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Zoë Gilby Quartet  -  Sun Dec 01, 2013  |  08:00 pm
Admission £ 8.00 ( £ 6.00 concessions)
Vocalist Zoë Gilby has been one of the greatest success stories of the North East jazz scene - and rightly so. In fact it's no longer appropriate to describe her as a North East artist; she's increasingly in demand at jazz clubs all round the UK, and her international outings in 2013 have included festival bookings in China and the Ukraine. Zoë is now indisputably a player on the world stage.

But it's our good fortune that she still stays based on Tyneside, and it's appropriate that she begins the launch tour for her third album right here in Newcastle. The album, coming out on the London-based 33 Records, is called 'Twelve Stories', and that's a good indication of the direction that Zoë has been taking in her music, a love for songs with a strong narrative, which she delivers with a commanding mix of musical sophistication and dramatic edge. And the fact that an increasingly large part of her repertoire consists of originals written by herself and bassist husband Andy Champion furthers her claim to be one of the most distinctive vocalists on the contemporary jazz scene.

Of course the performance of any vocalist is enhanced by the presence of top flight accompanists, and Zoë's quartet is packed with A-listers. As well as Andy - himself amongst the country's leading bassists - there's superb guitar work from Mark Williams, and driving (but never intrusive) drumming from Richard Brown, possibly the UK's only sheep-farming percussionist. All three have been part of Zoë's band for several years and the interaction between the musicians is unfailingly stimulating and sympathetic.

The national tour which follows this gig is sure to win Zoë and her band even more enthusiastic fans around the country; those of us who've been her fans for years know that it's richly deserved.

This gig is a co-promotion with 'Splinter @ the Bridge'