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Jazz 2019

 

Ushaw is excited to continue hosting our annual Jazz Festival, which continues to draw musicians and Jazz fans from all over the world. As well as the main festival itself, we are also pleased to host several individual performances throughout the year. 


Ushaw Ensemble

 

Originally formed to perform a specially commissioned suite to celebrate the life and story of St. Cuthbert, the Ushaw Ensemble is made up of the very best musicians from the North East. Fusing elements of folk, contemporary classical and jazz, the Ushaw Ensemble were chosen for the JazzNorth Northern Line ambassador artists in 2017/2018. In 2019 they will be touring their debut recording across the UK.

 

Paul Edis – MD, Composer/Pianist

Graeme Wilson – Saxes, Bass Clarinet, Flute

Graham Hardy – Trumpet, Flugel

Emma Fisk – Violin

Rob Walker – Drum, Percussion

Andy May – Northumbrian Pipes

Paul Susans – Double Bass


 

Thursday April 4th


Simon Spillett and the Paul Edis Trio

 

Described by the late Humphrey Lyttelton as "formidable," saxophonist Simon Spillett has won several awards for his music, including the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards (2011), Jazz Journal magazine's Critic's Choice CD of the Year (2009) Rising Star in the BBC Jazz Awards (2007) and most recently the Services to British Jazz in the 2016 British Jazz Awards. He has worked with Sir John Dankworth, Stan Tracey, Peter King and The Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra. His festival, concert and club appearances across the UK have included sold-out gigs at Ronnie Scott's and the Brecon Jazz Festival and he has broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Jazz-Line Up with his own band.

For this concert he is joined by the Paul Edis Trio – with Paul Edis (piano) Andy Champion (bass) and Russ Morgan (drums). 

Friday May 3rd

 


Gala Big Band

 

Durham's Gala Big Band was formed in September 2014. Led by pianist and composer Paul Edis, the band repertoire includes classic Rat Pack numbers, big band arrangements from Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Sammy Nestico, Buddy Rich, alongside newer material specially commissioned for the band. 

They have performed at the Witham in Barnard Castle, at Ushaw College alongside star saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos, at Durham Town Hall, Redhills Mining Institute as part of BRASS, at the annual Great North Big Band Festival and they give regular performances at the GalaTheatre in Durham. 

Wednesday May 8th

 


Vasilis Xenopoulos and the Paul Edis Trio

 

Saxophonist and composer Vasilis Xenopoulos is one of the most accomplished Greek jazz musicians of his generation. London became his permanent home after graduating from the infamous Berklee College of Music, and gradually established himself as one of London’s up and coming jazz saxophonists. He has worked with some of the best musicians in the British jazz scene, such as Jim Mullen, Steve Waterman, Alan Barnes, Derek Nash, Bruce Adams, Martin Shaw, Nigel Price, Ray Gelato, and many others. On an international level, he has appeared with a variety of top performers such as sensational pianists Hiromi, and Jason Lindner.

 

 

In 2009 he formed “The Xtet" and their debut album “Loud City" containing 8 original compositions was released on 33Jazz Records in 2011. Two years later he released his second album “The Wind Machine" under the same label, which gained some fine reviews in the top British media such as The Times and BBC radio 3.

In 2017 Nigel Price and Vasilis created the XPQ (Xenopoulos/Price Quartet) and recorded their first album under that brand, “Sidekicks" which celebrates some of the most successful guitar/sax pairings in the history of jazz. 
Vasilis has appeared in many guises, as guest soloist, as band leader or as saxophone section leader in jazz venues and jazz festivals throughout the UK. He is currently playing with the Nigel Price Organ trio as well as Derek Nash’s Sax Appeal. 
His explosive style means he is in great demand as a saxophone player for popular music and as a session musician.

“One of the most fiery young saxophonists around blazes a path through the hard bop repertoire" (The Times) ★★★★

“A tremendous asset to the UK Jazz Scene" (London Jazz News

 For this concert he is joined by the Paul Edis Trio – with Paul Edis (piano) Andy Champion (bass) and Russ Morgan (drums). 

Friday June 7th

 


Mark Williams and Joel Byrne-McCullough Duo

 

Mark and Joel studied together on the Bmus Jazz degree at Newcastle college in 2000.

At that point they were regularly performing as a guitar duo around North East.

Joel has returned to the North East after living in Manchester, and so the duo has picked up where they left off many moons ago.

They will be playing a choice selection of contemporary standards from composers such as Wayne Shorter, Steve Swallow and Charlie Haden, along with a few originals.

Friday July 5th

 


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