Preview: Gateshead Jazz Festival

Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2018 includes Sun Ra Arkestra, Tony Allen, Chris Barber, and Georgie Fame with the Guy Barker Big Band

The Gateshead International Jazz Festival is the UK’s biggest jazz festival held under one roof, filling four stages at Sage Gateshead. The 2018 festival is the 14th and will take place from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 April 2018.

Headlining this year’s festival are Ruby Turner (pictured right), Maceo Parker, Sun Ra Arkestra, Tony Allen, Norma Winstone, Portico Quartet, the Chris Barber Band and Georgie Fame with the Guy Barker Big Band. Soul singer Ruby Turner will be joined on a Saturday night double bill by American funk saxophonist Maceo Parker, whose collaborations over the years have included James Brown, Prince, Ray Charles, James Taylor, De La Soul, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Mercury Prize-nominated Portico Quartet will play a late-night gig on Friday, Sunday night’s headline concert features Guy Barker and his Big Band in the company of Georgie Fame (pictured below left) and Amsterdam-based trio Tin Men and the Telephone play a late-night Friday show and a special family show on Saturday morning.

New work is a key element of the festival. This year will see the premiere of a new work by Gateshead-born guitarist Chris Sharkey, which he will perform with free jazz drummer Mark Sanders. This concert will open with a set by one of the two winners of the 2018 Jazz North Introduces award, the all-female trio J Frisco.

Musician, food writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner will perform on Saturday afternoon with his quartet. In keeping with his reputation as a restaurant critic, Rayner will play songs that deal with food and drink.

The festival will include family concerts, workshops and masterclasses and a full concourse programme organised in collaboration with Jazz North East and others, along with a concert by Sage Gateshead’s youth jazz ensemble Jambone showing the results of work with guest composers James Brady and Issie Barratt.

Festival producer Ros Rigby said: “The programme of the 14th Gateshead International Jazz Festival presents iconic figures from jazz worldwide as well as presenting a picture of the vitality of jazz right across Europe, made possible with support from embassies and funders in the Netherlands, Estonia, Italy and Norway. We hope that the festival will appeal to audiences of all ages and musical interests and, as before, create a welcoming atmosphere right through this action packed weekend”.

Tickets are now on general sale. Visitors can book for individual events or they can take advantage of the Jazz Multibuy – the more concerts booked across the weekend the more money saved.

To buy tickets and for full programme details please go to the Gateshead International Jazz Festival website.

Bruce Lindsay

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