Brigitte Beraha “BabelFish”
Nic Meier Group “Infinity”
Paul Edis’s Ushaw Ensemble
Nova Trio
Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat
Greg Abate with the Pete Rosser Trio
Phil Robson’s Quartet feat. Jed Levy
Nigel Price Organ Quartet
Alina Bzhezhinska’s London Quartet
Claire Martin and Jim Mullen pay a Christmas tribute to Wes Montgomery
Sam Braysher and Michael Kanan
Julian Siegel Quartet
Nicola Farnon Trio
Clark Tracey’s Ruby Anniversary Quintet


Brigitte Beraha “BabelFish”

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Friday 5 October 2018
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Improvising vocalist, composer and teacher brings her classy band to entertain us
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Brigitte Beraha

A collaboration between two of the UK’s finest jazz artists Barry Green and Brigitte Beraha, the band also features legends Chris Laurence and Paul Clarvis. Between them they have played and recorded with Kenny Wheeler, John Surman, Sarah Vaughan, Norma Winstone, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, Lee Konitz and many more. Their debut album Babelfish was released to critical acclaim and picked by Sebastian Scotney, founder of LondonJazz, as his top album of 2012.

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Their latest album “Chasing Rainbows”, which received rave reviews, is a new collection of music they love, regardless of where it comes from – songs in English, French, Portuguese and Italia. From original songs about love to fast paced compositions about sushi; from free Jazz to their take on Contemporary Classical songs, each Babelfish performance is fearless, fresh and fascinating.

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“It’s a pleasure to enter the original music language of this band: a world of playfulness and beauty, where anything could happen- you’re caught up in their sense of mystery and imagination.” – Alison Bentley, LondonJazz
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Brigitte Beraha – voice,
Barry Green – piano,
Chris Laurence – double bass
Paul Clarvis – percussion
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Web: www.brigitteberaha.com
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Nic Meier Group “Infinity”

Friday 12 October 2018
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A true gypsy spirit with a disciplined maestro’s touch
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In just a few short years, Swiss-born but UK-based guitarist Nicolas Meier has carved out a reputation as one of the UK’s most original and uniquely talented guitarists. Drawing from a love of Turkish, Eastern & Middle Eastern music, Flamenco, Tango and more — all mixed with jazz — Meier is one of the rising stars in a vibrant British jazz scene. His versatility and musical fluency extends well beyond that … so much so, that his considerable talents drew the attention of rock guitar legend, Jeff Beck, who has since made Nicolas a mainstay in The Jeff Beck Group, carrying him on two world tours during the course of the last several years.

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Nicolas has visited us several times playing in a variety of styles, so we know that we are in for a real treat tonight.

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“It’s rare to come across a musician whose vision for his instrument is so vastly expansive as that of Swiss-born Nicolas Meier. Even rarer still is finding a level of creative brilliance, precision and almost reverential sensitivity, delivered with conviction and authority!!!” – Drumhead Magazine
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Nicolas Meier – acoustic guitar and glissentar
Kevin Glasgow – bass
Demi Garcia – percussion
Richard Jones – violin
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Web: www.meiergroup.com

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Paul Edis’s Ushaw Ensemble
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Friday 19 October 2018
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Jazz improvisers set against Northumbrian Pipes and Violin make wonderful music – A Northern Line Ambassador Artist gig sponsored by Jazz North
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Originally formed to perform a specially commissioned suite to celebrate the life and story of St. Cuthbert, the Ushaw Ensemble is made up of the very best musicians from the North East, many of whom we know well. The Northumbrian Pipes will be a first for Wakefield though. The group fuses elements of folk, contemporary classical and jazz to create wonderful accessible music.

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“A new voice in jazz…..a real jazz composer…a very thoughtful improvise” – Andy Hamilton, Jazz Journal
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Paul Edis – MD, composer/pianist
Graeme Wilson – saxes bass clarinet, flute
Graham Hardy – trumpet, flugelhorn
Emma Fisk – violin
Richard Brown – percussion
Andy May – northumbrian pipes
Paul Susans – double bass
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Web:  www.pauledis.co.uk/performer

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Nova Trio

Friday 26 October 2018
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Jazz, Latin and Flamenco from a widely influenced trio all with a good acoustic sound
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Hailing from Chile, Spain and the UK, Nova Trio fuse their wealth of different musical traditions, from classical music to gypsy jazz. It would be an understatement to say that Alec Dankworth has a jazz background. Jorge was born in Chile and he is an amazing virtuoso guitarist who enjoys the music of his own country but has also got into the gypsy jazz style of Django Reinhardt as well as bossa nova. Demi is from Barcelona and he plays percussion – Spanish percussion as well as jazz percussion. It has all got a very good acoustic sound.
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Jorge Bravo – guitar, charango
Alec Dankworth – double bass
Demi Garcia Sabat – drums, percussion

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Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat

Friday 2 November 2018
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Mellow and melodious – a contemporary sound rooted by strong melodies
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Emma Johnson - wakefieldjazz.org

A young Leeds-based quartet led by sax player Emma Johnson, playing her original compositions. A contemporary sound rooted by strong melodies, exploring the textures and possibilities of a band of close knit musicians performing together.
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Emma Johnson – tenor sax
Calvin Travers – guitar
Sam Jackson – bass
Alasdair Wells – drums
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Website: www.johnsonmusic.co.uk/gravy-boat

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Greg Abate with the Pete Rosser Trio
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Friday 9 November 2018
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From the USA the multi saxophonist, known as The Prince of BeBop is in town
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Greg Abate - wakefieldjazz.org

Greg Abate is a jazz saxophonist, flautist and composer who usually tours the globe over 200 days every year. We are lucky to have this international artist revisiting Wakefield for one of those days!

Known for his sincere passion and energy in playing, this graduate of Berklee and veteran of the Ray Charles Orchestra is a straight ahead real jazz player. This evening he meets our very own Pete Rosser with his piano trio.

“High-energy jazz doesn’t describe the full feeling of listening to hard bop saxophonist Greg Abate in live performance because so much intensity and idea-making fuels his music. But it comes close.” – Ken Franckling’s Jazz Notes
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Greb Abate – sax
Pete Rosser – piano,
Ed Harrison – double bass
John Settle – drums
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Website: www.gregabate.com
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Phil Robson’s Quartet feat. Jed Levy

Friday 16 November 2018
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All star quartet demonstrate their prowess across many styles of jazz
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Phil Robson - wakefieldjazz.org

Phil Robson, internationally acclaimed, multi award winning guitarist and celebrated composer was a long-term fixture in the British & European jazz world. He is now an integral part of the New York scene, where he has been based since 2015. On this European tour, Phil brings his latest US band which features the great saxophonist Jed Levy who shares the composer’s role with Phil.
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The quartet features the great American drummer Clarence Penn and fantastic bassist Oli Hayhurst. The original music written by Phil & Jed is innovative & contemporary whilst drawing on the vast tradition of jazz, across the whole spectrum of styles. The emphasis is on strong melodies and grooves and the tunes are vehicles for improvisation, allowing each musician to use their experience to make them their own. This will be the very best musical melting pot and a night not to miss!
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“Phil Robson is one of the best guitar players in the world today. His musical ideas flow continually and with a seamless logic. His technique is flawless and is in service to his fertile imagination. One of my favourites and a source of inspiration! Don’t miss an opportunity to hear this modern giant!!” –  Peter Bernstein.
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Phil Robson – guitar
Jed Levy – saxophone
Oli Hayhurst – bass
Clarence Penn – drums
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Nigel Price Organ Quartet
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Friday 23 November 2018

Pure jazz & toe tapping music for all
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Nigel Price - wakefieldjazz.org

Over a career spanning more than 25 years, award winning jazz guitarist Nigel Price has become widely acknowledged as one of the hardest working musicians in the business. Musically, his blend of flowing bebop lines, deep blues sensibility and his mastery of chording continue to delight audiences and fellow musicians alike. He is a regular performer at London’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club where he has made more than 500 appearances.
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This time he brings to Wakefield long standing favourites of ours Ross Stanley and Winston Clifford and introduces us to Vasilis Xenopoulos. In 2017 Nigel and Vasilis created the XPQ (Xenopoulos/Price Quartet) and recorded their first album under that brand, “Sidekicks” which celebrates some of the most successful guitar/sax pairings in the history of jazz.
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“‘Wow’. Lovers of jazz across the UK – prepare to be taken by storm by the Nigel Price Organ Quartet. An experience not to be missed!” – The Jazz Mann
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Mike Gorman – organ
Vasilis Xenopoulos – tenor sax
Nigel Price – guitar
Pat Levett – drums
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Website: www.nigelprice.biz

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Alina Bzhezhinska’s London Quartet

Friday 30 November 2018
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Ukranian Harpist exercises her jazz muscles including a tribute to Alice Coltrane
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TD Alina Bzhezhinska - wakefieldjazz.org

Alina Bzhezhinska is an international harpist originally from Poland/Ukraine based in London & Edinburgh. Her virtuoso performances and imaginative programmes have established her reputation as a harpist of exceptional accomplishment. She has performed with many major European orchestras, including the National Opera in Warsaw and Scottish Opera. Alina was honoured to play at the Queen’s 80th-birthday celebrations at Balmoral Castle and at the King of Thailand’s birthday celebrations in Bangkok. She has been developing her jazz skills while in Scotland and has now recorded “Inspired by Alice and John Coltrane” with Tony Kofi. Their appearance at the EFG London Jazz Festival in a special triple bill featuring Denys Baptiste and Pharoah Sanders – ‘A Concert for Alice and John’ – has been nominated for Best Live Experience of the Year at the 2018 Jazz FM Awards.
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“The band sound great: Bartley’s big-toned, magisterial bass solo draws whoops of applause, as does the climactic duet between harp and Kofi’s clear-voiced soprano on ‘Journey in Satchidananda’ – and Alina’s eccentrically effervescent personality shines through, bringing a real sense of joy.” – Eddie Myer, Jazzwise

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Alina Bzhezhinska – concert harp
Tony Kofi – alto sax
Larry Bartley – bass
Joel Prime – drums
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Latest CD: Inspiration (Whirlwind)
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Website: www.alina-harpist.com

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Claire Martin and Jim Mullen pay a Christmas tribute to Wes Montgomery

Friday 7 December 2018
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Our Christmas Party – SOLD OUT – A three set gig starting at 8:00 pm, with a buffet meal in the first interval and a monster raffle in the second
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Jim Mullen and Claire Martin - wakefieldjazz.org

2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of one of the most celebrated and iconic guitarists in jazz history, Wes Montgomery. The self taught Grammy winning legend left an amazing body of work during his short lifetime which ended tragically early. Award winning jazz musicians – vocalist Claire Martin and guitarist Jim Mullen – pay their special tribute to this hugely influential and important musician.
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Featuring classic Montgomery tunes such as ‘Full House’, ‘Road Song’ and ‘Bumpin’ – Claire and Jim will also revisit some of the quintessential standard songs that Montgomery played throughout his career such as ‘Willow Weep for Me’, ‘If You Could See Me Now’ and ‘Goin’ out of My Head’ and as this is our Christmas gig we can expect something seasonal as well.
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“There are few, if any, finer jazz singers than Claire Martin. She’s certainly the best the U.K. has produced, with her cunning mix of straight-ahead purity and interpretive legerdemain.” – JazzTimes

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Claire Martin OBE – voice
Jim Mullen – guitar
Mike Gorman – organ
Tristan Maillot – drums
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Website: www.clairemartinjazz.co.uk


Sam Braysher and Michael Kanan
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Friday 18 January 2019
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A cool, modernist twist on almost-forgotten treasures
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Sam Braysher and Michael Kanan - wakefieldjazz.org

Sam Braysher’s debut album Golden Earrings (Fresh Sound New Talent Records), a collaborative effort with celebrated New York pianist Michael Kanan, was released to a warm critical response in September 2017, with a number of jazz journalists including it in their ‘best of 2017’ lists.
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Following on from their album release tour last year, Kanan makes another welcome visit to the UK. He is a real master with an exquisite touch, a world-class interpreter of standards. Young London alto saxophonist Sam Braysher has recently been heard playing with the London Jazz Orchestra and ECM recording artist John Warren’s Nonet.
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Expect a fresh and swinging approach to the timeless material of the Great American Songbook from these wonderfully melodic improvisers in an intimate and conversational duo setting.
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“Utterly swinging, with the restraint that comes from complete self-assurance, and hip as a New York minute” – Eddie Myer, JazzViewse

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Sam Braysher – alto sax
Michael Kanan – piano

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Website: www.sambraysher.com
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Website: www.michaelkanan.com

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Julian Siegel Quartet
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Friday 25 January 2018
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European Jazz of the highest order
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Julian Siegel Quartet - wakefieldjazz.org

The BBC Jazz Award winning saxophonist and composer Julian Siegel has chosen to work with some of this generation’s most distinctive voices to create an in-demand Quartet on the UK and European Jazz scenes. The band features inspirational pianist Liam Noble, his fluid touch and dazzling imagination perfectly complementing Siegel’s music and playing, and providing a perfect foil for the many directions the music can turn. With the creative spark of dynamic drummer Gene Calderazzo and the deep groove of bassist Oli Hayhurst dove-tailing perfectly with Siegel and Noble this is unquestionably one of the UK’s most exciting and powerful quartets. Following up from their London Jazz Award winning album ‘Urban Theme Park’ (Basho 2011) the band released their second album ‘VISTA’ in February 2018 on Whirlwind Recordings.
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“When the Julian Siegel Quartet perform live it’s a fantastic ride” – Jez Nelson, BBC Radio Jazz on 3

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Julian Siegel – tenor and soprano saxes, bass clarinet, compositions
Liam Noble – piano
Oli Hayhurst – double bass
Gene Calderazzo – drums
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Website: www.juliansiegel.com
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Nicola Farnon Trio

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Friday 1 February 2019
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A small band that packs a mighty punch
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Nicola Farnon - wakefieldjazz.org

Nicola has a remarkable musical pedigree, both parents being professional classical musicians and her great uncle no less than the late Robert Farnon the great arranger and composer. After an early start on piano and cello (grade 8 in both by the age of eleven), she followed her dad’s love of the ‘standards’ into jazz via the double bass and an enchanting voice which was developed during her Performing Arts studies at Middlesex University. Her sparkling trio and quartet appears regularly on the jazz circuit and the band’s arrangements are all done by her – with some melodic and extremely catchy originals thrown in for good measure!
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Her performances, with her wide variety of music, versatility and attention to detail, keep audiences spellbound with classic songs ranging from 1930’s to the 1970s. With Nicola’s trio you get a lot of musical talent that manages to pack a mighty punch for a seemingly small outfit as, although there are only three, between them they cover vocals, double bass, piano, sax, drums and percussion. Nicola Farnon manages to combine her exceptional talents of singing and playing bass with a delightfully original and very inclusively warm and witty performance. Ultimately these three musicians combine to give a performance that will startle you with its genuine love of music and melody.
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“A remarkable performer on stage, a fine singer and an outstandingly swinging and propulsive bass player with an outgoing personality to match…I declare that she is a class act who should be on every jazz festival in the land….A sure fire hit!” – Humphrey Lyttleton

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Nicola Farnon – double bass and voice
Piero Tucci – piano and sax
Phil Johnson – drums
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Website: www.nicolafarnonmusic.com


Clark Tracey’s Ruby Anniversary Quintet
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Friday 8 February 2019
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Bebop and beyond, played with great assurance and technique
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Clark Tracey - wakefieldjazz.org

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Clark has been leading his own bands since 1981 and currently leads a Quintet as well as tribute bands to his father, the late Stan Tracey and of course the Bootleg Eric band. He says “2018 was my 40th year in jazz, and to celebrate I assembled my latest troupe of outstanding young musicians. Despite their apparent youth, their maturity on their instruments is what has encouraged me to put this particular group together.
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Clark needs no introduction to us at Wakefield, and the others are stars in the making. Alexandra Ridout was crowned the winner of the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award 2016 at the age of 17. Also in that final was 21 year old Elliott Sansom. Sean Payne had been playing the saxophone since the age of eight when he made the final of the BBC jazz awards only five years later in 2014.
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Since its inception a year ago, this band has already astonished audiences around the country at clubs and festivals with a maturity beyond their years.
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“All the time Clark drove the rhythm section in customary fashion, eliciting solid contributions from pianist Elliott Sansom and bassist James Owston, who showed a prodigious mastery of his instrument. A group of youngsters well worth looking out for.” – Matthew Wright, Review of the South Coast Jazz Festival.

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Nadim Teimoori – sax
Sean Payne – alto
Elliott Sansom – piano
James Owston – bass
Clark Tracey – drums

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Website: www.clarktracey.com


Ivo Neame Quartet

Friday 15 February 2019
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This music is complex yet accessible, considered yet spontaneous, traditional yet forward-thinking
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Ivo Neame - wakefieldjazz.org

Ivo Neame is an award-winning pianist and composer. In addition to leading his own bands, he is a vital cog in several of European jazz’s most forward-looking groups including Phronesis and the Marius Neset Quintet. He regularly performs at jazz festivals worldwide, collaborating with ensembles as diverse as the Frankfurt Radio Big Band and the London Sinfonietta. He is a regular member of Phronesis (Best Jazz Ensemble, 2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awards)and the Julian Arguelles Quartet, but tonight he brings his own quartet, all of whom we know well, to delight us.
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“That Neame is one of the most interesting jazz pianists of his generation may be clear. That he is getting better and better is too. The 10 years of almost constant being on the road with bands has given him a prominent role in the front line of British jazz.” – Written in Jazz

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Ivo Neame – piano
George Crowley – tenor sax
Tom Farmer – bass
Jon Scott – drums
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Website: www.ivoneame.co.uk

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