Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2013

Sage Gateshead

Gateshead International Jazz Festival, the largest UK festival held under one roof, has announced its headline acts and themes for 2013 including the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Lighthouse, Phronesis, Christine Tobin, Ruby Turner and The Brand New Heavies. The festival will take place in the spectacular surroundings of The Sage Gateshead on Friday 5th – Sunday 7th April 2013 and tickets go on sale on Friday 7th December.

The festival kicks off in Hall One with the first ever visit to the venue from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) – now enjoying a new and higher profile – with some special jazz guests, plus an opening set from Sage Gateshead’s own youth jazz ensemble, Jambone. In Hall Two that evening the genre-busting Soweto Kinch presents material from his new double album ‘The Legend of Mike Smith’ with his new trio.

The North is a key theme for the festival, interpreted in various ways. Saturday night’s Hall One concert presents two jazz suites inspired by the North East of England – ‘Northumbrian Sketches’, written in the 1980’s by Newcastle jazz musician/composer Ian Carr in its first ever North East performance, and ‘Songs to the North Sky’, written in 2012 by Tim Garland, resident in the region. Both will be performed by Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of Sage Gateshead, with jazz soloists Tim Whitehead and Henry Lowther plus award winning trio Lighthouse, featuring the award-winning pianist Gwilym Simcock.

The venue’s intimate Jazz Lounge, created for the festival, will host two afternoons of ‘Jazz from the North’ on the Saturday and the Sunday, with bands from the North of England, Scotland and also from the far North with the Verneri Pohjola Trio and Oddarrang, both from Finland and who have recently received a warm reception at the London Jazz Festival.

The connection with Nordic jazz goes further welcoming back Danish bass player Jasper Høiby and his band Phronesis on the Sunday who, since their 2010 appearance at the festival as part of a Loop Collective showcase, have taken Europe by storm. They are supported by the unique duo Little Radio (Iain Ballamy and Norwegian Stian Carstensen).

A sideways North East connection comes with the unique concert ‘Speed of Grace – a tribute to AC/DC’ by German jazz singer Jens Thomas with Verneri Pohjola whereby the music of AC/DC becomes late night chamber jazz.

The festival is always delighted to work with broadcaster/musician Alyn Shipton and this year he will work with us to develop Jazz Words – an exploration of the relationship between jazz and poetry, notably the work of Philip Larkin and W.B.Yeats; ‘Larkin’s Jazz’ involves both jazz settings of his poems but also readings of Larkin’s writing about jazz and the playing of the works he describes. The event also includes Irish singer Christine Tobin’s highly regarded ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ – her band’s settings of Yeats poems. Alyn Shipton will also present a live edition of Radio 3’s Jazz Record Requests from the festival.

Guitarists will be thrilled to hear that seminal French guitarist Bireli Lagrene makes a rare appearance outside London; whilst still a master of the Reinhardt legacy, his current band is a free-wheeling quartet reminiscent of 1960’s Blue Note, with saxophonist Franck Wolf, drummer Jean Marc Robin and Hammond organist Jean-Yves Jung providing the texture and groove.

Soul and funk lovers will be up on their feet for a sensational double bill in Hall One on the last night of the festival with Jools Holland regular Ruby Turner and 90’s superstars The Brand New Heavies, who are now celebrating a new album release.

The Sunday afternoon will also see and hear the Concourse of Sage Gateshead filled to its iconic roof with the sounds of over 100 saxophone players in the culmination of the North East’s own version of Saxophone Massive, the now well established mass participation project for sax players of all ages and abilities playing under the guidance of the project’s originator and Gateshead International Jazz Festival’s regular Andy Sheppard and guitarist Chris Sharkey.

Ros Rigby, Performance Programme Director at Sage Gateshead said: “I am really looking forward to welcoming some new artists to our festival such as the Finnish artists as well as some of the quirkier events like the AC/DC tribute which I’m sure Gateshead’s own Brian Johnson would enjoy!”

Gateshead International Jazz Festival is produced by Sage Gateshead in collaboration with SERIOUS.

Tickets can be booked either by calling 0191 443 4661, online at www.thesagegateshead.org/gijf13 or in person from Sage Gateshead’s Ticket Office from the 7th December (pre-sale on the 6th December to Sage Supporters. For more information about joining Sage Supporters visit www.thesagegateshead.org/support-us)

Part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2013

Gateshead International Jazz Festival, the largest UK festival held under one roof, has announced its headline acts and themes for 2013 including The Brand New Heavies, Ruby Turner, National Youth Jazz Orchestra with special guest Jacqui Dankworth, Lighthouse, Phronesis and Christine Tobin. The...

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