A protégé of jazz vocal legend Mark Murphy, who called her a “true musician,” “very moving” and “an extraordinary talent,” Anglo-Trinidadian vocalist, Tessa Souter, whose distinctive and exotically beautiful style of jazz evokes Andalusian Spain, North Africa and the Middle East, as well as the Celtic folk music she grew up listening to, has established herself as an uncommonly creative vocalist and songwriter over the past two decades.
Ever since the release of her 2004 debut, Listen Love, she has cast an increasingly wide net, from 2008’s all-star Nights of Key Largo (Venus), to contributing original lyrics to instrumental jazz standards, and re-imagining classic British rock on 2009’s Obsession (Motéma). Her all-star Third Stream project, Beyond the Blue (Venus-Motéma, 2013), featuring Steve Kuhn and spotlighting Souter’s own “exhilaratingly mature lyrics” (Chicago Examiner) to classical gems by Albinoni, Chopin et al, was a London Sunday Times Jazz Record of the Year in 2013.
Her latest project, Picture in Black and White (NOA), is a riveting musical journey inspired by her discovery at age 28 that her estranged birth father was Trinidadian and black, having been brought up to believe he was Spanish and white. It is the second of her albums to be a Sunday Times magazine 'Jazz Record of the Year'. It was also WVCR FM DJ Jay Hunter’s 'Best Vocal Disc' of 2018 and a London Evening Standard 'Jazz Album of the Week', among other acknowledgements.
She has appeared six times at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, where in 2015 she was one of only four (out of 4,000) musicians to be filmed by PBS Television for her own one-hour special (broadcast over 92 networks), and where, in 2017, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle singled her out as “the one performer not to miss” over the entire nine-day festival.
"An astute and expressive singer" - Nate Chinen, New York Times.
"She's at the top of my list of great talent. She really moves me" - Sheila Jordan NEA.
Tessa Souter (vocals), Luis Perdomo (piano), Josh Allen (bass), Clarence Penn (drums/percussion).
OWL Trio is a new chamber jazz ensemble, borne of the 10‐year musical relationship between British musicians - bassist Orlando le Fleming and saxophonist Will Vinson, plus Norwegian guitarist Lage Lund. The intimate nature of the lineup, combined with years of prolific collaborative music‐making in a wide variety of contexts, results in highly sensitive and near telepathic renderings of standards and improvisation.
Each of the musicians is highly accomplished and recognized in his own right. Jazz Times calls le Fleming “a deep‐toned walker with an impeccable sense of time”,and the New York Times describes him as a “grounding force”.Vinson “drills a hole through the music, boxing like a sprightly Olympic welterweight” according to Jazz Times, and the Guardian describes him as “spectacular, adroit and sophisticated”. The New York Times lauds Lund’s “casual magnetism”, and the critic David Adler describes him as “burning down the house with one impossibly deft solo after another.”
OWL Trio recorded its first, eponymous, CD in an abandoned church in Brooklyn. The recording is characterized by its seamless juxtaposition of haunting beauty, space and freedom, with the overt celebration of the jazz tradition and that of the American songbook. In August 2020 OWL Trio will release a new album on Newvelle records, featuring special guest vocalist Kurt Elling.
“Lund’s gorgeous playing, Vinson’s sinuous sound, and le Fleming’s sturdy anchoring made for a dream‐like sound in a perfect setting” - Rochester City Newspaper.
Will Vinson (saxophones), Orlando le Fleming (bass), Lage Lund (guitar)
Martin Taylor is a multi-award winning Grammy-nominated guitarist with more than 100 recordings to his credit, and Acoustic Guitar magazine calls him ‘THE acoustic guitarist of his generation’. He dazzles audiences with his solo shows, which combine virtuosity, emotion, humour, and a strong stage presence, while his inimitable style has seen him recognized as the world’s foremost exponent of solo fingerstyle guitar playing. Taylor has invented and developed a way of playing the guitar that is admired, and often imitated, by guitarists all over the world.
Add to that a BBC lifetime achievement award, being awarded the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, and collaborations with Jeff Beck, George Harrison, Tommy Emmanuel, Bill Wyman, Chet Atkins, and 11 years of touring with Stephane Grappelli, and you know you’re in for a world-class show!
“Martin Taylor is one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument. He's unbelievable."—Pat Metheny
Martin Taylor (guitar)
Pianist Fergus McCreadie’s trio is among the leaders of the exciting young wave currently energising the vibrant and creative Scottish jazz scene.
A phenomenal technician, McCreadie has developed a deeply personal style that captures Scotland’s musical traditions and landscapes while honouring his American and Nordic influences.
His trio has made a major impression in the UK, winning the coveted Peter Whittingham Jazz Prize in 2016, and its debut album, Turas, as well as reaching the shortlist for the Scottish Album of the Year Award 2019, (a rare feat for a jazz group), won Best Album at the Scottish Jazz Awards and Jazz Album of the Year at the 2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
Their concerts, highlighting their thrilling virtuosity, brilliantly attuned collective dynamism and their music’s huge emotional charge, have earned five-star reviews and invitations to appear at London jazz mecca Ronnie Scotts’ International Piano Trio Festival as well as Oslo and Stockholm jazz festivals.
“Think Erik Satie running on Islay Malt rather than Absinthe” – The Scotsman
“Simply outstanding” – Jazzwise
Fergus McCreadie (piano) / David Bowden (bass) / Stephen Henderson (drums)
HELENA KAY's KIM TRIO - TUESDAY 23rd JUNE
Tenor saxophonist Helena Kay (Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year 2015), released her debut album Moon Palace in 2018. Originally from Perth, Scotland, Helena is now based in New York and her band, Helena Kay's KIM Trio, features Kaisa Maensivu (Godwin Louis) on double bass and Angus Mason on drums.
The trio play a mixture of Helena's originals and tunes from jazz greats such as Sonny Rollins and Antonio Carlos Jobim and contemporary composers Melissa Aldana and Chris Cheek
‘Kay and her trio confirmed both their understated group virtuosity and command of narrative drive.’ - Financial Times
‘[Moon Palace] is a highly accomplished debut by a young player with a distinctive personality.’ - Jazz Views
Helena Kay (sax), Kaisa Maensivu (bass), Angus Mason (drums.
Robert Mitchell is an award-winning pianist, keyboard player, composer, poet and author. Over his nearly 30 year-career, he has recorded ten albums of his own projects, participated in over 100 projects as a sideman and has performed in more than 40 countries. He is also a festival curator and a highly respected educator.
Robert has won the BBC Jazz Award (Innovation Award), Best Jazz Album (BBC Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards) and has been nominated for many more including the 2017 British Jazz Composer Award. Robert is proud to be a Steinway Artist
In 2020 Robert Mitchell launches a new CD, “The Rainbow Mountain/Can We Care” – his third solo piano recording. The recording was made at London’s Jazz Café, at a concert in which he opened for Vijay Iyer. The album is dedicated to the memory of Cecil Taylor.
Robert’s set will include original works, improvisation, left hand-only music plus compositions by legends of jazz.
“…a very important influential musician” - Gilles Peterson
Robert Mitchell (piano)
MOBO Award winning Kairos 4Tet return to present their 4th album, delving deeper in to the art of song. Regarded as one of a kind - Kairos 4Tet bridge the gap between classic and contemporary; the jazz orbit and folk lineage; with ferocious grooves, searching improvisations and melodies that linger long after the music stops. The band play the distinctive compositions of saxophonist Adam Waldmann, who has been described as "a young master in the making" by Time Out and a "precociously talented composer and player" by AllAboutJazz. Alongside Adam Waldmann (saxophones/compositions), the Parliamentary Jazz ‘Vocalist of the Year’ award winner Emilia Mårtensson performs with bassist Jasper Høiby and pianist Ivo Neame (from Phronesis), plus Rich Spaven on drums.
“Under the leadership of saxophonist Adam Waldmann, Kairos 4Tet have found a melodious medium between traditional Jazz and the forward facing nature of the great young British Jazz groups. The band’s compositions are open and accessible, but there’s no compromise when it comes to intuitive, intelligent playing and adventurous arrangements” – The Mercury Prize
Adam Waldmann (saxophones), Emilia Mårtensson (vocals), Ivo Neame (piano), Jasper Høiby (bass), Rich Spaven (drums).
VULA VIEL - FRIDAY 26th JUNE
This performance will take place at Montage at 6:00-7:00PM and 10:00-11:00PM
Following the acclaimed release of ‘Do Not Be Afraid’ and a tour that took them across the UK and Europe, including a stellar performance at Womad captured by BBC Radio 3, Vula Viel return with a new album ‘What’s Not Enough About That’, in which the band continue their sonic explorations around the gyil - the wooden xylophone of the Dagaare from Upper West Ghana
“My journey with the gyil has always been rooted in the Dagaare traditions”, explains Burch, “but through playing live and developing a tight chemistry together, the band is constantly pushing its own boundaries and finding new directions”.
These tracks break new ground, stretching out the band’s sound, at times delicate and textured and at others moving into raw, post-punk soundscapes.
Bex Burch (gyil), Ruth Goller (bass), Jim Hart (drums)
“An intoxicating blend of punk bass fuzz, polyrhythmic jazz drummming & soul-stirring traditional melodies beaten with joy on the gyil... Not to be missed!”- NTS
FRIDAY 26th JUNE & SATURDAY 27th JUNE
Performances at will take place at Bethel Church 26th June (6:45-7:45PM and 8:45-9:45PM)
& Montage 27th June (6:00-7:00PM and 10:00-11:00PM)
KOKOROKO channel the greats of West Africa through a jazz-rooted approach. Building on the foundations laid by Fela Kuti, Tony Allen and Ebo Taylor, they lace interrelated influences together into a soul shaking, horn fueled sound. They draw from the music they grew up with, the echoes of Afrobeat and highlife heard in melodies, drum patterns and harmonised vocals. The band’s name is an Orobo – a Nigerian tribe and language – word, meaning ‘be strong’. Sonically living up to their name, KOKOROKO are an all-star band featuring leading lights from the London jazz community. Powered by seismic horn section (Maurice Grey, saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, trombonist Richie Seivewright), guitar (Oscar Jerome), keys (Yohan Kebede), drums (Ayo Salawu) and percussion (Onome Edgeworth), Kokoroko are on a mission to fashion new languages using the medium of afrobeat.
“This female-led, multicultural collective of under 30s is a vital example of not only jazz’s new form but the shape of things to come for British music”– THE GUARDIAN
Yazz Ahmed is a British-Bahraini trumpet player and composer. Blurring the lines between jazz and electronic sound design, combined with the sounds of her mixed heritage, Yazz has created an intoxicating and compelling new genre, ‘psychedelic Arabic jazz’.
Her 2017 release, ‘La Saboteuse’, brought her to the attention of a global audience leading to performances around the world including at Köln Philharmonie, WOMAD, Pori Jazz, Love Supreme and NYC Winter Jazz Fest and she has recorded and performed with Radiohead, Lee Scratch Perry, Swing Out Sister, Tarek Yamani, and These New Puritans. She has also appeared as a guest soloist and composer with Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra.
Yazz’s latest album, ‘Polyhymnia’, (Ropeadope Records), dedicated to and inspired by courageous women, has been described by Glide Magazine as “clearly one of the most important pieces of music in any genre to appear this year”.
Yazz Ahmed (trumpet, flugelhorn and electronics), Ralph Wyld (vibraphone), Dave Manington (bass guitar), Martin France (drums).
MADE IN THE UK 2020
(more to be announced)