Jazz in Wales

News about gigs, festivals, famous names, new artists and more compiled by DJ Andy Roberts in Cardiff, Wales. Send your updates to andy @ jazzinwales.co.uk

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blog closing - please follow me on social media

Since I launched this blog many years ago, the explosion in social media has now rendered it pretty much obsolete.

I'm still involved in the music scene, but now I'm as much involved in blues, rock'n'roll, skiffle and gypsy punk as jazz these days.

And as you know all the latest information is generally shared via Facebook and Twitter these days.

Please join me there!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jazz venues in Wales

Here is a guide to venues in Wales offering jazz gigs on a regular basis. It's intended as a general day-by-day guide for fans seeking the music and bands looking to put together a short tour.

If you know of any venues I should include please email andy @ jazzinwales.co.uk with the relevant details - also if any of the information below needs correcting.

Please check with the venues concerned in case of any short notice changes, and for details of specific gigs.


Cardiff – Café Jazz, St Mary Street
Occasional gigs, various styles
029 20387026

Cardiff - Gwdihw Cafe Bar, Guildford Crescent
Second Monday of the month, alternative/fusion
029 20397933


Cardiff – Café Jazz, St Mary Street
Weekly, Preservation Jazz Society (traditional)
029 20387026

Cardiff - Jazz at Dempsey's, Castle Street
Modern/contemporary/free/alternative/big band/progressive
029 20496802

Cardiff - The Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch Street, Roath
Last Tuesday of the month, Jazz Cafe open mic with house trio
029 20483344

Abergavenny - Black Mountain Jazz at the Swan Hotel
Occasional gigs, various styles
Open mic first Tuesday of the month
Mike Skilton 07958 612691

Brecon - Jazz in the Bar at Theatr Brycheiniog
Monthly, most styles
01874 611622 or 07710 294159


Cardiff – Café Jazz, St Mary Street
Weekly, various styles
029 20387026

Cardiff - Jazz at Dempsey's, Castle Street
Modern/contemporary/free/alternative/big band/progressive
029 20496802

Swansea – St James Social Club
Weekly, various styles
07802 912789

Conwy - Old White House
Weekly - River City Jazz Band, traditional dixieland
01492 573133

Narberth, Pembrokeshire - Span Jazz at The Dingle Club
Every 3rd Wednesday, various styles
01834 861408


Cardiff – Café Jazz, St Mary Street
Weekly, various styles
029 20387026

Porthcawl - Grand Pavilion Stage Door Bar
Bi-monthly, various styles
01656 815995


Pontypool - Panteg House, Griffithstown
Weekly, modern/blues/funk
Andrew Fawcett 07771 941394

Cardiff - Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Weekly during term time, modern/contemporary - 5.30pm
029 20342854

Porthcawl - Grand Pavilion Stage Door Bar
Occasional gigs, various styles
01656 815995


Pontypool – Comrades Club, Market Street
Monthly, various styles
Gary Stone 01495 762504


Monmouth – Queens Head
Weekly, jazz/blues/folk/roots
01600 712767

Abergavenny - Black Mountain Jazz at the Swan Hotel
Occasional gigs, various styles - lunchtime or evening
Mike Skilton 07958 612691

If you're in a band using this guide in order to put together a tour please note that many of these venues confirm their programmes weeks or months in advance.

For a more comprehensive guide to jazz gigs in Wales, see the Live Jazz pages of the Jazz Services UK website at www.jazzservices.org.uk

Christmas Jazz radio show

Want to hear some festive tunes in a jazz style?

Check out the Christmas Jazz Connection show as heard on Radio Cardiff.

Hear it now at www.djandyroberts.co.uk/radio.shtml along with other radio highlights from over the years.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wonderbrass win grant for new music

Cardiff's funky big jazz band Wonderbrass have been awarded £10,000 by the BBC Performing Arts Fund to commission new pieces under the fund's Community Music Scheme. 

Claude Deppa, Paula Gardiner and Wonderbrass leader Rob Smith will be the composers working with the band on new tunes over the coming months.

The scheme, which launched in May, aimed at encouraging grassroots music groups to take on more challenging projects through commissions and working collaboratively with other local organisations as well as professional artists.

Wonderbrass are still recovering from a busy summer touring their Cultural Olympic commission Skip, Dash, Flow written by Jason Yarde.

See www.bbc.co.uk/performingartsfund for more about the scheme and www.wonderbrass.org.uk for more about the band. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

New home for jazz in Abergavenny

The Swan near Abergavenny bus station is the new home of Black Mountain Jazz sessions.

The first jazz gig will be the Ray Butcher Trio at 8pm on Tuesday 20 November 2012, although Black Mountain Jazz will also be promoting Open Mic nights on the first Tuesday of every month starting on 6 November covering all musical styles.

In the new year they'll be launching Sunday Jazz Buffet lunches from 6 January 2013, starting at 12.30pm with food from 1pm.  

For further details contact Mike Skilton on 01873 832043 or the Swan on 01873 852829.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Django a la Creole live dates in Wales

Clarinetist Evan Christopher brings his Django a la Creole project to Wales for two dates of a four date tour during which he'll record a new live album.

They'll play Theatr Mwldan in Cardigan on Wednesday 24 October 2012 and the Gwyn Hall in Neath on Thursday 25 October.

New Orleans-based Evan was hailed by Atlantic Records supremo Ahmet Ertegun as one of the greatest jazz clarinetists of all time.

See Le Jazzetal website for more info.

Friday, August 17, 2012

New York museum to show Klezmer parsnip video

Strange but true - the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York is to show a short video of me playing Hava Nagila on a parsnip at KlezFest in London in 2009.

This video will be shown as part of an exhibition of "modern" versions of the well-known Jewish tune.

Thanks again to Amy Sampson for playing along with me, and to Paul Tkachenko for showing us how to customise the vegetables!

Check the Museum of Jewish Heritage website in the coming weeks for details.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Monmouth pub calls time on weekly jazz

The Queens Head in Monmouth says poor attendances are forcing it to end its weekly jazz sessions on Wednesday and Thursday nights. 

The pub - working in conjunction with community arts group Music in Monmouth - have staged a programme of visiting artists and local performers on Wednesday nights with jazz jam sessions on Thursdays for several years.

They warned in spring that declining attendances were making it difficult to stage high quality live music, free of charge to the public, as the pub could no longer bear the cost.

They say that as matters haven't improved since their plea, the final Thursday jam night will take place on July 22, and the last regular Wednesday night jazz gig on August 22.

There will be occasional jazz gigs every six weeks or so featuring major touring bands who approach the venue, if funds are available to guarantee their fees.

The Sunday 'Rootz' nights will continue weekly throughout the year.

Neill Bell from the Queens Head, together with Lyndon Owen and Caractacus Downes from Music in Monmouth, said they wanted to thank everyone who'd supported their live music over the last six years.

They added that Music in Monmouth would welcome continued support in their efforts to bring new music to the town.