The main Saturday afternoon and evening session will take place in The Memorial Hall (81 High Street TN33 0AQ) and will feature five fascinating and very different bands featuring some of the UK’s finest musicians.
Each will perform a 50-minute set followed by a 40-minute break to allow the Hall to be reset for the next band.
This will allow the audience ample time to get some fresh air, stretch their legs, enjoy some food and drink, do a bit of shopping and generally relax and have a good time.
2pm Byron Wallen 4 Corners
3.30pm Kirk Lightsey / Steve Watts Duo
5pm Denys Baptiste Quartet
6.30pm Jason Rebello / Tim Garland Duo
8pm Darius Brubeck Quartet
Tickets are also available to purchase from BRITISH design BRITISH made or by calling Box Office on 07377 386468 (open 4-6pm)Buy Tickets
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
BYRON WALLEN’S 4 CORNERS PROJECT
Widely recognised as a seminal figure in world jazz, Byron has travelled the world recording, teaching and performing alongside legendary musicians such as George Benson, Andrew Hill, Chaka Khan, Hugh Masekela and Courtney Pine. He has performed in East Africa, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Indonesia and Belize (his parents’ homeland).Raised in a musical environment, as a child Byron learned classical piano, euphonium, flute and drums before deciding in his mid-teens that the trumpet would be his instrument of choice. His work draws inspiration from contemporary jazz and indigenous African and Asian cultures. As a composer, he has been commissioned by organisations as varied as the Science Museum, the BBC, the National Theatre and FIFA. He has also created soundscapes for Universal Pictures, Warner Bros and Games of Throne. He has received the BBC Jazz Innovation award (2003), the coveted Paul Hamlyn Award (2017) and has been nominated for the MOBO award several times.
For this session, he will be joined by his band Four Corners. On guitar is BBC New Generation Jazz Artist Rob Luft. On bass is Paul Michael and on drums is the great US drummer Rod Youngs, who was formerly with Gil Scott-Heron. They’ll be playing music from their most recent album, Portrait: Reflections on Belonging, which led to them being shortlisted for Jazz Ensemble of the Year in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2020. It explores issues of ancestry, diasporic journeys and cultural roots. Landmarks of blues, mode and groove are explored and re-invented, with further inspiration from early Renaissance music, Central and East African rhythm and polyphony and the music of Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and Thelonious Monk.
KIRK LIGHTSEY / STEVE WATTS DUO
Veteran American pianist Kirk Lightsey was born in Detroit Michigan in 1937. He is one of the best exponents of the traditional Detroit jazz piano style, alongside two great figures who are no longer with us: Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan. During the 60s he worked in Detroit, his home town, and in California, where he frequently accompanied singers such as Melba Liston, Ernestine Anderson, O.C.Smith and Damita Jo. But it was his work with some of the greats that led to him being seen as a jazz giant: judge a man by the company he keeps.He played and recorded with the great Sonny Stitt, oftentimes collaborator with Dizzie Gillespie and Miles Davis. He recorded five albums with the difficult (to put it mildly) but highly talented trumpeter and singer Chet Baker.
He made an album with legendary guitarist Kenny Burrell. And he spent four years (1979 – 83) touring with the great Dexter Gordon.In the late 1980s he was a member of the hugely influential jazz super-group The Leaders. And over the years he has released 14 albums as leader of his own projects. Since he moved to Paris at the beginning of the century, he has continued to work with a range of major artists, including Gregory Porter.He’ll be playing in this session with long-time collaborator, UK bass stalwart Steve Watts. Steve has been playing jazz on the British scene for over 25 years, during which time he has worked with many musicians of international stature, including Django Bates, Iain Ballamy, Julian Arguelles, Kenny Wheeler, Stan Sulzman, Jim Mullen, Richard Rodney Bennett and many more.
DENYS BAPTISTE QUARTET
Born in London of St Lucian parents in 1969, saxophonist Denys Baptiste studied music at the West London Institute (Brunel University) and the Guildhall School of Music, where he was taught by former Jazz Messenger (and Battle Festival artist) Jean Toussaint.
From the moment he joined the London jazz circuit, Denys displayed extraordinary talent, energy and commitment. Over the years he has soared in his development as a soloist and bandleader, earning enormous respect from his peers and leading Time Magazine to describe him as an “icon of British jazz”.AllAboutJazz has said of him: “His colossal talent – based on a powerful technique and an ability to improvise fluently and effortlessly across a wide range of musical styles – is matched only by his unfettered energy which takes him and his audiences into the musical stratosphere. An evening with Denys guarantees a display of unsuppressed expression, ranging from sweet “saxuality” to breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat virtuosity.”A much sought-after soloist, Denys has played/recorded with some of the biggest names in jazz including McCoy Tyner, Bheki Mseleku, Courtney Pine, Gary Crosby, Julian Joseph and Jason Rebello, among many others. He has recorded five albums, each of which received rave reviews and multiple award nominations.He’ll be joined for this session by his regular quartet which features Jazz FM Instrumentalist of the Year Nikki Yeoh in piano and keyboard, long-time collaborator Larry Bartley on bass and the dynamic and powerful Rod Youngs on drums.
JASON REBELLO / TIM GARLAND DUO
This formidable duo featuring two of the UK’s most revered jazz musicians – keyboardist Jason Rebello and multi-reedist Tim Garland – is the culmination of three decades of close friendship and frequent collaboration.
Jason Rebello already had three critically acclaimed albums under his belt by the time he was 23. Five years later, in 1998, he became Sting’s keyboard player, touring the world and recording with Sting’s band for six years. He then spent another six years with guitar legend Jeff Beck’s band, while still finding time to work with artists such as Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Pee Wee Ellis, Joss Stone and Madeleine Peyroux.In 2013, Jason decided he wanted to re-establish himself as a solo jazz artist, He has since released two albums, the most recent of which, ‘Held’, won best new CD in the British Jazz Awards.Tim Garland’s first break as saxophonist was joining Ronnie Scotts band age 23. Later he was to join Chick Corea as a regular member of several globe-trotting projects over a seventeen year. Playing tenor and soprano saxes, bass clarinet and flute, he also won a Grammy for his symphonic orchestrations on Corea’s “The New Crystal Silence” album from 2007.He combines jazz with modern classical composition. He has fulfilled commissions from several of the world’s top orchestras, including the LSO, The Royal Northern Sinfonia and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Along the way he has won multiple nominations and awards.Now the pair feel it’s time for their duo format to blossom. “I just feel that we have to make music together,” says Rebello, “it’s a natural outcome of two people that have known each other for a long time.”
DARIUS BRUBECK QUARTET
We are talking jazz royalty here. Like his legendary father Dave, Darius Brubeck is a renowned pianist. But has also enjoyed a lifetime of varied international experience as band leader, composer, teacher and broad¬caster. Born in San Francisco, in the ‘70s and early ‘80s Darius led his own groups and toured with his father and two brothers Chris and Dan. In 1983 he moved to South Africa where he became Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and played and toured with some of the country’s leading musicians. In 2006 he moved to the UK where he founded the Darius Brubeck Quartet, which over 16 years has become a successful and popular group in the UK and beyond. On saxophone will be Dave O’Higgins, who as well as being a much in demand sideman is also an accomplished composer and arranger.
Bass player Matt Ridley has been a core member of the Quartet since its inception. He has recorded three studio albums and two live albums with them and toured extensively in Europe, Asia and Africa. As a band leader he has made more albums, one of which – The Antidote – was nominated for Best Album in the 2022 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Drummer Wesley Gibbens has also been with the band since it began. Born in Durban, his roots have led him to recording and touring with a number of legendary South African and Zimbabwean musicians.