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Jazz News

JazzLeeds, Programme for October 2022.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Steve Crocker of JazzLeeds has forwarded the organisation's latest newsletter, including the concert and workshop programme for October 2022.

Steve Crocker writes;

Some superb jazz in Leeds this October

October live concerts from JazzLeeds

JazzLeeds returns this Autumn with a roster of stylish contemporary bands to entertain you; featuring two of everything! Two tenor saxes, two vocalists, two big bands, two guitarists and a mixture of styles to match. Plus some lovely support bands too. We are presenting 8 concerts in October; our evening concerts feature Jean Toussaint, Art Themen, Nicki Allen, Kate Peters and Christine Tobin, Jamie Taylor and John Stowell and Ferg’e Imaginary Big Band and Dales Jam. We’re continuing to feature rising stars from the Leeds jazz scene in support slots on all our evening gigs, this month we feature: Camerom Byron Quintet and Fudashi.

As well as all this JazzLeeds presents the return of Dom Moore’s workshop to Inkwell (now known as Northlight) and news about Tessa Smith’s Jazz Choir starting up again in November. More information can be had from and tickets are available from


Ferg’s Imaginary Big Band
Leeds bassist and composer Fergus Quill brings his enormous (23 piece) experimental free improvisation jazz punk big band to Seven Arts. With influences ranging from Sidney Bechet to Boredoms he aims to build on the canon of 20th, 21st and 22nd century improvised music to find a way forward. Are we ready for this?
Sunday afternoon 2 October 1.30pm £10/8 concessions


Rush Hour Jazz featuring Nicki Allen
Vocalist Nicki Allen’s influences are from the subtle and beautiful dulcet tones of Shirley Horn, Lizz Wright, Ella Fitzgerald and Joni Mitchell to the vibrant, rhythmic latin, swing and contemporary sounds influenced and inspired by Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock. Underpinned by her stylish bluesy phrasing and love of vocal improvisation, which is becoming her trademark. She’s also a great pianist! With the JazzLeeds trio at Seven Arts Bar
Wednesday 5 October 6pm, payf collection


Jean Toussaint Quintet
“Songs for My Sisters, Brothers and Others” featuring Jean Toussaint (saxophone), Freddie Gavita (trumpet), Jonathan Gee (piano), Conor Murray (bass), Shane Forbes (drums). 
Grammy-winning Jazz Messenger and Jazz FM Instrumentalist of the Year 2019, Jean Toussaint presents his new album “Songs for my sisters, brothers and others”. The music reflects on the turbulent years of the Covid-19 pandemic. The collection of new compositions is dedicated to Toussaint’s siblings, mentors and other people important to his life, as well as his development as an artist.
Jean Toussaint first came to prominence when he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1982, after studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston. His blistering technique and lyrical sound has graced many great bands from Wynton Marsalis, Gil Evans and the Julian Joseph bands to his own bands. Jean has released 12 critically acclaimed albums as a leader, including 2018’s ‘Brother Raymond’, which saw him win Best Instrumentalist at the 2019 Jazz FM Awards as well as top 10 lists in The Telegraph, Jazzwise, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Jazz in Europe. A highly respected educator as well as performer, Jean has taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Trinity College of Music and the Birmingham Conservatory.
“…Toussaint displays a beautiful, incisive tone that you can only compare to liquid crystal…”  – Time Out
Winner of British Jazz Awards ‘Best Trumpet of 2017’ Freddie Gavita is a fearless improviser, he solos with fluent authority, his tone ranging from the warmly conversational to the eloquently strident. A graduate of the Royal Academy and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Freddie appeared as soloist with the BBC Big Band, three times at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and brought Roger Michell’s 2013 film ‘Le Week-End’ to life with his inimitable muted trumpet stylings. He has composed and arranged extensively and cemented his place as a leading light on the British Jazz scene with the release in 2017 of his debut album ‘Transient’ to wide critical acclaim.
“He has a soft, non-brassy tone that is so attractive that, at first, you scarcely notice the range, articulation and virtuosity of his playing” – 5* review, Dave Gelly, The Guardian
Pianist and composer Jonathan Gee has been one of the UK’s top jazz pianists for over two decades after being awarded Most Promising Newcomer at the 1991 Guardian/Wire British Jazz Awards. As a bandleader and sideman he has played with a host of top British and international musicians across a variety of jazz styles including Tony Kofi, Steve Williamson, Pharoah Sanders, Benny Golson, David Murray Teddy Edwards, Ted Curson and Art Farmer, He has recorded ten albums, including his critically-lauded album “Dragonfly” and his most album ‘Reimagining the Beatles’ by Ohisashiburi – the name of his most recent collaboration with top Italian jazz musicians.
“…a performer of flexibility, resourcefulness and technical command to rival any of his generation” – The Guardian
Bassist Conor Murray grew up in County Donegal and studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the direction of Tommy Smith where he gained experience performing with some of Scotland’s top musicians. Since graduating and returning to Ireland Conor has toured and performed extensively with the David Lyttle Trio in Ireland, Britain, Europe, Russia and Morocco, as well as with Canadian jazz guitarist Lucian Gray, the renowned New York pianist Michael Kanan and with his own group the Murray Brothers
Shane Forbes is known for his passion for playing and learning all styles of music and is member of multi award winning British jazz group Empirical. He has worked with most of the great names on the British jazz scene including Jean Toussaint, Soweto Kinch, Steve Williamson and Julian Joseph and with numerous international artists including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Steve Grossman, Robert Mitchell and Enrico Rava.
Support (7.15-7.45pm) from Cameron Byrom Quintet
Thursday 6 October: Jean Toussaint Quintet “Songs for My Sisters, Brothers and Others” @Seven Arts 7-10pm £20/18

Dales Jam
Dales Jam was formed in 2003 in Skipton by a group of people of all ages and musical abilities, who wanted a time and a place to meet up and play music. Since then, under the guidance Richard Ormrod the band has grown in numbers. They play jazz-based music including African, Klezmer, Cuban, Asian influences together with Stevie Wonder, John Mclaughlin and John Coltrane.
Sunday 9 October: Dales Jam 1.30-4pm @Seven Arts 1:30-4pm £10/8


Art Themen Trio – “Thane and the Villeins”
His ideas (are) eclectic in an unpredictable style that has outlasted the Coltrane clones of his generation,” wrote the London Evening Standard’s Jack Massarick when reviewing a performance by Art Themen.
Art’s new Organ Trio – which has released the quirkily titled and critically acclaimed CD, Thane And The Villeins – features the soulful organ groves of Pete Whittaker and drummer George Double.
Performing tunes by, among others, Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley and Sonny Rollins, the material spans slow ballads to sizzling swingers, and the CD prompted this from Jazz Views: “Art is one of the great tenor players that dominated the sixties and seventies: Thane and The Villeins shows that this great artist still has the power to absorb you.”
A stalwart of the British jazz scene for more than 50 years, Mancunian Art’s saxophone style originally owed much to the influence of Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins, but later influences included such disparate saxophonists as Coleman Hawkins, Evan Parker and John Coltrane.
In 1974 Art entered what was to be one of his central musical relationships when he linked up with Stan Tracey, playing and touring with all of his groups.
During his illustrious career, Art has performed with the Peter Stuyvesant Jazz Orchestra, Michael Garrick, Ian Carr and Graham Collier, and toured with visiting US musicians, including Nat Adderley, Red Rodney, George Coleman and Al Haig.
Expect mischief and twinkly charm from a genuine treasure of British jazz.
Support is from Fudashi Quintet led by Herbie Underwood
Thursday 13 October: Art Themen Trio – “Thane and the Villeins” Tickets £16 / £14 Concessions. 25s and under £8 @Seven Arts

Jamie Taylor with John Stowell
Visiting us from the USA, and without doubt one of the most original jazz guitarists of his generation, John Stowell’s unique style continues to delight audiences around the world. Twice the recipient of Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Award, he’s played with Milt Jackson, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell, Billy Hart, and David Liebman, amongst many others. 
Guitarist Jamie Taylor is well known to the Leeds audience, and has worked with many leading musicians, including Sheryl Bailey, Baptiste Herbin, Roni Ben-Hur, Steve Fishwick, and Sebastiaan DeKrom
Sunday 16 October: Jamie Taylor with US guitarist John Stowell @Seven Arts 1:30-4pm £12/10

Christine Tobin Trio
Christine Tobin will be performing her superb jazz vocals with her long-term collaborators, Phil Robson on guitars and Dave Whitford on double bass.
Having been an integral part of both the New York City and London scenes for many years, Christine is now based in the West of Ireland. Her unique, rich sound was described by The Guardian as “Tobin’s 24 carat voice”. Her expressive range acknowledges finely acquired jazz, folk and twentieth century classical influences. She can be junkyard blues philosopher, snappy beat seductress, a conduit for exquisite zen-like harmonies, or reflective Americana.
Thursday 27 October: Christine Tobin Trio
@Seven Arts 7-10pm £16/14


Kate Peters Quintet
Kate Peters and her Quintet returns to Seven Arts with an exciting set with some jazzy takes on some classic numbers. Kate is kicking up a storm on the British jazz scene.
Kate has worked in a wide variety of stars in the music industry. As an active performer, Kate performs with some of the UK´s most talented jazz musicians, most recently with DJ Judge Jules.
This exciting line-up features Ben Lowman on tenor sax, Martin Longhawn on piano, John Marley on bass and Tim Carter on drums
Sunday 30 October: Kate Peters Quintet
@Seven Arts 1:30-4pm £10/8


Workshops - at Inkwell (Northlight)


Jazz Instrumental Workshops – Workshops have started again and run fortnightly at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm (Barn Sugar Well Rd, Leeds LS7 2QG) on Sunday mornings for one more session on 25th September, 10:30am-12:30pm. After that the workshop will move back fortnighly to Northlight (the new name for Inkwell) 31 Potternewton Lane Leeds LS7 3DD. to   Cost per session: £10/8. All instruments and standards welcome – all you need is a wish to learn how to improvise and play jazz tunes. There is a piano available and a drum kit, otherwise please bring your instruments. To join – contact Dom Moore on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Jazz Choir – Tessa Smith will be running the jazz choir again after half term at Northlight (the new name for Inkwell) 31 Potternewton Lane Leeds LS7 3DD. It will be a weekly choir runing on Monday evenings 7.30-9pm with the finasl performance at our Christmas Party on Sunday 18th December at Seven Arts. .If you’d be interested to join the choir then contact Tessa Smith on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) . You can but tickets for the choir autumn season here;


Stay safe, stay cool, keep supporting our live jazz!

Steve Crocker
Promoter, JazzLeeds