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Alan Barnes QuartetAlan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist. He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone sax, where he combines a formidable virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers. His range and brilliance have made him a "first call" for studio and live work since his arrival on the jazz scene more than thirty years ago. His recorded catalogue is immense. He has made over thirty albums as leader and co-leader. Alan Barnes's unique musicianship, indefatigable touring, and warm rapport with audiences have made him uniquely popular in British jazz.Barnes’ melodic sense bypasses the usual scale-running clichés that pepper the playing of lesser bop disciples. Peter Marsh, BBC Music Review.
David Newton is, in Matt Skelton’s words, 'one of our nation’s treasured pianists'. The man has a lovely touch; that is for certain. Scottish-born and educated at the Leeds College of Music, Newton’s recording career began in 1985 with Buddy De Franco and Martin Taylor and his first solo album was released in 1988. He’s been the accompanist of choice for vocal royalty for years, and it’s easy to hear why. Davids musical responsiveness is as impressive as his re-harmonization and arranging skills at the piano.
Adam King studied Jazz at Middlesex University, gaining a First Class Honours. Taking up double bass in the second year of his studies, he has become one of the most in demand bassists on the UK scene. He has played with some of the most prolific musicians on the UK and international jazz scene. He can often be seen playing at London’s top jazz establishments such as Ronnie Scott’s, 606 Jazz Club and Pizza Express Jazz Club, and tonight Cheltenham Jazz Club. Steve Brown was born in Manchester, England, and developed an early interest in music and began playing drums at age 14. By age 19, he was performing with local jazz groups. By the time he was 23, Steve had become the "first call" jazz drummer in Manchester, working with Scott Hamilton, Art Farmer and UK artists during their engagements in the city. In 1996, Brown moved to London and began working as a sideman with many of the capitol's finest musicians including engagements with jazz great Harry 'Sweets' Edison. Steve was the winner of the 'Drums' and 'Rising Star' categories in the 1999 British Jazz Awards.
Andrew McCormack TrioPianist and composer Andrew McCormack has built a diverse international career with many appearances at major festivals and concert halls all over the world. As a leader, Telescope, his debut album in 2005, was universally well received and earned him a BBC jazz award for rising star the following year. The pianist returned later to the trio format and released a series of other critically acclaimed albums that included Live in London in 2012 and First Light in 2014. The latter featured a New York rhythm section as a document to his having lived in the city for three years.Andrew has also been an invaluable sideman to many major international artists. He is perhaps best known internationally as a long term member of the Kyle Eastwood Band but also has numerous projects under his own name including trio, duo with Saxophonist Jason Yarde and the pianists’ progressive jazz project, Graviton. He has also received commissions for classical orchestral and chamber concerts.Whatever the genre, throughout his body of work, Andrew McCormack has managed to consistently demonstrate a compelling setting for his musical ideas, a platform for virtuosic improvisation and a constant revivifying and adaptive embodiment of the jazz tradition.
As one of the most in demand bassists in the UK, Joe Downard is widely recognised for his skills as a performer and improvisor. Residing in London, Joe has been a part of many groups that are making great waves in the current scene. Joe is a crucial component to many of the UK’s top rhythm sections that range from modern contemporary Jazz and Soul to Electronic and Western African music. He is regularly seen in these groups touring the UK and Europe. Predominantly an electric bass player in his early years, Joe made the move to London to focus on the upright bass in jazz and soon embedded himself within the scene and notably the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Shortly after joining the orchestra, Joe became the chair holder for NYJO and held the position for 4 years. During his time with the band, Joe recorded two highly acclaimed studio albums, toured extensively and performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Centre, Gregory Porter and some of the top UK jazz instrumentalists. Joe has received much recognition for his contribution to the music scene he thrives in today with accolades such as being named “one to watch” in Bass Guitar Magazine, The Worshipful Company Of Musicians -‘Jazz Musician of the Year’ finalist and the recipient of the Sir Elton John Scholarship to attend the Masters course at the Royal Academy of Music.
“His evolution has seen him move from this position as a respected session player towards becoming a composer in his own right” - Jazzwise The MOBO nominated musician Rod Youngs has established himself as one of the mostexpressive and versatile drummers on the contemporary music scene. For over twodecades Youngs’ approach to music has been all embracing covering a wide spectrum ofgenres but remains firmly rooted in the jazz tradition. A native of Washington, D.C. Youngs’ developed an appreciation and passion for music atan early age. He later attended Howard University were he received a Bachelor of Musicdegree in performance and was subsequently chosen to study jazz performance at theEastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. under the tutelage of Keith Copland.Since those early days his consummate musicianship has garnered him a wide variety ofwork from concerts to recording sessions for radio, TV and film. He was the house band drummer for the “Jazz 625 Live for one night only” special programme, broadcast live from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival on BBC4 in May 2019.
Rod Youngs' personal performance was a joy to behold - he has to be the most expressive drummer on the scene today. - Brian Payne-Jazz Journal
Nigel Price Organ TrioOver a career spanning more than 25 years, award winning jazz guitarist Nigel Price has become widely acknowledged as one of the hardest working musicians in the business.Musically, his blend of flowing bebop lines, deep blues sensibility and his mastery of chording continue to delight audiences and fellow musicians alike. His career highlights include a support show for Gladys Knight at The Royal Albert Hall and an appearance on Van Morrison’s album Keep Me Singing.Starting his professional career in his early 20s, Nigel toured Europe with various reggae and funk bands before settling on a solo guitar career and turning his attention to jazz. Citing early influences as Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Nigel honed his craft by attending gigs and sitting in with the players of the time. Nigel has played on more than 50 albums including 5 as a leader, spent ten years with acid jazz outfit The Filthy Six, was a member of James Taylor’s band for 3 years (with whom he recorded 5 albums) and performed with the legendary David Axelrod. He has also taught at The International Guitar Foundation at King’s Place, London.He has worked tirelessly to organise his own tours (including a 56 date tour in late 2016) and has picked up a Parliamentary Jazz Award (Best Jazz Ensemble, 2010), a nomination for a British Jazz Award (Best Guitarist, 2014) and a British Jazz Award (Best Guitarist, 2016) along the way.
Ross Stanley is a pianist and organist who was born in 1982 in Frimley, England. Beginning piano at age 4, by a teenager, he was awarded an organ scholarship to Marlborough College. Upon leaving Marlborough, Ross was invited to study for his music degree at several renowned institutions including Trinity College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in the USA. He decided to stay in London, however, and completed a BMUS in classical and jazz piano at Guildhall in 2004. Since leaving, Ross’s musical skills have kept him in high demand, seeing him play with jazz names such as Will Vinson, Dennis Rollins, Guy Barker, Joel Frahm, Liane Carroll, Stan Sulzman, Steve Arguelles, John Paracelli, Bobby Wellins, Clark Tracey, as well as being a regular member of the Ed Jones Quartet, Phil Robson's Organ Trio, Jim Mullen Organ Trio, the Mark McKnight Organ Quartet and the Jacqui Dankworth band and performing in many small and large ensembles – Nostalgia 77 Octet, The Heritage Orchestra. Ross has also toured with Steve Howe Trio, Deodato and has recorded for Goldie, US3, Trevor Horn and Simply Red among others. Ross is a Hammond endorsee.London-based drummer and composer, Justin Tambini (b. 1996) is recognised for his deeply expressive, joyful and energetic playing. He can regularly be seen performing at many top London music venues from sold out shows on the main stage at Ronnie Scott’s to concerts at the Royal Festival Hall. Justin’s fiery spontaneity and infectious sense of groove has led to performances and collaborations with a wide range of established musicians and creatives in the U.K.
"It’s the group music – with Hammond organist Ross Stanley a treat as always – that packs the set’s real punch." - The Guardian"Swinging and inventive music all the way through." - Northern Echo
Malcolm Earle Smith QuartetMalcolm Earle Smithvocals/tromboneChris EldredpianoConor ChaplinbassPat DaveydrumsMalcolm’s love of many styles of jazz trombone have enabled him to be a versatile performer as well as a distinctive voice on the UK Jazz scene. In 1989 after studying at Exeter University and at the Guildhall School of music, he joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, occupying the lead trombone chair for two years.He has since performed with a variety of artists including Kenny Baker, Nat Gonella, Digby Fairweather, John Dankworth, Henry Lowther, Martin Speake and Liam Noble. He has also worked with soul artists Ronnie Spector and Martha Reeves and has twice toured with Bryan Ferry, featuring on two of his albums.Malcolm Earle Smith’s vocals have also long been admired. His recently released all-vocalalbum ‘Vocal Intent’ has received considerable acclaim. A passionate jazz educator, he hasbeen tutor at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London since 2005 (four of his former studentsfeature on ‘Vocal Intent’). This performance will feature Malcolm on vocals and trombone,playing arrangements of standards, from his new album in a quartet setting.“The British trombonist’s first vocal album breathes new life into old standards with hugeflair…The new King of Scat, Malcolm Earle Smith” Dave Gelly, Guardian, April 2022
Brandon AllenOriginally from Perth, Western Australia, Brandon relocated to London in 2000.Since arriving in the UK, he has worked with many well established artists and groups/ensembles as a saxophonist.Brandon is busy as a session musician, working in a variety of musical settings, in the studio or online.He is an accomplished jazz composer and arranger, writing for other artists and for his various jazz groups.A composer of music for Film, TV and production music.His distinctive saxophone sound has been featured on film soundtracks including "Alfie"(2004) and "The Look of Love" (2013).THE STANLEY TURRENTINE PROJECTBrandon Allen has established himself as one of the UK’s most in demand saxophonists and bandleaders.He has performed extensively throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, both as a leader and sideman.Throughout his career he has worked with top international artists including Eric Clapton, Paloma Faith, Kyle Eastwood, Tony Lakatos, Adam Nussbaum, Gary Husband, Stefano Di Battista, US3, The Blockheads and many others.The ‘Stanley Turrentine Project’ came about because of a deep admiration and respect for the late great saxophonist’s musical approach and output.The repertoire of the ‘Stanley Turrentine Project’ is slightly more specific, drawing from Turrentine’s releases on the Bluenote and CTI labels.In addition, some of Turrentine’s renditions of rock/pop hits of the 60’s and 70’s will be reimagined by Brandon’s exciting new quartet.Expect soulful saxophone playing accompanied by a hard swinging and funky rhythm section.Jazz Journal‘Muscular and robust one moment, warm and soothing another, stretching out with an abrasive edge’Kind of Jazz‘Allen reveals the underlying beauty in Turrentine’s work’
The Greg Abate QuartetLegendary US saxophonist, Greg Abate is visiting Cheltenham Jazz as part of his current UK tour. Greg is based in the USA, a musician of brilliant international standing and without a doubt, amongst the finest jazz players of his generation. After studying at the Berklee College of Music Greg joined the Ray Charles band, and later the renowned Artie Shaw Orchestra. Since then, Greg has had an outstanding career as a band leader in his own right. His recent album is Magic Dance featuring the incredible pianist, Kenny Baron.As well as his touring work, Greg is also a composer, arranger, a Grammy-nominated recording artist and educator of some considerable note, serving as an adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at Rhode Island College. His fluent and muscular playing is best described as “post hard bop”, encompassing a classic approach to the material in the style of Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt, Cannonball Adderley and Phil Woods.“One of the most exciting players around today” The Jazz Messenger“Greg Abate is one of the most appealing saxophonists on the scene today … the result is that he plays music with sweetness and daring.” New Jazz RecordingsMore about Greg Abate at https://www.gregabate.comAccompanying Greg tonight on pianoforte, we are pleased to welcome back David Newton. David regularly plays at Cheltenham Jazz and in April this year he performed two superb sets of jazz, with piano, bass and saxophone trio.David Newton was made a Fellow of Leeds College of Music in 2003 and in 2019, was voted ‘Best Jazz Pianist for the sixteenth time by the Jazz audience of the UK in the British Jazz Awards! More about David Newton at https://davidnewtonjazzpiano.comOn the bass we have Henrik Jensen, who came to London from Denmark in 1997 to study electric bass at The Musicians Institute. He later transitioned to the double bass and studied at the Royal Academy of Music on the Under-Graduate Jazz course.Henrik Jensen has worked all over world from the Blue Note in Tokyo to concert halls in Moscow while still keeping busy on the London jazz scene.We have had the pleasure of listening to Henrik twice this year first with Andy Hague in January and then with David Newton in April.More about Henrik Jenson at https://www.henrik-jensen.comOur drummer for tonight is Tony Mann, He has had tremendous experience playing in the UK and Europe. He became a professional drummer in 1960 and at 18 worked in London with Peter King and Tubby Hayes. In the 60s and 70s playing and recording in various bands including Humphrey Lyttelton, Kathy Stobart, Chet Baker, Tal Farlow, Dexter Gordon, Jonny Griffin, Art Farmer, Al Grey, Herb Ellis and Barney Kessell. More recently Tony has performed at Ronnie Scotts, the Cockpit Theatre and at Jazz Cafe London.Since 2019 Tony has played in Cheltenham, including a Tribute to Chet Baker with Quentin Collins in January 2022.To see Tony playing with Barney Kessel on French TV click HERETo see Tony playing at the Nice Jazz Festival click HERE and HERE
The Andy Panayi QuartetThis long-standing group featuring Andy Panayi (saxes,flute), Mark Nightingale (trombone), Simon Woolf (bass) and Steve Brown (drums) continues to delight audiences and push the boundaries of the pianoless quartet.Andy Panayi is an exceptionally gifted jazz musician, skilled in performance, composition and arranging. He plays all the flutes and all the saxophones and currently leads his own groups, both jazz and classical. He also writes commissioned works and compositions & arrangements for his own ensembles.Andy has performed and recorded with many singers such as; Shirley Bassey, Jessye Norman, Paul McCartney, Seth MacFarlane, Elaine Paige, Salena Jones, Elvis Costello, Georgie Fame, Peter Skellen, Zoot Money, Irene Reed, Elaine Delmar, Helen Shapiro, Madeline Bell & Patty Austin to name a few.Andy is an educator with The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) & Trinity College London Exam Boards.Andy works as a consultant/composer/arranger for the ABRSM & Trinity College London specialising in developing the Jazz & Classical syllabuses for future examinations. He is a professor at The Royal College of Music and The Royal Academy of Music in London and the Birmingham Conservatoire.Andy has received The Marty Paich Arranging Award, The John Dankworth Soloist Award, The Worshipful Company of Musicians Jazz Medal and the British Jazz Awards for his Jazz Flute performances.It would be impossible to find four more polished players on today’s London jazz scene and, crucially, four who play together with such relaxed empathyDave Gelly, The Observer.
Multi award-winning jazz trombonist Mark Nightingale is now a firmly established favourite on the UK jazz scene, and has gained a reputation as one of the top-flight jazz trombonists in Europe and worldwide. Mark has had longstanding musical associations playing in bands lead by John Dankworth, Cleo Laine, Stan Tracey, Kenny Wheeler, Andy Panayi, Clark Tracey, and Alan Barnes over the years. He also fronts various small groups and a big band of his own, featuring his own compositions and arrangements. Mark is also a busy studio musician in London and has played on hundreds of movie soundtracks, and has been fortunate to play and record with some of the greats in all genres of music. These include Ray Brown, Clark Terry, Scott Hamilton, James Morrison, Bill Holman, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Watts, Sting and Steely Dan. He is best known to many young players for his growing catalogue of educational studies and short pieces published by ‘Warwick Music’, and used extensively by the ABRSM and Trinity/Guildhall in their music exam syllabi.
Simon Woolf made his debut on the London stage as a boy soprano appearing and recording alongside Joan Sutherland, Janet Baker and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. While studying Music at York University under Wilfred Mellors he moved down a few octaves fulfilling a childhood ambition by taking up the double bass. Known for his lyrical solos he has in recent years toured with such leading American soloists as Harry Allen, Howard Alden, Chris Cheek and Grant Stewart. These days you are just as likely to find him seated at the keyboard from where he leads a quartet featuring Andy Panayi in programmes built around the work of the big five songwriters.He has enjoyed long associations with leading UK jazz artists Andy Panayi, Mark Nightingale, Geoff Simkins, Dave Cliff, Peter Jacobsen, Bobby Wellins and been heard accompanying such US jazz greats as Benny Golson, Harry Allen, Grant Stewart, John Colianni, Ruby Braff, George van Eps & Howard Alden. He was featured alongside leading players from all over the world at the “Bass 2012” convention in Copenhagen.An active teacher himself, many of Simon Woolf’s students have gone on to successful careers on the London Jazz scene.As well as double-bass, Simon Woolf performs live on piano and bass guitar, and writes and arranges for his own and other ensembles. Latterly he has completed full teacher training and works with some very jazzy youngsters in local Primary schools.
Steve Brown, born in Manchester, England, developed an early interest in music and began playing drums at age 14. By age 19, he was performing with local jazz groups. By the time he was 23, Steve had become the "first call" jazz drummer in Manchester, working with Scott Hamilton, Art Farmer and UK artists during their engagements in the city.In 1996, Brown moved to London and began working as a sideman with many of the capitol's finest musicians including engagements with jazz greats Harry 'Sweets' Edison and Conte Candoli. During the next 4 years his playing career went from strength to strength and Steve was the winner of the 'Drums' and 'Rising Star' categories in the 1999 British Jazz Awards.In 2000 Steve joined the quartet of the great jazz saxophonist Scott Hamilton, with whom he has toured internationally over the last seven years. He is also featured on his last four recordings for Concord records.In between his engagements with the Scott Hamilton quartet, Steve continues to perform and record with a wide variety of artists including Benny Golson, Benny Green, Carl Fontana, Barry Harris, Junior Mance, Charles McPherson, John Bunch and Hod O'Brien.
Paul Booth QuartetFrom his early acclaim as a prize-winning saxophonist, Paul Booth has continually refined and expanded his talents as a solo artist, composer, arranger and bandleader, whilst establishing an elite reputation as a first-call sideman for major contemporary music artists. Originally from the North East of England Booth studied jazz at the Royal Academy of Music before becoming a professional musician with links to both the jazz and rock worlds. He is a highly versatile and adaptable saxophonist and is a regular member of Steve Winwood’s band. He has also worked with Steely Dan, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton and many others.
Tom Cawley is one of the UK’s leading jazz pianists. He has performed worldwide - in major clubs, venues and festivals – with some of the country’s leading artists, most notably Peter Gabriel, with whom he has also recorded two albums and a live DVD. As an artist in his own right he has performed, recorded and broadcast extensively over the last ten years.As a freelance jazz piano player, Tom regularly leads the house band at Ronnie Scott's club, and he is also a professor of jazz piano at the Royal Academy of Music.
Michael Janisch is a US-native who has lived in his adopted home of London, England for nearly two decades and in that time has established himself as a first-call electric & double bassist to the stars, a MOBO-Award nominated solo artist, and an in-demand producer and owner of Whirlwind Recordings.As a bassist he is known for his versatility, energy and passion for playing time and groove with authenticity and dedication, no matter the context. A keen improviser, he has been described as ‘virtuosic and emphatic’ (Guardian) and 'one of the few bass players out there who plays both electric and upright with equal facility, passion and musicality' (Bass Musician Magazine). Michael has collaborated with, among others: Joe Lovano, Mark Turner, Gary Husband, Dianne Reeves, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Clare Martin OBE and Lee Konitz
Rod Youngs has established himself as one of the most expressive and versatile drummers on the contemporary music scene. For over two decades Youngs’ approach to music has been all embracing covering a wide spectrum of genres but remains firmly rooted in the jazz tradition. A native of Washington, D.C. Youngs’ developed an appreciation and passion for music atan early age. He later attended Howard University were he received a Bachelor of Musicdegree in performance and was subsequently chosen to study jazz performance at theEastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. under the tutelage of Keith Copeland.Since those early days his consummate musicianship has garnered him a wide variety ofwork from concerts to recording sessions for radio, TV and film.
Blue Spirits Trio"Blue Spirits Trio", featuring Pete Whittaker (organ), and George Double drums, came about through John’s love of the perennially attractive combination of Electric Guitar and Organ. Blue Spirits have a take on this well known combination in away that connects with thebluesier, intense side of John’s playing. There are plenty of typical swing elements, augmented by soulful ballads and fiery funk outings. The aim is to groove and move ! This band has been popular on the club circuit for many years and always delivers.John Etheridge rightly enjoys a glowing reputation throughout the jazz world and beyond and has been described by Pat Metheny as, "One of the best guitarists". He is a prodigiously gifted and creative player whose approach to music can only be described as 'eclectic' as he refuses to accommodate or even acknowledge artificial musical boundaries. His range is well illustrated by his years of touring and recording with the iconic Stephane Grappelli while simultaneously doing likewise with the legendary jazz-fusion group, The Soft Machine. John is equally at home on acoustic and electric guitar and his willingness to engage with so many styles is matched by his ability to excel in any of them. He has played with John Williams, Yehudi Menuhin, Dizzie Gillespie, Herb Ellis, Mundell Lowe, Nigel Kennedy, Pat Metheny, Birelli Lagrene, Barney Kessel, Vic Juris and countless others. John's ability as an outstanding composer is sometimes overlooked but he is often under pressure from audiences to feature more of his own material.
Pete Whittaker was born and grew up in Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands region of England, UK. From an early age he was fascinated by all things musical, and as a youngster attempted to teach himself guitar and clarinet, while having lessons on piano and violin. Through his school years, Pete did the usual thing of singing in choirs, playing violin (and viola) in the school orchestra (and later in the Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra), but also joined and formed teenage rock bands in which he played guitar and occasionally an old Hohner Pianet electric piano.Moving on to the University of East Anglia, Pete gained a music degree, and got interested in electro-acoustic music. He furthered his studies, gaining a masters degree in electro-acoustic composition. Having met like-minded souls (notably saxophonist Julian Siegel, and pianist Kate Williams - now Pete's wife) the study and practice of jazz took over from the vague pop and rock rumblings of his adolescence. Jazz piano in due course gave way to the discovery of that force-of-nature known to the world as the organist Jimmy Smith. The sound of those old Blue Note and Verve albums from the 1950s and 60s grabbed Pete by his charity-shop lapels and made him determined to recreate the sounds for himself. Since moving to London in the late 1990s, Pete has worked with many fine jazz musicians including Jim Mullen, Dave Cliff, Dave O'Higgins, Julian Siegel, Liane Carroll, Tony Kofi, and Terry Smith.
George Double is active on the British jazz scene and appears regularly at Ronnie Scott’s club in London and elsewhere as a freelancer (with Chris Ingham, John Etheridge, Art Themen, Digby Fairweather, Derek Nash and many others). He is also curator of Hadleigh and Southwold Jazz ClubsGeorge's playing and recording credits include Dame Shirley Bassey, Grammy Award Winner Jack Jones, Marc Almond, Mica Paris, Ruthie Henshall and Kym Mazelle. His West End and touring theatre record includes stints on Wicked, Guys and Dolls, Avenue Q, Sinatra and Anything Goes. George is a senior drum kit consultant for Trinity College London. His books and arrangements are published by Trinity and Faber Music, for whom he has run seminars and workshops in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as at MusikMesse Frankfurt, the London Drum Show and around the UK. He worked as an examiner for Trinity and formerly, Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 2002-2016.