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, October 27, 2006

Black Mountain Jazz

Jazz enthusiasts in Abergavenny have joined forces to launch a new club based at the Crown & Sceptre in Mardy.

Black Mountain Jazz gets underway with the following gigs:

  • Sunday 19 November - J-Word
  • Weds 6 December - Tom Williams Band (blues night)
  • Sunday 17 December - Heavy Quartet

    Bands start playing at 8pm - admission is £5-£6 or a special rate of just £2 if you sign up for membership.

    Full details from Pete Scaddan on 01873 859966 or email bmj @ word-smiths.co.uk
  • Freak Unique album and dates

    Porthcawl's premier funk/rock/jazz trio Freak Unique are gearing up for the release of their debut album in December with a string of dates.

    Joey, Steve and Tris are looking forward to supporting the James Taylor Quartet at The Point in Cardiff Bay on Thursday 9 November - here's a list of their upcoming gigs:

  • Sunday 29 October - Buffalo Bar, Cardiff
  • Thurs 2 November - Clive Arms, Canton, Cardiff
  • Friday 3 November - P.S. Bridgend
  • Thurs 9 November - The Point, Cardiff Bay
    (supporting the James Taylor Quartet)
  • Friday 24 November - Bridgend Christmas lights
  • Thurs 14 December - Clive Arms, Canton, Cardiff

    More about the band at www.freakunique.co.uk
  • Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Jazz 'n' jive in Pembrokeshire

    The hamlet of Bwlch-y-groes near Crymych in north Pembrokeshire has been turned into a haven for jazz thanks to the efforts of Frank Franklin.

    With support from the Arts Council of Wales and Pembrokeshire County Council he stages around six gigs a year in the local community hall, mainly reflecting his love of New Orleans and traditional jazz.

    Forthcoming attractions include:

  • Friday 3 November - Jazztet (trad) and Jesterband (skiffle)
  • Friday 15 December - Duo-flex (steel band and vocalist)
  • Friday 12 January - Wyn Lodwick

    Doors open at 7.30pm with music from 8 till 11pm - tickets cost £5 or £4 unwaged.

    Frank also hosts Ceroc jive dancing lessons on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month in the hall.

    For more details about jazz 'n' jive contact Frank on 01239 698251 or email jazznjive @ toucansurf.com
  • Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Dave Stapleton Quintet in Newport

    The month's Jazz Packet session at the Riverfront in Newport features one of Wales's leading contemporary jazz outfits.

    Described by The Guardian as offering an "idiosyncratically powerful reappraisal of both post-bop and free-jazz", the Dave Stapleton Quintet appears on Thursday 26 October at 7.45pm.

    The band features Dave on piano, Jonny Bruce on trumpet, Paula Gardiner bass, Elliot Bennett drums, and new recruit Ben Waghorn on saxophones.

    The event is hosted by myself, DJ Andy Roberts, with tickets priced at £7.50 or £6.50 for National Jazz Card holders.

    For more details see www.davestapleton.com and www.newport.gov.uk/riverfront

    Next month we'll have the Azhar Saffar Quartet on November 23 - if there's a good turnout for these two gigs we'll look at doing more in the new year.

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    Jones O'Connor Group on tour

    One of Wales's most adventurous jazz outfits is embarking on an autumn/winter tour.

    Catch the Jones O'Connor Group's mix of avant-garde jazz and post-rock at the following venues:

  • Thurs 2 November - Cardiff - Cafe Jazz
  • Weds 15 November - Pontypridd - Clwb y Bont
  • Fri 24 November - Bristol - Be-Bop Club @ The Bear
  • Weds 13 December - Aberdeen - The Tunnels
  • Sat 16 December - Cardiff - Wales Millennium Centre
    (free gig in the foyer - 6pm)
  • Weds 20 December - Bath - The Porters Bar

    For more about the band see www.jonesoconnorgroup.co.uk

  • Thursday, October 19, 2006

    Jazz at Dempseys

    Jazz is back at Dempseys - the old Four Bars Inn - opposite Cardiff Castle.

    It's thanks to Alistair and Brenda who used to run sessions at the nearby Riverbank for over ten years until a change of management at the venue brought things to a halt.

    As previously, the plan is to showcase the best local talent from around south Wales plus visiting stars.

    Here's the line-up for Jazz at Dempseys in the run up to Christmas:

  • Friday 10 November - Dolan Jones/Rebecca Nash
  • Tues 14 November - Dave Stapleton Quintet
  • Fri 17 November - Steve Coombe Quartet+1
  • Tues 28 November - Steve Waterman
  • Tues 12 December - Keith Tippett
  • Tues 19 December - Jim Barber (TBC)

  • All being well, the sessions will continue every Tuesday and Friday from the New Year.

    For more details and to ask about getting your band a gig, visit www.myspace.com/dempseysjazz

    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Cardiff University Big Band

    The Cardiff University Big Band is taking part in the Oxjam series of charity gigs raising funds for Oxfam.

    They'll be performing at the Talybont Social at the Talybont Halls of Residents on North Road in Cardiff on Saturday 28 October from 7.30pm till 1am - admission £2, all proceeds to Oxfam.

    More info at www.myspace.com/cardiffuniversitybigband

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Root Doctors are back again!

    And this time they hope it's for good...

    The legendary Mike Harries and his Root Doctors are returning to Nos Da, the former Riverbank Hotel in Cardiff, for another run of Wednesday night sessions.

    They'll be filling the ground floor bar with their goodtime gumbo of New Orleans jazz, soul, funk and blues from October 11, continuing on a weekly basis for as long as you want to keep hearing them.

    Doors open 8pm, band on stage 9 till 11pm, admission £3 - no sneaking in for free, y'all hear?

    After a couple of warm-up gigs and festival shows in Pontypool and Cardiff Bay, Mike hopes this marks a longer-term return for the Root Doctors.

    The band were residents at Chapter Arts Centre for 14 years, followed by another ten at the old Four Bars Inn, now known as Dempseys.

    Call Mike on 029 2059 3426 or email rootdoctors @ tiscali.co.uk for more details - and don't forget to look out for the new Root Doctors CD Do The Jelly-Jelly, recorded live at the Riverbank in 2005.

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    Jazz Crusade Unsigned

    BBC Radio 2 is inviting unsigned jazz artists to send their demos for possible airplay on Courtney Pine's Jazz Crusade.

    Bands are welcome to send in their own tracks, or if you're a fan you can recommend your own local heroes.

    The show currently goes out on Wednesday nights at 9pm - for more details about Jazz Crusade Unsigned go to

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Paula Gardiner and The Bridge

    Paula Gardiner has been commissioned by Rhondda Cynon Taf council to compose a jazz suite to mark Pontypridd's anniversary year.

    The Bridge, a work inspired by William Edwards' 250 year old landmark, will combine the talents of local students with some of the best known stars on the Welsh jazz scene.

    An octet including Paula, Huw Warren and Lee Goodall will visit local schools to work with young musicians in their classrooms in the weeks leading up to a series of live performances of the suite.

    "The Bridge as a project provides me with not only a huge challenge but also great inspiration ... it needs to engage participants and audience on every level," says Paula.

    "Above all this project will enable me to share my passion and knowledge of my specialist field – jazz – in my local community. I am very keen to spread the gospel and compel younger people to embrace the music."

    The jazz suite will be performed at the Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd, on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 November at 1pm and 7pm.

    Also performing are the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Youth Chorus and other talented local student musicians.

    Tickets are £3.50 students, £4.50 concessions, £5.50 matinee, £6.50 evening and are available by calling the Box Office on 01443 485934.

    North Wales Jazz Society - autumn 2006

    There's jazz on Tuesday nights at the Crown Inn, Llay, Wrexham, as part of the autumn programme from the North Wales Jazz Society.

    Forthcoming attractions include:
    • October 3 - Gadjo Jazz
    • October 10 - Jam Session with Vic Blackwell
    • October 24 - Dave Roberts Quartet
    • October 31 - Duncan Winfield

    On October 17 the action moves to the Plas Hafod Hotel at Gwernymynydd near Mold where Mornington Lockett and Dick Pearce join forces with the Bill Coleman Trio.

    Gwyn Evans presents his tribute to Chet Baker at the Victoria Hotel, Menai Bridge, on Wednesday 25 October, while Don Weller visits the Farmers Arms, Waen, near St Asaph on Wednesday 1 November.

    For ticket inquiries and further information call 01745 812260 or go to www.northwalesjazz.org.uk