Northern Line Ambassador Artists
The following artists were selected by a panel of peer artists, experienced promoters and industry professionals to be ambassador artists for Jazz North and round 1 of northern line. These bands are still booking gigs via the artists directly, but northern line subsidy is no longer available for these artists.
Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra
Pete Williams – Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet, Leon Johnson – Tenor Sax, Si Nixon – Trumpet, Martyn Strange – Baritone Sax, Taz Modi – Keyboards, Neil Innes – Guitar, Paul Baxter – Bass, Joost Hendrickx – Drums, Kris Wright – Percussion
“Afrobeat grooves with jazz horns”. Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra were conceived at a series of largely improvised gigs that drew on Fela Kuti, Sun Ra, James Brown & Albert Ayler for inspiration. Although their music uses Afrobeat rhythm and language, they also owe part of their sound to the space jazz pioneers of the 70’s and the free jazz trailblazers of the 60’s. Presented ‘Tropical Sound’ award at the Giles Peterson Worldwide Awards on the 21st of January 2013.
Andy Champion – Double Bass, Graeme Wilson – Tenor & Baritone Saxes, Paul Edis – Keyboards, Mark Williams – Guitar, Adrian Tilbrook – Drums
Andy Champion launched this quintet to reflect his wide musical interests, drawing on influences as diverse as ‘prog rock’ and free improvisation, but with jazz always at the heart. The result is tight arrangements are peppered with insistent, rhythmic unison passages and ferocity, but also with more introspective moments, always melodic and direct.
Matthew Bourne: Piano, Cello, Keyboards, Seaming To: Voice, Clarinet, Electronics, Violin & Cello to be added
Billy Moon is available as a duo or as a quartet. The project started as a duo with Matthew and Seaming who have been building up a collection of songs and tunes. Matthew says “It’s all about writing simply – choosing only the right notes and letting the music speak for itself – without complexity and without fireworks. They’re kind of songs boiled down to their essence – very melodic but with depth…”
Emma Fisk – Violin, James Birkett – Guitar, Giles Strong – Guitar, Mick Shoulder – Double Bass
Djangologie are a ‘hot club’ style band comprising the traditional line up of violin, two acoustic guitars and double bass. We not only play genre standards but a large selection of our own compositions composed in the style.
HSQ + 2
Jim Collins – Alto and Bari Sax, Flute. Will Lenton – Tenor and Bass Sax. Helen Pillinger – Alto and Tenor Sax. Helena Summerfield – Bari and Soprano Sax, Rachael Gladwin – Harp, Phil Bennett – Percussion.
Four experienced sax players, each with a distinctive voice and style playing classic and contemporary jazz arrangements. Playing tunes with unusual combinations of instruments: bass, bari and 2 tenors. Composing material for the group has been a natural development and expanding from this nucleus to collaborate further musicians is enabling us to create even stranger and more wonderful music.
Jamil Sheriff Trio
Jamil Sheriff (Piano), Dave Walsh (Drums), Pete Turner (Bass)
Contemporary flavour jazz trio with a focus on improvisation and interplay. Jamil’s music moves from driving blues inflected melodies to sensitive, cleverly arranged melancholic moods, all underpinned by a beautiful sense of melody.
Engine Room Favourites
Martin Archer (Sheffield) – sopranino, alto & baritone saxophones Laura Cole (Leeds) – piano Corey Mwamba (Derby) – vibraphone Graham Clarke (Buxton) – violin Pete Fairclough (Sheffield), Walt Shaw (Derby), Johnny Hunter (Manchester) & Steve Dinsdale (Skipton) – percussion
The band aesthetic harks back to the AACM school of music pioneered by Art Ensemble of Chicago, Leo Smith, and Anthony Braxton. This is a style which has never been really followed up by European musicians, nevertheless it remains the model for Archer’s contributions to jazz based music. Archer has said “the appeal of this style to me is that it remains considered, spacious and open, without sacrificing any of the improvisational heat and energy which places its exponent players firmly in the avant-garde tradition. And crucially, it never disconnects from its own past, in particular the blues, no matter how high falutin’ it gets”.
Richard Iles – trumpet/flugel, Mike Williams – alto saxophone, Les Chisnall – piano, Percy Pursglove – bass
Microscopic premiered in 2012 at the Manchester jazz festival. It was described by Steve Mead ( mjf supremo) as the highlight of the festival. Out of the ashes of the coalition’s austerity measures comes a new collective performing stripped-back versions of some of the music from Richard’s Miniature Brass Emporium, as well as new original material.
Johnny Richards – Keys, Mick Bardon – Bass and electronics Ollie Dover – Tenor sax, Craig Scott – Guitar and electronics, Joost Hendrickx – Drums, Andrew Lisle – Drums
Influenced by contemporary artists such as Tim Berne, Mr. Bungle, John Zorn, Frank Zappa, Tyshawn Sorey and a range of rock and electronica; and with a combined experience that includes eastern European folk, Hindustani music, Brazilian music, straight ahead and free jazz, reggae, metal, contemporary classical and musique concrete.
The results can range from dense free noise through intense riffs and ambient textures. They play with musical clichés and conventions to produce music that negotiates a path from the beautiful to the sinister, humorous and surreal.
Tom Adams (guitar), James Mainwaring (sax), Radek Rudnicki (electronics and devices), Kuba (video projections)
Space F!ght explores communication between acoustic (sax) and electronic (electric guitar, drum machine, groove box) instruments. Acoustic sounds are processed live with analogue and digital effects that emphasize performers’ idiosyncrasies. Loop based, carefully designed to micro level grooves are driving the performance. The density of the tracks places them on the edge of commercial, contemporary and noise music.
Stuart McCallum – guitars/laptop, Pete Turner – double bass, Dave Walsh – drums. The Real Strings (optional extra)
This trio was formed to tour the music from the album ‘Distilled’. The sound of the trio is expanded by the use of samples triggered from a laptop and The Prism String Quartet – an exciting new quartet of RNCM graduates. Not wanting to hide behind over complicated harmonic and rhythmical structures or angular and forgettable melodies, Stuart’s music is a new hybrid of composition, production and performance. It embraces simple and memorable melodies, bass lines and drum beats with electronica and improvisation, enriched by elegant orchestral writing.
Martin Smith – Trumpet/Flugel Horn, Anthony Peers – Trumpet/Flugel Horn, Anthony Ormesher – Guitar, Rob Stringer – Piano, Hugo “Harry” Harrison – Double Bass, Tilo Pirnbaum – Drums
The Weave is a collection of world class Liverpool based Jazz musicians playing a repertoire of warm, melodious and largely friendly homegrown tunes. For years now Liverpool has been home to a small but extremely vibrant and healthy Jazz community. There is a deeply rooted, direct, honest and often-humorous charm that is the hallmark of Liverpool music across the genres, and this is no less true of the Jazzers.