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STILL CELEBRATING


A third of the way through our ‘Women Make Music’ series, and we’re allowing ourselves a bit of a pat on the back. The first three concerts, from Laura Jurd, Zoe Rahman, and Beatrix Ward-Fernandez, have all been outstanding musically, and have played to large and enthusiastic audiences. So far, so good.

But there’s plenty more to come, starting with two outstanding double bills at this year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival – Tyneside’s very own Zoë Gilby is linked with violinist and vocalist Alice Zawadzki on the Saturday, with groups led by saxophonists Cath Roberts and Rachel Musson following the next day. And then, after pausing for breath, we resume the series in May with a very rare appearance from legendary American vocalist Linda Sharrock (a veteran of the 1960s free jazz revolution), followed by another double bill, this one featuring trombonist Sarah Gail Brand and saxophonist Faye MacCalman.

The ‘Women Make Music’ series continues until July, but of course it’s not the whole of our programme - there are plenty of other diverse highlights, including a rip-roaring tribute to the late ‘Cannonball’ Adderley (at which we’ll all be begging for Mercy! Mercy! Mercy!), and one of London’s most exciting young bands in Riff Raff, with vocals from the highly acclaimed Brigitte Beraha. And our reputation for bringing in new international talent is sustained, with gigs from the Paris-based Tam de Villiers Quartet, and the sensational Swiss piano trio VEIN (hugely popular in mainland Europe, yet inexplicably overlooked here in the UK).

But overlooking quality is not our style. Household names, or complete unknowns . . . as our printed flyers say: “If it’s good, we’ll book it”.

COMING SOON

12th March @ the Black Swan Bar & Venue
Mercy! Mercy! Mercy!
Tribute to the great Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley from an all-star Scottish quintet led by saxophonist Martin Kershaw.

22nd March @ the Bridge Hotel
Tam de Villiers Quartet
Brilliant UK guitarist, long resident in Paris, makes his first Tyneside appearance with his French quartet.

31st March @ the Jazz Café
Riff Raff
Bassist Dave Manington leads a band drawn from the cream of the London scene, with vocalist Brigitte Beraha adding a distinctive edge to the sound.

11th April @ Sage Gateshead
Pannonica + Alice Zawadzki
First of two JNE double bills at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival, featuring Zoë Gilby’s Monk project, and rising star violinist and vocalist Alice Zawadzki.

12th April @ Sage Gateshead
Sloth Racket + Musson-Kjaer-Marshall
A second Festival double-header, with a freewheeling quintet led by saxphonist Cath Roberts, and an outstanding all-women improv trio.

23rd April @ the Lit & Phil
VEIN
Great piano trio from Switzerland, delivering engagingly complex music with an underpinning of sure-footed swing.

Full details for all these and later gigs can be found on the Events pages of this website.