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robsonAppearing at a Jazz North East gig last year, US drummer Tom Rainey wrote to say “It means a great deal to me to know that these creative oases exist”.

That gives us a warm feeling, and we are indeed proud of our programming record, embracing diversity and putting creative quality at the top of our agenda when booking artists. But we couldn’t afford to be so adventurous if it weren’t for grant support, so not for the first time we find ourselves waiting anxiously for news on the funding front.

We’ve been awarded a very welcome grant from the ‘PRS for Music’ jazz promoters scheme, and now we’re waiting for the outcome of an Arts Council ‘Grants for the Arts’ application. If that comes through, then we have another exciting programme under discussion for the Autumn, with a strong international slant that includes welcoming back Anglo-German quartet Paragon, and first time appearances for Austrian-American trio Blueblut and French-Italian quartet Travelers.

But great audience support for our most recent events (many thanks to everybody) means that we are already able to confirm some outstanding gigs for the next couple of months, kicking off with a first Tyneside appearance for vocalist Juliet Kelly, and continuing with Chris Sharkey’s Anglo-French group The Dors, Norway’s Lana Trio, and a fantastic double bill that includes one of our favourite saxophonists, Ingrid Laubrock.

So, plenty to look forward to, and – Arts Council permitting – much more still to come.


11th September @ the Black Swan
Juliet Kelly’s Spellbound Stories
Original songs inspired by some of Juliet’s favourite books, with an all-star backing trio.

21st September @ the Bridge Hotel
The Dors
Superstars collide as Chris Sharkey and Christophe de Bezenac (two thirds of trioVD) meet Eve Risser and Yuko Oshima of French duo Donkey-Monkey.

30th September @ the Jazz Café
Lana Trio
Outstanding trio from Norway, with the unusual combination of trombone, piano and drums exploring the territory between intense free jazz and more open ended improvisations.

3rd October @ the University Recital Room
Haste + Lauren Kinsella Trio
Two sensational trios, the first featuring the great saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, and the second with rising star vocalist Lauren Kinsella alongside Loose Tubes trumpeter Chris Batchelor and pianist Liam Noble.

Full details for all these gigs can be found on the Events pages of this website.