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Band Call - Autumn 2014
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John Colianni Quartet

(Friday 5 September) Read a review here

Rare American visitor, winner of the first Thelonius Monk piano competition.

Long term collaborator with Lionel Hampton, Mel Tormé and Les Paul, John Colianni has an amazingly fluent and all-encompassing playing style which never fails to "knock you out" even when he's playing for laughs. An entertainer to the core, he's not known as Johnny Chops for nothing.

He is a constant feature around the Manhattan jazz clubs and has a loyal following of fans there and in this country. Our gig comes towards the end of a 15 gig tour of the UK throughout which he can be sure of a warm welcome wherever he goes. On this trip he comes to us from gigs in Scotland - and brings a set of Scottish musicians with him.

"Colianni's sound and conception are American to the bone; from New Orleans boogie through to jump blues and Basie swing, he not only knew them all but frequently sounded like he was playing all of them at once." - The Guardian

John Colianni - piano
Kevin Mackenzie - guitar
Jay Kilbride - bass
Chris Whitehouse - drums

Latest CD: On Target (Patuxent records)

Web: www.johncolianni.com

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John Colianni
John Colianni

Click here to see photos from the night

John Ellis Trio

(Friday 12 September)

One of Snake Davis' side-men John is a pianist with an appeal all his own.

John Ellis is the secret ingredient behind the Cinematic Orchestra, Lily Allen and Corinne Bailey Rae's sound. His piano and organ skills have featured on many recordings and in his own "Big Bang". This trio is a straight piano trio using the major talents of Rob and Pete Turner (not relations) seen at Wakefield with The Magic Hat and Jami Sheriff trios respectively.

His music takes surprising twists and turns through township, soulful songs and Mancunian folk heritage. Easily slipping into a song John's voice adds a natural flavour to the overall performance - in fact we'd be disappointed to miss it.

This gig is a joint presentation with Jazz North - John is one of their Northern Line artists.

John Ellis - piano and vocals
PeteTurner - bass
Steve Brown - drums

Latest CD: Tales from the Irk (Limefield Records)

Web: www.johnellis.co.uk

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John Ellis
John Ellis

Phil Robson Organ Trio

(Friday 19 September)

One of the UK's top jazz guitarists makes a new move with the best sidemen.

When Phil Robson decides he wants to form an organ trio - a long-held ambition - he calls on the foremost organist to join him. Ross Stanley of course. Then he calls up Gene Calderazzo from Partisans to provide that exciting and unpredictable clatter for which he's famous to guarantee the hottest trio on the road.

Phil has been a member of a number of significant bands and leads Partisans and Six Strings and the Beat . He has also been nominated for, or won, innumerable jazz awards since 1997 including Parliamentary Jazz Awards Best Jazz Musician of the year in 2009 and nominated again in 2013. He is an invaluable member of his partner, Christine Tobin's, projects too.

Phil Robson - guitar
Ross Stanley - Hammond Organ
Gene Calderazzo - drums

Latest CD: The Trio plans to record on completion of this tour

Web: www.philrobson.net

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Phil Robson
Phil Robson

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Christine Tobin's "Sailing to Byzantium"

(Friday 26 September)

The best jazz settings of poetry ever. Based on the works of W B Yeats

Presented in conjunction with the Wakefield Literary Festival.

Christine finally gained the Best Jazz Singer award at this year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards, something that has been on the cards for some time. She also won a British Composer Award (BASCA) for these compositions. Her Dublin upbringing (an early English teacher was Gabriel Byrne) imbued in her the Irish love of words and poetry in particular. It was only a matter of time before her compositional skills would be put to the service of portraying that love.

That these interpretations have been successful is attested by the many glowing reviews and no-one who loves Yeats' poetry will feel short-changed. Those who listen mostly for the musicality in a performance will also be richly rewarded both by Christine's delicate colours and by the clever and sensitive arrangements she and Phil Robson have written for these superb musicians.

"Her ethereal sound and patient unfolding of melody breathed new life into classics." - John Fordham

Christine Tobin - voice
Phil Robson - guitar
Liam Noble - piano
Kate Shortt - cello
Dave Whitford - bass

Latest CD: A Thousand Kisses Deep (Trail Belle Records)

Web: www.christine-tobin.com

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Christine Tobin
Christine Tobin by Ian Anderson

Nigel Price Trio with Alex Garnett

Fluent, imaginative and technically impeccable guitar playing in an exciting format.

Nigel will be holding a Guitar Workshop from 6:00pm for anyone paying full price for the gig. Bring your guitar and a small amplifier if possible. Prepare by practising arpeggios!

(Friday 3 October)

Nigel is now a very busy player with a full diary throughout 2014. He plays Ronnie Scotts a couple of days before coming North with this augmented version of his organ trio and now Jim Watson fills the organ seat to provide extra excitement. Alex Garnett can be guaranteed to lend class to any band and sparring with Nigel we can guess the tension will build. A night of melodic and acessible soul-bop to leave us breathless.

Nigel Price - guitar
Alex Garnett - sax
Mike Gorman - Hammond Organ
Matt Home - drums

Latest CD: Hit the Road (33 Records. 33JAZZ241)

Web: www.nigelprice.biz C

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Nigel Price

Nigel Price


Andrew McCormack Trio

(Friday 10 October)

Major pianist returns from USA with sidemen to tour their new album.

Andrew has been best known for his associations with Jason Yarde and Kyle Eastwood - for whose band he still writes and regularly performs.

For the past couple of years Andrew has been resident in New York gaining another dimension to his playing. Unsurprisingly for an ambitious young musician he is now touring with new American partners to show us what he has achieved. Their album was released on 7th July and their tour begins in three capital cities; New York, London and Cardiff... then they visit Wakefield.

The music is quality driven with an emotive, yearning aesthetic which may be described as quintessentially British. Yet, his move to New York has brought out a greater depth of swing interplay and mesmeric live sound. The most listenable of melodic contemporary music.

Andrew Mc Cormack - piano
Sam Lasserson - bass
Moses Boyd - drums

Latest CD: First Light (Edition Records)

Web: mccormackmusic.com

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Andrew McCormack Trio

Andrew McCormack Trio

Andrew's new album "First Light" and its launch gig at the Pizza Express have received excellent reviews, see:

4 star review in the Guardian

4 star review in the Financial Times

BBC Music magazine gave the CD a 5 star review and he has been the subject of major features in Jazzwise and Jazz UK.

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Jesse Bannister's "Play Out" featuring Zoe Rahman

(Friday 17 October)

The UK's foremost Indo-Jazz saxophonist forms a strong team for this major project.

Jesse is well respected as a composer, educator and, uniquely, as a saxophonist playing within the tradition of Indian music. He has formed two previous Indo-Jazz ensembles, Raga Nova and Samay as well as collaborating with several established artists within Classical Indian Music. This grouping is the most recent and talent-rich of his projects and, perhaps, emphasises his jazz skills most fully.

Though taking Indian music as its starting point it is convincing jazz in performance and the skills of Zoe Rahman enhance the melodic possibilities with a sympathetic understanding. Kenny Higgins worked with Jesse in Leeds where he has taught for several years. Kenny now plays regularly for Corinne Bailey Rae.

“An intricate and evocative fusion of Jazz and Indian music” - Jazz FM

Jesse Bannister - a truly global artist with an international reputation for original outstanding performance. This quartet interprets Bannister’s compositions with outstanding ability.
Rahman’s unique and intricate style coupled with Bannister’s impressive technical and creative ability come together to form a formidable sound. ‘Play Out’ is a breath of fresh air. Breathe in the experience...

Jesse Bannister - alto saxophone
Zoe Rahman - piano
Kenny Higgins - electric bass
Pat Illingworth - drums

Latest CD: Play Out

Web: jessebannister.co.uk

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Jesse Bannister
Jesse Bannister

Simon Read Octet

(Friday 24 October)

A Northern Line joint presentation featuring a host of young stars including Laura Jurd.

Simon Read has played Wakefield Jazz several times in support bands but now brings his most ambitious professional project featuring his attractive writing. Simon is as much in demand in the Classical world as he is in Jazz and is a respected composer.

The band represents the cream of his generation of Leeds graduates with two LCoM staff (Jamil and Kevin) and a good school friend, Laura Jurd. This superb "mid band " contains the power to give a mighty boost to the scores Simon has written for them and, at the same time, the soloing skills to take the music to another interesting level. Expect clever arrangements of listenable tunes and exciting, adventurous improvisation.

Will Howard - tenor & clarinet
Laura Jurd - trumpet
Ben Lowman - alto
Kevin Holbrough - trombone
Michael de Souza - guitar
Jami Sheriff - piano
Simon Read - bass
Jay Davis - drums

Latest CD: Times Leap (EP)

Web: simonreadmusic.com

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Simon Read Octet

Simon Read Octet

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Claire Martin with the Montpellier Cello Quartet

(Friday 31 October)

An evening of classic songs, new arrangements and chamber jazz.

Claire Martin and The Montpellier Cello Quartet came together in Brighton, where they all live, and through Richard Rodney-Bennet whose music they have both performed. Claire is recognised as the First Lady of British Jazz, having won Best Vocalist at the British Jazz Awards on six separate occasions and was awarded an O.B.E. in 2011. She is now the only UK artist to be included in the critics poll of rising stars, vocalist category 2014, in the US Downbeat Magazine.

The quartet's members have all worked in a variety of British orchestras, but, as with many younger players, have much experience in the contemporary and commercial world working for Nick Cave and Kanye West.

As well as lush arrangements of well known songs the ensemble plays / sings several songs written specially for them including one by Django Bates and another by Mark Anthony Turnage.

This is the tour's only club date so take this unique opportunity to hear them at one of Claire's favourite venues with an informal atmosphere.

Claire Martin - voice
Dan James - cello
Sarah Davison - cello
Joe Giddy - cello
Siriol Hugh-Jones - cello

Latest CD: Time and Place (to be released in September)

Web: www.clairemartinjazz.co.uk and www.montpelliercelloquartet.com

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Claire Martin with the Montpellier Cello Quartet
Claire Martin with the Montpellier Cello Quartet

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Tim Garland's Lighthouse Project

(Friday 7 November)

The small group version of Tim's acclaimed CD release inspired by Northumberland.

Much of this material was written for performance with the Northern Sinfonia strings and constitutes the second of the 2 CD release under this title. The eight tunes on the first CD are well-crafted evocations of the countryside Tim fell in love with during his long association with Northumbria while living in Whitley Bay.

Despite a heavy touring schedule with Chick Corea, his teaching commitments and fulfilling writing commissions, Tim is embarking on an extended tour. He is an improviser at the peak of his powers and this will be an exceptional concert. His chosen sidemen include Asaf, a long-standing member of the Lighthouse trio, Jason Rebello / John Turville replacing Gwilym Simcock on piano and the much in-demand young guitarist, Ant Law.

"Imaginative and consummately crafted… feels like the culmination of a life's work'." - from the Guardian's 5 star review of the album 'Songs to the North Sky'.

"Atmospheric, evocative and unfailingly melodic, it's an absorbing experience, with Garland's saxophone playing a joy." - Dave Gelly, The Observer

Tim Garland - saxes
Ant Law - guitar
Kevin Glasgow - bass guitar
Asaf Sirkis - drums

Latest CD: Songs to the North Sky (Edition Records)

Web: www.timgarland.com

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Tim Garland

Tim Garland


Tommaso Starace's "Italian Short Stories"

(Friday 14 November) Latest News

A suite of tunes inspired by the photographs of Gianni Berengo Gardin.

This is the second CD Tommaso has released inspired by black and white photographs. This time 15 images selected from the work of award-winning photographer Gianni Berengo Gardin, of their homeland Italy, are the inspiration. Each image tells a story for Tommaso, many associated with his formative life near Milan, and those are the stories he plans to illustrate in the playing of each piece. The appropriate images will be projected during the performance.

From his previous appearances at Wakefield we know just how exciting and attractive to listen to Tommaso's work is and, as usual, he brings an extremely well regarded band.

Tommaso Starace - soprano & alto sax
John Turville - piano
Al Swainger - bass
Tommy Bradascio - drums

Latest CD: Italian Short Stories

Web: www.tommasostarace.com

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Tommaso Starace's Italian Short Stories

Tommaso Starace's Italian Short Stories

New York Brass Band - A joint presentation with Jazz North
- with a starting set from the Shelley College Jazz Band, directed by Jeremy Platt, from 7:30pm

(Friday 21 November)

A good time band which began by busking and then conquered the Festivals.

Formed by former schoolteacher James Lancaster in 2010 this free-wheeling street band has leapt from being banned from busking in York to becoming a highly sought-after function and festival band. Its secrets are: 1. To play attractive danceable music in the Nu-New Orleans Brass Band style; 2. To employ a pool of professional musicians with jazz chops who take having fun seriously.

This evening you'll be hard pressed to stay in your seats once the NYBB infectious rhythms get under your skin. Don't resist - they'll get you in the end so surrender quickly.

James Lancaster - sousaphone
Simon Dennis - trumpet
Dan Webster - trumpet
Andrew Cox - tenor sax
Charlie Lancaster - trombone
Tom A'Ianson - trombone
Tom Hawthorn - drums

Latest CD: Recording in preparation

Web: www.newyorkbrassband.co.uk

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New York Brass Band

New York Brass Band

Shelley College Jazz Band

Shelley College Jazz Band

Alec Dankworth's "World Spirit
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£14.00 (Friday 28 November)

Alec's new band with his daughter on vocals explores global influences.

World Spirit explores melodies from Africa, South America and other continents from a jazz perspective. Alec has always had a leaning towards music with a Spanish flavour (he brought his other band "Spanish Accents" to Wakefield). He now extends the range to include Mali, Bulgaria, Venezuela, South Africa ,Ireland and Brazil to offer an evening of global song and improvisation. That many tunes are already in the jazz canon because they were written by Flek, Ellington, Handy, Jobim or Ibrahim will assure the jazz fan of good listening.

Having trained at the Guildhall School of Music, Emily already runs her own group and sings with the acapella group Vive. She recently joined Spanish Accents and is now part of this project put together partly with her in mind. Brandon Allen we can rely on for exceptional soloing and the individual approach to all forms of jazz percussion that Paul Clarvis uses will also add to the exoticism of the band.

Brandon Allen - tenor sax
Emily Dankworth - voice
Alec Dankworth - electric and acoustic bass
Paul Clarvis - percussion

Latest CD: Yet to record

Web: www.alecdankworth.com

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Alec Dankworth's World Spirit
Alec Dankworth's World Spirit

Paul Booth's "Patchworks"
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£14.00 (Friday 5 December)

In-demand tenorman premieres his new band and created compositions.

The inspiration for the pieces Paul wrote for this project came from people who had read his blog and responded to his request for new ideas for sounds, styles, genres, musicians, titles etc., that might serve as starting points for compositions. In the end he selected the five he felt most appropriate and went to work. One idea was to begin with the flight and movement of a dragonfly - will we be able to detect which piece was the result? Another was the Uillean Pipes (Irish bagpies).

The band he's touring is determined by the music to be played but special guests (such as a piper) on the album are largely missing.

Paul Booth - tenor sax, flute, keys and
Victoria Newton - vocals
Giorgio Serci - guitar
Davide Mantovani - bass
Ernesto Simpson - drums
Satin Singh - percussion

Latest CD: Trilateral (Pathway records)

Web: www.paulboothsax.com

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Paul Booth

Paul Booth

Steve Melling Trio with Dick Pearce and Esther Miller
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£17.00 (Friday 12 December) - All ticket event

Our Christmas Party - starts at 8:00pm and features three sets of music, a buffet in the first break and a monster raffle in the second.

When Steve mentioned that he had been playing with Dick Pearce recently it seemed like a good idea to offer them a gig. Then the last appearance he made at Wakefield with Esther Miller came to mind and the good times that generated. Why not see if they'd all be availabe for our Christmas Party?

Esther has been touring the world singing on cruise ships but was home for Christmas. Dick Pearce said he "...had Christmas covered ".

A recipe to combine seasonal cheer with superb jazz playing seemed on the cards. That's just what we'll get from musicians dedicated to quality and a singer dedicated to fun. Come and enjoy the party spirit with us!

Steve Melling - piano
Dick Pearce - trumpet
Esther Miller - voice
Andy Cleyndert - bass
Miles Levin - drums

Latest CD: [with Esther Miller] Into the Sunlight (Tristan Records)

Web: www.stevemelling.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk

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Steve Melling

Steve Melling

Coming Soon:

Liz Fletcher
Phil Donkin's American Quartet
Liane Carroll

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