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

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Glamorgan Jazz Summer School

Dozens of musicians from all over the UK and beyond are gathering at the University of Glamorgan in Treforest for the annual Jazz Summer School.

From July 23 to August 3, some of the UK's leading jazz stars will be passing on some tips and tricks to aspiring artists.

They'll be showing the fruit of their labours at the nightly jazz club in the students union.

For more details, see www.glam.ac.uk/summerschool

Friday, July 20, 2007

Geoff Eales: Last Night at the Coal Exchange

Please note this event scheduled for September 26th has now been cancelled.

See www.geoffeales.com for more information.

Jazz in the Park - Pontypool

Pontypool hosts its eighth annual Jazz in the Park festival from Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September.

Headline acts in Pontypool Park include Tina May with Humphrey Lyttelton, Ruby Turner, The Grand Union Orchestra, Jacqui Dankworth and Alan Skidmore's tribute to Elvin Jones.

The full line-up includes dozens of local heroes and visiting stars, including Paula Gardiner, Jeff Hooper, Nia Lyn, Keith Little, The Amigos, Wonderbrass and many more.

Tickets for headline concerts are £5 each while admission to the rest of the festival is by programme also costing £5.

For tickets, programmes and more info call the Congress Theatre Box Office on 01633 868239 or look out for details at www.webster.uk.net

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Brecon Jazz Ticket Competition

Here's your chance to win some weekend Stroller tickets for this year's Brecon Jazz Festival, giving you admission to more than fifty concerts across the weekend of August 10 to 12.

We're giving away two pairs and two single tickets - answer the following question for a chance to win:

Q: Which jazz star and founding patron of the Brecon Jazz Festival recently died at the age of 80?

Send an email to comp @ jazzinwales.co.uk with the subject line Brecon Jazz Tickets and the following information:

  • Your answer
  • Your name
  • Your full postal address including postcode
  • Preferred prize - pair of tickets or a single ticket

  • The closing date is Wednesday 1 August.

    Thanks to Jim, Deborah, Tim and all the team at Brecon Jazz for supplying the competition tickets.

    See www.breconjazz.co.uk for more about the festival.

    Friday, July 13, 2007

    Ian Shaw - Best Vocalist

    Ian Shaw has picked up the prize for Best Vocalist in the 2007 BBC Jazz Awards, held at London's Mermaid Theatre last night.

    The St Asaph-born singer previously won the category in 2004, while another previous Welsh winner, pianist Gwilym Simcock, was pipped to the prize for Best Instrumentalist by Julian Siegel.

    For full details see bbc.co.uk/jazzawards/

    Listen out for highlights on Jazz on 3 on BBC Radio 3 on Friday 13 July 11.30pm, and on Jazz Line-Up on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 14 July at 5pm.

    The full BBC Jazz Awards concert can be heard on BBC Radio 2 on Monday 16 July 10pm.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Dave Stapleton Quintet - new album

    Cardiff-based pianist Dave Stapleton releases the second CD from his quintet on September 10 on his own Red Eye Music label.

    The House Always Wins is Stapleton's fourth album as leader, and is the follow-up to the quintet's acclaimed 2005 debut When Life Was In Black And White.

    He's joined once again by Paula Gardiner on bass, Elliot Bennett on drums, and Jonny Bruce on trumpet, with Ben Waghorn replacing Marcin Wright on reeds.

    The album combines a range of jazz, classical, contemporary and world styles, and features guest appearances from vocalist Julie Tippetts and Aref Durvesh on tabla.

    See www.davestapleton.com for more details.

    Monday, July 09, 2007

    River City Jazzmen on Llandudno Pier

    The River City Jazzmen will be starting their summer season again this year on Llandudno Pier on July 21.

    They'l be performing their Dixieland jazz every Saturday and Sunday from 1 till 4pm until August 26.

    Thanks to Fred Burnett at www.jazznorthwest.co.uk for the information.

    BBC Jazz Awards 2007

    Ian Shaw and Gwilym Simcock will be flying the flag for Wales once again in this year's BBC Jazz Awards.

    Ian, who was named Best Vocalist in 2004, is nominated again this year alongside Claire Martin and Norma Winstone.

    Gwilym is nominated in the Best Instrumentalist category where he's up against Liam Noble and Julian Siegel. The Bangor-born pianist won the Rising Star award in 2005.

    The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Mermaid Theatre, London, on Thursday 12 July.

    Highlights will be broadcast on Jazz on 3 on BBC Radio 3 on Friday 13 July 11.30pm, and on Jazz Line-Up on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 14 July at 5pm.

    The full BBC Jazz Awards concert can be heard on BBC Radio 2 on Monday 16 July 10pm.

    For full details see

    Friday, July 06, 2007

    Black Mountain Jazz workshop

    Pianist, singer and tenor saxophonist Ruth Hammond leads a one-day performance workshop on Sunday 15 July ahead of her trio's gig at the Crown and Sceptre, Mardy, Abergavenny.

    The workshop is aimed at players of all ages of at least Grade 3 standard. There'll also be sessions led by Scott Hammond on drums and Valere Speranza on double bass.

    Anyone who is interested should email Peter Scaddan at pete @ black-mountain-jazz.org.uk or phone 01873 859966.

    After the day's workshop, the Ruth Hammond Trio will play a much-anticipated return set at the club in the evening. There will also be a performance by the workshop participants.

    Forthcoming Black Mountain Jazz gigs for the rest of 2007 are as follows - all take place on Sunday nights starting 8pm:

    August 5 - Dave Tidball
    August 19 - The Dolan Nash Project
    September 16 - Dave Stapleton Quartet
    October 21 - Debbie Lear Quintet
    November 4 - Eri Yamamoto Trio
    November 18 - Damon Brown Quartet

    See www.black-mountain-jazz.org.uk for more details.

    Denys Baptiste - Let Freedom Ring!

    Saxophonist Denys Baptiste will perform his jazz suite inspired by Dr Martin Luther King at Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea on Friday 13 July at 7.30pm.

    The concert - rescheduled from earlier this year - features an all star 12-piece international line-up including Omar Puente, Abram Wilson and Gary Crosby.

    Let Freedom Ring! was originally commissioned to mark the 40th anniversary of Dr King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. It melds contemporary jazz with rousing gospel, blues and Afro-Cuban music, and poetry.

    Baptiste will discuss the inspiration behind the work in question and answer session with Dave Cottle immediately before the performance.

    Tickets priced £14 or £12 concessions are available from the Taliesin Box Office on 01792 60 20 60.

    More details at www.taliesinartscentre.co.uk

    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    George Melly RIP

    George Melly

    George Melly has died at his home in London at the age of 80.

    The flamboyant singer, writer and broadcaster had continued performing until very recently despite suffering from lung cancer and vascular dementia.

    Melly had been a great friend to the Welsh jazz scene, headlining the first ever Brecon Jazz Festival in 1984 and returning several times since, including last year's event.

    Away from the jazz scene Melly enjoyed fly fishing on a one mile stretch of the River Usk that he owned beside his holiday home at Scethrog.

    For more details about his career see www.georgemelly.com/ or the BBC News website.

    Jim Smith, festival director of Brecon Jazz paid tribute to one of the event's most significant supporters.

    "Not only was George Melly one of the founding patrons of Brecon Jazz - he was an important and regular fixture in the festival's programme over the years.

    "He was the first ever concert booking at the first Brecon and appeared in a group featuring Digby Fairweather and Jacqui Dankworth last year.

    "George also visited and spoke at the festival's launch at the Sennedd, Cardiff in March last year (pictured above). Though obviously frail, he spoke humorously and a little outrageously for some 20 minutes of his times in Brecon over the years.

    "George will always be remembered as one of the most colourful and exuberant performers in jazz. For many years he had a house, The Tower at Scethrog outside Brecon, which he frequently used for fishing trips and often 'rather bohemian' parties, sometimes to the consternation of his neighbours.

    "He was a remarkable man. Generous of spirit - eccentric but loveable. He will be missed by all at Brecon Jazz and by the many thousands he entertained at the festival over the years."

    Click here to listen to Jim's tribute to George broadcast on BBC Radio Wales.

    Liz Elstone, founding chair of Brecon Jazz, added: "In the early days George was so very important - he would also come along to launches and promotional events.

    "Once, the festival coincided with his 60th birthday when we celebrated with a very large cake. He gave a lot to the festival, particularly in the early days - we will all miss him.

    "Many years ago George came along and lectured to our U3A group in Brecon on Surrealism. He never charged. He was a very generous man".

    BBC Wales pays tribute by broadcasting the 1999 profile They Call Me Goodtime George on BBC 2W (digital BBC Two Wales, channel 991 on DSat if you're outside Wales) at 9pm on Friday 6 July.

    Meanwhile Digby Fairweather will host a tribute show to Melly on digital radio station theJazz at 3pm on Sunday 8 July - it'll include the first plays of some early mixes of tracks from the album they finished recording together just a few days ago.