Multi award winning jazz pianist and prolific composer Gwilym Simcock moves effortlessly between jazz and classical creating a sound that is very much his own. He works with orchestras, choirs, big bands, small ensembles and musicians from all areas of music including jazz, folk, pop and classical combining through-composed elements with improvisation. Described as a pianist of ‘exceptional’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘dazzling’ ability, he is renowned for his solo performances, releasing a Barclaycard Mercury nominated solo album 'Good Days at Schloss Elmau” on ACT in 2011 which was lauded as "dazzlingly fresh", "world class", "stupendous" "phenomenal" "a cause for huge celebration". His music is widely acclaimed as ‘engaging, exciting, often unexpected, melodically enthralling, complex yet hugely accessible', and above all 'wonderfully optimistic’.
Gwilym is often on radio and TV including The Proms on BBC2 TV, as guest presenter on ‘Saturday Classics’ and “Composer of the Week” on BBC Radio 3, and with the finalists at the first BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Awards on BBC4 TV.
In 2014 he released two highly acclaimed albums on ACT “Instrumation” with the City of London Sinfonia and “Reverie at Schloss Elmau” a duo with his long time collaborator bassist Yuri Goloubev. Gwilym co-leads Anglo-American Supergroup 'The Impossible Gentlemen' (with Mike Walker, Steve Rodby and Adam Nussbaum) who were nominated as Best Ensemble in the 2013 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. He is currently touring the world with US
guitar legend Pat Metheny’s new quartet. He is Professor of Jazz Piano at his alma mater The Royal Academy of Music.
“No young musician outside the pop world has moved as fast into the upper reaches of his profession as Simcock”. Stuart Nicholson, Observer
"...the greatest stadium-filling anthems that Coldplay never wrote." Uncut
As a young boy, Neil Cowley studied classical music and by the age of 10 had performed a Shostakovich piano concerto to a full house at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. By his mid-teens however, he had turned his back on his classical career entering the world of old school RnB, soul and funk had began to work with some of the most successful bands of the day including the Brand New Heavies and Zero 7 alongside his own highly successful chill-out production duo Fragile State.
In 2005 Cowley returned to his first love, the piano, and formed the Neil Cowley Trio releasing their debut recording the following year on his own label, Hide Inside Records. Cowley’s dynamic, thrilling muisc and jazz-meets-rock ethic placed him and his trio at the forefront of a new British post - jazz movement. Defined by hook laden melodies, powerful riffs and whimsical romps alongside poignant, delicate passages of heart-shatttering beauty, the trio turned the concept of the jazz piano trio on its head. Neil Cowley Trio have released six studio albums Displaced (2006) winner of the 2007 BBC Jazz Award for Best Album; Loud... Louder... Stop (2008), hailed by Mojo as a “Modern Classic”; Radio Silence (2010), The Face of Mount Molehill (2012), a recording with a string ensemble that earned them the 2013 Jazz Fm award for Best UK Jazz Act and Cowley describes their fifth studio release, Touch and Flee as their ‘concert hall album’; released in 2014 it cemented Cowley’s credentials as a brilliant, dazzling composer. Neil Cowley Trio released their sixth studio album, Spacebound Apes in 2016.
The trio - with Rex Horan on bass and Evan Jenkins on drums - are renowned for captivating live performances which have at their heart Cowley’s marvellously English wit and remarkable rapport with his audience.
'He reminds me of the young Django Bates, and the impression Django made on me in the 1980s - great improv chops, strong character as a player and a composer, evident love of the jazz tradition without wanting to repeat the past, very English sense of humour. He’s the kind of artist you always want to stay tuned in to, because you know he’s going to keep on coming up with surprises.’ John Fordham
Elliot Galvin is one of the rising stars of UK jazz. A superbly gifted composer and pianist, whose maverick imagination and magpie like ability to blend a disparate world of influences into his own unique musical vision has seen him compared to Django Bates although in truth he sounds like no one except himself. From de-constructing standards to creating his own micro-tonal melodica, Galvin’s music is both playful and deadly serious drawing on a wide range of influences from Keith Jarrett to Stravinsky, Ligetti, Deerhof and the Beatles as well as the films of David Lynch, the Dada movement and the literature of James Joyce. A regular collaborator with Laura Judd, he also plays in a free improv duo with Mark Sanders. But his main artistic vehicle is the Elliot Galvin Trio, who in 2014 were announced as the winners of the European Young Jazz Artist of the Year Award in Germany. That same year they released their debut album ‘Dreamland’ to rave reviews, with the Guardian calling it “audaciously accomplished” ****, Jez Nelson (BBC Radio 3, Jazz on 3) saying it was “Perhaps one of the strongest debuts that I've heard from a UK artist in a long while... extremely bold and progressive" and The German Jazz Magazine ‘JazzThing’ naming it as one of it’s albums of the year.
Punch, is their second album, and their debut for leading European jazz label, Edition Records.
Photo: Dave Stapleton
LAURA JURD trumpet / fx ELLIOT GALVIN fender rhodes
CONOR CHAPLIN electric bass CORRIE DICK drums
Dinosaur is one of the most vital and creative new ensembles in Europe today. Led by BBC New Generation Artist 2015 - 2107, trumpeter and composer Laura Jurd, Dinosaur, featuring star keyboardist Elliot Galvin and the exciting young rhythm section of Conor Chaplin and Corrie Dick, are described by All About Jazz as ‘a new British Jazz supergroup’.
In Sept 2016, Dinosaur released ‘Together, As One’ on Edition Records to widespread critical acclaim including a rare 5 star review from The Guardian, characterising the music, written by Laura Jurd, as ‘impressionistic electric-jazz moodiness seamlessly wrapped around Celtic folk melodies’ whilst All About Jazz, described the album ‘as one of the best debut albums for years’.
In Oct 2016, the quartet appeared on the front cover of Jazzwise Magazine in prompting a wave of praise and acclaim from the international media including Jazzthing Magazine, Jazzthetic and Gilles Peterson. Bringing together a remarkable fusion of thoughtful compositions, skilful musicianship and visceral energy, this music is both formidable and utterly compelling.
With almost six years of touring including performances at the Berlin Jazz Festival, Jazz Sur Son 31 in Toulouse, 12 Points in Dublin and Jazzahead in Bremen, Dinosaur are set to ignite a glowing international career with tours in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France and Belgium already confirmed in 2017.
- TUESDAY 27TH JUNE
Dave O’Higgins - tenor sax Jeb Patton - piano
Clovis Nicolas - bass Luca Santaniello - drums
Dave was in New York playing at the Lincoln Centre with the Brubecks Play Brubeck in April 2016. Whilst in town he heard Luca Santaniello playing drums with Jerry Weldon, and was so impressed by his depth of swing and dynamic control, they resolved to work together at the earliest opportunity. This new group brings together some of the great new emerging talent now relocated to NYC from around the world. They will be playing new compositions from the latest Dave O’Higgins Quartet recording, “It’s Always 9.30 in Zog” (JVG Productions 2017). Expect hip, swinging contemporary straight ahead jazz - in the tradition yet full of surprises.
Dave O’Higgins was born in Birmingham, England to an Irish / Mexican father and English mother. Having studied music at The City University in London, Dave’s first big breaks were with John Dankworth and Cleo Laine, and Icelandic jazz-funk band, Mezzoforte. He is one of the most prolific and creative jazz musicians the UK has ever produced, with 19 albums released as a leader since 1993. Much of the material has been original compositions and arrangements, with lineups from small group to big band, acoustic and electric.
Dave is a busy guest soloist across the globe, runs a small jazz recording studio, and is Jazz Pathway course leader at the London College of Contemporary Media.
Some of the artists Dave has worked with include: Jason Rebello (produced by Wayne Shorter), Joey Calderazzo, Joe Locke, Dave Kikoski, Eddie Gomez, Adam Nussbaum, John Dankworth, Cleo Laine, Frank Sinatra, Chico Chagas, Jimmy Smith, Ray Charles, Martin Taylor, Jim Mullen, Kyle Eastwood, Jamie Cullum, Itchy Fingers, Stan Tracey, BBC Big Band, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra, Eric Alexander, Phil Dwyer, Grant Stewart, Brubecks Play Brubeck & Darius Brubeck Quartet.
“O’Higgins plays with quite exceptional fluency and his fund of ideas never runs out.” - The OBSERVER
“A truly exceptional, once in a generation talent” Jazzwise
Polly Gibbons is one of the most respected and talked about young singer/songwriters of her generation. She has developed her craft over the past decade, performing at all the leading UK jazz clubs including Ronnie Scott’s with the All Stars, and more recently touring in the USA with shows these past few years in Florida, Boston, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles and Birdland in NYC.
In the summer of 2016, Gibbons supported George Benson and Gladys Knight on their sold-out UK tours with two critically acclaimed performances at the Royal Albert Hall.
Gibbons released her debut album, 'My Own Company', in 2014 and signed to the revered US jazz label Resonance Records that year. 'Many Faces of Love' was recorded with producer George Klabin and released in February 2015.
'Is It Me...?', Gibbons’ latest album, captures the range of her warm, soulful vocals and her innate blues sensibility. The three original compositions – ‘Midnight Prayer’, ‘You Can’t Just...’ and the title track – reveal an accomplished songwriter with her own fun, unique style of storytelling. The album also features dynamic and sensitive interpretations of well-loved tunes including Patti Austin’s ‘Ability to Swing’, the blues classic ‘Dr Feelgood’ and ‘Wild Is the Wind’, a song made famous by Nina Simone.
A farmer’s daughter who grew up in Framlingham, a small market town in Suffolk, England, Polly is one of seven siblings in a family that shared all types of different musical loves. Her mum cherished classical and choral music (Bach, Mozart, Chopin), her dad was an electric bassist who played in bands in the 70’s, her brothers loved R&B and her sisters were all vinyl collectors, playing everything from hip hop and soul to jazz and folk.
Inspired by Billie, the budding singer experienced an initial flurry of excitement in discovering jazz and blues, listening to such artists as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Donny Hathaway, Thelonious Monk, etc. She notes, however, that although she doesn’t have a very “folky” voice, she was also greatly influenced by artists like Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Rickie Lee Jones and Bob Dylan, and she continuously listens to classical music, too!
Photo: Bill Westmoreland
JASPER HØIBY – DOUBLE BASS
IVO NEAME – PIANO
ANTON EGER - DRUMS
With the critically acclaimed release of their sixth album 'Parallax’ in 2016 (recorded at Abbey Road studios) and a reputation for spell-binding, roller-coaster live performances, twice MOBO-nominated Anglo-Scandinavian trio Phronesis have captured the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide.
Formed in London by Danish bass player Jasper Høiby in 2005, the energy and individuality of Phronesis comes from an extraordinary democracy of expression and intuitive empathy between the musicians. They have performed widely across Europe and taken their engaging grooves, irresistible rhythmic energy and breathtaking group interplay to concert stages and festivals across the world from Morocco to Brazil and Australia to North America.
In March 2017 Phronesis released their seventh album, ‘The Behemoth’, recorded in Germany with the hr Frankfurt Radio Big Band - a special commissioned project to celebrate the band's tenth anniversary, for which composer/arranger Julian Argüelles has created innovative big band arrangements of the trio’s compositions drawn from their entire back catalogue.
'One of the most exciting bands on the planet!' – Jazzwise
Photo: Peter van Breukelen
In just 2 years, fiery saxophone-drum duo Binker & Moses have won a loyal following for their intense, hypnotic live show.
Their debut album “Dem Ones” was recorded live in Mark Ronson’s Zelig Studio for Gearbox Records and won the coveted MOBO award for Best Jazz Act.
Named as both Breakthrough Act & Jazz Act of The Year at the 2016 Jazz FM Awards, Binker & Moses will be releasing their highly anticipated 2nd album in early 2017 ahead of international touring.
“fiery improvisations and fresh ideas” Jazzwise (UK)
“a rising star duo” Jazziz (USA)
This concert will be dedicated to our friend and creator of the Made in the UK series, John Ellson, who passed away in September 2016
Downbeat Critics Poll ‘Rising Star’ two years in a row, London-born, Harlem-based Anglo-Trinidadian jazz vocalist-composer Tessa Souter imbues a mix of jazz, stunning originals, and the occasional rock classic – U2, Cream and the Beatles – with the soul and passion of flamenco, Indian and Middle Eastern music. Heralded by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the few exceptional standouts in the crowded field of female jazz singers”, Ms. Souter’s “truly beautiful voice” (Sirius Radio) and penchant for exploring music mostly untouched by other singers have set her apart as “one of the finest and most fearless vocalists to have emerged in recent years.” (Boston Globe). Her latest album, Beyond the Blue (Venus-Motema), featuring jazz interpretations of classical repertoire with her own “exhilaratingly mature lyrics” (Neil Tesser, Chicago Examiner), was Clive Davis’ #6 pick on the London Sunday Times’ Top 10 Jazz Releases of 2013.
The New York-based singer has performed all over the world, including sold out concerts at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the Blue Note, and Joe’s Pub, New York; Pizza on the Park, Pizza Express Jazz Club and the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, UK; four sold out tours of the philharmonic halls of Russia; and five appearances at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, where her 2015 Kilbourn Hall performance was chosen from over 1,000 festival performers to be one of only four concerts to be filmed by PBS Television. The one-hour show of her concert and interview is currently airing on selected PBS stations across the US.
Her invariably standing-room-only monthly residency at Greenwich Village’s iconic 55 Bar (chosen by CBS New York as one of New York’s Top Five Jazz Clubs) is in its 13th year. She has made four critically-acclaimed CDs as a leader, including two for the Japanese label, Venus, and two for the multi-Grammy-nominated Motéma label. She also appears on legendary bassist Charnett Moffett‘s Spirit of Sound (Motéma) album.
Tessa will be performing music from her upcoming release, 'Picture in Black and White' – a tribute to the ancestors of her mixed race heritage
Photo: Joseph Boggess
MADE IN THE UK 2017
Additional Canada and USA performances
SATURDAY 24TH JUNE - KERRYTOWN CONCERT HOUSE, ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 8PM
SUNDAY 25TH JUNE - JAZZ BISTRO, TORONTO 7PM
SUNDAY 2ND JULY - TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART, OHIO 3PM
NEIL COWLEY TRIO
LAURA JURD DINOSAUR
POLLY GIBBONS QUARTET