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As we get to the end of 2018, we can’t resist looking back at what has been a tremendous year of jazz for us.

Starting with a revelatory all-day showcase for musicians from Luxembourg, and ending with a wonderful gig from Archipelago - surely the most exciting young band to have emerged from the North East for a decade - we’ve promoted around 40 concerts, and it’s just been one highlight after another. As usual our international strand has been really strong, with musicians from no fewer than 16 countries, but it’s also been a pleasure to welcome a host of great UK artists, from well established stars like Stan Sulzmann to rising new talents such as Alex Hitchcock. And it’s also been a great year for collaborations with other organisations, sharing concerts with fellow promoters such as the Newcastle Jazz Coop, and contributing to a series of local festivals.

So, we can look back with pleasure and pride, but what we really like to do is to look forward with anticipation. We’re taking a short break over the Christmas and New Year period, but are already putting the final touches to our programme for 2019, with another mix of musicians from all round the jazz world, welcoming back some familiar faces and giving Tyneside debuts to some stars for the future. Like a belated Christmas present, we’re keeping it all under wraps for the moment, but will be unveiling our feast of treats early in the New Year, so . . . watch this space!