collective. We meet three musicians who have mastered this music almost to perfection.” (Salt peanuts)
If you have a curiosity as to just how brilliantly jazz musicians can interact then this is for you.
Mark Lockheart – saxophones, bass clarinet
Liam Noble – piano
Jasper Hoiby – double bass
Latest CD: The Day I had Everything (Edition EDN1064)
Jeff Williams Quartet
Friday 14 October 2016
American ex-pat drummer with a fellow American and two young Brits
This band, led by veteran US drummer Jeff Williams, is a version of the quintet which recorded the CD “Outlier” in March with Kit Downes and Phil Robson. Josh Arcoleo (tenor sax) and Sam Lasserson (bass) are constants but a second American , John O’Gallagher (alto) completes this piano-less quartet. Jeff has played with Lee Konitz, the Brecker brothers, Joe Lovano; and was last at Wakefield with a Nikki Iles band after they had recorded the classic CD “Hush”. John O’Gallagher has recorded with many US artists including Jeff Williams and has his own CD “The Anton Webern Project” on Whirlwind Records exploring jazz interpretations of that classical composer. Josh Arcoleo is the fastest rising UK sax star and is much in demand; he hails from the North-West. Expect music of a contemporary bent but with plenty of interesting melodies and exciting improvisation.
This is a very good album which benefits from Williams’ imaginative compositions and the ensemble’s excellent musicianship. (Roger Farbey ~ All-About-Jazz)
Jeff Williams – drums
Sam Lasserson – bass
Josh Arcoleo – tenor sax
John O’Gallagher – alto sax
Latest CD: “Outlier” (with Kit Downes and Phil Robson) (Whirlwind Records)
Friday 21 October 2016
Horns aplenty and nothing else… – a quartet almost alone in this field.
Working without a traditional rhythm section, Brass Jaw creates a performance that is truly unique in sound and direction, revealing a group that is able to adapt to almost any performance environment. Brass Jaw’s concerts are characterised by the band’s trademark momentum, drive and charisma, in a set that strongly embraces the jazz tradition whilst reaching out into the unknown towards new musical territory. A favourite at Wakefield Jazz since 2005, the personnel have altered a couple of times, moving from a saxophone quartet to encompass a brass instrument, first trumpet and now trombone. The constants have been the high standard of musicianship, first rate writing for the band and the sense of fun they bring to all their gigs. Their creator, and driving force, is the unstoppable Allon Beauvoisin whose connections throughout the Scottish Jazz scene guarantee only top musicians join this award-winning band.
“This is not a band to take things too seriously. But it is a serious band” – All About Jazz
Paul Towndrow – Alto Saxophone
Konrad Wiszniewski – Tenor Saxophone
Michael Owers – Trombone
Allon Beauvoisin – Baritone Saxophone
Latest recording: Pigs with Feathers EP (a digital download and on Bandcamp)
Friday 28 October 2016
This event is sponsored – we are grateful for the sponsor’s generous support
It has been a two-year journey to get this prestigious band to Wakefield both for the sponsor who asked for them and to delight us all. The combination of world-class UK and American musicians means they are in demand all over the world and by other top musicians – viz. Pat Metheny’s recent tour for which Gwilym Simcock was recruited.
Multi-award-winning, the Band was voted “Best Ensemble” in the 2012 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, an event that might have been repeated every year since. They revel in the compositions they create for themselves (some on the way to becoming modern standards) but particularly in the interactions and contrasts they embody. An intense classically influenced solo from Gwilym followed by a full-on rock-out from Mike Walker is an example of the most joyous jazz on the planet.
“world-class jazz – nothing short of sensational” – The Guardian 4 stars
Gwilym Simcock – piano
Mike Walker – guitar
Iain Dixon – saxophone
Steve Rodby – bass
Adam Nussbaum – drums
Latest CD: “Lets Get DeLuxe” (with Iain Dixon ) (Basho Records)
John Etheridge and Christian Garrick
Friday 4 November 2016
Gypsy jazz from guitar and violin and so much more
The versatile and ever-popular guitarist who has done it all, and is still doing it, teams up again with a partner who matches his wit, musicality and love of fun. Chris Garrick’s violin(s) owe a lot to the pathway trodden by Stephane Grappelli but stretch out to encompass so much more. The combination of his easy style with that of John Etheridge make for a wonderfully relaxed and entertaining evening of varied music.
“John Etheridge is one of our unsung national treasures – a man with staggering technical prowess but who understands that that prowess is nothing without the heart and soul which turns the notes into music” – Birmingham Post
“Christian Garrick has revitalised jazz violin playing so that it has been rejuvenated for the 21st century. Whilst still able to play in the tradition established by Stephane Grappelli Christian has forged his own style which reflects his contemporary interests” – The Telegraph
Christian Garrick – violins
John Etheridge – guitars
Latest CD: When The World Stopped For Snow [with Liane Carroll] FLY 8 (2013)
The Lilli Unwin Band
Friday 11 November 2016
Impressive young singer with a band of her finest contemporaries
The Lilli Unwin Band – with bassist Flo Moore, drummer Corrie Dick (“Up and Coming Artist” in the 2012 Scottish Jazz Awards and BBC Radio Scotland “Young Jazz Musician of the Year”) and, Wakefield’s own, pianist Matt Robinson (recipient of the Edwin Samuel Dove prize and a Yamaha Jazz Scholarship) constitute an all-star band of their generation. She is an enchanting and soulful young singer, composer and arranger with an authentic sound, a playful and evocative stage presence and a penchant for intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics. Together they blend subtle grooves and story-telling into a cathartic jazz performance.
Lilli Unwin – voice
Matthew Robinson – piano
Flo Moore – bass
Will Glaser – drums
Nigel Price Organ Quartet
Friday 18 November 2016
Support from the Joel Fellick Quartet at 7:30 pm
Award-winning guitarist with his hard-hitting band of heroes
Nigel has become the most hard-working musician on the UK scene so it is justified that his current immense tour has been sponsored by Arts Council England. Since his first gig for Wakefield Jazz he has quickly established himself as a popular musician. His ability to pull in other major musicians to his bands is further tribute to his abilities. This band with other Wakefield favourites Alex Garnett and Ross Stanley is a guaranteed block-buster with the ever-welcome Matt Home on drums.
Nigel is a player’s-player who holds workshops all round the UK and plays over 100 gigs a year. He has won awards but the admiration of other musicians and audiences alike is his greatest testament.
“There’s an exhilarating tight-loose swing and old-school honesty about Price’s brand of soul-bop that leaves you panting” – Mojo
Nigel Price – guitar
Alex Garnett – tenor sax
Carlo De Wijs – B3 Hammond organ
Clark Tracey – drums
Latest CD: Nigel Price Organ Trio – Hit The Road (33 Records. 33JAZZ241)
“WHAT A NIGHT! Totally unexpected for me, unless the guitarist is John Etheridge or Mike Walker I find it not to my taste BUT Nigel Price is amazing. Similarly with Hammond Organ, I like the instrument but it rarely lives up to my expectation – this fellow was GREAT. Kept thinking ‘is this really happening in Wakefield!'” – Mike
“Wakefield Jazz club is a unique place and I didn’t realise how much I have missed Friday nights there. Long may it flourish.
“Loved the Nigel Price quartet – what a great night! I do look forward to my next visit to God’s own county. Love and good wishes to all.” – Ivan
Josh Kemp Organ Quartet
Friday 25 November 2016
A return visit by the accomplished tenor player who impressed with Liz Fletcher
However, with Ross Stanley’s Hammond, Steve Fishwick’s trumpet and the immaculate drumming of Chris Higginbottom it’s a winning combination. If you enjoyed Josh’s gig with Liz Fletcher then you’ll certainly want to see him again in this freer context where more of his own compositions can be featured.
“Wonderfully rich toned tenorist Josh Kemp with a laconic, subtle, highly nuanced and original sound” – Time out
Josh Kemp – tenor sax
Martin Shaw – trumpet
Ross Stanley – Hammond organ
Tim Giles – drums
Latest CD: “Rare Groove” (FULTCD0012)
Tony Kofi’s Homage to Ornette Coleman
Friday 2 December 2016
Contemporary jazz of the sixties played by musicians passionate about the style
Tony Kofi has been involved with many world class jazz projects led by others over the years – e.g. The World Saxophone Quartet. Here he has put together a project (why not done already?) which draws inspiration from one of the game changers of the last century, Ornette Coleman. In addition to his forays into free jazz Ornette was a composer of really good tunes some of which have become jazz standards. Humpty Dumpty and Lonely Woman are two notable examples. Tony had the opportunity to work with Ornette Coleman during his tours with Jamaladeen Tacuma playing Coleman material. He particularly admires Ornette’s giving of his entire self to any performance and hopes to emulate this himself.
The band he has put together for this tour is composed entirely of other band-leaders who have been deeply influenced by Ornette Coleman’s style and commitment. Expect the highest quality music played with ultimate involvement by all musicians.
Tony Kofi – tenor and alto sax
Byron Wallen – trumpet
Larry Bartley – bass
Rod Youngs – drums
Latest CD: Imminent
Claire Martin and Ray Gelato with the David Newton Trio – “A Swingin’ Affair”
Friday 9 December 2016
(A £1.00 discount off the ticket price if you come in 30s/40s attire – refunded on the night)
This show was designed for festivals, theatres and larger venues and so we are extremely lucky to have attracted the artistes to Wakefield for our Christmas Party.
Claire and Ray have been friends for 30 years but only got this show together last year. It was created to celebrate the music of the 30s and 40s in an unashamedly entertaining fashion. With the musicians involved what else could be expected. Ray Gelato has led his jump band The Giants of Jive (more recently just The Giants) since 1988, a hugely popular band. With the David Newton Trio as the “rhythm section” it is inevitable that the highest quality jazz will be involved too.
If you like your music sassy, sharp and swinging then this is for you.
Claire Martin OBE – voice
Ray Gelato – tenor sax & voice
David Newton – piano
Oli Hayhurst – bass
Sebastiaan de Krom – drums
“Thanks to everyone concerned, for a wonderful evening last Friday. It must take a great deal of organising to put on the Christmas show without having to accommodate an old geezer and his motley crew of friends and family. The music was, as usual, magnificent, the atmosphere was up to its usual high standards, and the catering was delicious. I was not convinced in advance that all of my lot would enjoy the music but I need not have worried. Claire enchanted them all, everyone remarked on what a great pianist that guy was and I even had ‘that bass player is great’ from people who are not usually into jazz. I can only hope that you have succeeded in converting them and that some of them will be back in 2017.
“I was a bit concerned that my mother would find it difficult to last out the evening, especially since she had only travelled down from Scotland the day before, but again I need not have worried. One of my friend’s remarked that ‘she did not nod off once’. Again, that can be put down to the quality of the evening and the fact that she could not miss a moment of the experience. You made it such a special evening for all of us, but for her it was extraordinarily special.
“Wakefield Jazz has been a special place for me for over a quarter of a century and it has been great watching it grow; a new piano for Dave Newton to play on, a bigger room for more people to enjoy it and the growing commitment of those who keep it going. I may not turn up as often as I would like but you can be assured of my continuing support.
“I cannot thank you enough.