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Alex Garnett and Friends - Gerry Mulligan and the Cool Era

Baritone player Gerry Mulligan had a pivotal role in the development of the West Coast 1950’s ‘Cool Jazz’.

He was known for his improvised contrapuntal lines textures and thru-composed sections of music. He performed with an ever-evolving line up of both west and east coast alumni and continued to move the music forward for several decades. This concert will feature some of his classic works.

Alex Garnett has been one of the leading saxophonists in the UK and Mainland Europe for over two decades, being instantly recognised by his dark, husky sound. A versatile musician and first call sideman, he has enjoyed success as both a jazz artist, composer and arranger, and an in-demand session, studio and commercial saxophonist, having racked up countless recording credits along the way.

He has played with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to the Rolling Stones and having had a weekly jam session residency at Ronnie Scott’s, he has provided a much needed platform for a younger generation of rising stars.



Martin Speake Quartet - The Charlie Parker Legacy

Charlie (Bird) Parker was the highly influential soloist and father of the language of Bebop.

This movement from the 1940’s heralded the advent of the virtuosic technique, advanced harmonies and a freedom in musical expression. It has set the standard for jazz musicians ever since.

Martin Speake has been at the forefront of the UK jazz scene since the mid 80’s when he first came to prominence as a member of the all-saxophone quartet Itchy Fingers with whom he toured all over the world. He has worked with a wide range of artists and musicians including Loose Tubes, Stan Tracey, Django Bates, Style Council and Airto Moreira. More recently Martin teamed up with former pianist of The Bad Plus, Ethan Iverson.He has recorded 23 albums under his own name, including the internationally acclaimed ECM release ‘Change Of Heart’ with Paul Motian, Bobo Stenson and Mick Hutton.

'A saxophonist with an unusual turn of phrase, a persuasively gentle sound… Martin Speake is not just a distinctive improviser but a striking composer too'  John Fordham, The Guardian

This evening will bring some surprising and beautiful interpretations of the Charlie Parker repertoire.



Don Vappie and Jazz Creole

Creole-influenced New Orleans music from the 'Jimi Hendrix Of The Banjo'.

Led by Don Vappie, the award-winning Creole banjoist/vocalist from New Orleans. Vappie is a living embodiment of 300 years of New Orleans music embodying all aspects of the unique melting pot of cultures that is New Orleans. Known for being banjoist/guitarist in Winton Marsalis’ Jazz at the Lincoln Centre band, but more importantly his nurturing approach to Creole culture and its preservation. He is widely considered to be one of the best banjoists in the history of New Orleans.

Honouring the tradition of his predecessor, banjoist Danny Barker, Vappie has singlehandedly kept alive Créole songs of New Orleans and has been honoured with awards from Créole society for preserving this cultural treasure.

This US/European project combines all genres of New Orleans from traditional to modern day funk with the classic early tradition of a string band. The result is 'Jazz Créole'.

Don is winner of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize 2021 and was inducted into the Banjo Hall of Fame 2022.

Features UK clarinetist David Horniblow of formally the Chris Barber band and recently The Dime Notes, guitarist Dave Kelbie of The Dime Notes, Django a la Creole and accompanist to many musicians worldwide, and from Paris bass player Sebastien Girardot of Django a la Creole fame.

Nominated for 'The best of the beat' in Offbeat magazine and The Sunday Times Jazz Album of the Year 2020! 

'He can start the party with his banjo, he sure can!' Iggy Pop

'A sure taste and a remarkable technique' Swing Fr

'it’s about time someone showed the jazz world what the banjo really can do' The Observer

'Mr Vappie is a born storyteller ' Jazz Da Gama, Canada

'Jazz virtuosity with buoyant blues riffs and a splash of Caribbean rhythms' The Times

Courtyard Theatre


Toni Kofi Quartet - A Portrait of Cannonball

Cannonball Adderley was one of the best-loved figures in post-war jazz.

Hailed as ‘the new Bird’ on his emergence, he made historic recordings with Miles Davis and John Coltrane as well as having many crossover hits as a pioneer of soul-jazz.

Tony Kofi fronts this loving celebration of the jazz giant Julian ‘Cannnonball’ Adderley. The group traces the explosive music of Cannonball from his first session as leader in 1955 through work with Miles Davis to the soul-jazz of the 1960s.

The repertoire includes Adderley Brothers classics like Things Are Getting Better, Work Song, Del Sasser, Sack O’Woe and many others.

Tony Kofi won the Best Instrumentalist Award at the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards, Best Ensemble at the 2005 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, Album of the Year at the 2005 BBC Jazz Awards and was nominated for an award MOBO in 2008, 2015 The Jack Petchey Award for services to Music and 2020 The Presto music award for best album Another Kind of Soul and nominated for the Best Instrumentalist award for the 2021 Parliamentary Jazz award.



Roger Beaujolais Quartet - Tribute to the Vibraphone

We must thank Louis Armstrong for incorporating the Vibraphone in his 1930 recordings. 

This began the vibraphone’s long association with jazz. It was Lionel Hampton who quickly realized the instrument’s expressive capabilities and deployed it as a frontline lead instrument. His virtuosic showmanship established the stylistic blueprint for vibraphone playing in jazz, and in his wake came a raft of other talented innovators, especially Milt Jackson, Gary Burton and. Bobby Hutcherson who helped to take the music beyond swing to bebop, Latin jazz, and ultimately free jazz.

Roger Beaujolais has been a well-established musician since the 80’s when he found early success touring with the bands Chevalier Brothers and Fairground attraction and later heavily involved with the 90’s acid jazz movement. Since then, he has worked with everyone from Roger Plant to Paul Weller. But his passion is with jazz the small band ensemble and has produced many albums with his quartet and tirelessly collaborates with artists from all over Europe. He has released many Jazz albums along the way, a this evenings concert will give a small preview of his latest ‘tribute to Milt Jackson’ album. The music tonight will also take us on a journey through the development of the Vibraphone from the swing era through Bebop and into more Contemporary Jazz.


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