RNCM alumni combining outstanding musicianship and spry energy with organic yet sophisticated compositions; light-footed grooves that call on late-‘60s/early-‘70s Miles Davis, prog rock and electronic music. subsidy available

Aaron Wood trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics / James Girling guitar / Ali Roocroft piano, keyboards / Alasdair Simpson bass guitar / Matt Brown drums

Emma Johnson's Gravy Boat

Lyrical, contemporary swing with an emphasis on accessible melodies and a warmth of sound, played by young instrumentalists who met at Leeds College of Music and have since formed a strong and joyful bond, immediately apparent in their sound. subsidy available

Emma Johnson tenor saxophone / Calvin Travers guitar / Sam Quintana bass guitar / Alasdair Wells drums


Hauntingly beautiful and uplifting, blending personal stories and an interest in musics from across the globe via Manchester, Lis uses pop-song formats to convey the intense darkness and light arising from humanitarian subjects such as war, loss and love. subsidy available

Lis Murphy voice, violin / Mali Hayes voice / Kate Moran, Simmy Singh violins / Kath Ord viola / Sarah Dale cello / John Ellis piano / Mark Lewis double bass / Myke Wilson drums

Manchester Jazz Collective

A collaboration of northern players creating large-scale compositions and defying stylistic categorisation, thanks to their varied palettes and democratic approach: rich orchestrations rub shoulders with middle-Eastern harmonies, Afro-jazz and heavy metal. subsidy available

Kyran Matthews, Jeff Guntren, Emily Burkhardt saxophones / Graham South, Nick Walters trumpets / Ellie Smith trombone / Rich McVeigh bass trombone / Andy Stamatakis-Brown piano / Paul Baxter double bass / Johnny Hunter drums

Mark Williams Trio

Influences from rock, metal and fusion, with added electronic effects, give this guitar trio from Newcastle an edgier and more modern sound, yet with melody and improvisation still at its core. subsidy available

Mark Williams guitar / Paul Susans bass guitar / Russ Morgan drums

Paul Taylor

A solo recital from this Newcastle-based pianist, composer and improviser, whose trademark performances are rhapsodic journeys that lead listeners through twists and turns, complex harmonies and classical vignettes, with a restless capacity for invention. subsidy available

Paul Taylor piano


Saddle up for a ride into a heady, energetic world of samba reggae, punk-jazz and Afro-beat via the steppes of Cumbria and Newcastle; tackling loss of cultures, community and a changing society with good vibes, animalistic behaviour and raw energy. subsidy available

Jordie Cooke guitar / Frankie O'Keeffe voice / Faye MacCalman tenor saxophone / Matthew Forster tenor& baritone saxophone / Geoff Bartholomew trumpet / John Pope bass / Dave McKeague, Oscar Cassidy drums


A Manchester duo combining acoustic strings and classical composition practices with loops and improvisation, conjuring up pieces that evolve and borrow from jazz, minimalism, folk, world and electronic dance music. subsidy available

Rebekah Reid violin, loop pedal / Polly Virr cello, loop pedal


Their sound spans European avant-garde and spiritual blues; exploring improvisation, at times peaceful and spacious, at others frenzied and angular, this Leeds trio offers a collective approach to the classic format. subsidy available

Matthew Aplin piano / Tom Riviere double bass / Steve Hanley drums


Faye MacCalman fronts a Newcastle sax-bass-drums trio drawing on garage rock, minimalism and free improvisation: riffs, silence, noise and grooves create a collage of hard-edged blocks of sound that evolve over the performance. subsidy available

Faye MacCalman clarinet, tenor saxophone/John Pope electric bass/Christian Alderson drums

Birkett & Fisk play Venuti & Lang

A violin and guitar duo celebrating the under-explored work and associated repertoire of two prime exponents of early ’20s/30s jazz: authentic, rhythmic and uplifting, with a warm rapport and infectious energy. subsidy available

Emma Fisk violin/James Birkett guitar

Dan Whieldon Quartet

Pianist Dan leads a new band performing his pieces: contemporary European in style, rich in harmony, refined and elegant, their melodies eloquently voiced by the lyrical flugelhorn of Richard Iles. subsidy available

Dan Whieldon piano/Richard Iles flugelhorn/Gavin Barras double bass/Caroline Boaden drums

Deep Cabaret

Taking fragments from leftfield pop, African, folk and jazz, channelled through a sextet of instruments rarely heard in jazz (hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, overtone vocals) and setting found texts from across science, literature and history. subsidy available

Steve Lewis voice, guitar / Jayson Stilwell overtone vocals / Matt Robinson clarinets / Maja Bugge ’cello / Paul Sherwood hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes / Ben McCabe drums, vocals

Early Nite

Otto Willberg’s fiery take on the sax-bass-drums trio format, favouring short and snappy tunes in the spirit of punk: free improvisation delivered with humour, melody and fun. subsidy available

Otto Willberg double bass / Harry Smith tenor saxophone / Alexander Tod drums

Perpetual Motion Machine

Double guitars of Sam Dunn and Jamie Taylor, along with doubled-up saxes, add verve to this high-energy sextet blending jazz and rock - but eschewing fusion - with carefully chosen repertoire including Bowie and Peter Gabriel. subsidy available

Sam Dunn, Jamie Taylor guitars / Ben Lowman tenor saxophone, bass clarinet / Riley Stone-Lonergan tenor saxophone / Garry Jackson electric & double bass / Steve Hanley drums


An electrifying new duo in which Sam Healey’s roaring sax lines soar above Craig Hanson’s drum patterns, electronic soundscapes and samples, manipulated live in the moment: a striking, expansive sound with a buzzing energy at its core. subsidy available

Sam Healey alto saxophone, keyboards / Craig Hanson drums, triggered samples

The ElecTrio

Dan Goldman has made a speciality of the Fender Rhodes, centring it at the heart of the blistering, funky driving sound of this tight, magnetic band: progressive, yet with a nod to its historical roots in 70s/80s fusion. subsidy available

Dan Goldman Fender Rhodes, synthesizers / Hamlet Luton electric bass / Gordon Kilroy drums


Vocalist Alice Higgins with an intimate trumpet-guitar-string bass group playing fresh swinging perspectives of the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Jackson, as well as their own songs in a warm, relaxed vein. subsidy available

Alice Higgins vocals / Will Blackstone trumpet / Conall Mulvenna guitar / Roz MacDonald double bass


Ubunye (‘one-ness’) unites singers hailing from Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa (now Huddersfield-based) with gospel and R’n’B players from Yorkshire, in an inspirational blend of jazz, Isigqi - traditional Zulu music - and Afro-pop. subsidy available

Thandanani Gumede, Nokuthula Zondi-Kamudyariwa, Xolani Mbathe vocals / Dave Evans keyboards / Nik Rutherford guitar / Barry Ricarby electric bass / Alex Wibrew drums

Ushaw Ensemble

Paul Edis’ was commissioned by Ushaw College and Durham Cathedral to compose for septet – pitching improvisers alongside Northumbrian pipes and violin – melding his forte in modern jazz with traditional music from the north east. subsidy available

Paul Edis piano / Graeme Wilson flute, clarinet, saxophones / Graham Hardy trumpet / Emma Fisk violin / Andy May Northumbrian pipes / Paul Susans double bass / Rob Walker percussion

Family Band

From the Ornette Coleman tradition, simple, repeated riffs and themes build and allow these skilled improvisers the freedom to feel, rather than think. subsidy available

Tom Rivière double bass / Riley Stone-Lonergan tenor saxophone / Kim Macari trumpet / Steve Hanley drums


Highly danceable funk/soul/hip-hop with dynamic vocals, a tight horn section and an in-the-pocket rhythm section, making for a sparkling show. subsidy available

Theo Tanzanitis vocals / Will Howard tenor saxophone / Andrew Cox baritone saxophone / Simon Dennis trumpet / Conall Mulvenna guitar / Sim Walker keyboards / Tom Maddison bass guitar / Tom Hawthorn drums / Ali Mac percussion

The Pat McCarthy Quartet

A warm and melodic repertoire of standards and original songs in a modern vein, presented with style and class. subsidy available

Pat McCarthy guitar / Shannon Reilly vocals / Thom Whitworth trumpet, guitar / Warren Jolly double bass

Inclusion Principle

Powerful inexorable rhythms, electronic beats and acoustic percussion, soaring sax lines, dramatic changes, reflective moments: ultimately sharing an enjoyment of sound. subsidy available

Martin Archer, Hervé Perez saxophones, laptops / Peter Fairclough drums, percussion


Contrasting backgrounds in jazz, contemporary classical and rock generate extended improvisations, from dream-like to fast and dense free jazz. subsidy available

Mark Hanslip tenor saxophone / Otto Willberg double bass / Andrew Cheetham drums

Maja Bugge

Beautiful, meditative soundscapes blending everyday sounds, melody and improvisation and working with the natural ambience and acoustics of the performance space. subsidy available

Maja Bugge 'cello

Johnny Hunter Quartet

Cool but fiery playing within and with the jazz tradition; Sonny Rollins influences, Middle-Eastern flavours - tons of energy and top playing. subsidy available

Johnny Hunter drums / Ben Watte tenor saxophone / Graham South trumpet / Stewart Wilson double bass


Razor-sharp polyrhythmic play, exploratory improvisation and raw, high-energy live performance, blurring the boundaries between free improvisation and highly-structured composition. subsidy available

Jamie Stockbridge alto saxophone / Mike Parr-Burman guitar / Adam Stapleford drums

The Jamie Brownfield Quartet

Equally adept at mainstream, modern and traditional styles, this fresh, exciting quartet embrace New Orleans street beat, swing & reggae. subsidy available

Jamie Brownfield trumpet / Tom Kincaid piano / Ken Marley double bass / Jack Cotterill drums

Firebird Quartet

Sophisticated contemporary jazz underpinned by solid, pure swing and rooted in the melodic jazz of the ‘60s and ‘70s and of the present day. subsidy available

Ian Chalk trumpet / Martin Longhawn piano / John Marley double bass / Tim Carter drums

Graeme Wilson Quartet

Idiosyncratic yet memorable original tunes, with unusual meters and structures, from a band of close-knit players with various enthusiasms for folk and rock ballads, free jazz and the dance floor.

Andy Champion – double bass, Gateshead Paul Edis – piano, Newcastle Adam Sinclair – drums, Newcastle Graeme Wilson – tenor saxophone, Edinburgh

Tipping Point

Toying with musical languages to evoke playfulness, mindfulness, darkness and extremes of emotion, this new band journeys from reflective ambience to intense aggression, using telepathic improvisations, angular melodies and unorthodox sounds from eerie to comic.

James Mainwaring - Sax/FX Matthew Bourne - Rhodes Michael Bardon - Double bass Joost Hendrick - Drums All based in Leeds

John Bailey Quintet

Bailey’s compositions draw heavily from C20th classical music to evoke reflective, atmospheric landscapes, using harmony and melody to unlock emotional responses in the listener, and are interpreted by a prestigious ensemble.

John Bailey, Guitar, Preston Richard Iles, Flugelhorn, Manchester Tim France, Sax, Manchester Garry Jackson, Double Bass, Manchester Steve Hanley, Drums, Leeds

Grew Quartet

Spur of the moment performances exchanging a traditional approach to melody and structure for new expressions of reflection, lyricism and playfulness, dissolving rhythms and reforming them to create stimulating tensions.

Stephen Grew: piano, Morecombe Matt Robinson: clarinet, Lancaster Seth Bennett: bass, Bradford Phillip Marks: percussion, Halifax

Bugalu Foundation

An irresistible, dance-friendly fusion of jazz, funk and soul, with the beats of ’El Barrio’ – Spanish Harlem – and the Hispanic traditions of Latin America.

Sam Bell, percussion & BV's Martin Connor, Lead Vocal Angus Crabtree, Bari & Tenor Sax Johnny Enright, Trombone & BV's Sam Gardner, Kit Al Macsween, Keyboards & BV's Morgan Pugh, Bass Steve Parry, Trumpet & BV's Craig Scott, Guitar

The Lindsay Hannon Plus

Raucous barrel-house blues or spacious ballad: genres are thoughtfully juxtaposed, each song a journey in itself, creating an electric atmosphere.

Lindsay Hannon- voice- Northumberland John Pope – Double Bass- Newcastle James Harrison-Piano-Redcar Tom Chapman- Drums- Stockton

Matt Holborn Quartet

Recent graduates from LCoM inspired by the music and legacy of Django Reinhardt, and with a love of anything that swings: fun, new and exciting whilst still maintaining its hot club traditions.

Matt Holborn, violin, Leeds; Ben Mallen, lead guitar, Leeds; Ben Danzig, rhythm guitar, Leeds; Simon Read, bass, Leeds.

Cameron Vale

Exciting and challenging music woven with a danceable energy, memorable melodies and complex riffs: jazz, metal, electronica, Afrobeat and Klezmer, all played with ferocious energy.

Miles Spilsbury, Saxophone/Effects, Leeds George Birkett, Guitar, Leeds Sam Dutton-Taylor, Bass/Effects, Leeds Finn Booth, Drums, Halesworth

Blind Monk

The spirit of Thelonius Monk with rock’n’roll attitude: a gracious nod to the great piano-less trios with an added dose of Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and Persian traditional music: simple themes and powerful blowing.

Bob Whittaker - Tenor Saxophone - Wirral Hugo Harrison - Double Bass - Liverpool Johnny Hunter - Drums - Manchester


Manjula (meaning melodious) delves deep into rhythms and melodies from Portuguese, African, Latin jazz and Indian cultures to create a beautiful, experimental fusion of global sounds.

Vanessa Rani, voice, Leeds; Joe Harris, Guitar, Leeds; Sam Bell, Percussion and vocals, Leeds; Simon Read, Double Bass, Leeds

Pan Jumby

Nesbitt, an exceptional and unflagging advocate for the art and culture of the steel pan, leads a blend of modern calypso, Caribbean rhythms, Rumba and Cha Cha, channelled through the versatile vocabulary of jazz.

Dudley Nesbitt - Steel Pans, percussion, Richard Ormrod - saxes, clarinets, flutes, accordion, percussion,Barkley McKay - keyboard, electric guitar, Kenneth Higgins - electric bass, Sam Hobbs - drums

Iain Dixon / Les Chisnall

Two artists at the height of their game performing a surprising range of music from C20th classical (Messiaen, Walton) to songs made famous by Kathleen Ferrier and Gracie Fields. Ideal for intimate spaces with acoustic piano.

Iain Dixon - saxophones, clarinets - Ramsbottom Les Chisnall - piano - St Helens

Adam Fairhall

Exploring the full range of vocabulary, from ragtime to free, often overlaid and highly percussive, yet with his forward-looking personality and lyricism always shining through. For venues without pianos, Adam can bring his own ‘ship’s piano’,

Adam Fairhall / piano and various mechanical keyboards

Dread Supreme

A band with roots in Jamaican music and British and American Jazz, and a commitment to breaking down musical barriers and defying categorisations with integrity, spirit and musicality.

Richard Ormrod / saxophones, Sam Hobbs / drums, Trevor Roots / vocals, Simon Beddoe / trumpet, Chris Campbell / guitar, Bob Birch / keyboards, Kenneth Higgins / bass, Spear / percussion, Supa / sound engineer

John Ellis Trio

Manchester’s much-admired musical polymath takes improvisatory twists and turns through township, soulful songs and local folk heritage.

John Ellis / piano Pete Turner / double bass Rob Turner / drums

Mike Walker & Stuart McCallum

An intimate collaboration between two musicians with international reputations, playing 5 guitars between them and performing originals and standards re-imagined and re-sculpted into fresh music, characterised by focus and restraint. Quiet but compellingly lyric

Mike Walker / guitars, Stuart McCallum / guitars

New York Brass Band

A powerhouse party band from the mean streets of York via New Orleans, pumping out Marvin Gaye, George Michael and funky, gritty northern originals.

Simon Dennis, Dan Webster / trumpets, Andrew Cox / tenor saxophone, Charlie Lancaster, Tim Hurst / trombones, James Lancaster / sousaphone, Tom Hawthorn / drums

Nicola Farnon Trio

A close-knit, swinging outfit playing jazz and Latin standards, and making optimum use of their combined instrumental skills with integrity and joy.

Nicola Farnon / double bass, voice Piero Tucci / piano, tenor saxophone Phil Johnson / drums

Simon Read Octet

A recent graduate from LCM, and influenced by the octets of Julian Argüelles and Dave Holland, Simon fronts a Leeds-London band through buoyant, rich horn arrangements.

Simon Read / double bass, Laura Jurd / trumpet, flugelhorn, Ben Lowman / alto saxophone, Will Howard / tenor saxophone, clarinet, Kevin Holbrough / trombone, Michael De Souza / guitar, Declan Forde / piano, Sam Gardner / drums

Svarc Hanley Longhawn

A refreshing take on this classic trio format, with a broad sound palette ranging from ethereal, brooding moods to electrifying grooves.

Nick Svarc / guitar, Martin Longhawn / organ, Steve Hanley / drums.

The Initiative

A multi-genre collective of Lancaster’s most original musicians, ramping up the pace and unpredictability with beatbox and rap-fuelled excursions into the world of anti-jazz...

Matt Robinson, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Lancaster Lily Carassik, Trumpet, London Paul Froggatt, Soprano Sax/Tenor Sax, Lancaster Paul Graves, Guitar, Lancaster Ash Murphy, Words/Synths, Lancaster John Powney, Drums, Kendal Dave Shooter, Bass,

The Jazz Worriers

Delving into jazz history and combining new compositions and arrangements with assured ensemble playing and burning solos, the JWs have created a show that is musically exciting and wittily presented.

Dean Masser / tenor saxophone Neil Yates / trumpet Dan Whieldon / piano Ed Harrison / double bass Marek Dorcik / drums

The Slowlight Quartet

Combining a love of great melodies, catchy chords and exciting rhythms, this Newcastle band has an open approach to embracing a myriad of contemporary jazz styles.

Ian Paterson / double bass, bass guitar, Tom Quilliam / soprano & tenor saxophone, Paul Lorraine / keyboards Jonathan Marriott / drums


A genuine fusion of Indian, Arabic, Flamenco and jazz styles with compelling band interplay and mesmerising atmospherics.

Olivia Moore / violin Jim Faulkner / guitar Gavin Barras / double bass Adam Warne / Egyptian percussion John Ball / Indian santoor, tabla

Zoe Gilby Quartet

Newcastle’s leading jazz vocalist performs a repertoire of wide-ranging contemporary songs (Tom Waits and Kate Bush) and gritty and sophisticated original compositions.

Zoe Gilby / vocals, Mark Williams / guitar, Andy Champion / double bass, Richard Brown / drums

Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra

Drawing from Fela Kuti, Sun Ra, James Brown & Albert Ayler for inspiration. Afrobeat rhythm and language meets 70's space jazz and 60's free jazz.

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


Influences as diverse as ‘prog rock’ and free improvisation, but with jazz always at the heart. Expect tight arrangement peppered with insistent rhythmic ferocity contrasting against more introspective moments.

Andy Champion – Double Bass, Graeme Wilson – Tenor & Baritone Saxes, Paul Edis – Keyboards, Mark Williams – Guitar, Adrian Tilbrook – Drums

Billy Moon

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…”

Matthew Bourne: Piano, Cello, Keyboards, Seaming To: Voice, Clarinet, Electronics


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.

Emma Fisk – Violin, James Birkett – Guitar, Giles Strong – Guitar, Mick Shoulder – Double Bass

HSQ Plus

Four experienced sax players plus guests, playing classic and contemporary jazz arrangements.

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.

Jamil Sheriff Trio

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.

Jamil Sheriff (Piano), Dave Walsh (Drums), Pete Turner (Bass)

Engine Room Favourites

Harking back to the AACM school of music pioneered by Art Ensemble of Chicago, Leo Smith, and Anthony Braxton. A style which has never been really followed up by European musicians until now.

Martin Archer / saxophones Laura Cole /piano, Corey Mwamba / vibraphone, Graham Clarke / violin, Pete Fairclough, Walt Shaw, Johnny Hunter & Steve Dinsdale / percussion.


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.

Richard Iles – trumpet/flugel, Mike Williams – alto saxophone, Les Chisnall – piano, Percy Pursglove – bass

Shatners bassoon

Influenced by Tim Berne, Mr. Bungle, John Zorn, Frank Zappa, Tyshawn Sorey and a range of rock and electronica. Playing with musical clichés and conventions to produce music that negotiates a path from the beautiful to the sinister, humorous and surreal.

Johnny Richards – Keys, Mick Bardon – Bass and electronics Ollie Dover – Tenor sax, Craig Scott – Guitar and electronics, Joost Hendrickx – Drums, Andrew Lisle – Drums

Space F!ght

Space F!ght explores loop based communication between acoustic and electronic instruments. Carefully designed micro level grooves driving the performance and exploring the crossover of commercial, contemporary and noise music.

Tom Adams (guitar), James Mainwaring (sax), Radek Rudnicki (electronics and devices), Kuba (video projections)

Stuart McCallum & The Real Strings

Expanded by the use of samples triggered from a laptop and The Prism String Quartet, Stuart’s music embraces simple and memorable melodies, bass lines and drum beats with electronica and improvisation, enriched by elegant orchestral writing.

Stuart McCallum – guitars/laptop, Pete Turner – double bass, Dave Walsh – drums. The Real Strings (optional extra)

The Weave

Warm, melodious and largely friendly homegrown tunes. There is a deeply rooted, direct, honest and often-humorous charm that is the hallmark of Liverpool music across the genres.

Martin Smith – Trumpet/Flugel Horn, Anthony Peers – Trumpet/Flugel Horn, Anthony Ormesher – Guitar, Rob Stringer – Piano, Hugo “Harry” Harrison – Double Bass, Tilo Pirnbaum – Drums