Fleece Jazz at Stoke by Nayland Hotel©

Current Programme

Just click on a gig below for detail, and here to order tickets

Just a taste of the January through April 2019 season

Alan Barnes returns with fire and fun,
Snake Davis will be with us after far too long an absence
and Steve Fishwick brings trumpetry supreme.

Our doors open 7:30pm on Fridays

Frank Harrison + Brigitte Beraha: The Way Home
Frank and Brigitte

"Lucid, intelligent, spacious and beautifully controlled explorations" - Jazzwise
"Norma Winstone-like subtlety and precision" - The Guardian

Frank Harrison piano, Brigitte Beraha vocals

Frank Harrison, is one of his generations leading jazz pianist. He first performed aged 15. Frank first bought his quartet here in 1998, and has often appeared here with his own groups, Gilad Atzmon’s Orient House Ensemble, or with Julian Argüelles. Berkley scholarship winner, Frank, recalls listening to Billie Holiday recordings, aged 11, and thinking out how the harmony and melodies worked. In his formative years he did the same for successive jazz styles.

Brigitte Beraha is one of the most versatile and exciting vocalists to emerge on the UK jazz scene. Brigitte appeared at the Fleece in 2012 with Chris Allard and was here in April with John Turville’s Solstice. Brigitte has sung with leading musicians from Peter King to Gwillym Simcock, and is associated with London’s Loop collective. She leads workshops in US and across Europe. Frank and Brigitte have been performing together for about 5 years. They will include work from the album “The Way Home”, released this year. Sebastian Scotney (LJN) wrote, of the album’s launch concert this May, that the “unashamedly lyrical” performance “demonstrated that the partnership has evolved and taken on new life” since the tracks were recorded in 2016. "Beraha's voice and Harrison's right hand at the piano seamlessly kept a melodic line going".

"Notions of love and home are given shape … by the lyrical piano of UK’s Frank Harrison, and the ethereal vocals of London-based Brigitte Beraha." - Alison Bentley, London Jazz News

Sebastian Scotney, London Jazz News
Beraha's highly effective partnership with Frank Harrison is, on balance and in the main, more unashamedly lyrical, than, say her collaborations with Barry Green and John Turville. The duo with Harrison goes back around five years, and is a continuing, living thing. The material on the album The Way Home (Linus Records) was all recorded more than two years ago, and last night's concert demonstrated that the partnership has evolved and taken on new life since then The most abiding memory of the gig was the ease with which Beraha's voice and Harrison's right hand at the piano seamlessly kept a melodic line going, and of how naturally Beraha moves from singing words to singing wordlessly, and how both complement each other.
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Andrew McCormack's Graviton
Andrew McCormack

"Graviton represents the highest level of musicianship you could get together in one band." - Jamie Cullum

Andrew McCormack piano, Noemi Nuti vocals, Josh Arcoleo saxophone, Robin Mullarkey bass, Josh Blackmore drums

Internationally acclaimed pianist and composer Andrew McCormack consistently challenges himself to explore new and different musical styles as an artist. Dividing his time between NYC and Europe has enabled him to hone his craft, find direction and a coterie of like-minded musicians to work with. His latest project, Graviton, is a fusion of minimalism, neo-soul and jazz rock for which he has assembled a group of talented musicians, all of whom bring something special to the mix.

Born and raised in New York from Italian descent, Noemi Nuti is a jazz and Latin singer and composer currently residing in London. A former member of the London Vocal Project led by Pete Churchill and lead singer of British Samba Band Rhythms of the City, she has toured with artists of varied nationalities, and has appeared at premier UK jazz venues, including Ronnie Scott’s and 606 Club, as well as venues in Brazil.

Josh Arcoleo was fortunate to start saxophone lessons with Pee Wee Ellis when he was 13. At the age of 18, he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he graduated in 2011, winning the Yamaha Jazz Scholarship and the Kenny Wheeler Jazz Award. He started touring with Pee Wee when he was 16 years old with Assembly and the band Still Black Still Proud, with whom he has toured throughout Europe.

Rob Mullarkey is an established London musician with an eclectic and accomplished musical history. He was responsible for mixing and producing the Graviton album and Andrew acknowledges that he was instrumental in producing the band’s unique sound. He has played as part of Jacob Collier’s live band, as well as with Anton Eger and Zero7.

Josh Blackmore is one of only a handful of UK drummers potentially able to reflect Anton Eger’s intensity, speed and dexterity. He co-founded Troyka with Chris Montague and Kit Downes; he has toured with Gerard Presencer, Martin Speake, Ronnie Scott’s All Stars and Dave O’Higgins among others.

“It’s certainly jazz, but not as we know it. Amazing stuff." - Chris Philips, Jazz FM
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Elina Duni & Rob Luft Duo featuring Fred Thomas
Elina Duni and Rob Luft

"A fiercely individual voice, infused by jazz as well as her own cultural roots. - EFG London Jazz Festival
"Luft has delivered the most fully-realised debut from a guitarist since Julian Lage. A remarkably original statement that highlights his prodigious chops and his singular gifts as a composer and sonic provocateur." - Downbeat Magazine (USA)

Elina Duni, vocals Rob Luft guitar, Fred Thomas piano/drums

Elina Duni is a Swiss-Albanian singer whose hallmark combination of traditional Albanian folk songs and jazz has led to worldwide critical acclaim. Born in Tirana, Albania, in 1981, Elina made her first steps on the stage as a singer aged five, singing for National Radio and Television. In 1992, after the fall of the communist regime, she settled in Geneva, Switzerland, with her mother, where she started studying classical piano and thereafter discovered jazz. She went on to study on the jazz programme at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern. During this time, she formed the Elina Duni Quartet which represented a return to her musical roots, a combination of Balkan folk songs and jazz.

For this new project, Elina is joined by guitarist Rob Luft, acclaimed as one of the rising stars of London's flourishing contemporary jazz scene. His playing incorporates echoes of West African high-life, English folk and indie rock; his virtuosity has been compared to that of six-string legends John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola & Paco De Lucia. Rob was the recipient of the 2016 Kenny Wheeler Prize from The Royal Academy of Music, and he also received the 2nd Prize in The 2016 Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival. His joyously original sound finds an ideal counterpart in Elina Duni's vocals as together they steer us on a journey through timeless folk songs which still resonate so truly today.

The duo will be joined by multi-instrumentalist and composer Fred Thomas. Fred studied jazz piano at the Royal Academy of Music. He now performs regularly with a wide variety of creative projects: original and improvised music with his own band, the Fred Thomas Trio; contemporary classical and improvised music with the Fred Thomas/Jiri Slavik Duo; Blues with Sister Mary & the Choir Boys; traditional and contemporary Senegalese music (on double-bass) with Kadialy Kouyate’s Sound Archive; folk (on percussion) with The Magic Lantern.

" . . . nothing less than magical" - Downbeat
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Tina May
tina may

"Lesser artists... may have grabbed the headlines, but Tina May remains the most expressive and technically gifted jazz singer on the UK scene" - Kenny Mathieson, The Scotsman

Tina May vocals, Robin Aspland piano, Arnie Somogyi bass, Steve Brown drums

Tina May first played the Fleece in ... well, a long time ago, in the last millenium. I believe this might be the 22nd time she has graced our stage, which is neat as, to date, she has released 22 albums of her own and many collaborations. The show will feature songs from the latest “Cafe Paranoia” which includes lyrics by Mark Murphy and Tina and compositions by German pianist Andy Lutter, sometime collaborator with Murphy. Apart from celebrating Murphy it will also include songs from Berlin, Paris and Broadway.”

To give a flavour of what to expect, Peter Jones (London Jazz News) calls it “a complete delight, stuffed with … gorgeous melodies.....Some of the material is tricky, yet May carries it off in a light, hip, effortless style...I have never heard her sing better.” We agree wholeheartedly that Tina has blossomed as a performer. Her last performance at the Fleece was relaxed, totally engaging and a joy to witness.

Tina is essentially part of part of the Fleece family and that connection, built over the years, gives the sense of someone playing to goood friends with confidence, fun and pure enjoyment. To fully understand the magic, you have to be there.

Over the years Tina has been accompanied by a large number of talented musicians. Tonight is no exception. Initially I started writing individual notes for Robin, Arnie and Steve, all themselves Fleece stalwarts, but realised I was effectively saying the same thing for each. They are all hugely talented musicians, they improvise with flair as part of a band, never seeking to dominate their collaborators and they listen as though their lives depend on it.

Finally a quote from Tina herself: “Swinging melodies with a great band. What's not to like” P.S. I [John Anderson] genuinely am flying back from Greece for this gig.
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23 November, £16
African Jazz Quintet
Frank Williams

Exciting African Township music will keep your feet tapping!

Frank Williams ~ Tenor Sax, Alastair Gavin ~ Piano, Cameron Pierre ~ Guitar, Raph Mizraki Bass, Kofi Oheneba Adu ~ Drums

There is nothing in the world like the sound of South African jazz played by guys who have it in their souls. The rhythms are irresitable. Frank Williams left South Africa in 1978 and made his name in the UK in the 1980s playing with fellow South African jazz exiles in Chris McGregor's legendary Brotherhood of Breath and, later, Dudu Pukwana's Zila. It is a great pleasure to be able to welcome back Frank's quintet.

Alastair Gavin is well known in these parts not least for his gigs with Sarah Jane Morris. His mastery of the keyboard is matched by his composition and his versatility. He has an impressive body of work having recorded with many household names and his extensive CV includes being the MD of a hit musical on both sides of the pond.

Cameron Pierre was born in London, spent his early years in Dominica before returning to the UK, coicidently in 1978. has gone on to work with Courtney Pine, Pee Wee Ellis, Orphy Robinson, Mighty Sparrow, Ernest Ranglin, David Rudder, Andy Narell, Alex Wilson, Mario Conange, Sarah Jane Morris, Byron Wallen, Jazz Jamaica, Dennis Rollins, to name a few.

Although classically trained as a cellist, Raph Mizraki kicked off his professional musical career at the age of 14 as a drummer and pianist. Since that time he has honed his skills on an extraordinary range of instruments and is now widely regarded as one of the finest jazz bass players in the country. Some ighlights in a career spanning over three decades include playing percussion for Kaboodie Theatre, Pan Projects and Tara Arts; playing keyboards for Nigerian jazz artist Gasper Lawal and the Oro Band; playing drums for Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band; and playing bass for Hassan Erraji and Arabesque, for Todd Sharpeville and the Blues Barons, and for Jamie Cullum.

Kofi Adu was co-founder of the seminal Hi-Life International band and has a long discography, including work with King Onyina, Anansi,Trevor Watts and Boombaya.

All music should be the joy that this group delivers.
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Tali, Gilad, Aron, Jenny

Talinka- When jazz meets with Tango, Early music, Folk and Jazz again
"Terrific emotional depth . . . Very entertaining and richly enjoyable." - Peter Jones, Bebop Spoken Here

Tali Atzmon vocals, Gilad Atzmon bass clarinet/soprano sax/accordian/guitar, Yaron Stavi bass, Jenny Bliss viola da gamba/flute/barque violin/vocals

Talinka creates a new, distinctive sound that is at times haunting, connecting with deep moody jazz standards and a new international form of World Music. The unusual choice of instruments and combination of personalities creates an amalgam of past and present, East and West. A natural continuum between ethnic, jazz, tango and Early Music, transcending musical boundaries.

Tali Atzmon was a renowned actress and singer in Israel. She has been described as “an amazingly soulful jazz singer, whose voice captivates while the music weaves a magical spell on the listener, drawing you in." (The Progressive Aspect)

Jenny Bliss is a baroque virtuoso, best known for playing baroque and early music but who is an open-minded artist readily capable of moving easily between musical genres. The melancholy sound of her cello-like viola da gamba reflects the ineffable sadness of Tali’s lyrics, while her breezy, effervescent flute-playing brings a ray of hope.

Gilad Atzmon is no stranger to Fleece Jazz – he is, of course, an internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist with an affinity for ethnic sounds. The sound of his soprano sax is passionate and expressive and his versatility on a range of other instruments will be very much in evidence tonight. He has been described as “a formidable improvisational talent . . . a jazz giant . . . (who) combines thrilling jazz musicianship with a maverick political intelligence” by Guardian critics.

Yaron Stavi is a bassist who has performed all over the world with many musicians, playing double and electric bass and crossing genres into rock, classical, jazz and World Music. He is supremely accomplished with a palpable stage presence. He frequently appears at Fleece Jazz with Gilad as part of the Orient House Ensemble.

"Intrinsically beautiful and elemental, enchanting the spirit, warming the heart and freeing the soul." - Peter Thelen, Exposé
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7 December, £16
Sarah Gillespie
Sarah Gillespie

Haunting tunes and striking lyrics*yearningly pretty and bitter sweet - The Independent *****
An incandescent new presence.. with superior lyrics - The Guardian ****
Sarah Gillespie vocals/guitar, Kit Downes piano/organ, James Maddren drums, Chris Montague guitar, Ruth Goller bass

More information soon...
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Liane Carroll
Liane Carroll

"Liane Carroll doesn't just sing jazz. She is jazz. This is jazz of the highest quality. Believe." **** Mojo
Liane Carroll vocals/piano, Roger Carey bass, Russell Field drums
Multi award winning Liane Carroll is unique - a larger than life character with a strong voice, in which one can find influences both of the great soul singers and of her semi-pro country club singing parents. She performs her own compositions and a wide selection of jazz standards to which brings her own sound. Add to that her classically founded mastery of the jazz piano and the witty delivery of personal anecdotes, Liane is the complete entertainer.

Her husband, Roger Carey and fellow Hasting resident Russell Field complete the trio

In 1993, when we first booked her at the Fleece, Liane was a struggling young musician, working in both jazz and R&B. National prominence and the string of awards came later. She has recorded solo and with Bobby Wellins, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Fletcher, Gwillym Simcock and Paul McCartney and more. Liane revels in live performance. She has made many appearances at Ronnie Scott’s, has toured as far afield as New Zealand and Brazil and has performed at Jazz Festivals, including with sparring with Alan Barnes at Titley.

"Carroll's confidence in the expressiveness of the smallest utterance gives her an irresistible eloquence, as strong at low volumes as it is at full throttle" John Fordham The Guardian; “Liane sings her way through the whole spectrum from jazz diva to fragile victim." - Kathryn Shackleton
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28 December, £25
Sax Appeal
Derek Nash

Derek brings an array of the best saxophonists about and a very strong back line.
Derek Nash saxophones, Matt Wates saxophone, Brandon Allen saxophone, Paul Booth saxophone, Bob McKay saxophone, Pete Adams guitar, Phil Scragg bass guitar, Mike Bradley drums

More information soon...
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