Gale-force energy plus startlingly original material has won them dozens of awards during their six years, including JazzEnsemble of the Year in the 2014 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.With influences from Ellington through Loose Tubes to Radiohead, their vivid ideas and brilliant mood changes have redefined the big band for the twenty first century. www.beatsnpieces.net
Thursday 13 November
Auditorium, Sheffield University Students Union
Mark Lockheart: tenor sax
Pete Wareham: tenor sax
Tom Herbert: double bass
Leafcutter John: electronics, guitar etc.
Seb Rochford: drums
One of the most exciting bands of their generation, and nominated for a 2014 Mercury Prize, Polar Bear continueto experiment with electronics, their new music movingbetween jazz and avant techno, more spacious and more intense than previously. Transcending genre, they connect with jazz, rock, hip-hop, electronic and mainstream audiences alike.
Friday 21 November
Benn Clatworthy Quartet
Benn Clatworthy: saxophones
Cecilia Coleman: piano
Simon Thorpe: bass
Matt Home: drums
Storming post-Coltrane energy to beautiful ballad playing, Los Angeles-based Clatworthy has matured into a truly great tenor player. A favourite with Sheffield audiences for many years for his emotional playing and dry sense of humour, supported by a top-class US/British rhythm section.
Friday 28 November
Gwilym Simcock/Yuri Goloubev Duo
Gwilym Simcock: piano
Yuri Goloubev: bass
A pianist of exceptional and dazzling ability, Gwilym Simcock’s music has been acclaimed as ‘engaging, often unexpected, melodically enthralling, complex yet hugely accessible'. Celebrating the much-lauded new album with long time collaborator Yuri Goloubev, the duo bring music which navigates an intriguing route through jazz, chamber music and contemporary classical. http://www.gwilymsimcock.com/
Friday 5 December
Stan Sulzmann: tenor sax
Kit Downes: piano
Jim Hart: vibes
Tim Giles: drums
Absorbing and technically brilliant interplay are the hallmark of this elegant, forceful music. A remarkable concentration of talent, Neon boasts three great composers, combining the value of experience with the freshness of youth. “..rhythmic flexibility, imaginative interplay and lyrical, inventive soloing”. (Irish Times)
The UK's finest and most inventive male jazz vocalist. Exciting, edgy and provocative, he blends jazz with elements from soul, blues and pop with a nice line in sharp wit, honed during his days on the Alternative Cabaret circuit! http://www.ianshaw.biz/
Acclaimed bassist and band leader Gary Crosby, famous for the storming Jazz Jamaica All Stars, shifts his focus for this new, more intimate project. A group discussion between four great players - progressive jazz with some Afrobeat accents interspersed with thoughtful ballads.
One of the most brilliant musicians of his generation, a gifted composer and sparkling improviser. With Neon, Troyka, or his own trio, he brings an under-stated verve and earthy brilliance to the music. The current quintet expands his musical palate - rich, deep, expressive sounds.
Friday 14 February
Dennis Rollins’ Velocity Trio Dennis Rollins: trombone & electronics
Ross Stanley: Hammond organ
Pedro Segundo: drums & percussion
Virtuoso trombonist at the forefront of UK jazz, funk and pop for 25 years. A brilliant marriage of refined contemporary jazz and simmering funk grooves. This unique trio line-up honours the jazz tradition and pushes it forward at the same time.
Friday 7 March
Jim Hart: vibraphone
Barry Green: piano
Steve Brown: drums
Matt Ridley: bass
Fantastic celebration of the MJQ, formed by Michael Garrick a year before his tragic death in 2011. After his death the band determined to continue, recruiting fine young pianist Barry Green and still featuring some of Michael’s finest compositions alongside MJQ favourites.
Friday 14 March
Jay Phelps Sextet: Projections of Miles Jay Phelps: trumpet
Denys Baptiste: tenor saxophone
Logan Richardson: alto saxophone
Jonathan Gee: piano
Tim Thornton: bass
Shane Forbes: drums
Jay Phelps (formerly of Empirical, star of BBC’s‘Dancing On the Edge’) brings an all-star line up to re-arrange the classic music of Miles Davis. The world-class front line includes US alto-man Logan Richardson and British tenor star Denys Baptiste. http://www.jayphelpsmusic.com/
Friday 21 March
Jean Toussaint Quartet Jean Toussaint: tenor sax
Andrew McCormack: piano
Larry Bartley: bass
Troy Miller: drums
Seriously exciting music from a tenor player of international stature - from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the mid eighties, to high profile collaborations in many jazz styles. Today he works out of London and his playing goes from strength to strength.
Thursday 27 March
Auditorium, Sheffield University Students Union
Get The Blessing Jim Barr: bass
Clive Deamer: drums
Jake McMurchie: saxophone
Pete Judge: trumpet
One of the UK’s most exciting live bands – Jim Barr and Clive Deamer from Portishead joined forces with the two horns and took the jazz scene by the scruff of the neck. A unique sound - thumping tunes, infectious beats and joyous collective spontaneity.
Friday 4 April
Brandon Allen Quartet Brandon Allen: saxes
Ross Stanley: piano
Mick Hutton: bass
Chris Higginbottom: drums
Powerful Australian saxist with a fiery quartet featuring the great Mick Hutton on bass. Emotional, blues soaked tenor style, firmly in the hard bop tradition - his rich sound lets him steam through up-tempo numbers and channel tenderness through quieter ones. http://www.brandonallen.co.uk/
Friday 11 April
John Turville Trio John Turville: piano
Calum Gourlay: bass
Ben Reynolds: drums
One of the UK’s leading contemporary jazz piano trios, using their rhythmic and harmonic depth to explore widely varying moods and ideas. A startlingly lyrical mix of contemporary tango, classical writing, and pastoral jazz.
Friday 25 April
Led Bib Mark Holub: drums
Pete Grogan: alto saxophone
Chris Williams: alto saxophone
Liran Donin: double bass
Toby McLaren: keyboards
“A lean, mean, improv-rocking jazz machine” - Time Out. “Less interested in following anyone else's traditions than starting their own” - Yahoo Music. Groove, improvisation, thrash and everything in-between, carrying the audience with an energy more akin to their avant-rock peers than a jazz group!
Friday 2 May
Michael Wollny’s [em] Michael Wollny: piano
Tim Lefebvre: bass
Eric Schaefer: drums
One of the most dramatic developments for the classic piano trio since e.s.t.. “Wollny's combination of hard-rock muscle, postbop articulacy, warped-classical tributes and blazing energy is one of the most exciting recent developments in European jazz”...John Fordham, The Guardian.
A welcome return by the band whose gig was a highlight of Sheffield Jazz 2011.Thrilling, deep grooves; memorable, adventurous melodic lines; engaging textures. One of the UK’s most powerful and exciting groups with music from their award winning 'Urban Theme Park' album.
Friday 16 May
Anita Wardell/ Dave O’Higgins Quintet Anita Wardell: vocals
Dave O’Higgins: saxophones
Mike Gorman: piano
Oli Hayhurst: bass
Tristan Mailliot: drums
Anita Wardell, renowned for mesmerising vocal improvisation, won Best Vocalist in the 2013 British Jazz Awards. Dave O’Higgins has long been a major figure among British tenor players. High quality straight-ahead jazz with great vocals and outstanding improvisation.
One of the most popular jazz singers in the country - also one of the most highly acclaimed! Huge talent and vast experience, she’s seen here with long time associate Nikki Iles.
“a rapport that takes singer and pianist far beyond mere voice plus accompaniment.” Dave Gelly - The Observer
“Lesser artists may have grabbed the headlines, but Tina May remains the most expressive and technically gifted jazz singer on the scene.”Kenny Mathieson – The Scotsman
Alan Barnes/ Bruce Adams 5
Alan Barnes - saxes/ clarinet
Bruce Adams – trumpet
Robin Aspland – piano Simon Thorpe – bass
Matt Home - drums
Ever-popular Alan Barnes returns with the straight-ahead hard bop quintet he’s been leading with Bruce Adams for 20 years - and this is the best line-up yet! A repertoire from the classic years of bop with an emphasis on accessibility, good humour and a conviction that jazz should swing. Barnes has dominated the saxophone and clarinet section of the British jazz awards throughout the '90s and beyond and is often seen compering as well as performing at major jazz festivals
Liam Noble 5
Liam Noble – piano
Shabaka Hutchings – tenor saxophone and clarinet
Chris Batchelor – trumpet
Dave Whitford – bass
Dave Wickins – drums
Liam Noble’s much-lauded “Brubeck” trio expands to a dynamic five piece, with a fantastic musical palette ranging between the avant-garde and Tin Pan Alley. Textural contrasts, unusual forms, fragments and riffs transforming into chorales, chord sequences dissolving into dense webs of sound then morphing into lyrical melodies and danceable grooves! And through all this, the spectre of the classic hard bop quintet is never far away.
“…a brilliant pianist…”John Fordham, The Guardian
'Shabaka is a veritable cauldron of creativity ... an emerging Brit-jazz star if ever there was one' ...Jazzwise www.liamnoble.co.uk
Louis Moholo-Moholo 4
Louis Moholo-Moholo – drums
Alex Hawkins – piano
Jason Yarde – saxophones
John Edwards – bass
One of that group of great South African musicians who lit up the British jazz scene in the 70s, a member of the legendary Blue Notes and Brotherhood of Breath, Louis Moholo-Moholo has worked with a host of world-class players, including Steve Lacy and Cecil Taylor. A welcome chance to see him in Britain following his move back to South Africa, revisiting the Blue Notes repertoire with a storming quartet of established collaborators.
www.alexanderhawkins.com www.serious.org.uk/artists/alexander-hawkins www.soundcloud.com/alexanderhawkins
Sheffield University Big Band
Sheffield Jazz presents Sheffield University’s most active and exciting jazz ensemble, organised and led entirely by current SU students. It will include: drums, bass, guitar, keys, baritone/tenor/alto/soprano saxes, tenor/bass trombones, trumpets, and vocalists.
For more information about the band and about their new debut album go to: http://www.subb.org.uk/
Scenes in The City - The Music of Charles Mingus
Tony Kofi – saxophones
Karen Sharp – saxophones
Jeremy Price – trombone
Mark Edwards – piano
Arnie Somogyi – bass
Clark Tracey – drums
Mingus’s music was full of joyous freedom and drive with a deep feeling for the blues. Scenes in the City capture that spirit perfectly in a tribute to two classic albums from 50 years ago - Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus and The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady. Great Mingus classics, played by an all-star lineup!
“Soaring, beautifully realised interpretations … giving each musician enough space to create essential individual solos. “..Tim Wall. www.justlikejazz.org http://www.arniesomogyi.com/scenes.html
Stuart McCallum Trio with Reel Strings
Stuart McCallum - guitars/laptop
Pete Turner – bass
Dave Walsh – drums
Thol Mason, Steve Cordiner – violins
Tanah Stevens – viola
Ben Cashell - 'cello
A presentation by Jazz North and Sheffield Jazz Renowned for his playing with Cinematic Orchestra and remixing Radiohead,McCallum’s music embraces simple, memorable melodies, bass lines and drum beats, combined with electronica, improvisation and elegant orchestral writing - spacious and intimate or wildly energetic. Live strings highlight the rich orchestral textures, making the music simmer with tension, sharpening the dynamics and heightening the audience experience.
“the feel of the Cinematic Orchestra, Brian Eno and Silent Way-era Miles” The Guardian, UK
“exemplary of everything that is exciting about new British jazz.”Jazzwise, UK
Jan Kopinski – saxes
Steve Iliffe – keys
Karl Bingham – bass
Stefan Kopinski – bass
Patrick Illingworth - drums
BBC Music Magazine said “uncategorisable, uniquely exciting, danceable and darkly atmospheric … irresistible pulses .. nebulous, magical, mysterious soundscapes…” Call it ‘Free-Funk Jazz’ or ‘Avant-Jazz’ they stomp with emotion and musical intensity. A unique sound with a cult-like following, Pinski Zoo are UK jazz originals, explosively dynamic jazz with a crafted, identifiable group sound, bristling with sonic tension. “Organic, no-surrender, spiritually uplifting music”… AllAbout jazz.
"... volatile mixture of freedom and funk."… New York Times www.jankopinski.com
Zoe Rahman Trio
Zoe Rahman – piano
Alec Dankworth – bass
Gene Calderazzo - drums
Return of the ever-popular pianist/composer. Deeply rooted in jazz her music reflects her wide-ranging imagination, classical background and broad musical taste. Awarded Best Jazz Act 2012 at the prestigious MOBO awards, her individual style, powerful technique and exuberant performance has led to work with George Mraz, Courtney Pine and Jerry Dammers. 'Classically trained, Zoe Rahman can play with the attack and the power of McCoy Tyner....and the lyricism of Bill Evans' ..Jazz Journal ‘Rahman is a total star’ …Independent on Sunday
‘a formidably talented pianist’ …Telegraph
Dave Hassell – timbales
Steve Gilbert – drums
Chris Manus – conga
Steve Williams – bass
Paul Kilvington – piano
Glen Cartledge – guitar
Nick Smart – trumpet
John Hinch - 2nd trumpet
Andy Scott – saxophones
John Barber – trombone
Orli Nyles - vocal
Apitos are back! Their last Sheffield Jazz gig saw a full house for a night of breathtaking Latin Jazz. Don’t miss this chance to catch them again. Led by Dave Hassell, renowned drummer, percussionist, and expert on Latin American music, Apitos is recognised as one of the leading Latin jazz ensembles in the UK, merging the rhythms of Latin America with jazz and improvised forms. “A good time will be had by all”. http://www.davehassell.co.uk/music/apitos
Friday 18 January 2013
Gilad Atzmon Orient House Ensemble
Gilad Atzmon: sax
Frank Harrison: piano
Yaron Stavi: bass
Eddie Hick: drums
The maverick, award-winning saxophonist returns. A regular with the Blockheads and work with everyone from Robbie Williams to Paul McCartney, he combines with sophisticated bebop artistry, Middle-Eastern roots and the instrumental power of Coltrane!
“a jazz giant steadily drawing himself up to his full height...”John Fordham - The Guardian. “whirlwind approach ... dynamic and charismatic...”Brian Blain - Jazz UK“the expat Israeli saxophonist combines thrilling jazz musicianship with a maverick political intelligence...”TheGuardian ****A subtle blend of East and West, that’s brutal and beautiful’…BBC.
Friday 25 January
Stan Tracey Octet
Stan Tracey: piano
Mark Armstrong: trumpet
Mark Nightingale: trombone
Sam Mayne: sax
Simon Allen: sax
Mornington Lockett: sax
Andy Cleyndert: bass
Clark Tracey: drums
Stan Tracey’s five decade career influenced generations. As house pianist at Ronnie’s in the ’60s he played with all the visiting American greats – Sonny Rollins said “does anybody here know how good he really is?” His brilliant style combines the percussive melody of Monk with the robust lyricism of Ellington. “ jazz highlight of the year. It doesn’t get much better than this”… South China Morning Post “I don't think anybody writes better within his style for large group”…Duncan Henning –Jazzwise
Friday 1 February
Karen Sharp Quartet
Karen Sharp; sax
Nikki Iles; piano
Dave Green; bass
Steve Brown; drums
In 2004 Karen Sharp came to prominence through a three year stint in Humphrey Lyttelton’s band. Her warm melodic style has featured in work with many of London’s top players including Scott Hamilton, Danny Moss, Alan Barnes and Mark Nightingale. Her quartet, with one of the hardest swinging rhythm sections in the business, features like-minded musicians with a wealth of experience and a shared love of great tunes.
“an extraordinary talent”…Phil Collins, BBC Radio 2 “Karen Sharp seems to have the complete kit – warm, singing tone, melodic flair, great sense of swing and an ear for good material”…Dave Gelly, The Observer
Friday 8 February
Nathaniel Facey; alto sax
Tom Farmer; double bass
Shaney Forbes; drums
Lewis Wright; vibraphone
Multi award-winning jazz sensation Empirical need no introduction. Four young, British musicians emphasising equal contributions to the group sound, delivering original, sophisticated, jazz. In a few short years they’ve carved out a place as one of jazz’s most exciting young bands. Numerous awards including the 2010 MOBO for best jazz act and Jazzwise and Mojo albums of the year.
“The coolest of Britain’s young jazz bands”... Daily Telegraph “Empirical could turn out to be one of the most important bands in UK jazz history”... Jazzwise
Friday 1 March
Liane Carroll Trio
Liane Carroll; vocals & piano
Roger Carey; bass
Mark Fletcher; drums
Liane Carroll’s legendary passionate style combines soulful sincerity and a vocal flexibility that’s the envy of most other singers with a fantastically entertaining show. A regular headliner at Ronnie Scott’s and the 606, she’s picked up numerous awards and a rapturous reception at New York’s Lincoln Center. Don’t miss this chance to see her back with the trio.
"Highly recommended - I love it"...Michael Parkinson "The real thing."....Sholto Byrnes, Independent on Sunday "Utterly brilliant."...Time Out “Deeply soulful, wonderfully honest”...The Times
Friday 8 March
Mark Lockheart’s Ellington in Anticipation
Mark Lockheart: tenor sax
Emma Smith: violin
Finn Peters: alto sax
James Allsop: clarinets
Liam Noble: piano
Tom Herbert: bass
Seb Rochford: drums
Mark Lockheart presents many of Ellington’s most revered compositions deconstructed and arranged into a fascinating set of new music, rich in orchestration and concept and entirely respectful to the beauty of Ellington’s original creations. This all star seven- piece group features some of the most exciting and original musicians in the UK.
“ affecting melodies, endlessly inventive”...The Observer “one of the most glorious bits of writing and playing you’ll hear this year”... Jazzwise
Friday 15 March
Paul Booth Quintet
Paul Booth; saxes
Phil Robson; guitar
Mike Janisch; bass
Ross Stanley; piano
James Maddren; drums
Paul Booth is firmly established as solo artist, and 'first call' sideman for many big names in both jazz and pop. His range covers work with Steve Winwood, Steely Dan, Basia, the BBC Big Band, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Riverdance, Eddie Henderson, Clarence Penn, Roberto Pla, Snowboy, Ray Gelato, Jane Monheit, Patti Austin, Madeleine Bell! Here he is in the classic jazz quintet setting.
“Blistering young saxist, a genuine prodigy”.The Independent“displays a lyricism of the likes of John Coltrane and Stan Getz”...John Fordham
Friday 22 March
Get The Blessing
Jim Barr; bass
Clive Deamer; drums
Jake McMurchie; sax
Pete Judge; trumpet
In 2000 Jim Barr and Clive Deamer from Portishead (Deamer now also plays with Radiohead) joined forces with McMurchie and Judge, to take the jazz scene by the scruff of the neck. Thumping tunes, monstrously infectious beats, joyous collective spontaneity. Their 2012 tour covered 12 European countries and 10 dates in North America. Influences from Ornette and Tortoise, to Blondie and Samuel Beckett!
"they may well be the most original and exciting band on the British scene at the moment"...Jazzwise"GTB harness rock and jazz with uncompromising power"...Time Out
Friday 12 April
Kit Downes: organ
Chris Montague: guitars, loops
Joshua Blackmore: drums
Exploding from London’s fertile jazz scene Troyka bring their visceral mash-up of rock, jazz and dance music. Textural guitar loops, angular riffs and displaced drum grooves - the band everyone’s talking about - a compelling listening experience."a jazz sensibility .. deep improvisation and complex composition .. savage attack and impressively substantial mood-sculpting."...BBC Music Review “the power and sheer ‘size’ of the music they produce would be impressive in a sextet; for a trio it borders on the miraculous”...London Jazz Blog"spikily abstract at times, gracefully lyrical or traditionally rock-bluesy at others." ...The Guardian
Friday 19 April
Soweto Kinch Trio
Soweto Kinch; sax etc
Karl Rasheed-Abel; bass
Shaney Forbes; drums
One of the most exciting and versatile young musicians on the British jazz and hip hop scenes. Recognised as a great jazz player and equally at home with the likes of KRS ONE, Dwele and TY, and championed by Mos Def, Rodney P and BBC 1-Xtra’s Twin B. 5 star reviews for his recent live performances have confirmed him as a major figure on the UK scene.
“it’s hard to imagine stronger contemporary jazz being played anywhere else in the world.”...Jack Massarik - Evening Standard
Friday 26 April
Peter King Quartet
Peter King; alto sax
Steve Melling; piano
Geoff Gascoyne; bass
Mark Fletcher; drums
Peter King is simply one of the best alto players in the world. His career has seen him with the world’s jazz greats – Bud Powell, Philly Joe, Elvin, Benny Golson etc.
“Ladies and gentlemen,”… Wynton Marsalis invited him to guest with the Lincoln Centre Orchestra and introduced him as, “the legendary Peter King”. “Peter King is one of the best musicians in the world.” …Lalo Schifrin. “Peter King is a master of his instrument. People are aware of that here in America as well as in England”…Elvin Jones
Friday 10 May
Alex Hutton Trio
Alex Hutton; piano
Yuri Goloubev; bass
Asaf Sirkis; drums
Sheffield born Alex Hutton has been firmly established alongside most of the leading figures on the London jazz scene since the ‘90s.
“a vigorous rhythm section ... featuring classical virtuoso double bassist Yuri Goloubev and the high-class drummer Asaf Sirkis. one of the best and most interesting (piano trios) around at the moment...Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise “cinematic, folksong-like melodies ... he likes improvisers of character around him ... melodic warmth... the kind of music that speaks to a wide listenership”... John Fordham
Friday 17 May
Norma Winstone; voice
Nikki Iles; piano, accordion
Mark Lockheart; tenor & soprano sax & bass clarinet
Mike Walker; guitar
Steve Watts; double bass
James Maddren; drums
Jazz vocal innovator Norma Winstone heads a group crossing the boundaries between jazz, folk and contemporary music - original works alongside pieces from people like Steve Swallow and Ralph Towner.
" at the peak of her form... there is no jazz singer in the country to touch her"... Alyn Shipton, The Times"Iles is one of the most refreshing figures to have emerged in recent times, a liquid sound and supple, obliquely resolved phrasing as an improviser"... The Guardian
Friday 28 September 2012
Iain Dixon/Mike Walker Quintet Mike Walker: guitar
This quintet, featuring exceptional guitarist Mike Walker, is a new band of old friends from the North of England (including Sheffielder Caroline Boaden) playing a mixture of original tunes and arrangements of lesser known songs.
Mike Walker: "...nothing short of sensational..." - John Fordham, The Guardian
Mike Walker 's playing, for those who don't know it, is one of the greatest joys of British jazz. To say he's in the league of a John Scofield or a Mick Goodrick may mean little. But in the live situation he can lead the listener literally anywhere. There's a capacity to play on the borders of silence, and yet with an astonishing range of colour. And to build from there, organically to full-on Hendrix. He never disappoints." - London Jazz Blog
“Iain Dixon’s tenor is hard hitting and he has that vocalised tone that defines the big-hearter, soulful saxophone” - City Life
Friday 5 October
Trevor Warren: guitar
Pete Wareham: sax
Annie Whitehead: trombone
Dudley Philips: bass
Winston Clifford: drums
Trevor Warren brings together a fusion of jazz, rock and ethnic grooves with this inspired quintet. The band take rhythms from modern dance music, minimalism, rock, African and Indian music, as well as many other forms. Trevor is joined by a group of A-list players including Pete Wareham from Acoustic Ladyland and Polar Bear, and Annie Whitehead who has played with everyone from Carla Bley through Elvis Costello to Jah Wobble.
“The name suggests a bone-crunching thrash-metal jazz outfit - but British guitarist Trevor Warren’s group is actually a warm horn-dominated ensemble boasting some pedigree improvisers.”John Fordham, The Guardian
"...picking out individuals isn’t the point – this is just a brilliant ensemble."MusicMetal.com
Friday 12 October
Kate Williams Septet Kate Williams: piano
Gareth Lockrane: flute, alto and bass flutes
Steve Fishwick: trumpet/ flugelhorn
Ben Somers: tenor saxophone
Julian Siegel: tenor and soprano saxophones/bass clarinet
Oli Hayhurst: bass
Tristan Maillot: drums
Kate Williams brings to Sheffield a star-studded septet which has won rave reviews both for its “Made Up” CD and for its gigs across the country over the past year. A recipient of the John Dankworth Award For Talent Deserving Wider Recognition, she has gained a distinctive reputation as both a writer and performer.
“ A superbly lucid and inventive pianist and composer.”Humphrey Lyttleton, BBC Radio 2
Friday 19 October
Christine Tobin: Sailing to Byzantium Christine Tobin: vocals
Liam Noble: piano
Phil Robson: guitar
Kate Short: cello
Dave Whitford: bass
This gig will feature songs from Christine’s highly-praised new album “Sailing To Byzantium” which has been receiving great reviews and is an evocative collection of twelve poems by W.B. Yeats set to music by the Irish singer-songwriter and BBC award-winning jazz vocalist Christine Tobin. The poems set are chosen from Yeats’ early work through to his final collection, from love poems to works that chart his desire to find a deeper spiritual truth, as in the epic Sailing To Byzantium. Christine’s inspired settings and her "24 carat voice", backed by a superb band, bring great warmth and luminosity to his work.
“In this beautiful collection of songs based on the poetry of W.B.Yeats, vocalist Christine Tobin has created an unqualified masterpiece” - JAZZWISE MAGAZINE. "..a jewel of the London jazz scene, streets ahead of the pack. She should be on a global stage ...".The Guardian
Friday 9 November
Benn Clatworthy Quartet Benn Clatworthy: saxes
John Donaldson: piano
Simon Thorpe: bass
Josh Morrison: drums
Always popular with the Sheffield Jazz audience, Benn Clatworthy brings a very strong UK-based quartet for this gig. Benn is a truly impressive modern jazz tenor whom Ronnie Scott rated as one of the best UK players he had ever heard
"A tenor saxophonist that is every bit the player that Joshua Redman is, Clatworthy has been a staple in Los Angeles clubs for the past two decades" -www.jazzreview.com
"A master player”LA Weekly
“With remarkably little publicity or fuss John Donaldson has emerged as one of Britain’s most exciting contemporary jazz pianists...”Dave Gelly, The Observer
Friday 16 November
Tim Lapthorn Trio with Bobby Wellins Tim Lapthorn: piano
Bobby Wellins: saxes
Arnie Somogyi: bass
Stephen Keogh: drums
The Lapthorn trio play a smart mix of beautiful originals alongside reworkings of more standard material - featuring saxophone legend Bobby Wellins. Expect lyrical, melodic yet explorative and exciting playing from this group of highly experienced and talented musicians. Lapthorn has forged a reputation as one of the UK’s most highly respected piano players with his harmonic, soulful yet spacious approach to the instrument with his many influences ranging from Debussy to D’Angelo
“Pure Class” - Jazz UK
“..sparkles with originality and colour”.Humphrey Lyttleton
Friday 23 November Millennium Hall
Neon Stan Sulzmann: tenor sax
Kit Downes: piano
Jim Hart: vibes
Tim Giles: drums
Neon features one of the UK’s finest saxophonists in the company of three of the most in-demand young British jazz musicians. With three composers on board, Neon’s music is a rich pageant of sound and shifting rhythms. Neon is so much more than the sum of its parts.
“The chemistry of 2010 Mercury prize nominee pianist Kit Downes, vibraphonist Jim Hart and drummer Tim Giles was an inspirational setting for the lyrical saxophonist Stan Sulzmann in his second edition of the Neon group”. – The Guardian
Thursday 29 November
Django Bates’ Beloved Django Bates: piano
Petter Eldh: bass
Peter Bruun: drums
A rare but welcome return to these shores by the former Loose Tubes etc. prodigy together with an international rhythm section, presenting both Charlie Parker’s and Django’s own compositions
Belovèd present the compositions of Parker and Bates from their new album Confirmation. Django’s originals stand in their own right but also serve to recontextualise Parker’s lines, using the same rhythmic and harmonic signature that is brought to bear in his astonishing re-workings of “Donna Lee”, "Confirmation", et al.
“Bates now has one of jazz’s great piano trios on his hands...”The Guardian
Friday 7 December
Heads South John Harriman: keyboards
Steve Waterman: trumpet
Buster Birch: drums
Chino Martell Morgan: percussion
Adolfredo Pulido: bass
Heads South’s music combines Cuban & Latin rhythms with tuneful melody in an enticing repertoire of new compositions and innovative arrangements of classic tunes. The Band’s reputation has grown fast in their relatively short existence. The line-up features top UK jazz trumpeter Steve Waterman, Cuban percussionist Chino Martell Morgan, Venezuelan bassist Adolfredo Pulido, drummer Buster Birch and pianist/ composer John Harriman.
"Cool, cultured and exhilarating... The start of something very special “The Musician
"An effervescent collection of Latin favourites and original compositions in the Cuban tradition with plenty of jazz content from excellent players...”Jazz UK
"The compositions and keyboard playing of John Harriman combine with the trumpet of Steve Waterman to create a spare, crisp invigorating set of Latin Jazz... Waterman’s mastery of this idiom suits Harriman’s deceptively simple melodies to perfection"The Observer
Fri Jan 20 2012
Alan Barnes Quintet featuring Scott Hamilton
Alan Barnes – alto, baritone sax
Scott Hamilton – tenor sax
Dave Newton – piano
Chris Hill - bass
Sebastiaan de Krom - drums
Top U.S. mainstream tenor man Scott Hamilton meets multi award winning UK reedsman Alan Barnes for an evening of straight ahead swinging jazz with the superb David Newton Trio. The repertoire drawn from their two Woodville albums focuses on Johnny Hodges' small band themes, standards and a selection of the beautiful ballads.
Fri Jan 27
Chris Biscoe Quartet Chris Biscoe - saxes, clarinet, flute
Tony Kofi - alto sax
Larry Bartley - bass
Stu Butterfield - drums
Tony Kofi, fresh from high profile engagements with Ornette Coleman and the World Saxophone Quartet, joins the ever-inventive Chris Biscoe to explore the music of Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy.
“they turned in one blistering solo after another within ensemble passages of impeccable cohesion, the hallmark of the highest quality jazz.” Ivor Widdison - Jazz UK
"Biscoe's sparkling arrangements and splendid playing vividly capture Mingus's sprawling, rumbustious energy." Kenny Mathieson - The Scotsman
Fri Feb 3
Zoe Rahman Quartet Zoe Rahman – piano
Idris Rahman - clarinet
Davide Mantovani – bass
Gene Calderazzo - drums
Welcome return for always popular, effervescent pianist Zoe Rahman. Tonight’s music is a powerful and fresh portrait of her combined English, Irish and Bengali heritage. Her regular jazz trio adds her brother Idris on clarinet.
"..her fine quartet began with a set of life-affirming music that was never less than entertaining and intellectually stimulating." Peter Collins, Western Mail reviews from Brecon Jazz 2011 www.zoerahman.com
Fri Feb 10
Ambulance Arnie Somogyi – bass
Paul Booth – sax
Tim Lapthorn – piano
Dave Smith - drums
Described as “four of the UK’s most exciting young jazz musicians”, Ambulance was launched at Ronnie Scott’s in 2004. Years of successful development has seen all of them leading their own bands. The original quartet returns to Sheffield as part of a UK tour performing a mixture of new original compositions and more familiar jazz standards, in their own inimitable open style.
“Hip as hell” Jazzwise www.myspace.com/ambulancejazz
Fri Feb 17
Jim Mullen’s Reunion Quartet Jim Mullen - guitar
Gareth Williams – piano
Gary Husband - drums
Mick Hutton - bass
Formed in 1996 this group developed an extremely powerful musical identity during its six years lifetime. Reformed for this tour, the band will be playing a mixture of new specially written music and pieces previously recorded. Mullen’s legendarily melodic improvising is supported by the wonderfully creative Gareth Williams and driven by powerhouse drumming and one of the hardest swinging bass players the UK has ever produced.
Fri Mar 2
Damon Brown’s International Quintet Damon Brown – trumpet
Christian Brewer – alto sax
Yutaka Shinna – piano
Martin Zenker – bass
Matt Skelton - drums
A fantastic British front line is joined by German bass virtuoso Martin Zenker and Japan’s premier modern jazz pianist Yutaka Shinna. Their original compositions show a love of the great Hard Bop performers, with the spirit and energy of the seminal recordings of Blakey, Hubbard and Shorter.
“Shiina .. maintains a hip expressiveness.. (he) suggests the graceful delivery and pearly sound of Wynton Kelly - the perfect foil for Damon Brown .. The effect is to give bebop a light and diaphanous quality.” John Fordham – the Guardian www.damonbrown.co.uk
Fri Mar 9
Dave O’Higgins Quartet with Eric Alexander
Dave O’Higgins – tenor sax
Eric Alexander – tenor sax
Andrew McCormack – piano
Arnie Somogyi- bass
Kristian Leth - drums
New Yorker Eric Alexander has developed a distinctive voice in the bop-based tradition. He makes an ideal front-line companion for Dave O’Higgins, resulting in some roaring two-tenor blowing in the time honoured tradition.
“(Alexander) is a commanding improviser with a hard-edged yet warm sound … their booting ensembles recalled the past glories of two-tenor groups such as Stitt and Ammons or Johnny Griffin and “Lockjaw” Davis.” Jack Massarik - Evening Standard
Fri Mar 23
Kit Downes Quintet Kit Downes – piano
Calum Gourlay – bass
James Maddren – drums
James Allsopp – bass clarinet
Lucy Railton - cello
The gifted composer and sparkling improviser, brings this new line-up to showcase his latest compositions - material with a story-telling quality that draws the listener in. The rapport between the trio is clear but adding cello and horns really brings Downes' music into deeper focus.
"Pianist Kit Downes' slender frame and shy demeanour hide a lightening musical intelligence and an engagingly slow-burn energy." The Daily Telegraph
“A brilliant soloist who builds slowly into cascades of melodic ideas... highly imaginative tunes and expansive, melodic solos.” Time Out
Fri Mar 30
Ivo Neame Quintet Ivo Neame – piano
Tori Freestone – sax
Jim Hart – vibes
Jasper Hoiby – bass
James Maddren – drums
One of the flagship bands of London's LOOP collective, this features some of the finest young UK jazz musicians. Contemporary music, far-reaching in its scope, highly personal, allowing each member space to shine individually and as part of the ensemble.
“A showcase for Neame's blossoming keyboard powers. It's a set full of edgy and characterful themes, matched by resourceful, conversational improvising” The Guardian ****
Their hugely successful Wigmore Hall concert in 2011 has led to both audiences and the two musicians wanting more. Gwilym Simcock has been described as ‘exceptional’, ‘brilliant’, ‘dazzling’ - able to move effortlessly through jazz and classical. His magnificent 2008 premiere “Progressions” enthralled a sell-out Proms audience. Klaus Gesing’s long-standing playing and composing partnership with Italian pianist Glauco Venier led to the stunning trio with Norma Winstone and a Grammy nomination and the prestigious Académie du Jazz award for their CD "Distances"
Fri Apr 20
Michael Janisch New York Standards Quartet Michael Janisch – bass
David Berkman - piano
Tim Armacost – sax
Gene Jackson - drums
NYSQ was formed to tour Japan in 2006, reinterpreting music from the standard repertoire. Janisch brings another top-flight group, all associates of jazz’s household names: Armacost-Billy Hart, Ray Drummond; Berkman-Tom Harrell, Cecil McBee; Jackson-Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland!
“Janisch’s virtuosity has put him in the UK’s top flight since his arrival in 2005 .. an impact beyond his hard-driving bass playing, with his high profile matching of American and British talent.” Jazz UK
“clearly relish the opportunity to stretch out … showing how standards can serve as a foundation for exploration, not just museum pieces.” Louisville Music News
Fri Apr 27
Dagda Quartet featuring Jean Toussaint Jean Toussaint – tenor sax
Tom Harrison – alto sax
Billy Adamson - guitar
Tom West – bass
Mike Clowes - drums
This quartet, based on young rising stars recently out of the Royal Academy Jazz course, has been getting rave reviews for what TIME OUT called “Energetic modern jazz with a rocky edge.” Influences range from Coltrane and Rosenwinkel through Led Zeppelin to Velvet Underground. Tonight sees them augmented by the phenomenal sax talent of ‘Jazz Messengers’ veteran, Jean Toussaint!
"... Toussaint has found a language that gracefully spans the gap between straight jazz and funk - it makes for some of his best playing..." The Guardian www.dagdaquartet.co.uk
Fri May 11
Chris Allard Band Brandon Allen – sax
Chris Allard – guitar
Ross Stanley – piano
Oli Hayhurst – bass
Nick Smalley – drums
One of the UK’s most exciting young jazz fusion outfits, fresh from tour dates at Ronnie Scott’s, and the International Guitar Festival. Fine contemporary jazz guitar with the formidable sax tornado, Brandon Allen.
“Full-blooded solos...right on the money” Jazzwise
"His tone varies from warm jazz to bluesy angular lines .. compositional and stylistic colour.. for fans of Pat Metheny, Pat Martino, Andy Summers” Guitarist magazine
Fri May 18
Crucible Studio .
Tina May Quartet Tina May – voice
Nikki Iles – piano
Julie Walkington –bass
Karen Street – accordion
'The Ox on the Roof'
A joint promotion between Music in the Round and Sheffield Jazz
First Concert 7pm. The Creation of the World
Ensemble 360 Second Concert 9pm. Americans in Paris
Tina May Band
Tina, who lives 50% of her time in Paris, was recently asked to sing and host an evening of songs made famous by the great 'chanteuse'. The evening soon sold out as did the next night. Such is the enduring power of Piaf's music.
Tina has now recorded a selection of Piaf songs with some of her favourite musicians who regularly tour with the show: Nikki Iles on Piano, Karen Street on accordion and Julie Walkington on bass.
"That great rarity, a singer who enhances a song." - The Observer
Superb tonal range, elastic phrasing, faultless diction and barrelfuls of individual style." - The Herald
Considered as one of the finest jazz vocalist's the UK has ever produced." - All Music Guide
Handles the classics as the gems they still are. - The Guardian
Fri June 8
Martin Speake Trio
Martin Speake – alto sax
Mike Outram – guitar
Jeff Williams - drums
“Martin Speake is one of the most interesting and rewarding alto saxophonists now playing jazz on any continent.” Thomas Conrad - Jazz Times This great trio brings two long term collaborators to performs Martin’s own music in addition to some carefully chosen standards they make their own. Jeff Williams has enormous experience over several decades, including renowned work with Dave Liebman, Stan Getz and Lee Konitz. And as for Mike Outram: “World-class” The Guardian
“the sweetest wailing rock guitar in Britain. It’s a sound of great beauty.” Seb Scotney, London Jazz