Line-up revealed for Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2017
The global reach of jazz and the sheer range of music in today’s jazz scene are the threads that run through Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2017. The festival presents a dynamic mix of artists from Cuba, South Africa, Cameroon and throughout Europe alongside diversely talented artists from the UK and USA. Whilst the classic jazz tradition and the swinging sounds of the jazz big band remains at the heart of the weekend, next year’s festival also reflects the way that new generations of artists are telling the story of an ever-changing jazz landscape. The festival, the UK’s biggest held under one roof, fills four stages at Sage Gateshead from Friday 31 March to Sunday 2 April 2017. Tickets go on sale on Friday 2 December.
In the tradition…
The music’s rich heritage is brought to life in The First ladies of Swing. Clare Teal and her 17 piece Hollywood Orchestra (led by Guy Barker) open next year’s festival and mark the centenary of the peerless Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne, alongside Nina Simone, Nancy Wilson and Peggy Lee, in a programme of timeless songs from the standard repertoire.
A more intimate approach to the art of vocal jazz is reflected in the collaboration between GRAMMY-winning pianist Alan Broadbent and singer Georgia Mancio, whilst the legacy of the jazz and swing big band continues to light the fire of young musicians in a collision between three of Europe’s finest – our own National Youth Jazz orchestra re-visiting their meeting with Germany’s BuJazzO and now joined by the NNJO (Netherland’s Nationaal Jeugd Jazz Orkest).
The story of a basement bar in Soho that became one of the world’s most famous jazz venues is told by the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, with anecdote, visuals and live band.
Sounds of tomorrow…
Topping the bill on Saturday night are Mercury Award-nominated GoGo Penguin and Shobaleader One (the live project from Squarepusher aka Tom Jenkinson) They play a double bill that places jazz in a brave new world of electronica and groove. GoGo Penguin have created a massive international buzz with their debut recording on the signature Blue Note label, whilst Shobaleader One promote their new album fresh from an appearance at London’s Convergence Festival.
Miles Mosley has been described as the “Jimi Hendrix of the upright bass” as anyone who’s seen his show-stopping performances as part of the Kamasi Washington band will testify. He plays the festival as part of his first European tour as band leader and is one of a new breed of LA musicians who are re-defining today’s jazz. Neil Cowley is an original talent whose series of trio albums are remarkable for their individual approach to the jazz piano trio format. His new album, Spacebound Apes, is no exception.
Jazz Africa/Jazz Cuba…
The festival’s third headline concert, Jazz Africa/Jazz Cuba, charts a jazz journey from South and West Africa to the latin jazz of Cuba. Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet, The Comets are Coming, Melt Yourself Down) combines with a band of South Africa’s finest young players. The exquisite voice and irresistible basslines of Cameroonian Richard Bona (“the African Sting”) features his exuberant Mandekan Cubano Project, whilst the trio of fast-rising pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, mentored by none other than Quincy Jones, draws inspiration from a rich Cuban heritage. Both Bona and Rodriguez featured on last year’s Quincy Jones Prom.
The festival always includes great performers from across Europe and next year is no exception. The festival welcomes celebrated Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko, a seminal figure in the evolution of jazz in the 60s, with an international quartet that includes Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila alongside a stellar US rhythm pairing of bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gerald Cleaver. They will play music from Stanko’s acclaimed album Wisłlawa, a tribute to Nobel Laureate Wislława Symborska. The festival also welcomes Amsterdam’s ten-strong ICP (Instant Composers Pool) Orchestra. Led by the iconic drummer Han Bennink, another seminal European voice from the 60s, the Orchestra has been probing the boundaries of jazz for four decades in music that draws from ragtime and early jazz, to be-bop, free-bop and anarchic. They will be paying tribute to the group’s co-founder, the pianist Misha Mengelberg, now too frail to perform, through a film and exhibition in his honour, as well as through the spirit of a landmark jazz ensemble.
UK and Europe today…
The 2017 festival features a strong line-up of emerging jazz stars. BBC New Generation Artist and award-winning trumpeter/composer Laura Jurd is, alongside GoGo Penguin, one of the British jazz stories of recent years. She returns to Sage Gateshead with her quartet Dinosaur in a concert also featuring Norwegian tuba virtuoso and composer Daniel Herskedal and his trio. Both artists have also been given the opportunity to arrange new material for their bands with a string ensemble from Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of Sage Gateshead.
Saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes is another UK breakthrough artist of recent years and presents her new project My Iris in a double bill with the evergreen and influential saxophonist Stan Sulzmann – an artist who’s been at the heart of UK jazz since he burst onto the scene in the 70s – performing here in duo with the fluent lyricism of pianist Nikki Iles.
Described recently as ‘a significant new voice in British Jazz’ pianist Paul Edis leads the regional youth jazz ensemble Jambone in a program of new music composed by special guests Matt Anderson and Zoe Gilby.
The ever popular free stage on the Concourse returns where on Saturday BBC Radio 3 will present a selection of national and international jazz artists recorded for a future edition of Jazz Line Up and on Sunday Jazz North East will present their choice of artists from the North and further afield.
Families can enjoy an energetic whistle-stop journey through jazz history with North East singer Zoe Gilby and her band and Amsterdam’s Instant Composers Pool present a family friendly edition of their festival concert.
Plus there will be festival workshops, talks, film, exhibitions, late night sessions and clubs and much more still to be announced. Keep an eye on the website for further updates.
The festival, produced by Sage Gateshead and London-based music producers Serious, is now in its 13th year. Ros Rigby, Festival Producer, says: “We are very excited at the range of music we will be presenting at the 2017 Gateshead International Jazz Festival, from across Europe and beyond, and also at the number of younger performers now taking to the jazz stage, both producing their own music and paying tribute to the legacy of the past.”
John Cumming, Director, Serious comments: “The great American trumpeter Don Cherry once described himself as a “world musician”. This definition of the art of the jazz musician lies at the heart of the 2017 edition of the GIJF – where artists from a diversity of cultures, generations and genders come together in a weekend that celebrates the extraordinary range of music that inhabits today’s jazz landscape”.
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 Multibuy – the more concerts booked across the weekend the more money saved.
Tickets go on general sale Friday 2 December, 10am online at sagegateshead.com and 12noon at Ticket Office either in person or by calling 0191 443 4661. Sage Supporter pre-sale takes place on Thursday 1 December from 12noon at Ticket Office.
For further information, images, interview requests please contact:
Jackie Thompson, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Sage Gateshead
E. email@example.com T. 0191 443 4602