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Group Theory + The Early Bird Band  -  Thu Feb 15, 2018  |  08:00 pm
If, as the doom mongers sometimes tell us, jazz has had its day, then clearly the news hasn’t reached a lot of young musicians, because we can’t remember a time when so many were taking to the challenge of improvisation. This double bill celebrates that fact, with two North East bands demonstrating just how much creative vibrancy the new generation is bringing to the scene.

Group Theory is one of several small groups spawned by the award winning Durham University Big Band, and is rapidly making a name for itself across the region. Their repertoire includes a mix of reimagined standards, and an ever expanding book of new material from the pen of saxophonist Daniel Garel. Their first Tyneside gig, at the Jazz Café in June 2017, drew a rave review on the BebopSpokenHere blog: “Top stuff! . . . the group’s cohesion was admirable throughout the whole set. Group Theory are well worth catching . . . go hear them!” Here’s your chance to do just that.

Further evidence of the enthusiasm with which young musicians are embracing jazz comes from the even more youthful Early Bird Band. Established as a Saturday morning workshop group (thus the ‘Early Bird’ designation), tutor and mentor Paul Edis has brought them to a level where they are playing an increasing number of regular gigs, demonstrating impressive levels of skill and imagination over a well chosen selection of classic jazz tunes interspersed with the occasional original. Several Early Bird members have gone on to earn places at top music schools, and there can be little doubt that others will follow. This is a work in progress, and one that’s well worth hearing.

Tickets are available from the Jazz Café (0191 222 9882), Reflex CD (0191 260 3246) or online from