It’s definitely been an interesting year!
If you would like to submit your highlights of 2019 please fill out this form.
2019 ended with a highlight when young Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie won Album of the Year at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards for his debut album, Turas, following on from his Album of the Year win at the Scottish Jazz Awards. It’s been really rewarding working with this fantastic talent and watching audiences respond to his trio. I feel honoured to be their agent, as I do with Tommy Smith, whose ‘Coltrane’ quartet and solo saxophone concerts continue to produce great music, and New Focus, whose The Classical Connection has also been getting ecstatic reactions.
In 2019 we published ‘The Jazz Steps Story’, a book that celebrates over 20 years of promoting jazz in Nottingham and in the county. Over 150 pages & with 200 images, it covers the evolution of our jazz promotions & wide-ranging contributions to jazz locally. We celebrate a vibrant local jazz scene pre-Jazz Steps & the wealth of jazz currently on offer. Stan Tracy graces the cover: his septet gave our first gig in 1997, while Camilla George’s photo is from a gig over two decades later. Local detective author & jazz fan John Harvey provides a foreword. £15 +P&P email firstname.lastname@example.org
Proudly, nervously, excitedly & successful produced our inaugural JazzEast one day indoor jazz festival in East London, attracting new audiences, supporting a new-to-jazz venue and promoting innovative new jazz music from young local and well established national musicians.
Blow the Fuse
We celebrated 30 years of Blow the Fuse 1989 – 2019 with a sold out concert on the opening night of the EFG London Jazz festival Nov 2019 at King’s Place main concert hall.
Blow the Fuse Past, Present and Future featured ARQ, The Guest Stars and JFrisco with all bands paying tribute to well know London promoter and close friend Debbie Dickinson who died in March this year.
A wonderful and joyful evening that represented the vision of Blow the Fuse.
On Thursday 13th June SoundCellar presented The Tony Woods Project and the gig was recorded for Radio 3’s JAZZ NOW
Steve Crocker, JazzLeeds
This autumn Jazzleeds have been focussing on jazz led by women. It has featured international stars like Ingrid and Christine Jensen, Kathrine Windfeld, Maria Chiara Argirò, UK musicians including Karen Sharp and Alison Rayner, young London bands led by Rosie Turton and Asha Parkinson, improv. from Kim Macari,and many women musicians from the north of England too- Kate Peters, Helen Pillinger and Cathy Ibberson. It’s been a fantastically series for us. We’re looking at how we can learn lessons for future programming and particularly about encouraging new audiences for jazz in Leeds.
Launching Trinity Buoy Wharf Live! arts programme in May, Grand Union assembled an all-star band from its roster of musicians including Shanti Jayasinha (trumpet, flugelhorn), Zhu Xiao Meng (gu zheng – Chinese harp) and Yousuf Ali Khan (tabla, dholak). Grand Union All-Stars continued in August with an exhilarating authentic mix driven by global rhythms.
“a group of exceptional artists in London making original cross-cultural music…a band that celebrate diversity as an emphatic theatrical art form and use music to join prejudicial gaps.” – Rhythm Passport
What better way to create fireworks than to put a group of young musicians together with one of the finest bands around? The standout moment for me in 2019 was the Turner Sims collaboration between Southampton Youth Jazz Orchestra under director Dan Mar-Molinero and Phronesis, performing the music from the trio’s big band album The Behemoth. An intense two days of rehearsals enabled the young players to get under the skin of this complex music. The performance itself was delivered with skill, insight, enthusiasm and energy. All in all a remarkable experience for performers and audience alike.
Cameron Reynolds / Groove Baby
Groove Baby was very happy to end the year on an EFG London Jazz Festival high note. Over the last few years GB has been developing and improving our unique and innovative family jazz shows for 3 – 7s and their grownups. This year’s theme of Groove Onto the Moon took the interaction to a new level and featured storytelling, rocket building, audience vocal soundscapes, film, asteroids, bubbles and of course a supercharged band performing music inspired by ‘In a Silent Way’ (one of the many great albums of ’69). Happily we sold out a number of shows across the festival in the Southbank Centre, Kings Place and Shoreditch Town Hall.