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Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music (23-25 Sep and 29 Sep-2 Oct)

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music
(Jesmond 23-25 Sep, then Newcastle 29 Sep-2 Oct)

Archipelago. L-R: Christian Alderson, Faye MacCalman, John Pope. Publicity photo

Peter Slavid writes:

The Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music (NFOJAIM) started in 2017, and after a Covid hiatus was back last year with an excellent programme (reviewed here). This year it has been extended with the addition of an earlier “warm-up” weekend in the Newcastle suburb of Jesmond.

The festival is unique in providing exactly what it says – improvised music and real jazz. The warm-up weekend is an excellent mini-festival in its own right with the opening concert of the hugely ambitious Pendulums: Music for Bellringers, Improvisers and Electronics, a good statement of intent. The warm-up also includes popular local band Archipelago and two sets featuring Ruth Goller in different bands.

There really are too many bands in the main weekend to mention them all, but highlights include a rare appearance from Black Top, which is Orphy Robinson and Pat Thomas with the addition here of Mariam Rezaei on Turntables. Thomas also appears in the band Shifa with Rachel Musson and Mark Sanders, and in the terrific Martin Archer band Anthropology.

Local bass player John Pope appears in multiple bands, Orphy Robinson also does a solo set and a talk, and there are two concerts featuring Alexander Hawkins. There are also a couple of exciting European bands, a talk and a workshop, and the dozens of artists I haven’t mentioned.

For anyone interested in the improvising end of the jazz spectrum this festival is a must.

Jazz North East has also just launched a video documentary about the Sound of Science Festival, also the brainchild of Wesley Stephenson:

Peter Slavid broadcasts a programme of European Jazz on mixcloud.com/ukjazz and various internet stations

LINK: Festival full programme

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