Win tickets to see Robert Glasper this November!

Win tickets to see Robert Glasper Experiment in Hull this November!

As well as Hull 2017 UK City of Culture, it’s also Hull Jazz Festival’s 25th birthday next year and we’ve invited some incredible international artists to help us celebrate.

As we get ready for a big year in 2017 we’re updating our mailing list. We want to make sure you’re getting information about our shows in the way that works best for you.

It’s easy to join our mailing list. And if you’re already on our mailing list, it’s easy to check and update your details. Everyone who signs up to the mailing list or updates their details online will be entered into a prize draw to win two tickets to see Grammy Award winning Robert Glasper Experiment at Hull Truck Theatre on 18th November. 

 There are 3 simple steps to enter the competition:

  1. Go to and click on the sign up button at the top right of the home page
  1. Fill out the simple form (NB: if you’re already on our mailing list, check that the contact details we have are up to date)
  1. Type the code 25in17 in the box at the bottom of the form to enter our prize draw


Multi Grammy Winning Pianist/Producer Robert Glasper comes to Hull this November

We’re very excited to announce that multi Grammy Award-winning US pianist/producer Robert Glasper will headline Hull Jazz Festival 24th Winter Edition this November with a new version of his Grammy-winning band The Experiment, with added DJ.

They’ll be playing material from their forthcoming new Blue Note album, due for release this autumn, ahead of their headline show at London Jazz Festival. Drawing on jazz, hip hop, R&B and rock, they refuse to be defined by any one genre and this promises to be an incredible show.

‘It’s a short list of jazz pianists who have the wherewithal to drop a J Dilla reference into a Thelonious Monk cover but not many jazz pianists are Robert Glasper.’ Los Angeles Times

Tickets are available now from Hull Truck Theatre. This show will sell out so best book in advance if you don’t want to miss out.

International Jazz Day 2016 comes to Hull

Jazz Day 2016

International Jazz Day was launched by UNESCO in 2011, to highlight the role that jazz plays in uniting people from all corners of the globe. We’ll be bringing International Jazz Day celebrations to Hull for the second time this year, joining promoters, artists and festivals in 195 countries.

Since 2012, thousands of artists and promoters from hundreds of countries have come together on April 30th to celebrate jazz’s role in promoting dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of young people in bringing about social change.

With this in mind, we wanted our International Jazz Day line-up to shine a spotlight on artists who take influences from different cultures and musical traditions and transform them into something new and original.

First up is The Refix Project, the new collaboration between two of Hull’s finest vocalists, Lyn Acton and Audrey Okyere-Fosu. Inspired by the attitude and strength of the great songstresses of jazz (Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald), Lyn and Audrey are refixing their usual approach to interpreting music by working with an electronic, urban, dance-music ensemble. With music by David Gawthorpe and electronics from Endoflevelbaddie’s Scott Langthorp, The Refix Project are taking influences from the worlds of jazz, urban and electronic music and mixing them up into something exciting and new that’s firmly rooted in Hull’s incredible live music scene. This debut performance will be the start of something very special…

Refix logo

Our headliners Panjumby represent the close relationship that the British jazz scene has with musicians from the Caribbean and Africa, revitalising itself with fresh energy and new musical ideas at every collaboration. Panjumby draw on music from Trinidad, featuring jazz, calypso and soca material alongside choice standards. Led by the tremendous lyrical phrasing and rhythmic drive of steel pan master Dudley Nesbitt, Panjumby features great improvisers and a knockout rhythm section: Richard Ormrod (saxophones, clarinet, flute), Barkley McKay (keyboards, guitar), Kenneth Higgins (electric bass) and Sam Hobbs (drums).

PanjumbyWe asked Panjumby what International Jazz Day means to them: “Louis Armstrong said ALL music is folk music: he never heard a horse sing. For us, Jazz is what happens when you take any music from its cultural context, forge a deep personal relationship with it and then return it into circulation animated a different way, marching to a different drummer and saying what you want it to say. And that music and that spark can come from anyone in the world, irrespective of race, creed, colour or gender. International Jazz Day is about bringing all those voices together in one space, hearing all those stories and beginning to appreciate that there isn’t a single horse in the room. It’s all about the love.”

So why not come and feel the love at Hull Truck on Saturday 30th April? Tickets priced £11 and £6 for students and under-26s are available here.

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.


J-Night wins PRS for Music Award Foundation Award to commission GoGo Penguin to contribute to Hull UK City of Culture 2017

What a start to the year!

PRS for Music Foundation this week announced that J-Night is one of only twenty UK organisations selected for the New Music Biennial 2017, a PRS for Music Foundation initiative which is presented in partnership with Hull UK City of Culture 2017, London’s Southbank Centre and BBC Radio 3.

J-Night will commission Abstractions of the Industrial North a new piece of music by Mercury Prize nominated Manchester based jazz trio GoGo Penguin.

GoGo Penguin

GoGo Penguin (c) Emily Dennison

Renowned for their minimalist piano themes, deeply propulsive bass lines and electronica-inspired drums GoGo Penguin will create a piece of music inspired by the Northern industrial landscape in 2017. The piece will be also be inspired by Basil Kirchin, who died in Hull in 2005. Basil Kirchin is the forgotten genius of post-war British music. British pioneer of musique concrete, leading light in the free jazz movement, a film composer who inspired Bernard Hermann and according to Brian Eno, the founding father of ambient.

GoGo Penguin’s Abstractions of the Industrial North will receive live public performances throughout the UK in 2017, culminating in two celebration weekends in Hull UK City of Culture 2017 on 1 & 2 July as part of the New Music Biennial and 7- 9 July at London’s Southbank Centre. The music will go on to form part of a documentary film about Basil Kirchin’s life and times – Mind on the Run – to be produced by Hull’s independent film makers Nova Studios.

It’s been an astonishing couple of years for Manchester based trio GoGo Penguin (drummer Rob Turner, double bassist Nick Blacka and pianist Chris Illingworth). Their trademark mash-up of minimalist piano themes, deeply propulsive bass lines and electronica inspired drums has seen them shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, they’ve written and performed a new score for Godfrey Reggio’s cult film Koyaanisqatsi and collaborated with noted choreographer Lynn Page for a Gilles Peterson-curated night at the Barbican. And in the midst of all this they’ve signed a multi-album deal with Blue Note Records, the most famous jazz label on earth.

J-Night is one of the leading producers of new jazz in the North of England. We produce a year-round festival offer in Hull developing effective partnerships with organisations such as Serious, Tomorrows Warriors, Freedom Festival, Walk the Plank, Hull Truck and others. We produce programmes that give audiences access to high quality artists and we provide developmental opportunities for local and regional artists, including those from diverse backgrounds, through Hull Jazz Festival, the Yellow Bus stage at Freedom, Giant Steps and rural touring. J-Night is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England, a founder of Jazz North, a creative partner of Freedom Festival and a support organisation for Hull 2017 UK City of Culture.

This is a real honour” says J-Night director David Porter “and will make a terrific contribution to Hull 2017. GoGo Penguin are at the forefront of the new young jazz scene and, we hope that this project will attract new young audiences to our work.”

GoGo Penguin said “We’re delighted to be part of Hull 2017 and are looking forward to throwing ourselves into our commission Abstractions of the Industrial North and using it as a launch pad for exploring the soundworld and legacy of the great Basil Kirchin“.

Vanessa Reed Executive Director PRS for Music Foundation said: “The line-up of new pieces for this New Music Biennial showcases again the immense quality and breadth of music composed in the UK and the imagination of UK composers working across an array of different styles. Hull’s City of Culture status has been a real inspiration to everyone involved and I’m delighted that this will be an opportunity for music creators and arts organisations from Yorkshire and from across the whole of the UK to come together in a celebration of new music in all its forms. Can’t wait to see how the pieces and ideas develop over the next 12 months.

The New Music Biennial will include new music from across all genres: from classical and chamber opera to jazz, folk, electronic and music for brass band and organ.

Martin Green, CEO and Director of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, said: “The New Music Biennial 2017 commissions which feature composers and performers from across the country are a brilliant representation of the state of new music in the UK in the 21st century. They stretch across genres, across diverse musical styles, and include everything from electronic innovators to jazz groups to stars of the folk scene. I am thrilled that this national music festival is to be staged between Hull 2017, and London’s Southbank Centre as part of our year as UK city of culture.

For further information about the PRS Foundation for Music New Biennial please visit



Young People are the Future of Jazz

As our 2015 programme draws to a close, J-Night Director David Porter reflects on the importance of our work with young musicians:

The dust has just settled on our November festival which provided development opportunities to young local musicians at the start of their careers.

This is such an important area as we try and build a new jazz picture fit for the 21st century. Anyone who was in the building at the height of the festival couldn’t have failed to be excited by the energy and enthusiasm of the young artists and audiences who packed out Hull Truck.

And what artists! Gary Crosby presented an amazing band including star vocalist Cherise Adams-Burnett, amazing guitarist Shirley Tetteh, stunning saxophonist Camilla George and extraordinary drummer Eddie “Dreadie Eddie” Hick on drums to give a snapshot into the powerful music of the Civil Rights movement.

Next up was a unique event that included young performers from Buckingham Academy, Kelvin Hall School, Hull Youth Jazz Orchestra and University of Hull students, accompanied by members of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. This was the culmination of 4 days of workshops led by Mark Armstrong, Sean Miller, Alison James and Tom Grantham involving 70 young Hull musicians.

I was blown away by the results, along with a packed full house at Hull Truck Theatre.

And there were other highlights too! Jenny Smith, now an accomplished jazz vocalist, assembled a quintet featuring the cream of the Albermarle Alumni. Jazz North Introduces showcased the Royal Northern College of Music’s Artephis, a forward-looking contemporary jazz quintet with an innovative direction through original compositions and arrangements. The Albermarle-based Will King Band provided great foyer music throughout the festival and the Festival jazz brunch was a huge success featuring Leeds based – but Hull made – band Matt Holborn Quartet, with their gypsy jazz sounds.

The two headliners – Andy Sheppard and New York Standards Jazz Quartet – both wowed sell-out audiences – with an increasingly younger audience becoming excited by artists at the top of their game.

J-Night will expand our work with the Hull Music Hub at the Albermarle, schools, the University of Hull and Jazz North as we highlight the talents of young and local artists and audiences for our work. Our partnerships with organisations like Tomorrows Warriors and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra will continue into 2017 as we make sure that we remain relevant to new audiences and new artists alike.

You can see more photographs from our 2015 Winter Edition over on Flickr.

Giant Steps

Hull Jazz Festival Winter Edition 2015 features an exciting line up of young UK jazz artists performing alongside established international acts as part of our Giant Steps programme:

The aim of Giant Steps is to strengthen the local and regional developing jazz scene by increasing quality opportunities for aspiring Yorkshire musicians to participate in regular and supportive performances culminating in appearances at Hull Jazz Festival and Freedom Festival.

J-Night has a long tradition of supporting local and regional jazz artists and providing development opportunities to young jazz musicians at the start of their careers.

Every November our Giant Steps programme shines a spotlight on some of the brightest young jazz talent from the wider region and beyond. Members of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and Tomorrow’s Warriors work alongside the Hull Music Hub at the Albermarle, the City of Hull Youth Jazz Orchestra, the University of Hull and Jazz Aesthetic plus local schools to produce Festival performances.

We also provide performance opportunities for emerging artists from across the North through Jazz North’s Northern Line and Jazz North Introduces award schemes. In November 2015, we’re featuring two Jazz North bands – Artephis are the Jazz North Introduces act for 2015 and Matt Holborn Gypsy Jazz Quartet are part of the Northern Line scheme for 2015-16.

An exciting new fusion of two very different musical traditions – Shri presents ‘Just a Vibration’

J-Night has a longstanding commitment to working with artists from diverse musical and cultural backgrounds. For Freedom Festival 2015 we’re very proud to present the first performance of a brand new collaboration that brings together the intoxicating rhythms of Indian music with the might of the British brass band:

 ‘JUST A VIBRATION’ is an exciting new music project that brings together two distinct and diverse musical forms: Indian music and the traditional brass band.

Conceived by award-winning composer/producer/instrumentalist Shri Sriram this unique musical collaboration makes its live debut on the Yellow Bus stage at Freedom Festival in Hull on September 5th.

Taking the stage in Hull will be the mighty 25-piece Skelmanthorpe Brass Band along with Shri Sriram and Ben Castle arranger/saxophonist/bass-clarinettist, the fast rising Leeds-based sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun and powerhouse drummer Marc Layton-Bennett.

The musicians will perform ten brand new tracks that constitute Just A Vibration; all compositions have been created by Shri and arranged by Ben Castle. The Just A Vibration album is scheduled for release in November 2015, with Shri, Jasdeep and Marc performing with Hammonds Saltaire Brass Band at Rich Mix on 22nd November as part of London Jazz Festival.

It’s going to be amazing!” laughs the energetic Shri Sriram, who plays a bass guitar he built himself in 1991 and which he has used ever since. “I only started listening to brass bands recently and thought what an incredible sound they make and what fantastic music we could make together. I’ve always been fascinated with combining sounds and styles and since sound is just a vibration, I decided to turn that phrase into the title for this project.

“I’m using a music vocabulary created out of brass and Indian classical concepts which has its own syntax, pronunciation and accent,” continues Shri. “During the one hour performance one piece, for instance, is based on the tanpura, the four-stringed Indian drone instrument which is translated to the four-part harmony of brass, another based on a complex tabla piece called Chakradhar and some filmic Wagner/Bollywood style drama. The sitar seems to fit in very naturally as if it always belonged in a brass band, but I had to make sure neither the brass nor the sitar went too deep into its territory. That’s where it would become fusion in my opinion.”

Well known as one half of the highly successful UK drum & bass duo Badmarsh & Shri and for his ability to blend Indian and western musical styles, the largely self-taught Shri has devised a finely tuned sound that truly breaks boundaries. His musical passion and talent have driven him since he can remember: “When I was really little, growing up in India,” he remembers, “I would crawl up to the tablas that were in the house and start to play them; my father thought it was great and that I would grow up to be a classical Indian tabla player. But, when I went to college – to study chemistry – I was introduced to rock music – specifically Black Sabbath! – and as soon as I heard the boomboomboom of Geezer Butler’s bass guitar, I knew that was what I wanted to play.”

When the pioneering music curator and festival producer Simon Dove invited Shri to England to perform, Shri virtually blew the audience away with his formidable bass playing style, which broke every rule in the book. “I think they expected an Indian chap in traditional dress with a tabla and sitar and some kitsch Indian jazz but they got me in my jeans and my home made bass…”

Then along came Badmarsh & Shri; their debut album Dancing Drums (1998) contained a completely new mix of drum & bass, hip hop, Indian music and jazz. Their second album, Signs, delivered dancefloor fillers and led to their breakout performance at Glastonbury in 2002 which led to tours all over the UK, Europe, USA and beyond.

Since then Shri has been in constant demand as a performer, producer, composer – he wrote and performed the official promo song for the Indian release of Ang Lee’s Life of Pi (2012), has remixed work for artists as diverse as De La Soul, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Kronos Quartet, has performed on Later With Jools Holland, at the Montreux and London Jazz Festivals and is currently composing the soundtrack for his third Indian film with Yashraj Films.

The premiere of Just a Vibration will be at 5:30pm on Saturday 5th September on the Yellow Bus stage at Freedom Festival Hull. Click on the link below to hear a 4-track sample of what’s in store. We can’t wait!


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