All Aboard for the Jazz Ticket!

J-Night has a long-standing partnership with Tomorrows Warriors, a leading music education and professional development organisation working with some of the most exciting and diverse new, emerging and established jazz musicians in the UK, with a particular focus on those from BAME backgrounds and girls.

In line with the Tomorrow’s Warriors ethos, here at J-Night we aim to create progression routes for young Hull jazz musicians, taking them from a learning environment in a school or workshop setting through to performing on a professional stage.

To this end, J-Night are bringing a band of Tomorrow’s Warriors to Hull this Easter, to meet with Hull Music Hub and up to six local schools, share their enthusiasm about this exciting new project and start mapping out how local young musicians can get involved.

Artists Gary Crosby OBE (artistic director of Tomorrows Warriors), Peter Edwards, Fish Krish and Andy Chapman will meet with Hull music teachers to talk about the project then Peter Edwards will lead a 2-hour workshop for members of the Hull Youth Jazz Orchestra, looking at the repertoire of the great names of jazz.

Peter Edwards

Peter Edwards

About the Jazz Ticket project

The Jazz Ticket – a Journey with the Giants of Jazz, is a co production between Tomorrow’s Warriors and Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton, where Tomorrow’s Warriors are Associate Artists.

1917 was a defining year for jazz that saw the birth of some of the most influential jazz artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Mongo Santamaria, Tadd Dameron and Buddy Rich.

In order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of these Giants of Jazz, as well as Tomorrow’s Warriors’ 25th anniversary and Hull City of Culture 2017, pianist and composer, and Tomorrow’s Warriors music leader, Peter Edwards, is writing a composition – A Journey with the Giants of Jazz – that will reference music by all six of these outstanding musicians, to be performed by the Nu Civilisation Orchestra, (Tomorrow’s Warriors contemporary Jazz Orchestra.)

Peter Edwards has been successful in receiving a PRS for Music Foundation award to present this new work at the New Music Biennial on 1 & 2 July 2017 as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and 7- 9 July 2017 at London’s Southbank Centre. The aim is that young musicians from Hull schools will have the chance over the next year to create music specifically to accompany the Jazz Ticket Show and Nu Civilisation Orchestra next July.

 

Northern Line – a thrilling journey into the unknown!

So, another great Jazz Festival over with lots of happy memories of great performers, but I really want to give a big brilliant thanks to the Northern Line bands – New York Brass Band, Unfurl, Dread Supreme and Zoe Gilby Quartet. What incredible talent we have living and working in the North and if you add the amazing 20-piece Abstract Orchestra, who played an absolute storming set at Fruit, plus Chiedu Oraka and Deez Kid, that will bring the total to 48 northern artists who graced our Hull Jazz Festival stage this summer! And all to sell-out audiences too!

Northern Line is the brain child of Jazz North, the development agency founded by J-Night, Jazz Yorkshire and Manchester Jazz Festival to give a platform to the hugely talented young performers that we have living in our region. We want to make sure that they do not have to leave the area to travel down to London, Paris or New York to be appreciated back in their own backyard. It was really rewarding to see our audiences lapping up such diverse and brilliant music – from the New Orleans sounds of a dirty brass band, through to the completely unique, only in Yorkshire Hip Hop Big Band – from Arabian influenced trance through the American songbook and original material of Zoe Gilby and finally the mighty dread ska jazz of Dread Supreme, led by Manchester’s finest Trevor Roots.

At J-Night we love to keep our influences broad and vital. Our audience lap it all up and we are committed to bringing more from Jazz North’s stable of incredibly talented artists. In November we welcome the amazing gypsy jazz violinist (and Hull born to boot!) Matt Holborn who will be joining a line-up that includes our youngest ever band Artephis, a forward-looking contemporary jazz quintet comprising musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music. Since its formation a year ago, Artephis has been distilling influences – including the Miles Davis and Christian Scott Quintets, Robert Glasper, Hiatus Kaiyote and Pat Metheny – refining an eclectic sound of its own that takes a jazz quintet line-up in innovative directions. They were recently announced as the Jazz North Introduces act for 2015-16.

Our Yellow Bus stage at Freedom Festival in September offers the chance to see the Bugalu Foundation, creating the fresh new sound of Barrio Funk and Latin Soul, plus another chance to see the amazing Trevor Roots with Dread Supreme.

We want audiences to be as brave as our artists. Don’t wait to be told by others who you should be watching – take an adventure trip to new musical areas that you may not have imagined existed. You won’t be disappointed!

 

Gary Crosby reflects on Coltrane’s A Love Supreme

In 1993 J-Night booked a band called Jazz Jamaica, who were beginning to create a storm with their infectious mixture of jazz and ska, to headline the Jazz Festival. So began a partnership with Dune Music Tomorrow’s Warriors and its M.D. Gary Crosby OBE that has lasted for over 20 years. Rarely a year goes past without a visit from one of their amazing stable of bands and artists and J-Night has presented all of their major projects in a relationship that has lasted 22 years! So what have we got for you this year? We asked Gary Crosby to outline his next project for Hull:

“ 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the only live performance by John Coltrane of his everlasting classic, A Love Supreme. I feel honoured to have been invited to perform this monumental piece on Saturday 25 July at 3pm at Hull Truck with my quartet, which features my long-time friend and musical sparring partner, Denys Baptiste. Completing the rhythm section are the great Rod Youngs on drums and rising star pianist, Joe Armon-Jones, a graduate of Tomorrow’s Warriors’ Young Artist Development Programme.

I first discovered Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in about 1977, and it has to be said that this classic jazz album had an instant and profound effect on me.

It was apparent to me that this was a personal piece of work – a spiritual albeit very public declaration by Coltrane that his life as a musician was now a seamless (at one) dedication with his faith in God. Here was a man who was rising out of his personal problems, including a long struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.

It’s about ten years ago that I started playing A Love Supreme with Denys Baptiste (and I’ve only ever performed this work with Denys on saxophone). This is a rare piece and, in fact, we have only played it about 7-8 times. However the way we play Coltrane is engrained in our consciousness. We try to keep the spontaneity, and are mindful about how and when we rehearse. In fact we only ‘rehearsed’ the piece before we had to perform it for the very first time all those years ago, and every other time since then, we command up our energies, get into the mindset and play the set in the sound check before the live performance. In doing so we try to keep a collective purity, a kind of naturalness if you like.

However A Love Supreme is one of the world’s sacred canons, and we certainly will not abuse the composer’s intention. As musicians, we want to learn from the piece each time we undertake the work. It’s our absolute duty to play it as Coltrane intended, for example in the case of the bass solo in the movement, Resolution, it really does not need anything from me (or any musician) to be heard as a great piece of art. The work is awesome and awe-inspiring.

It’s really important that the audience engages with Supreme from a pure live perspective. Forty minutes of an intensified and meditative experience. It surely takes you over and elevates the mind and spirit. There’s no choice – you have to take the piece seriously, audiences and musicians alike, but never allow the weight of its meaning and significance to scare you because the rewards are so great. Before we play, I like to ask tacit permission from the audience to give us 45 minutes of their unadulterated time and attention also to allow my Quartet to transport them to another zone, through an immensely hypnotic score – to recapture that spirit that Coltrane shared all those years ago. For me A Love Supreme is pure inspiration.

Pure genius. Whether you are religious or not, it’s revealing to be allowed to share in the visceral statement that Coltrane is making – his service to God. The music/concept came to him by some sort of osmosis, apparently. Coltrane congregated all the elements in one day and, with that, he left us a great piece of work that in a thousand years we will be still be listening to, one that unites humans at the spiritual level – a work that unites musicians across genres. Whether you are religious or not, people all over the work respect what Coltrane did. Not everybody ‘gets’ jazz, but back then in 1965, hippies, folk and progressive rock musicians, accepted this as one the great universal musical statements for the ages.

A Love Supreme is “for music fans, not just jazz fans. For people across musical boundaries and cultures — for Carlos Santana, Bono, Joni Mitchell, Steve Reich, Bootsy Collins, Gil Scott-Heron — hearing A Love Supreme was a revelation” Arun Rath, npr.

Come and hear us play A Love Supreme live. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Peace and love.

Gary Crosby