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

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gilad Atzmon - Artie Fishelly yours

Israeli saxman Gilad Atzmon is on a mission to prove that jazz is rooted in the ghettos of Eastern Europe.

He's touring in support of his new CD released under the guise of madcap genius Artie Fishel and the Promised Band.

Expect heavy-metal be bop, twisted standards, anarchic Klezmer and funky grooves galore on a sixteen date tour including the following venues:

  • Thurs 26 October - Alexanders, Chester
  • Tues 31 October - St David's Hall, Cardiff
  • Weds 1 November - Swansea Jazzland
  • For details see www.gilad.co.uk and www.artiefishel.com

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    Marcin Wright's farewell party

    Clarinettist, saxophonist and face around town Marcin Wright invites everyone to his farewell party in Cardiff:

    "Hiya everyone! This is a reminder that tomorrow night (Thursday 21st September) there is an extra-special gig going on in Callaghans Bar in Cardiff - next to the river Taff on the bridge over the river by the castle...

    "As most of you know I have just moved to Italy to work with a Gypsy-Jazz Band (ala Django Reinhardt) and I will be back in Cardiff for my leaving party tomorow night!!!

    "The evening starts at 9.30pm, with Fred Snow & his 78's playing the first set (their last ever gig with me) and then after that two full sets from the Tolga Quartet (the new band I play with in Italy!!!)

    "Featuring Marcin Wright on Clarinet, Fred Snow on Guitar & Singing and random Insults, Mark Green on Drum Kit, Tolga During (Holland/Turkey) on Lead Guitar, Jowan Zoutendijk (Holland/Surinam) on Rhythm Guitar and Pablo Millas Pages (Spain) on Bass!

    "So if you're into Hot Swinging 20's &30's Jazz & Manouche, this is gonna be a cookin'gig!!!

    "Although the bands start at 9.30 come down earlier for a chat/beer/arguement as we will all be there from at least 8.30. Entry is I believe £2 so no excuses - the Tolga Quartet will finish about 12.30pm, so plenty of time afterwards for more shouting/beer/etc.

    "Hope to see you all there!"

    For more details, see

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Classic jazz on digital radio?

    Digital One, the company which runs the national commercial DAB digital radio network, says it's planning to launch the first ever UK-wide jazz station by the end of 2006.

    The company's website reveals that the station will be run by GCap Media as a sister service to Classic FM, promising "a broad range of music styles" from across the jazz spectrum "including Bebop, Swing, Cool jazz, Trad, Blues, Soul jazz, Modern jazz and Smooth/Fusion."

    Darren Henley, Station Manager for Classic FM, says: “We want to do for jazz what we’ve done for classical music at Classic FM. The service will be programmed in a similar style to Classic, treating jazz with the respect it deserves while making it accessible to people who enjoy Jazz but may never have been able to listen to specialist Jazz programmes before.”

    The company says the initiative follows feedback from listeners and market research showing a strong demand for such a format - it also follows the launch of a petition by the UK jazz community calling for more airtime on national radio.

    More details at www.ukdigitalradio.com.

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    Brecon Jazz on BBC Four

    There's a chance to see highlights from Brecon Jazz 2006 on the digital TV channel BBC Four this week.

    On Thursday 21 September, A Festival of Jazz Piano features Stan Tracey, Kirk Lightsey, Keith Tippett, Huw Warren and Gwilym Simcock in performance and in conversation with Julian Joseph. You can see the hour-long programme at 7pm and 12.40am.

    And on Friday 22 September, Liane Carroll Live from Brecon Jazz features the award winning British pianist in concert at Theatr Brycheiniog - catch the show at 7pm, 12.45am and 2.45am.

    The programmes are being show as part of BBC Four's Piano Season - for more details see www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    The Jazz Packet in Newport

    The Jazz Packet is back in action at the Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport after the summer break.

    Once again I'll be hosting these studio theatre sessions featuring some of the best jazz acts from south Wales and the West:

  • Thurs 28 September - Martha Skilton Quartet
  • Thurs 26 October - Dave Stapleton Quintet
  • Thurs 23 November - Azhar Saffar Quartet

    Look out too for The Temperance Seven, performing in the main theatre on Saturday 7 October.

    More details at
  • Jazz on the Level at St David's Hall

    The monthly Jazz on the Level sessions resume at St David's Hall in Cardiff, offering a chance to see some of the UK's leading stars in a relaxed setting by the venue's Level 3 bar.

    Gigs coming up this autumn:

  • Saturday 16 September - Julia Biel

  • Tuesday 31 October - Gilad Atzmon presents Artie Fishel and the Promised Band

  • Tuesday 21 November - Jed Williams Memorial Concert featuring the Kirk Lightsey Trio and the Osian Roberts-Steve Fishwick Quintet

    For more details see
  • Jazz at The Point

    The Point in Cardiff Bay is building a reputation as a venue for an eclectic range of live music including the following jazz-related highlights:

  • Thurs 28 September - Hamish Stuart Band (ex AWB)
  • Sun 8 October - Polar Bear
  • Thurs 9 November - James Taylor Quartet
  • Sun 12 November - Soweto Kinch

    More gigs are being added to the list all the time - plus rock, blues, folk etc.

    www.thepointcardiffbay.com for more details.
  • Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    Clare Teal on tour

    BBC Jazz Award winning vocalist Clare Teal celebrates her accolade with an autumn tour, including the following dates in Wales:

  • Saturday 7 October - Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon
  • Saturday 4 November - Blake Theatre, Monmouth
  • Friday 8 December - St Donats Arts Centre

    www.clareteal.co.uk for more details.
  • Monday, September 04, 2006

    Pontypool - never mind the rain

    Georgie Fame and Alan Skidmore

    Thousands of people enjoyed the sixth annual Jazz in the Park festival in Pontypool (Sept 1 to 3) despite heavy rain over most of the weekend.

    Maybe the bad weather helped boost the cameraderie and festive atmosphere at the event, which in my view benefitted from the fact that it was largely restricted to three marquees in Pontypool Park rather than spread across town as in previous years.

    Top attractions like Chris Barber, Humphrey Lyttelton and Jacqui Dankworth played to sell-out crowds, and my own band Wonderbrass got a great reception on Saturday night - we even delighted stallholders and shoppers with an afternoon set in the market.

    And Georgie Fame with the Alan Skidmore Quartet rounded off a great weekend in the main marquee on Sunday night.

    Organisers from the Torfaen Jazz Society are already planning ahead for next year's event.

    In the meantime look out for their Friday night sessions at Sebastopol Social Club - see

    Read a review by the South Wales Argus, or share your own views by clicking the Comments link below.

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    Geoff Eales - The Homecoming

    Pianist Geoff Eales launches a UK autumn tour to promote his new album The Homecoming on the 33Jazz label.

    Aberbargoed's most famous jazz musician (insert punchline here!) will play a number of dates in his native Wales:

  • Tuesday 10 October - Parc and Dare Theatre, Treorchy
  • Wednesday 11 October - St James Social Club, Swansea
  • Saturday 21 October - The Gate Arts Centre, Cardiff

  • He'll be performing with his trio which features Roy Babbington on bass and Mark Fletcher on drums.

    Full tour details at www.geoffeales.com

    Three Leading Ladies of Jazz

    Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold is presenting a series of concerts featuring some of our leading female stars:

  • September 29 - Nikki Iles Quartet
  • October 20 - Kate Williams Quartet
  • November 24 - Liane Carroll Trio

  • The programme is supported by the Welsh Jazz Society - for details call the box office on 0845 330 3565 or see www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk