The NorVol Blog

Why another jazz blog? Jazz is alive and doing wonderfully by itself after all. There are tons of musicians performing great music all over the planet. But what we are losing is the audience and spaces to perform this important music.

So what can we do? The North of England is actually a pretty good area to see and hear jazz – we have more than 25 regular jazz clubs, a dozen jazz festivals, two jazz Music Conservatoires at Leeds and Manchester and many many fine musicians and bands big and small playing in all sorts of jazz genres and styles. Places like the Sage in Newcastle show that public funding can still provide great spaces for jazz.

But we need to do more to keep jazz live. The main clubs in the region are co operating through a network, NorVol Jazz, to promote the music in the North and encourage it to grow. More

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Now in it's 3rd year, Empty Shop HQ plays host some of the most prolific and accomplished Jazz bands in the North East

The Jazz Sessions: Safe Sextet feat. Debra Milne
Thursday 5th October
Doors from 7:00pm // Music starts at 8pm // £5 / £4 students - pay on the door
We encourage anyone with an ear for discovery to come along.
 Safe Sextet Feat. Debra Milne. Hard bop sextet, playing a range of music from and inspired by the late 50’s early 60’s. Mixture of music from Stan Tracey, Mike Carr, Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan and a couple of originals from Don accompanied by the vocals of Debra Milne.

Line -up:
Don Forbes  (tmpt)
Paul Goland (tnr sax)
John Rowland (alto sax)
Peter Gilligan (piano)
Paul Grainger (double bass)
Russ Morgan (drums)
Debra Milne (Vocals)

Doors from 7:00pm // Music starts at 8pm // £5 / £4 students - pay on the door

Autumn / Winter programme
October 5th         SAFE SEXTET feat. DEBRA MILNE
November 2nd    LICKETY SPLIT                                                 
December 7th     RIVIERA QUARTET
February 1st        NOT NOW CHARLIE
March 1st            STU COLLINGWOOD TRIO feat. MO SCOTT

The Empty Shop 35c Framwellgate Bridge Durham, Durham DH1 4SJ

Author: Steve Crocker
Posted: September 20, 2017, 8:31 pm
From Mike Flynn

Leading UK pianist Zoe Rahman is set to head up the third edition of Band On The Wall's Jazz Directors series, with the band chosen from an open audition process to select an ensemble of emerging jazz talent. Following in the illustrious footsteps of Terence Blanchard and Chris Potter, Rahman will provide music for the ensemble that she wrote for a Guildhall School of Music and Drama project, alongside new material never previously performed live.

The open selection process has been completed and the musicians who successfully auditioned include many emerging talents from Tomorrow's Warriors, National Youth Jazz Orchestra, as well as alumni of the Royal Brussels Conservatoire, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Cambridge University and Leeds College of Music. The band now includes alto saxophonist Aleksandra Topczewska, tenor saxophonist Arnaud Guichard, trombonist Daniel Mitchell, clarinettist Faye MacCalman, tuba player Hanna Mbuya, trumpeter James Brady, flautist Maria Rehakova, bassist Roz McDonald and drummer.

Commenting on the newly assembled band Zoe Rahman said, "I'm really excited to be working with such a fantastic group of musicians and I can't wait to share the stage with them. Many thanks to everyone who applied to work on this project, it was great to see such a wealth of talent out there."

They will be performing at the following northern dates and venues: More Music, Morecambe (19 Oct); Alhambra Studio, Bradford (20 Oct); Pyramid Studio, Warrington (21 Oct) and Band on the Wall, Manchester (22 Oct).

– Mike Flynn

For more info visit

Author: Steve Crocker
Posted: September 20, 2017, 8:26 pm
Dolly James 20 September

From Dave Lee - the September/October  jazz programme at Cullingworth in West Yorkshire

20 Sept Dolly James vocals with James Boyes sax Mike Conliffe keys Dave Lee drums

27 Sept Julie Edwards vocals Ed Barnwell keys Kevin Dearden bass Dave Lee drums

4 Oct Michaela Smith vocals Stuart MacDonald sax Paul Conway keys Phil Kampen bass Dave Lee drums

11 Oct Loretta Scott vocals Jon Taylor sax Chris Lloyd keyboard, Steve Crocker bass Dave Lee drums

Free entrance, raffle contribution
9pm start
Cullingworth Conservative Club
21/23 Station Road,
BD13 5HN

Tel: 01535 272432 ;

Author: Steve Crocker
Posted: September 16, 2017, 10:03 am

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