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John Pope Quintet: A Tribute to Ornette  -  Sun Jul 03, 2016  |  08:00 pm
Admission £ 8.00 ( £ 6.00 concessions)
It's almost exactly 50 years since Jazz North East presented the Ornette Coleman Trio, as one of the first gigs in our inaugural programme. At the time he was an enormously controversial figure in the world of jazz; now, five decades on, he is recognised as one of the most important innovators of the post-bop era, with many of his tunes having entered the canon.

So what better way to mark our own anniversary than by remembering the great free jazz icon, who died just a year ago? We asked bassist John Pope to put together a band that could celebrate Ornette's legacy, and re-interpret it for today, and that's exactly what he's done. Trumpeter Graham Hardy has long demonstrated his credentials as an extraordinarily versatile player who loves to play free when the opportunity arises, while Faye MacCalman and Jamie Stockbridge are two of the most exciting young reeds players to have emerged from the Tyneside scene in recent years (both graduates of Newcastle University, although Jamie now lives in Manchester). Manchester is also the home base for drummer Johnny Hunter, but he's so excited by this project that he will be travelling up to Newcastle specifically to take part.

And, of course, leader John Pope has himself been dedicated to exploring the possibilities of freedom in jazz almost since he first picked up the bass. For this gig he will be using tunes from all periods of Ornette's career as jumping off points, as well as unveiling original material inspired by the pioneering legend. This promises to be a night of great music from a superb quintet . . . and a fitting tribute to one of the towering figures of our music.

Tickets for this gig are available from Reflex CDs (0191 260 3246) or online from