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Gateshead International Jazz Festival Announces 2015 Line-Up

Posted on 27 November 2014

Gateshead International Jazz Festival is delighted to announce an exciting international line-up with its trademark mix of UK, European and international jazz icons, hot new talent and some of the best of the thriving Northern jazz scene. Renowned for being the UK’s biggest jazz festival held under one roof, the festival is programmed by Sage Gateshead in collaboration with London-based music producers Serious, and runs from Friday 10 – Sunday 12 April 2015 at Sage Gateshead, forming part of the year long Sage Gateshead 10th birthday celebrations. Booking opens Friday 28 November at 10am.

The programme is packed with something for jazz fans of all kinds – from the casual listener to the hard-core jazz devotee. There’s also lots to tempt fans of funk, soul and blues. Headlines include:

American saxophonist David Sanborn*’s whose career has taken in stints with James Brown and David Bowie and over four decades his soulful style has become a signature sound in contemporary jazz. Fellow *American guitar legend John Scofield and British born/New Orleans based vocalist/pianist Jon Cleary showcase a unique mix of jazz, gospel and deep South blues.

Topping the bill on Saturday night are jazz funk lynchpins and acid jazz originators the James Taylor Quartet in a double bill with one of the UK’s favourite soul, gospel and R&B divas Ruby Turner. Also from the blues and soul end of the spectrum we welcome back Davina and The Vagabonds following their stand out set at the 2014 SummerTyne Americana Festival, and a real festival coup, the first chance in the North East to hear the sensational young American ‘soul jazz’ singer Jarrod Lawson who is rapidly heading for star status.

Headlining Sunday night, the iconic Loose Tubes will be showcasing their anarchic, uniquely exhilarating music which, 30 years on, and following a much anticipated reunion last year, still reverberates through the UK music scene. Maverick keyboards player and composer Django Bates, saxophonists Mark Lockheart and Food’s Iain Ballamy, and Freak Power’s Ashley Slater are amongst a 21 piece line-up that includes much-loved original Tubes hits alongside specially written new music.

This year’s festival features a strong line-up of British jazz stars. With a brand new album hitting the streets, Beats and Pieces follows in the Loose Tubes footsteps, a big band that’s very much of the 21st century. Looking further back, the late Stan Tracey’s landmark recording of Under Milk Wood was released in 1964 – Stan’s son Clark Tracey joins forces with Bobby Wellins, saxophonist on the original album, in a unique opportunity to hear a seminal piece of British jazz history and to celebrate a much missed figure in British jazz who himself performed at several past festivals here in Gateshead.

Renowned for moving effortlessly between jazz and classical music, pianist and composer Gwilym Simcock will be joined by Royal Northern Sinfonia performing his exciting suite Move! Opening for Loose Tubes, saxophonist/composer Andy Sheppard makes a welcome return to the festival, with a rare set from his playfully melodic duo with Italian pianist Rita Marcotulli. Andy is a familiar figure on Tyneside, opening the Millennium Bridge with Kathryn Tickell, and playing in the venue many times since the building opened in 2004. ‘Andy Sheppard’s Five Sided Dream’ was commissioned for Sage Gateshead’s fifth birthday.

One of the most acclaimed and charismatic artists in jazz today, American saxophonist Joshua Redman brings his long-established trio with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Greg Hutchinson. Flying the flag for the classic hard bop tradition, The Cookers will be playing music from their 4th album ‘Time and Time Again’ and for fans of jazz improvisation, Australian cult trio The Necks will take the audience on a typically unpredictable sonic adventure.

The festival will be working with Jazz North East to bring even more great female talent to the programme with two instalments of their series ‘Women in Jazz’ featuring North East singer Zoe Gilby*’s take on American singer Carmen McRae’s vocalizations of Thelonius Monk tunes, alongside the hugely talented vocalist/violinist *Alice Zawadski with music from her debut album ‘China Lane’, described by BBC Radio 2’s Jamie Cullum as “uncategorisable, beautiful – a real force to be reckoned with”. And four of the talented new faces on the London improv-scene, saxophonists Cath Roberts, Rachel Musson, Julie Kjaer and cellist Hannah Marshall, explore new musical territory on the final night.

If you’re after something a little different look no further than Norwegian saxophonist *Håkon Kornstad*’s new project which combines his love of the saxophone with his talents as an opera singer – quite literally a tenor battle! There’s family fun in an inventive and often downright hilarious show by Dutch threesome *Tin Men and The Telephon*e who bring the mobile into the music with a specially designed smartphone app – keep your phone turned on and join in!

The hugely popular free programme of Jazz on the Concourse presents artists from the North and culminates with a joint performance by Sage Gateshead’s youth ensemble Jambone with members of the Manchester based Beats and Pieces who are also bringing their contemporary big band sound for the festival. As always there are also opportunities to get involved through workshops throughout the festival.

John Cumming, Director at Serious said: “Serious values its role as programme consultant for the Festival very highly – the opportunity to combine a range of jazz styles under one roof is an enjoyable challenge each year, and with SageGateshead’s commitment to learning work adds a vital dimension that enables all generations to discover more about this ever-evolving area of music.”

Ros Rigby, Performance Programme Director at Sage Gateshead, added: “Whether you’re new to jazz, a jazz aficionado or regular festival-goer, you’ll find something in our programme that’s just right for you. This year we have a stellar bill with world-renowned artists as well as hotly tipped stars of the future”.

With all events taking place under one roof it couldn’t be easier to move between concerts and try something new. Bookers can take advantage of the Jazz Multi-Buy – the more concerts booked across the weekend the more money saved.

ENDS

For the full line-up and up to date programme details visit the festival webpage.

For further information, images, interview requests please contact:
Jackie Thompson, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Sage Gateshead
E. jackie.thompson@sagegateshead.com T. 0191 443 4602