Herts Jazz - Apr-Jun 2018
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April-June 2018


£15 on the night/£13 advance

£14 concessions & students/£12 advance

£12 members/£10 advance

except *





3 Scott Hamilton Quartet* BOOK NOW

Scott Hamilton – Tenor, John Pearce – Piano, Dave Green – Bass, Steve Brown – Drums

Tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton from Rhode Island released his first recording in 1977 when he was just 23, and surprised critics and fans alike, with the depth and maturity of his playing. Scott went on to become an international jazz star, at a time when this no longer seemed possible with most jazz instrumentalists.  We're overjoyed to have Scott opening our new venue, the first of many appearances we hope!


10 Simon Spillett Quartet BOOK NOW

Simon Spillett – Tenor, Robin Aspland – Piano, Alec Dankworth – Bass, Clark Tracey – Drums

Described by the late Humphrey Lyttelton as "formidable," Simon Spillett is a major voice on the straight-ahead British jazz scene. A real virtuoso, he is steeped in the music of Tubby Hayes, but is very much his own man.  He 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 for Services to British Jazz in the 2016 British Jazz Awards.


17 Stan Tracey Legacy Octet* BOOK NOW

Mark Armstrong – Trumpet, Mark Nightingale – Trombone, Sean Payne – Alto, Simon Allen – Tenor, Art Themen – Tenor/Soprano, Steve Melling – Piano, Andrew Cleyndert – Bass, Clark Tracey – Drums

Led by Stan's son Clark on drums, the Legacy Octet was formed shortly after Stan's death in 2013 and has since performed at sold out venues and festivals, recreating a selection of the octet's music dating back to its formation in 1973.  From the many suites Stan wrote for this group, Clark has selected some of his personal favourites which feature some of the best musicians anywhere and nearly all ex-alumni of the original band.


24 Claire Martin & Liane Carroll* BOOK NOW

Claire Martin – Vocals, Liane Carroll – Vocals/Piano

Linn Recording artist and BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Claire Martin has spent the last 29 years honing the craft of jazz singing. To worldwide critical acclaim she has established herself as a tour de force on the UK jazz scene gaining an OBE for her services to jazz along the way. Singer/pianist Liane Carroll, one of the UK’s greatest musical treasures is a soulful, emotive artist capable of moving an audience to tears or have them jumping for joy with her breath-taking vocal virtuosity. Join these two multi-award winning jazz singers in an intimate night of song and musical mischief.




1 Alan Barnes Sextet* BOOK NOW

Alan Barnes – Alto, Bruce Adams - Trumpet, Robert Fowler – Tenor/Clarinet, Robin Aspland – Piano, Paul Morgan – Bass, Clark Tracey – Drums

No jazz venue should be without a visit from this musician!  Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist.  He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone sax, where he combines a formidable virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers. Alan Barnes’ unique musicianship, indefatigable touring, and warm rapport with audiences have made him uniquely popular in British jazz.  He has received over 25 British Jazz Awards and has twice been made BBC Jazz Musician of the Year.


8 Dave O'Higgins Quartet BOOK NOW

Dave O'Higgins – Tenor/Soprano, Rob Barron – Piano, Geoff Gascoyne – Bass, Sebastiaan DeKrom – Drums

Dave’s tenor and soprano sax sounds are highly personal and recognisable, with a clear sense of melodic development and adventure. A popular performer with the public, with an excellent sense of pacing and presentation, he has a wide palette from Parker, Gordon, Coltrane, Henderson through to Turrentine and Brecker. He has relentlessly pursued artistic and sonic exploration, and enjoys the learning process which is a constant advancing flow. The Dave O’Higgins Quartet has been together for 5 years now, a band that is unashamed to swing and draw on blues and functional harmonies and the great tome of jazz vocabulary, eschewing fads and fusions.


15 Zoe Rahman Solo BOOK NOW

Zoe Rahman – Piano

Described in The Observer as “a remarkable pianist by any standard”, Zoe Rahman has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene. A vibrant and highly individual pianist/composer, her style is deeply rooted in jazz yet it reflects her classical background, British/Bengali heritage and her very broad musical taste. Known for her powerful technique, wide-ranging imagination and exuberant performance, she has become a highly sought-after musician, working most recently with the likes of George Mraz, Courtney Pine and Jerry Dammers’ Spatial AKA Orchestra.


22 Freddie Gavita Quartet BOOK NOW

Freddie Gavita – Trumpet, Tom Cawley – Piano, Calum Gourlay – Bass, James Maddren – Drums

Aimed at the heart, not the head, this is Freddie’s highly evocative collection of compositions written for long time collaborators and quartet members.  The music has global appeal with scintillating grooves, heartfelt ballads and some serious swing taking you on a musical journey inspired by many travels and tales of Freddie’s life.  A collective of mature and virtuosic improvisers, each selflessly supporting the others to create a unique band dynamic.


29 Jump Monk BOOK NOW

Arnie Somogyi – Bass, Tony Kofi – Alto/Baritone, Jeremy Price – Trombone, Mark Edwards – Piano, Clark Tracey – Drums

Led by bassist Arnie Somogyi, Jump Monk pays tribute to two of the greatest composers in jazz: Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk.  Arnie stood in at Ronnie Scott's Club with the Mingus Dynasty Big Band, a high accolade indeed and confirmation of his reputation as one of the UK's leading bassists. He has played on over 50 albums, including four as a leader and has worked, recorded and performed with many of the world’s leading jazz musicians including James Moody, Bobby Hutcherson, Art Farmer, Herb Ellis, Eddie Henderson, Joey Calderazzo, Steve Grossman and The Mingus Big Band.  This stellar line-up includes some of the leading figures in British jazz today. Expect passion and fireworks from the front line, pushed on by one of the best rhythm sections around.


5 Rossano Sportiello Trio* BOOK NOW

Rossano Sportiello – Piano, Dave Green – Bass, Steve Brown – Drums

Award-winning jazz pianist Rossano Sportiello began studying piano at the age of 9 and continued until his graduation in classical piano in 1996. At 16, he was performing professionally at jazz venues in the Milan area, joining one of Europe’s historic jazz bands, the “Milano Jazz Gang”, touring throughout Italy and West Europe until the end of 2000. He then met legendary jazz pianist and educator, Barry Harris, who became a mentor and good friend. Mr. Harris has touted Rossano as “the best stride piano player” he has ever heard.  Stylistically though, international critics consider Rossano a follower of Ralph Sutton.  He has performed with many of the world’s finest jazz luminaries and been in much demand in the U.S. appearing at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the United Nations. Rossano has performed all over the world at acclaimed festivals and venues. He joined the Harry Allen Quartet in 2008 and is also a member of the European trio, “Three Wise Men”. In 2016, Rossano received the prestigious Valenza Jazz Award 2016 as musician of the year.


12 Mark Nightingale Sextet – Tribute to Mancini* BOOK NOW

Mark Nightingale – Trombone, Steve Waterman – Trumpet, Sammy Mayne – Alto, Gareth Williams – Piano, Adam King – Bass, Clark Tracey – Drums

Mark came through the ranks of the UK’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra emerging onto the scene with his debut album, ‘Bonestructure’ in the late 1980’s. Since then he has flourished as a much in demand session musician in the London studios and has gained a reputation as one of the top-flight jazz trombonists worldwide. Mark can be heard as a featured soloist with ensembles throughout Europe, and is frequently called upon as a sideman in other musicians’ groups. In the UK he has played regularly in bands led by Alan Barnes, Laurence Cottle and Stan Tracey. Mark has recorded and played with artists from all genres including Ray Brown, Clark Terry, Henry Mancini, Cleo Laine, Charlie Watts, Frank Sinatra, Kenny Wheeler, James Morrison and Steely Dan. As well as leading various small groups of his own, he also fronts his own big band featuring original compositions and arrangements. He is best known to many young players for his growing catalogue of educational studies and short pieces for the publishers ‘Warwick Music’, and material for the ABRSM and other exam syllabi.


19 Pete Long's Sextet - Celestial Bodies* BOOK NOW

Pete Long – Clarinet, George Hogg – Trumpet, Callum Au - Trombone, Rob Barron – Piano, Joe Pettitt – Bass, Clark Tracey – Drums

Space and Space Travel form the theme of this week's selection by the Peter Long Sextet.  Expect some of Ellington's musings on the subject such as Blues In Orbit and Ballet of the Flying Saucers, some conveniently entitled standards – Star Eyes, Stardust, Pete's jazz reworking of the entire Planets Suite by Gustav Holst and, of course, Star Trek to finish it all off.  Great fun, fancy dress optional!


26 James Pearson Trio BOOK NOW

James Pearson - Piano, Arnie Somogyi - Bass, Chris Higginbottom - Drums

James is the Artistic Director at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club where his trio are the house band. Their last album ‘Swing the Club’ recorded live at the venue received excellent reviews across the board.  James has broadcast on all the major radio and television networks.  His work as a Jazz musician has taken him all over the world. This year his trio played a four night run in Birdland Jazz Club in New York. His fine piano playing and arrangements can be heard on over 50 albums.  Amongst the many people James has worked with are Dame Cleo Laine, Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, Buddy Greco, Johnny Griffin, Richard Rodney Bennett, Jeff Beck and Paul McCartney.


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