Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist. He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone sax, where he combines a formidable virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers. As a raconteur he has no jazz peer.
His range and brilliance have made him a “first call” for studio and live work since his precocious arrival on the scene more than thirty years ago.
We will be treated to a Christmas reprise of his brilliant Ellington/Strayhorn album.
“Alina Bzhezhinska… throws a spellbinding party to awaken the senses” – London Jazz News
“…Bzhezhinska shares with Alice (Coltrane) a mastery of the jazz harp.” ★★★★★, The Times
Alina Bzhezhinska is one of the most exciting and dynamic harpists based in the UK. Her imaginative programmes have established her reputation as a harpist of exceptional accomplishment. She has had the honour of playing at European Parliament, at the Queen’s 80th-birthday celebrations at Balmoral Castle and at the King of Thailand’s birthday celebrations in Bangkok.
Jay, Mikele, Adam and Joel are outstanding players in their own right.
This high energy sextet, with African and Jazz influences, was formed in late 2016, to perform the music of two titans of Jazz – Bheki Mseleku and McCoy Tyner. It was an ambition born of love and experience; Simon Thorpe (the original bassist) and John toured with Bheki while Jason worked with McCoy. These associations bring an authority and authenticity to the group’s music as well as having a strong influence on their original material.
Since the bands inception it has released its critically acclaimed debut album McCoy and Mseleku and has played to enthusiastic audiences at club and festival appearances including Love Supreme, Scarborough, and Herts festivals as well as concert recordings for BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Now and in session for Radio 3’s J-Z.
In his 42 years in the business of jazz, Clark Tracey has shown excellence and garnered awards in many guises: drummer, composer, leader, teacher for a start. He fosters great young talent in his groups. For us he is leading a stunning sextet, with himself as leader and drummer who brings great music and joy whenever he visits us.
Mark Armstrong is a trumpeter, composer and educator. He is artistic director of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Tom Ridout is a young reed player of whom Selwyn Harris of Jazzwise has said, “fiery, focussed soloing by impressive tenor saxophonist”.
Daniel Higham is the lead trombonist for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and has his own quartet. On piano will be Will Barry, who graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2016. He is part of numerous projects internationally, most prominently touring with Phronesis bassist Jasper Høiby. In 2015, electric bassist James Owston took up the double bass and joined the jazz course at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He is currently in his fourth and final year, studying with Arnie Somogyi and Mark Hodgson.