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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Georgie Fame with The Guy Barker Big Band Sun 8 April 

The line-up ahas been announced for Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2018. Styled as "the UK’s biggest jazz festival held under one roof" the festival fills four stages at Sage Gateshead from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 April 2018. Headlining this year’s festival are Ruby Turner, Maceo Parker, Sun Ra Arkestra, Tony Allen, Norma Winstone, Portico Quartet, The Chris Barber Band and Georgie Fame with The Guy Barker Big Band alongside many other jazz, funk and soul artists from across Europe and beyond. 

Providing the funk and soul will be one of the UK’s most popular soul singers Ruby Turner who will be joined in a great Saturday night double bill by American funk superstar saxophonist Maceo Parker, whose collaborations over the years have included James Brown, Prince, Ray Charles, James Taylor, De La Soul, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Mercury prize-nominated Portico Quartet who echo jazz, electronic and ambient music will offer a different style of jazz late on Friday night.

Sunday night’s headline concert features Guy Barker and his Big Band along with yet another major figure in British music, Georgie Fame, who has reached number one in the charts on numerous occasions.

New work is a key element of any Sage Gateshead festival, and the festival will see the premiere of a new work by Gateshead born, Leeds based guitarist Chris Sharkey which he will perform with the acclaimed free jazz drummer Mark Sanders. This concert will open with a set by one of the two winners of the 2018 ‘Jazz North Introduces’ award, the Leeds College of Music all-female trio J Frisco.

Food writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner will reveal his prowess as a jazz pianist on Saturday afternoon along with his quartet, and in keeping with his international renown as a restaurant critic, Jay tackles songs that deal with food and drink. The festival will also include family concerts, workshops and masterclasses, and a full concourse programme.

Tickets go on general sale Friday 24 November, 10am online at tel 0191 443 4661. For more info visit


Author: Steve Crocker
Posted: November 22, 2017, 3:22 pm

Jamie Taylor, Sam Dunn, Alan Barnes 20 Dec

Busy time up to Christmas for Jazz at the Lescar in Sheffield!

22nd November 2017 Eyal Lovett Trio featuring Eran Har Even £8
We're honoured to welcome a rising star pianist and composer, Israeli born and now residing in Berlin, Eyal Lovett, who's wonderful album 'Tales from a Forbidden Land' featured the great US guitarist Gilad Hekselman. Entrancing and beautiful piano trio music from a truly accomplished trio. With Eyal are Mathias Jensen (bass), Aidan Lowe (drums), and a special guest Eran Har Even on guitar, a leading figure on the Dutch jazz scene.

29th November 2017 DOUBLE BILL Taupe / Kapok £10
Two very different bands, but both sharing a progressive and expansive approach drawing on a wide range of influences.  Kapok bring an infectious rhythmic, fierce live energy, delving into funk rock, classical music, free improv and African music to produce something entirely original.Taupe are equally energetic, but increasing the volume, brash, razor sharp polyrhythmic intensity and exploratory approach, mixing improvisation with electronics to produce something wholly original and vibrant.

6th December 2017 DOUBLE BILL Favourite Animals / Article XI £10
Two large bands with a shared common ground and featuring a total of 15 of the most creative improvising musicians in the UK. Article XI Article XI was formed as a Manchester Jazz Festival commission in 2015. Led by Anton Hunter, this 11 piece band brings a collective approach to composition. Favourite Animals is based around the core of Cath's quintet Sloth Racket, and utilising her wonderful graphic scoring techniques, you can expect to hear a fluid and organic mix of big riffs and free improvisation.

13th December 2017 Johnny Hunter Quartet £7
A welcome return with a new line-up for one of our favourite musicians, drummer Johnny Hunter
Playing music that explores the freer, more improvised side of jazz, with influences from Henry Threadgill, Ornette Coleman, and Joe Harriott, the quartet features Mark Hanslip on tenor sax, Graham South on trumpet and Seth Bennett on bass.

20th December 2017 Jamie Taylor, Sam Dunn, Alan Barnes £8
Alan Barnes, Jamie Taylor, Sam Dunn What a way to end the year. Two brilliant guitarists, Sam Dunn and Jamie Taylor, both based in Sheffield, are joined by a complete legend of the UK jazz scene, alto/baritone sax and clarinet player Alan Barnes. There will, of course, be mulled wine and other Christmas treats!

Telephone: 0774 020 1939

The Lescar Hotel
Sharrowvale Road
S11 8ZF

Author: Steve Crocker
Posted: November 21, 2017, 8:07 pm

Ron Burnet’s Mardi Gras Band 14 Dec

Traditional Jazz every Thursday afternoon, 1.00pm – 3.30pm Cross Keys pub York with local musicians; food available  (a special  jazz menu), free admission, dog friendly and  child friendly.

Featuring this week on Thursday 23 Nov, The John Pashley Jazz Band with John Pashley (Trumpet), Martin Boyd, (Clarinet/sax), Alan Bramley (trombone), Keith Daniel (drums), Richard Speight (banjo/gtr) and Phil Kampen (bass). This is a band with a strong earthy Yorkshire orientation from its leader John Pashley. The audience is guaranteed some good humour and entertaining music.

Future bookings are:

30 Nov Yorkshire Stompers
7 Dec, 7th City Jazz Band
14 Dec Ron Burnet’s Mardi Gras Band
21, Dec Yorkshire Stompers
28, Dec No Jazz.

 Cross Keys pub, 32 Tadcaster Road. York YO24 1LQ

Author: Steve Crocker
Posted: November 20, 2017, 9:03 pm

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