TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER.
ON April 1st it all changed. Or did it?
That was the day when Tyneside’s two leading promoters, Jazz North East and Schmazz, came together to create a single organisation. It made sense. The two had long ago stopped seeing themselves as competitors, and in recent years have been cooperating ever more closely to provide complementary programming, designed to ensure that audiences had access to the full rich spectrum of world jazz. So a formal merger was the logical next step, intended to give us a sound organisational and financial basis for moving forward.
But we’re not throwing out any babies with the bath water. Over the years distinctive programming strands have emerged – Schmazz concentrating primarily on young contemporary bands playing original material, JNE with a continuing commitment to relatively ‘straightahead’ bands operating within the broad post-bop tradition, and the ‘On the Outside’ brand signalling more challenging forms of international free jazz and improv. There’s every intention that all three of these will continue, so that Jazz North East in its new manifestation will maintain Tyneside’s reputation as just about the most diverse and exciting home for jazz anywhere in the UK.
So for you, the jazz loving listeners, our structural changes may be barely discernible. All we ask of you is that you continue to come along and join in the excitement.
30th April @ the Cluny
The Greyish Quartet
Rising star pianist David Austin Grey and his young quartet with music rooted in the jazz tradition but with subtly integrated elements from the whole gamut of contemporary music.
23rd May @ Newcastle University
Mat Maneri & Lucian Ban
US viola master Maneri and Romanian pianist Ban return to Tyneside as one of only three UK gigs in a European tour promoting their new ‘Transylvanian Concert’ album on the prestigious ECM label.
28th May @ the Cluny
The CUSP Quartet
Guitar & trombone front up a hugely imaginative quartet “operating at the meeting point of chaos and order” while never losing a rootsy accessibility.
11th June @ the Bridge Hotel
Tom Rainey Trio
First visit to Tyneside for the great New York drummer, with Ingrid Laubrock on reeds and the astonishing Mary Halvorson on guitar.
25th June @ The Sage Gateshead
Great North East Jazz Celebration
Sets from the Graeme Wilson Quartet and the Zoë Gilby Quartet frame a return to Tyneside by popular drummer David Carnegie with his Barbadian trio ‘The Original Unit’.
18th July @ the Lit & Phil
Wild Flower Quintet
Lyrical saxophonist Matt Anderson leads a superb band, including new star trumpeter Laura Jurd, in a tribute to the music of Wayne Shorter.
30th July @ the Cluny
Edinburgh based guitar/bass/drum trio deliver carefully crafted original melodies, which they then take in unexpected and engaging directions through hugely empathetic improvisations.
Full details for all these gigs can be found on the Events pages of this website.