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

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Jazz Packet - thank you all!

Thanks to everyone who came along to The Jazz Packet session at the Riverfront arts centre in Newport last night - the first one with me as host, DJ and master of ceremonies.

We had a great turnout for Newport's very own exhilarating gypsy jazz and flamenco trio Allegria - we even had people up on their feet and dancing by the end.

Next month - Thursday 25 May - we'll have Cwmbran-based Bluesy Susie and her band, with Abergavenny's young stars M.E.L. to follow on Thursday 29 June.

Future dates will depend on continued good support for the next two Jazz Packet sessions.

Any jazz bands from south Wales and the West Country who want to be considered should email info @ jazzinwales.co.uk

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dr John - Concert for Katrina

The legend from New Orleans comes to Cardiff on Monday 8 May for a charity concert at the Coal Exchange to raise funds for communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Part of the profits from the show will be donated to The New Orleans Musicians Clinic (NOMC), a not for profit organisation which is helping musicians and their families affected by the disaster which struck America's Gulf Coast last year.

Dr John - whose latest album Mercernary has just been released - appears with The Lower 911 with support from Catherine Feeny - tickets cost £18, doors open 7.30pm.

For more details phone the Coal Exchange on 029 2049 4917 or visit www.coalexchange.co.uk

Monday, April 24, 2006

Cowbridge Jazz update

More details of Cowbridge Jazz in the Vale of Glamorgan have been confirmed.

As already revealed, Digby Fairweather and Trudy Kerr are the headline acts for the event running from Tuesday 27 June to Saturday 1 July.

Welsh bands appearing include Mojas, the Bridgend Dixielanders, the Matt Sage Trio, the Dave Jones Duo and Andrew Fawcett Quartet.

There's also a Cowbridge Jazz Young Person's Music workshop on the Saturday.

For further details and to sign up for the workshop, call 07722 067 961 or see www.cowbridgejazz.co.uk.

West Wales big band seeks brass

The Merlinaires are an 18 piece dance orchestra playing a range of big band style dance tempo arrangements from the 1940s to 1980s.

They're looking for an additional trombonist and trumpeter who would be able to rehearse regularly on a Wednesday night in Bancyfelin, near Carmarthen, and to play gigs in west Wales.

If you're interested, contact Fiona on 01994 230543 or email merlinaires @ yahoo.co.uk or phone Paul on 01267 211520 for an informal chat.

For more details check the website at
www.merlinaires.co.uk where you can also find out how to book the band.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Worldport 06 for Cardiff

The Welsh capital plays host once again this summer to the genre-straddling Worldport Festival, from Wednesday 28 June to Sunday 2 July.

Already confirmed for St David's Hall are Salsa Celtica on Saturday 1 July followed by The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain on Sunday 2 July.

Both will feature in my Jazz Connection show on BBC Radio Wales on Tuesday 27 June.

More artists and venues to be revealed - keep checking www.worldport-festivals.com for the latest info.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cardiff Uni date for Polar Bear

Forget the Arctic Monkeys and other student favourites - the much cooler Polar Bear bring their mix of jazz, electronics, breakbeat and rock to the CF10 Bar at Cardiff University Students Union in Park Place on Friday 5 May.

Taking influence from the likes of Thelonious Monk, Regina Spektor, Beethoven, Radiohead, Venetian Snares, Bjork and Duke Ellington, the band can boast a Mercury Music Prize nomination and the endorsement of comedy superstars The Mighty Boosh.

It's the highest profile gig to date for the Cardiff Student Jazz Society, which has been delighting discerning undergraduates and providing new audiences for local bands since September 2004.

Many of us non-students have enjoyed their Sunday night sessions over the last eighteen months - including regular open mic nights - although energies are now focussed on giving student jazzers the chance to perform at Cafe Jazz one Wednesday a month.

A Free Fall Musical Review is planned for April 26 to celebrate Jimmy Giuffre's 85th birthday, and Cafe Jazz also hosts the society's final session on May 31 before the summer break.

It's too early to say what the autumn will bring, but the society hopes to keep contributing to Cardiff's jazz scene and make jazz more accessible to students. Keep in touch by emailing jazzsociety @ cardiff.ac.uk.

Tickets for Polar Bear are available from SeeTickets.com, Wegottickets.com and the Student Union Box Office on 029 2078 1458 for £7 advance, or pay £8.50 on the door - all welcome, whether students, lecturers, musicians or civilians.

For more about the band, see www.polarbearmusic.com.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

More about Mumbles

Full details of the Mumbles Jazz and Blues Festival are now available online.

Attractions include Snake Davis, Julian Marc Stringle, Pedalmania and more over the weekend of April 28 to May 1.

Check www.mumblesmatters.org.uk for the latest.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Jazz Connection - back on air May 9

Great news - as Cardiff City's hopes of making the playoffs recede it means my Jazz Connection show is coming back to BBC Radio Wales even earlier than expected.

We'll be back on air Tuesday nights 7 till 8pm starting May 9 and continuing through the summer, probably ending as usual with a Brecon Jazz preview special.

If you haven't already done so, send your CDs, demos, gig and festival info to:

Andy Roberts
The Jazz Connection
BBC Radio Wales
44 High Street
NP20 1GF

See bbc.co.uk/jazzconnection for the latest updates - that's also the place to go to hear the latest show anytime night or day via the BBC Radio Player.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Charlotte Church and all that jazz...

Charlotte Church was a surprise guest at Ian Shaw's gig at The Gate arts centre in Cardiff on Saturday night.

With guitarist David Preston, Ian performed a string of jazz standards and selections from his new album of Joni Mitchell covers, Drawn To All Things.

His entertaining presentation owed much to his roots on the alternative comedy circuit - at one point Ian even performed a scat in the style of Julian Clary.

Charlotte joined her vocal coach on stage for the final three songs - starting with Kate Bush's "The Man With The Child In His Eyes", followed by an impressive version of "Calling You", the haunting theme from the movie Baghdad Cafe.

After much encouragement from her mother, Charlotte and Ian closed the evening by duetting on "Over The Rainbow".

Go to bbc.co.uk/jazzconnection for a sneak preview of my interview with Ian Shaw which will be featured in the new series of the Jazz Connection, back on BBC Radio Wales in mid-May.

In the meantime, you can hear Ian co-presenting a jazz show with Charlie Crocker on BBC local radio in southern England on Tuesday nights, 9 till 10pm.

For more details and to hear the latest show right now visit the BBC Radio Kent website.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Dave Stapleton - Road Less Travelled

Cardiff-based pianist and composer Dave Stapleton is building on his growing profile on the UK jazz scene.

He's recently returned from the Jerwood/PRS Foundation Take Five residency run by Serious at an organic farm in Kent. Dave took part in workshops and seminars alongside other rising stars including Julia Biel, Soweto Kinch and Gwilym Simcock.

Dave is now writing new material for the follow up to his quintet's acclaimed album When Life Was In Black And White, which may well be previewed at DSQ's forthcoming gigs:

  • Fri 28 April - Cheltenham Jazz Festival
  • Sun 7 May - Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
  • Mon 29 May - Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

    On Tuesday 6 June there's a rare chance to hear a performance of The Conway Suite, featuring Dave on church organ and Deri Roberts on saxophones. It takes place at the Conway Methodist Church in Canton, Cardiff, with support from the Cardiff New Music Collective.

    For further details, see www.davestapleton.com
  • Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    Jazz at the Queen's Head, Monmouth

    The Queen's Head in Monmouth has unveiled its summer programme proving it's one of the busiest venues for music in south Wales.

    There's live jazz every Wednesday night with bands like Round the Horn, The Heavy Quartet, Harrison Ford and the Wayne Warlow Quartet, plus a jazz jam session every Thursday.

    Other nights of the week offer traditional Irish music, folk, blues, acoustic and more - most gigs are free of charge.

    For more details, see the Live at the Queens page at www.towncrier.org.uk/forum/ or phone Neil Bell on 01600 712767.

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    Cowbridge Calling

    Digby Fairweather and Trudy Kerr are among the stars lined up for this year's jazz festival in the Vale of Glamorgan market town.

    It's taking place over the weekend of Friday 30 June to Sunday 2 July at venues including The Bear and The Duke of Wellington.

    The full programme is due to be announced in May - check the Welsh Jazz Society website at www.jazzwales.org.uk

    Porthcawl Jazz Festival - update

    Full details of this year's event at the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl, on Saturday 15 April, are now available via the festival's own website.

    The BBC Big Band headlines with special guest Lee Gibson, plus support from Keith Smith's Hefty Jazz, Wayne Warlow, the Liberty Street Stompers and more.

    See www.porthcawl-jazz-festival.com for full details.