NEWS: Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2016 @ Sage | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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April 2016 will see the return of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival. The line-up has just been announced, and as always there’s the best of the UK, European and International jazz scene; a mix of fresh emerging artists, and talented, established acts rubbing shoulders under one roof from Friday 15th April until Sunday 17th April.

With the festival now in its 12th year, there’s been a high standard set and 2016 is set to meet those standards and more. There’s Grammy award-winning singer Gregory Porter, who sold out his show last year, in what was a truly amazing opening to the festival. A stellar double bill on the Saturday night includes leading British saxophonist and festival favourite Courtney Pine with fellow Mercury nominee and MOBO award winning pianist, Zoe Rahman who play the music from their acclaimed album Song (The Ballad Book). In contrast, trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard brings his new quintet, the E-Collective, in a powerful fusion of funk and R&B.

Sunday night’s headliner is American soul maestro Charles Bradley, whose live performances have been earning rave reviews, while other artists announced include award-winning singer-pianist Liane Carroll, Saxophonist John Surman, who emerged as an artist in the 1960s, showing age is no barrier as he is joined by the Alexander Hawkins Trio, three of the UK’s most talented young jazz performers.

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“This year’s Festival reflects the diversity of jazz in the 21st Century, including well established names alongside some very exciting younger voices “ according to performance director Ros Rigby.

“We hope audiences will take the opportunity to find their own paths across the programme and try some new things as well as enjoying their favourite” she went on to say, and with all events taking place under one roof it’s going to be so easy to try new things, find new artists you’re raving about for weeks and take in all of the amazing musicians the festival has to offer. With the advantage of the Jazz Multi-Buy, there’s more money to be saved with the more concerts booked, so there really is no excuse not to jot a few gigs down in the diary.

Also on show, there’s stellar vocals and fine musicianship from Café Society Swing, in a show that tells the true story of the legendary New York nightclub, famous for great music and promoting racial equality.

There’s a screening of the documentary film Tubby Hayes: A Man In A Hurry, which is followed by saxophonist Simon Spillett and his quartet with a tribute to Tubby Hayes, the man revered as a modern jazz star of the 50s and 60s.

British punk-jazz-funk specialists, WorldService Project bring to the festival high-octane experimental but accessible music , while there’s free jazz and improvisation from influential saxophonist Evan Parker while British-Asian clarinettist and composer, Arun Ghosh will continue captivating audiences with his trademark Indojazz sound. Ibrahim Maalouf fuses pop, electro, soul, hip-hop with the music of his Lebanese roots and shows why he’s regarded as one of the finest trumpeters around.

Plenty of the newest shining lights on the international jazz scene come to the festival too, New York-based pianist and composer Kris Bowers is a leading voice in a vibrant new wave of genre bending jazz musicians.

Festival works shops, family fun, talks and a late night club with more to be announced, all suggest this could be the biggest and best festival yet after 12 years of building, a festival that just keeps getting better and better.

Tickets are on sale now for the Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2016 at Sage, Gateshead.

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