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Compere: Alan Barnes
Alan Barnes has been the festival compère since our first event in 2003. Alan is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist. He is best known for his work on clarinet, and alto and baritone sax. He has received over 25 British Jazz Awards, most recently in 2016 for clarinet, and has twice been made BBC Jazz Musician of the Year. He is renowned for his off-the-cuff sharp wit on the microphone.
Clarinet Maestros (Ken Peplowski & Julian Stringle)
These two maestros are backed by the trio of British Jazz Award winner Craig Milverton ‘… an extravagantly gifted pianist with an unrivalled sense of swing.’ (Dave Gelly, The Observer)
‘Ken Peplowski is arguably the greatest living swing clarinettist.’ Russell Davies BBC2
‘Julian Marc Stringle is the best clarinettist to emerge in British jazz for decades.’ Sir John Dankworth
Clark Tracey’s Stan Tracey Legacy Band
Pianist Stan Tracey who died in 2013 was an outstanding figure in the Jazz world and was known as the ‘Grandfather of British Jazz’. Stan performed three times at Scarborough Jazz Festival. His music continues to live and develop thanks to the continued enthusiasm and dedication of Stan’s son Clark. Clark, a leading UK drummer and bandleader, is putting together the Stan Tracey Legacy Big Band (15 players for the 15th festival!). It is crammed with British talent and will prove the perfect finish to the festival Saturday night.
Gilad Atzmon, Alan Barnes & The Lowest Common Denominator
This will be a stimulating performance of humour and superb music by a hand-picked band of stars. Saxophonists Gilad Atzmon and Alan Barnes are at the very top of the tree and will be brilliantly backed by Gilad’s Orient House Ensemble Trio.
‘Atzmon’s fluid lyricism is in full flow on songbook classics and worldly originals. But as sweet romance morphs to modernist uncertainty, the bittersweet balance and rich emotional palette equally impress.’ Financial Times
‘Barnes, plays music that was radical 50 years ago – hard, urban post-bop – but he infuses it with so much passion and energy you could believe it was minted on the spot, which is always part of the story with jazz.’ John L. Walters, The Guardian
Get The Blessing
Formed in 2000 to share a fascination with the improvisation and monophonic nature of Ornette Coleman’s earlier works, the line-up has remained the same throughout with Portishead rhythm masters bassist Jim Barr and drummer Clive Deamer (who also drums with Radiohead), Pete Judge on trumpet and Jake McMurchie on saxophone.
‘…they may well be the most original and exciting band on the British scene at the moment.’ Jazzwise Magazine
‘GTB harness rock and jazz with uncompromising power’ Time Out
Hexagonal playing McCoy and Mseleku
Hexagonal came together in 2016 to play the music of the late great South African composer and multi-instrumentalist Bheki Mseleku with whom bassist Simon Thorpe and pianist John Donaldson toured a decade or so ago. With drummer Tristan Banks, saxophonists Jason Yarde and Greg Heath, and trumpeter James McMillan, the group have added to Bheki's work compositions by McCoy Tyner as well as original writing by members of the band which stays close to the spirit of Bheki's music.
Janette Mason's Red Alert
Mason is one of UK Jazz's well-kept secrets: a pianist, arranger and composer, she has worked as a musical director for artists as diverse as Oasis and Robert Wyatt. Her three albums have each received four-starred reviews in the Guardian. Expect a piano trio that is innovative, punchy and accessible, that plays cool grooves, interesting time scapes, funky synths and a cinematic texture. Think Herby Hancock meets Dave Brubeck.
Jason Rebello has appeared with many notable artistes including Bud Shank, Wayne Shorter, Gary Burton and Branford Marsallis. He has recorded with Sting and performed several classical concerts with the Nice Symphony Orchestra and the Halle Orchestra.
‘In terms of sheer ability and potential, Jason is probably the finest young jazz musician this country has produced. His playing has great poise and maturity, which is unusual in somebody so young.’ Stuart Nicholson, author Jazz: The Modern Resurgence
Loire Funk All Stars featuring Gareth Lockrane
Led by leading UK drummer Tristan Mailliot, The Loire Funk All Stars share a love of the music of the late 70s and early 80s and their repertoire includes compositions by Herbie Hancock , Wayne Shorter, John Scofield and the Brecker Brothers and features a tight rhythm section sound with heavy funk influences and Jazz improvisation. The featured soloist is Gareth Lockrane on flutes.
Mads Mathias Quartet
Festival Director Mike Gordon is convinced that Mads is heading for the big time. A vocalist/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, he has captured the hearts of music lovers with his charismatic performances, spirited personality and creative original songs.
Inspired and influenced by the great Jazz vocalists of the past and present from Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra to Harry Connick Jr, and with a deep respect for the crooner tradition, Mathias is nevertheless an original talent with a unique and effortlessly charming vocal delivery.
Mike Gibbs 80th Birthday Celebration with the Hans Koller 17 piece Big Band
This is undoubtedly a coup for the festival. Internationally respected Mike Gibbs - composer, arranger and trombonist - has worked with many music luminaries, including Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Gary Burton, Whitney Houston, Peter Gabriel and Bill Frisell. His pulsating compositions blend the colours of Africa, Charles Ives, Messaien and rock into a unique jazz style.
The 17-piece Big Band reads like a Who’s Who of jazz stars. John Fordham of the Guardian wrote about leader Hans Koller’s music: ‘the most expansive, expressive and exciting new jazz orchestral sound to have emerged in this country since the late-lamented Loose Tubes.’
New York Marching Band (James Lancaster)
Stunning! Memorable! Full of surprises! That’s what they will be saying about the opening of this year’s Scarborough Jazz Festival by the New York Brass Band fresh from Glastonbury and Wembley Stadium.. The band is a powerful team of some of Yorkshire’s finest musicians packing an arsenal of percussion, sax, trumpets, trombones and sousaphone with a varied repertoire - a broad range of styles from Jazz to Pop, Reggae to Funk and New Orleans to Ska - and without a note of music in sight!
Nicolas Meier Quintet
In just a few short years UK based Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier has carved out a reputation as one of the UK’s most original and uniquely talented guitarists. Drawing from a love of Turkish, Eastern and Middle Eastern music, Flamenco, Tango and more – all mixed with jazz. His considerable talents drew the attention of rock guitar legend Jeff beck who has made Nicolas a mainstay in his group. The group has violin, guitar, bass, drums and percussions.
Nikki Iles & Stan Sultzman
This is a rare chance to hear two of the UK’s most respected jazz musicians playing tunes they love. Saxophonist Stan Sultzman and pianist Nikki Iles have a long-standing musical friendship and frequent collaborations.
Observer critic Dave Gelly wrote of their recent CD: ‘As a display of technical and mental agility, these nine pieces verge on the stupendous, but they also have great charm. Mainly improvisations on elegant old standards, they overflow with melody and a kind of cheeky good nature.’
Polly Gibbons Quartet
Polly Gibbons is one of the most respected and talked about young singer/songwriters of her generation. She is a regular at Ronnie Scotts and ‘My Own Company’, her debut UK album with James Pearson, pianist and Musical Director of Ronnie’s, who will be accompanying Polly in Scarborough, was released to critical acclaim in 2014. With warm, rich, soulful vocals and innate blues sensibility, Polly has been likened to many of the Jazz and Soul greats.
Seven Pieces of Silver
‘7 Pieces of Silver’, led by acclaimed bass player and arranger Paul Baxter, continue their celebration of the late, great hard-bop pioneer Horace Silver into 2017, with more enthusiasm and passion, more arrangements and even more viscerally tantalising shows.
“Baxter’s freshly-hued arrangements are, in the best sense of ‘new light through old windows’, a joy to hear – and it’s great to feel the immediacy and enthusiasm in these contemporary performances, including some rather tasty nuances.” - AP Reviews, 2016
“This is a really swinging band, packed with great soloists…and really plays as a unit!” - Alan Barnes, 2014
Winner of the 2016/17 Jazz North Introduces Award the young quintet ‘Wandering Monster’ has influences taken from the rhythmic complexity of modern Jazz juxtaposed with the intensity of classic Blue note recordings.