Since 2013, Jazz North’s northern line has supported 67 jazz artists and ensembles from across thenorth with over 700 gigs. This year seven more northern-based ensembles have been selected to join the scheme.
John Pope Quintet
Nishla Smith Quintet
Not Now Charlie,
northern line enables artists to reach new audiences and tour beyond their home area, which Nishla Smith from the Manchester-based Nishla Smith Quintet sees as a great opportunity:
“Becoming a northern line artist is really amazing and helpful for us because my band is fairly new and we’re trying to make in roads and develop out of Manchester. It’s really exciting to have that opportunity to tour and make new connections and spread out over the north.”
Jazz North’s northern line Project Manager, Lucy Woolley, says the bands were selected by an independent panel of industry professionals, promoters and musicians:
“They were chosen as theyrepresent the variety of high-quality, new and exciting music being made by fantastic artists and performed in the north of England.”
Previously there have been nine or more bands chosen for the programme per year, but this time it will be seven.
“A smaller roster of seven artists allows us to work more closely on artist development and business skills, alongside their touring activity,” explains Lucy.
“This will create a legacy that will support these young artists throughout their future musical careers.”
Jazz North’s northern lineis the organisation’s flagship programme that supports jazz artists through subsidised touring, mentoring and industry support.
All round seven bands can expect subsidised gig performances at festivals and in venues, minimising financial risk. All artists will perform at Jazz North’s northern line Showcase Day at Lancaster Jazz Festival on Friday 13th September 2019 in front of national and international jazz promoters. A promotional pack of each ensemble will be produced and one-to-one mentoring with Jazz North is on offer to identify individual areas of support.
Beyond Albedo (Leeds/Sheffield)
Lara Jones saxophones, FX pedals / Tim Knowles electric guitar, bass guitar, FX pedals / Ben Gaunt synths / Sarah Heneghan drums, drum machine
Retro-futuristic synth-jazz drawing on jazz traditions yet pushing in new exploratory and experimental directions: moments of East-West fusion and Afro-spiritualism give way to pulsating sci-fi electronica with an energetic and danceable quality.
Jemma Freese voice, keyboards / Chris Sellers bass/ Theo Goss drums
Heavy triphop dark jazz with twisted lyrics, sliding vocals and eerie harmonies making for a powerful, dark and layered sound. Dealing with subjects such as self-reflection, inner demonsand truths, the band creates a trance-like atmosphere influenced by Massive Attack, Goldfrapp and Aphex Twin.
John Pope Quintet (Newcastle/Manchester)
John Pope double bass / Jamie Stockbridge alto saxophone / Faye MacCalman clarinet, tenor saxophone / Graham Hardy trumpet / Johnny Hunter drums
Drawing on ‘60s avant-jazz and hard bop, but with a modern, European sensibility, their open-hearted, quirky compositions and dynamic, ‘anything-goes’ improvisations are played with swinging groove, referencing Ornette Coleman, Tom Waits, and The Pixies: a joyful racket full of rewards for the adventurous listener.
Nishla Smith Quintet (Manchester)
Nishla Smith vocals / Aaron Wood trumpet / Richard Jones piano / Joshua Cavanagh-Brierley bass / Johnny Hunter drums
Nishla’s original songs have a delicate, quirky but deceptively simple air about them – she hasa quietly commanding presence and a relaxed but assured delivery that wins over audiences instantly. Her often dreamy and melancholic aura is offset with her energetic and imaginative band of Manchester’s finest young contemporary improvisers.
Not Now Charlie (Newcastle)
Jamie Toms saxophone / Pawel Jedrzejewski guitar / Richard Campbell piano / Ian Paterson bass / Mark Johnson drums
A fast-rising young band playing in a variety of styles directly connected to their inspirations: traditional jazz, prog rock, neo soul, R&B and folk – memorable melodies, infectious grooves and a keen, finely-tuned sense of tight ensemble playing.
Rafe’s Dilemma (Leeds)
Eleanor Begley vocals, loops/ Jamil Sheriff keyboards / Sam Vicary bass guitar / Katie Patterson drums
Commissioned for Bolton Worktown Festival to celebrate Bill Naughton’s play Spring and PortWine, Rafe’s Dilemma mixes jazz, electronica and rock to tell the story of a family on the edge. Using spoken word, improvisation, synthesised soundscapes and carefully crafted songs, the material explores our emotions towards families through music, with an electric perspective.
Ferenc Lakatos synth / Matt Hines saxophone / Nik Svarc guitar / Bela Horvath piano, keyboards / Alexander Miller bass / Joshua Gumbs drums
Led by resident Hungarians Bela and ‘Laky Franz’ with their fellow LCoM alumni, SogoRock (meaning ‘brother-in-law’) resists classification: the band blends elements of jazz, fusion, funk, rock and gospel along with the musical heritages of each player with an open spirit and impeccable musicianship