Peter Bacon reports:
The Sunday Jazz Weekender is back and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra featuring Brian Kellock, Gwilym Simcock, plus duos of SNJO head honcho Tommy Smith and Kellock, and Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion are all on the bill this Sunday, 27 October, in Middlesbrough Town Hall.
Here is the press release in full:
Following the success of its inaugural launch last year, the popular Sunday Jazz Weekender is set for a welcome Teesside return, bringing with it this time a 6-month long programme of critically acclaimed live music to Middlesbrough Town Hall.
Kickstarting with a Sunday Jazz Special on Sunday 27th October and programmed by the founder of Gateshead International Jazz Festival at Sage Gateshead, and Europe Jazz Network’s Ros Rigby (OBE), this year’s festival will showcase the best talent from the North East of England and across the UK, from soloists like pianist Gwilym Simcock to large scale heavyweight line-ups such as the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.
The launch event on 27th October follows a successful preview event in September which featured local jazz hero Noel Dennis.
This time around, there will be two main events in the Main Hall. The award-winning Scottish National Jazz Orchestra – complete with pianist Brian Kellock – will perform the music of jazz legends Count Basie, Duke Ellington and ‘Fats’ Waller from 7:30 pm, preceded by three stellar acts; husband and wife duo Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion, Tommy Smith (saxophonist & OBE award winner) & Brian Kellock (Scottish international Jazz ambassador), as well as UK pianist Gwilym Simcock, who continues to travel the world as a member of US jazz guitar icon Pat Metheny’s quartet.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the 2019 Sunday Jazz festival, lead programmer, Ros Rigby (OBE), said: “The Middlesbrough Jazz Weekender last year was just one weekend of music, and the first event of its kind in the town for 40 years, but the Sunday jazz Series now gives us a chance to bring a wider range of some of the most exciting and enjoyable jazz artists from across the UK to the Town Hall.
“I am really looking forward to welcoming the fantastic Scottish National Jazz Orchestra to the venue on October 27, particularly as they are presenting a programme of the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and my all-time favourite Fats Waller- I hope they include ‘Aint’ Misbehavin’ and ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ in the programme!
“The newly refurbished Town Hall is a brilliant venue for jazz – particularly the Crypt with its informal feel, and the Sunday afternoon slot is ideal for people to come along and hear a variety of music in a relaxed setting. We hope that people from the Tees Valley and beyond will support it so that we can carry on presenting artists of this quality into the future!”
Assistant programmer, co-founder and director of DJAZZ, Durham City Jazz Festival, Heather Spencer, adds: “This year, audiences can expect to have a lush and varied Sunday afternoon of jazz with a bit of something for everyone
“Our launch event on Sunday 27th captures the very essence of the amazing jazz we have coming to Teesside throughout the programme. As well as the iconic jazz heavyweights, you’ll also find gems such as Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion and their incredible voice and bass harmonics. There is something for everyone. It’s great to be back!”
The Sunday Jazz Festival at Middlesbrough Town Hall commences on Sunday 27th October.
This will be followed by another event on Sunday 17th November featuring the Michael Brecker, Barry White inspired Binker Golding Band, the Leeds-based electronic-soul quartet Noya Rao and North East rising talent Francis Tulip Quartet.