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Jazz Festival 2018

Friday 24th - Sunday 26th August 2018

Once again, Ushaw is proud to host our very own Jazz Festival. We hope to build on the popularity of last year's festival, which was a fantastic success and much enjoyed by all who came. There is a very wide range of talent from across the country, with something for everyone to enjoy. 
We will be serving Bowl Food; having a Barbecue; Bar and Refreshments will be available throughout.

Individual gig ticket prices and day passes below:

WEEKEND TICKETS - £55 (allows access to every gig during the festival) Tickets available here

SATURDAY TICKET - £30 (allows access to all gigs on the Saturday) Tickets available here

SUNDAY TICKET - £20 (allows access to all gigs on the Sunday) Tickets available here


Early Bird Big Band - Fri 24th August 6pm

Featuring some of the rising stars of youth jazz in the North East, the Early Bird Big Band started meeting at the Lit and Phil back in May 2015. Led by pianist Paul Edis they are quickly developing a diverse repertoire and gaining a reputation for commanding performances with authority and creativity far beyond their age.

'Swing and sensitivity are rare commodities and the way these young men are going about their business they’ll get there, probably sooner than one imagines...'  - BeBop Spoken Here.

FREE Tickets available here


Nicola Farnon - Fri 24th August 8pm

“A remarkable performer on stage, a fine singer and an outstandingly swinging and propulsive bass player with an outgoing personality to match...I declare that she is a class act who should be on every jazz festival in the land….A sure fire hit!”  - Humphrey Littleton

Nicola Farnon manages to combine her exceptional talents of singing and playing bass with a delightfully original and very inclusively warm and witty performance. Joining Nicola for this performance is her regular drummer Phil Johnson and brilliant young pianist Paul Edis.

£10 tickets available here


Graeme Wilson Quartet - Sat 25th August 1pm

“as good as it gets” – Bebop Spoken Here 
"ceaselessly original and imaginative" - Schmazz website 
"superbly gifted, well rehearsed free spirits" - Wakefield Jazz Club 
"the personnel possess a magnetic aura ... a surefire winner" Adrian Pallant, London Jazz News 
"joyous solos...brilliant rhythm team... This is the sound of a band having fun" - Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann

This band is all about heartfelt improvisation on idiosyncratic tunes that stay with you. The players infuse driving jazz and latin rhythms or ambient swing with their various enthusiasms including folk and rock ballads, free jazz and the dancefloor. Their original material explores unusual meters and structures as vehicles for angular and passionate solos, with narrative melodies resonant enough to evoke a strong sense of place and time.

£8 Tickets available here


Tulip/Mackellar Quartet - Sat 25th August 4pm

Hailing from the north-east of England, this group of young jazz virtuosos was birthed in the youth jazz ensembles sponsored by the Sage Gateshead and mentored by Paul Edis. FTQ was formed in 2017 and immediately made a big impact on the local jazz scene. The quartet comes together in summer and winter for recitals and recordings and in the meantime its members disperse to various prestigious music colleges in the US and UK in order to perfect their skills.  The band’s annual working pattern ensures the regular injection of fresh ideas and has been a recipe for many exciting and original takes on bebop classics. The Quartet are back this summer with a combination of covers of classic and contemporary jazz tunes together with some original compositions penned by the band members.

As band leader Francis Tulip brings influences from straight ahead modern jazz, through jazz funk and classical music with melodic solos which have wowed many an audience. Joel Brown compliments Francis’s melodies with piano skills influenced by Evans, Monk and many other Jazz giants. Michael Dunlop (Electric Bass) and Matthew MacKellar (Drum Kit) provide swing and groove as appropriate and contribute a variety of inspired solos to add mood and colour to the ensemble’s pieces.

£6 tickets available here


Giles Strong/Roly Veitch Jazz Guitar Duo - Sat 25th August 6pm

Giles Strong and Roly Veitch are long established guitarists on the regional jazz scene who both have been involved with different jazz styles over the years. Additionally Giles is a fine classical guitar player and Roly has for many years been at the helm at Blaydon Jazz Club, one of the oldest grass roots clubs in the region. When working together their playing style reflects a shared passion for the music of guitar greats such as Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Joe Pass and Ed Bickert as well as a love of the Great American Songbook repertoire.

£8 Tickets available here


Jo Harrop sings Peggy Lee, with special guest Tony Kofi (alto sax) - Sat 25th 8pm

Peggy Lee (May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002) was one of the great figures of jazz American popular song and had a career spanning six decades.  Songs featured in the show include Lee’s Fever and Why Don’t You Do Right and The Folks Who Live on the Hill.  Peggy Lee, unlike most other singers of her generation also distinguished herself as a songwriter, penning It’s A Good Day, I Love Being Here With You and He’s a Tramp (the last featuring in the Disney film The Lady And The Tramp).  Lee also delivered a moving acting performance in the film Pete Kelly’s Blues.

Jo Harrop recently guested on the album ‘Call Me Lucky’ by Alex Webb & The Copasetics, delivering what jazzman.com called ‘a smoothly sumptuous vocal’ on the Webb original ‘End of The Affair’.  The album received four-star reviews in the Guardian and Evening Standard.

Sinatra called her ‘regal’; Duke Ellington called her ‘the queen’.  Jo Harrop pays tribute to the sultriest songstress of all, Peggy Lee, with Alex Webb (piano) and special guest, world-renowned alto saxophonist Tony Kofi, Harrop delivers moving renditions of Peggy Lee including 'Why Don't You Do Right', 'He's A Tramp' and ‘The Folks Who Live On The Hill'.

‘A singing sensation.... her voice is amazing’ - Bebop Spoken Here Blog

‘This girl was born to sing jazz!’ – Blues & Soul

‘A singing sensation.... Her voice is amazing – think Islay whisky, dark porter or tannin-rich red wine –the lissome lady is a class act’ - Bebop Spoken Here Blog

‘[Kofi’s] improvising has an arrestingly raw power’ – The Guardian

‘Webb is a writer not content with peddling jazz covers but a composer hell bent on writing some new jazz standards’ – From Blues & Soul 

£12/£10 concessions tickets available here


Jam Session - Sat 25th 10:15pm

Any and all musicians welcome.

FREE, no tickets required.


Ushaw Ensemble - Sun 26th 1pm

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 are one of the JazzNorth Northern Line ambassador artists in 2017/2018 and will be touring across the north and beyond.

£8 tickets available here


Baba - Sun 26th 4pm

Baba (translating to 'Spit' in Portuguese) is a collective of past and present Bmus students from the Sage Gateshead, headed up by bandleaders Thomas and Inês and playing a set of all original music. The band is strongly inspired by previous Jazz Festival favourites like Binker and Moses, and The Alfredo Rodriguez Trio. We have brought together elements of straight ahead, latin and freely improvised jazz to create a unique and contemporary sound. The compositions have a strong sense of space, which allow for the individual voices in the band to shine through and create opportunities for spontaneous interaction. Interaction between the band members is something we all feel is integral to our sound, and a pillar of all good improvised music.

£5 Tickets available here


Strictly Smokin' Big Band - Sun 26th 6pm

Strictly Smokin’ specialise in performing one of the finest modern swing and jazz shows in the UK. Featuring some of the finest musicians in the country, alongside a swinging rhythm section with a powerful horn section, with charismatic male and female vocalists that are capable of charming any audience. Guest performance by the incredible Alan Barnes. 

£10 tickets available here

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