Big Fat Gypsy Disco
Are you a fan of uplifting Balkan beats, gypsy jazz, klezmer classics and more?
If so I'm launching a new venture called Big Fat Gypsy Disco.
It's been inspired by a DJ set I was asked to do for a friend's 40th birthday party in Pontypridd at the weekend which went down a storm - thanks Jeff!
Initially it'll be a case of me offering to do similar sets at open-minded clubs and bars in Cardiff, south Wales and beyond, maybe supporting or hiring bands for such events - as well as selecting the tunes I'll also play along on my clarinet, davul, darbuka or other instrument to help the night go with a gypsy swing.
Mindful of the comments a certain TV show has attracted over its authenticity, I should point out that BFGD will be a positive celebration of Gypsy and Roma inspired music from Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Mediterranean and beyond, along with Slavic, Arabic and Jewish tunes of a similar tempo if not Roma in origin.
See www.bigfatgypsydisco.co.uk for more details, including a taste of what to expect via a webcast of a gypsy special I recently presented on Radio Cardiff.
If you run a venue and want to book me, or if you're in a band that wants DJ support, get in touch via info @ bigfatgypsydisco.co.uk
Jazz Jams at the Cayo Arms
Guitarist Dan Messore is launching a jam night on occasional Thursdays at the Cayo Arms, Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9LL. He'll make up the house trio with Aidan Thorne on bass and Mark O'Connor on drums.They'll be joined by visiting guest musicians Geoff Simkins (March 3), Dave Cliff (March 17) and Steve Waterman (April 6). If you’d like to sit in or call a tune please contact Dan through his website at www.danmessore.com.
Porthcawl International Jazz Festival - April 22 to 25
Buddy Greco, National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jacqui Dankworth, Geoff Eales, Jiggs Whigham and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra are among the attractions of the 2011 Porthcawl International Jazz Festival.Upwards of 130 musicians from 13 nations will be descending on the town over the Easter weekend (Friday 22 to Monday 25 April) for an event presenting up and coming new talent alongside some of the most established names in the jazz world.
Other attractions include New York funky jazz guitarist BD Lenz, Icelandic singer Claudia Gunners, and Polish trumpeter Tomasz Nowak from Nigel Kennedy's jazz band.Festival Director Wayne Warlow says: "The 2011 Festival is the culmination of 10 years of continuous development and expansion."The fact that we have been able to attract such high calibre acts from across the globe is testament to the growing reputation of the festival throughout the jazz world.
"Porthcawl provides a perfect setting for this kind of event," he added."It's small enough to get around quickly and easily there's something about the seaside setting that puts people in the holiday mood." For tickets contact the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl, on 01656 815995 or see www.grandpavilion.co.uk
New venue for jazz in Swansea
Jen Wilson and Elissa Evans will be playing the opening gig for a new jazz venue in Swansea this Friday 18 February.The Americano Jazz Caffe has opened in the city's SA1 waterside development, in the Prince of Wales Dock, behind the Altamar apartments on Kings Road and just to the right of the historic J Shed. Jen and Elissa's gig starts at 7.30pm and admission is free - they'll be playing a sultry and smooth set of old blues and jazz. That's followed on Saturday with another free gig at 7.3pm with the G&E Duo - Greg and Elissa offering a mix of Ella-esque and Jobim-bossa music.
Check out Americano Jazz Caffe for more info at www.facebook.com/pages/Americano-Jazz-Caffe/151585338229670
Jazz Connection playlist 3 February 2011
Here's what I played on the Jazz Connection on Thursday 3 February 2011 on Radio Cardiff 98.7:John Barry – Beat GirlNew Cool Collective – FlootieGwyneth Herbert – Perfect Fit Gwilym Simcock – These Are The Good DaysOsian Roberts/Steve Fishwick Quintet – The HitFrootful – ColoursPaula Gardiner Trio – Beneath Rioja SkiesLittle Rumba – No Man's LandBrad Mehldau – My Favourite Things (Live in Marciac)The JP Three - Rollin' and Tumblin' Herbie Mann - Battle Hymn of the Republic Hear the show right now at www.jazz-connection.co.ukThis will be my last live radio show for the time being as I'll be devoting more of my time to live performances and DJ sets.Thanks to everyone who's supported the Jazz Connection in its various guises and stations over the last ten years - chances are I'll be back on air some day.