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Narc Festival Jazz Stage  -  Sat Jul 02, 2016  |  07:00 pm
For the first time ever Jazz North East has been invited to programme a Jazz Stage at the Narc Festival in Ouseburn, and we've come up with a roster of artists who really reflect the wonderful diversity that marks out jazz today.

First up it's uninhibited free improv from the Sheffield-based trio of Mick Beck, Derek Saw and Charlie Collins. Mick, ferocious on sax, bassoon and assorted whistles, locks horns with Derek on a variety of brass instruments, while Charlie applies some sort of arrhythmic order from an extraordinary array of percussive implements. Passionate music with a great sense of fun.

The mood changes as vocalist Zoë Gilby takes to the stage with just a mic and an assortment of pedals, delivering her acclaimed 'Watching Sideways' project in which voice and electronics combine to mesmerising effect.

Then it's crank up the volume as self-styled "power-jazz commando team" Taupe unleash their razor-sharp polyrhythmic play, exploratory compositions and raw, high energy group improvisation. Originally formed while its three members were all students at Newcastle University, Taupe is already taking the UK jazz scene by storm, and has Europe in its sights.

Finally, for anybody thinking "It's jazz, Jim, but not as I know it", we return to relatively familiar territory with Not Now Charlie, a quintet that puts melody and groove at the heart of their playing, with the aim of getting even the non-jazz lover hooked. To that end they incorporate elements of rock, pop, neo-soul and R&B into their approach, but the core influence is undoubtedly the contemporary post-bop jazz of such masters as Chris Potter and Joshua Redman.

A great end to a great night of jazz in all its many-splendoured diversity . . . and the whole thing's free!