Image: Ayanna Witter Johnson painted by Gina Southgate
With the 50th anniversary year for established promoters Jazz North East upon us, the cause for celebration is high, and hot on the heels of the roaring success of 2015’s Women Make Music series of events, the promoters are gearing up to launch a new series of female-lead gigs.
The eloquent series of concerts will again be funded by the PRSF Women Make Music scheme, allowing many cultures and diverse talents to display their incredible aptitude and promote a genre to a younger audience that is often feared on the cusp of dying out. With a series of 13 concerts in total, it is set to be an exciting few months for the jazz scene.
Kicking things off on an arty note is renowned painter Gina Southgate, who exhibits her Women Paint Music exhibition at Newcastle Arts Centre from Thursday 4th February. Later that evening in the Black Swan Bar & Venue, space jazz quintet Entropi and electronic duo Shelly Knotts and Mariam Rezaei will be showcasing their flair. Elsewhere in the programme, particular highlights include Motherese performing a dedicated piece on International Women’s Day (Tuesday 8th March) at The Lit & Phil; Zoe Gilby, Noel Dennis and Mark Williams play Sage Gateshead’s International Jazz Festival on Sunday 17th April; striking singer Lauren Kinsella brings her ensemble to Black Swan Bar & Venue on Thursday 8th September and the superb Unfurl Quartet collective play The Jazz Café on Friday 18th November.
Plus there’s much more besides to whet jazz fans whistles and entice new music lovers to the genre.