Martin Speake and Alcyona Mick
Sophie Speed Sextet
Jasmine Myra
Yaatri Feat. Zuheb Ahmed Khan
Oxley-Meier Guitar Project
James Allsopp Quartet Feat. Steve Buckley

Martin Speake and Alcyona Mick

Friday 21 April 2023

Martin Speake / Alcyona Mick Duo Tour 19-29 April 2023

Martin Speake - wakefieldjazz.orgMartin Speake has been a professional musician for some 40 years, first coming to prominence in 1986 with the saxophone quartet Itchy Fingers winning the Schlitz Young Jazz Musician award and touring the world with them for two years. In 1988 he embarked on a solo career and has been a prolific writer and recording artist, working in many contexts from the straight ahead, Indian/Arab music, free improvisation, improvising on Bartok themes, and his own original music.

Alcyona Mick by Mike PorterAlcyona Mick is a London based jazz pianist and composer, who has worked with a wide array of artists in the UK and abroad, performing at major European, American and Canadian festivals and North Africa and the Middle East. Alongside her duo with Tori Freestone she works regularly with Natacha Atlas, the London Jazz Orchestra, and Yazz Ahmed. She has performed with an array of other artists including Bachar Zarkan, Randolph Matthews, Henry Lowther, Eddie Parker’s Debussy Mirrored Ensemble, Ingrid and Christine Jensen, Jerry Dammers, and Mircan Kaya, with whom she performed for a Turkish television series Kanavice on TRT.

“Change of Heart makes a compelling case that Martin Speake is one of the most interesting and rewarding alto saxophonists now playing jazz on any continent.” – Thomas Conrad (Jazz Times)

“Alcyona Mick is an unusual powerhouse of a talent” – MOJO

Martin Speake – alto sax
Alcyona Mick – piano


Sophie Speed Sextet

Friday 28 April 2023

Sophie SpeedThe cream of young Leeds-based musicians, with a cocktail of straight-ahead originals and classic standards, led by Newcastle sax-player Sophie Speed.

Sophie Speed – tenor sax
Olivia Cuttill – trumpet
Nathan Lawson – guitar
Liam Mason – piano
Jaden Hart – bass
Miles Pillinger – drums

Jasmine Myra

Friday 5 May 2023 (with support band)

Jasmine Whalley - wakefieldjazz.orgJasmine Myra is a saxophonist, composer and band leader, based in Leeds. Part of the bustling, creative, cross-genre music scene in the city she has surrounded herself with some of the best young talent in the north of England. Her original instrumental music has a euphoric and uplifting sound, influenced by artists as diverse as Bonobo, Olafur Arnalds and Kenny Wheeler, artists whose music shares an emotive quality that you can also hear in Myra’s own compositions.

She has recently signed to Gondwana Records and has been working with A&R and producer Matthew Halsall, whose keen ear for talent helped bring the music of GoGo Penguin, Mammal Hands and Hania Rani to the wider world.

Jasmine Myra’s debut album ‘Horizons’ is out now.

Jasmine Myra – alto sax
Matt Cliffe – flute / alto sax
Ben Haskins – guitar
Jasper Green – piano
Ruth Lee – harp
Sam Quintana – bass
George Hall – drums


Support from Dracorex
Sophie Speed – sax
Harry Souter – guitar
Liam Mason – keys
Jaden Hart – bass
Harry Stobart – drums

Yaatri Feat. Zuheb Ahmed Khan

Friday 12 May 2023 (with support band)

Yaatri - wakefieldjazz.orgInfluenced by the momentum of the rhythms of India, the immersive timbres of electronic music, and the energy of rock’n’roll, Leeds-based quintet Yaatri’s blend of complex composition and ethereal soundscapes captivates the heart as well as the mind.

Raised in ten countries around the world by Indian / American parents, Yaatri was born of a desire to explore guitarist Liam Narain DeTar’s cultural identity with an emphasis on his South Asian heritage.

Combining the multicultural sounds of DeTar’s upbringing with psychedelic soundscapes, intricate arrangements and musicianship beyond their years, Yaatri’s music has been described by fans as emotionally transportive and capable of taking listeners to a higher spiritual place. Driven by lyrical melodies and propulsive grooves, the five piece is compelled by the desire to push the boundaries of modern songwriting.

The quintet have rapidly gained a reputation for being among the most forward-thinking and unique creative forces in the North of England, receiving praise from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, Jamie Cullum, Rolling Stone Magazine India, Jamz Supernova’s Selector Radio, Jazz FM (plays, interviews, playlist), British Airways, and more.

Special guest Zuheb Ahmed Khan is an international phenomenon of Indian Classical tabla. A member of the revered Ajrara Gharana of New Delhi, he, like his father and grandfather before him, has dedicated his life and soul to his instrument from the age of three. His career has seen him perform alongside legends of Indian Classical music including Ustad Nishat Khan, Ustad Aashish Khan, and Ustad Ahmed Mohammad Hussain, as well as icons of jazz such as Jeff “Tain” Watts, Louis Hayes, Chris Potter and Yuka Honda.

Khan met Liam Narain DeTar of Yaatri in the summer of 2018 in New Delhi, when DeTar reached out to him for lessons in Indian Classical rhythm and tabla. With a mutual curiosity for how Indian Classical concepts could be applied to other styles of music, Khan’s innate understanding of rhythm served as the initial creative spark from which Yaatri was born.

After five years of writing and recording together online with 7000 kilometers between them, Yaatri and Zuheb Ahmed Khan will come together in May 2023 for 12 exclusive performances around the UK.

Liam Narain DeTar – guitar
Rosie Miles – vocals
Felix Bertulis-Webb – keys
Dom Kilsby – drums
Joe Wilkes – bass
Zuheb Ahmed Khan – tabla


Support from: Viridian Trio
Pedraum Agahi – guitar
Jaden Hart – bass
Dominic Neeson – drums

(from Leeds Conservatoire)

WJC Festival 2023

Oxley-Meier Guitar Project

Friday 19 May 2023 (with support band from 7:00 pm)

Oxley-Meier - wakefieldjazz.orgPete Oxley and Nicolas Meier are well known to Wakefield audiences from many previous festivals and gigs and are most welcome back on their 2023 UK tour. They play many guitars and other stringed instruments from all over the world in their culturally eclectic show. Their original compositions encompass Arabic, Eastern European, Latin American and Jazz influences that will dazzle and delight.

The Oxley – Meier Guitar Project was established ten years ago, following their tenure in the unique quartet, ‘Eclectica!’ In that decade, they have recorded 7 albums together, ranging from duet to quintet formats and have performed literally hundreds of concerts together throughout the UK and Europe.

Regardless of the size of the ensemble, Oxley & Meier have always maintained their two aims:
– to write guitar-based music that is exciting, engaging and fascinating to anybody interested in music.
– to use an expansive range of instruments in order to deliver a stylistically wide ranging programme.

To achieve this, they usually use ten different guitars at their gigs. These include more unusual instruments such as:
– 11-string Glissantar (fretless instrument, based on the arabic lute – the oud)
– Electric 12-string
– Sitar guitar
– Fretless nylon-string

Their music falls into the ‘jazz’ category, as there is improvisation (as a major element) in each piece. However, the soundscapes are very much influenced from their various travels, this summarised by their strap-line: “soundscapes from Turkey to Brazil”. As a result, Oxley and Meier have performed in many of the top venues in jazz, world music and classical venues: Ronnie Scott’s, Musicport Festival and The Wigmore Hall, respectively.

Expect an evening of joyous varied fare, performed by these two seriously established musicians which The Observer described thus:

“When it comes to empathy, the duet of guitar virtuosi comes close to perfection”

…Or if you are a fan of the ECM supergroup, Oregon, this quote from Ralph Towner will resonate:

“This album is a wonderful example of the high level of music that can be made by combining two great guitarists/composers/improvisers such as Pete and Nicolas. They have put together a feast of virtuosity, delivered wit depth, wit and joy.”

The Oxley-Meier Guitar Project will be performing brand-new music for this concert.

Pete Oxley – guitars
Nicolas Meier – guitars
Ralph Mizraki – bass
Paul Cavaciuti – drums



Support from: Nathan Lawson Trio
Nathan Lawson – guitar
Chris Williams – bass
Dominic Neeson – drums

(from Leeds Conservatoire)

WJC Festival 2023

James Allsopp Quartet Feat. Steve Buckley

Friday 26 May 2023 (with support band from 7:00 pm)

James Allsopp - wakefieldjazz.orgThe James Allsopp Quartet is the new project from the BBC Jazz award winning saxophonist The band builds on the joyful and haunting melodies that characterise his music and combines them with deep bass riffs and a sense of swing rooted in the jazz tradition but not beholden to it.

The band features Steve Buckley (Loose Tubes) on Alto Saxophone and Bass Clarinet, Tom Herbert (Polar Bear) on Acoustic and Electric Bass and rising star Dave Storey on the Drums.

“…perhaps the most gifted British saxophonist of his generation, not to mention the most adaptable…” Underscore music magazine

James Allsopp – tenor sax
Steve Buckley – alto sax/bass clarinet
Tom Herbert – bass
Dave Storey – drums


Support from: Rod Lawson Trio
Joseph Barraud guitar
Rod Lawson bass
Trevor Williams drums

WJC Festival 2023


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