Current Programme

You can download the current brochure here.

Just a taste of the January through April 2019 season

Alan Barnes returns with fire and fun,
and Steve Fishwick brings trumpetry supreme.

Our doors open 7:30pm on Fridays

Please note that Friends of Fleece Jazz get a £4 discount when purchasing a ticket.
Just see Peter at the merchandise desk to find out about becoming a Friend.

Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet
Alina Bzhexinska

Alina Bzhezhinska shares with Alice Coltrane a mastery of the Jazz Harp.
"... mesmerising, and, much like life, too short ..." - London Jazz News

Alina Bzhezhinska Harp, Tony Kofi Sax, Larry Bartley Bass, Joel Prime Drums

Ukrainian/Polish harp player Alina Bzezhinska is an internationally-renowned classical and jazz harpist of great flair and sensitivity. The release of her acclaimed 2018 album “Inspiration”, which drew deeply from the music of Alice and John Coltrane, has seen her quartet perform at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and the Royal Albert Hall, and earn a nomination for Best Live Experience of the Year at the Jazz FM Awards. Alina reproduces Alice Coltrane's trembling flurries of high notes and swooping glissandos with uncanny accuracy, and her intensely physical relationship with her harp is mesmerising to watch.

Accompanying Alina is the redoubtable saxophonist Tony Kofi, a firm Fleece favourite. Tony is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, playing alto, baritone, soprano and tenor saxophones, as well as the flute. His fluent and fiery hard-bop style ensures that he is constantly in demand; he has performed with such acclaimed artists as the David Murray Big Band, Courtney Pine, US3 (Blue Note), The World Saxophone Quartet and Roy Ayres. Tony has also recorded with Ornette Coleman and worked with Abdullah Ibrahim. He currently leads his own quartet as well as working with the ‘Organisation’ to perform hard-hitting blues, jazz and funk on baritone sax.

Larry Bartley has become one of the most sought-after bass players on the London jazz scene, having worked with bands led by Courtney Pine, Jean Toussaint, Denys Baptiste, Julian Joseph and Andy Sheppard, as well as backing visiting musicians such as Stanley Turrentine and Steve Grossman.

Australian drummer Joel Prime has become an important addition to British jazz and completes the synergy of this fantastic quartet, as together they display an endearing enjoyment of each other’s playing with a subtle interplay and a sense of one unit, rather than it being a showcase for the harp. Alina enthuses, “Every time we take this journey, every time is different— it’s amazing!”

"Spell binding, everyone plays with total commitment and the result is fresh sounding, intense and utterly compelling" - Birmingham Jazz
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Art Themen Trio
Art Themen

One of the most important saxophonists in the UK scene, a living legend

Art Themen Sax, Pete Whittaker Organ, George Double Drums

Art started playing Jazz when reading medicine at Cambridge. In the 1960s London he was playing blues, with Alexis Korner. In the early 70s he was in interactive group of London musicians that included Don Rendell, Ian Carr, Michael Garrick, and Norma Winston. Art toured and recorded with Stan Tracy for 20 years, including with Don Weller, Peter King, and Henry Lowther.

At the 2018 London Jazz fest he formed a quintet with younger generation trumpeter Laura Jurd.

Pete Whittaker was active in the Wolverhampton youth music scene, playing guitar and an old electric piano. His love of jazz came to the fore when he was a student at UEA, where he went on to do an MSc in electroacoustic composition. He was greatly influenced by Jimmy Smith.

George Double toured with rock bands in the 1990s and more recently performs regularly at Ronnie Scotts, He has worked with a string of jazz greats including Alan Barns, Don Weller and Tina May. He is active in education and is drum consultant for Trinity College. He is also advises two Jazz clubs in the East.

"Originally a Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins disciple ... Themen has proved himself remarkably attentive to the saxophone styles of subsequent generations." - John Fordham
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12 July, £18
Joanna Eden's "Sondheim and Me"
Joanna Eden

"Bloody marvellous" Dame Cleo Laine; "The UK's answer to Diana Krall" Time Out; "Seek her out!" Sir Michael Parkinson; *Brilliant* Jamie Cullum; *melody, mystery and bite* Mojo Magazine
Joanna Eden Vocals/Piano, Gerry Hunt Reeds, Russell Swift Bass, George Double Drums

Joanna Eden approaches the songs of Stephen Sondheim from a jazz- influenced perspective, backed by the George Double Trio. Acclaimed singer and mentor to Oscar and Grammy winner Sam Smith, Joanna Eden approaches the songs of Stephen Sondheim from her own, jazz-influenced and heart-filled perspective. Joanna has graced the Fleece Jazz stage with evenings of the work of Ella Fitzgerald, Jazz at the Movies. A beautiful voice and perfect intonation coupled with great musicianship make quite a singer.

Jerry Hunt is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist on guitar, saxophone and various members of the string, wind and percussion families. Styles include rock, jazz, folk and classical. A composer for various theatre groups including The National Theatre and currently a member of performing groups such as The Grand Union Orchestra, The Hot Orange Big Band, Joanna Eden Group and the Medusa Saxophone Quartet.

Russell Swift has been a professional bassist for over 25 years, with a C.V. far to long to put here. Russell is also an Orchestral and Tour manager.

George Double's playing and recording credits include Dame Shirley Bassey, Grammy Award Winner Jack Jones, Marc Almond, Ruthie Henshall and Kym Mazelle. His West End and touring theatre record includes stints on Wicked, Guys and Dolls, Avenue Q, Sinatra and Anything Goes. He is active on the British jazz scene and appears regularly at Ronnie Scott’s club in London and elsewhere as a freelancer (with John Etheridge, Digby Fairweather, Ray Gelato, Ian Shaw, Derek Nash, Alan Barnes, Scott Hamilton, Tina May, Don Weller, Art Themen, The Joe Loss Orchestra and many others). He is also curator of Hadleigh and Southwold Jazz Clubs.

The combination of Joanna's musicality and the music of Steven Sondheim sends shivers of anticipation up my spine.
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26 July, £20

Hexagonal play high energy music with African and Jazz influences

John Donaldson Piano, Greg Heath Tenor Sax, Jason Yarde Alto Sax, Graeme Flowers Trumpet/Flugel, Simon Thorpe Bass, Tristan Banks Drums

The Hastings based Hexangonal collective was formed late in 2016, to feature the music of the composer/pianists McCoy Tyler and Bheki Mseleku. The group has performed at major festivals and clubs. Its first album, “McCoy and Mseleku” was released in September.

"The band is impressively hip, with the collective chops to glide through complex rhythms and gentle Latin grooves! - Peter Jones, London Jazz News

McCoy Tyler, born in Philadelphia in 1938, was playing with Art Farmer and John Coltrain in the 1960s. Bheki Mseleku was born in Durban South African in 1955 and moved to London in 2006.

John Donaldson’s arrangements bring out the African-ness of both composers and the links between their styles. John and Simon toured with Mseleku in the last years of his life and Jason has worked with McCoy, enabling the sextet to convey the genuine feel of the music.

"John Donaldson’s piano style – dynamic, exciting, heavy with dense left hand chording and fluttering pentatonic runs – has drawn comparisons with that of McCoy Tyner" - Eddie Myer, Jazz Views
"Yarde has rarely played better....his sax improvising has quietly blossomed to world class" - Guardian of 606 club session.
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9 August, £18
John Etheridge "Blue Spirits"
John Etheridge

Blue Spirits Trio came about through John's love of the perennially attractive combination of Electric Guitar and Organ

John Etheridge Guitars, Pete Whittaker Organ, George Double Drums

Londoner John was inspired by Joe Pass, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, and Django Reinhardt. He has toured with Stephan Grappelli. Other he has gigged with include Nigel Kennedy, Keith Tippet, and John Williams as well as jazz greats.

Blyth Spirits came about through John’s love of the perennially attractive combination of Electric Guitar and Organ .They have a take on this combination in a way that connects with the intense bluesy side of John’s playing . You will find elements of swing elements, with soulful ballads and fiery funk.

Pete Whittaker was active in the Wolverhampton youth music scene, playing guitar and an old electric piano. Pete’s love of jazz came to the fore when he was a student at UEA, where he went on to do an MSc in electroacoustic composition. He was greatly influenced by Jimmy Smith.

George Double toured with rock bands in the 1990s and more recently performs regularly at Ronnie Scotts, He has worked with a string of jazz greats including Alan Barns, Don Weller and Tina May. He is active in education and is drum consultant for Trinity College. He is also advises two Jazz clubs in the East.

"He can coax the gentlest melody in harmonics from an acoustic guitar, and he can out-rage the wildest heavy rocker." - Peter Bacon, Birmingham Post.
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16 August, £18
Ben Crosland's "Ray Davies Songbook Vol. 2"
Ben Crosland

Ray Davies songs are rooted in the Blues, Music Hall,Popular,Variety and Music Theatre: the perfect vehicles for Jazz interpretation.

Ben Crosland Electric Bass, Brandon Allen Sax, Jim Watson Keyboards, Chris Allard Guitar, Dylan Howe Drums

Following the success of The Ray Davies Songbook, bassist Ben Crosland has put together a second tribute to the Kinks’ iconic singer and composer Ray Davies. Ben has been leading bands for over 25 years. He has recorded a series of critically acclaimed albums with the cream of UK jazz musicians including Alan Skidmore, Jim Mullen, Mark Nightingale, Steve Waterman, John Etheridge, Martin Shaw, Steve Lodder and Barnaby Dickinson.

Brandon Allen is an expat Australian saxophonist who has made quite an impression on the scene since taking up residence in London. Since arriving in the UK, he has worked with many varied artists and groups/ensembles including Eric Clapton, Jools Holland, Carleen Anderson, Stan Tracey, Pete King, Darius Brubeck and others.

A session and touring musician of formidable repute, Jim Watson has been featured in a huge variety of bands, including the Jazz/Funk bands “Incognito”, Brand New Heavies and “US3”. His jazz bona fides are just as impressive, having worked with James Moody, Dave O’Higgins, Julian Argüelles, Jean Toussaint and Peter King among many others.

Chris Allard has an international reputation, having performed at many prestigious venues and festivals, including the Royal Festival Hall and the Montreux Jazz Festival. He has worked and recorded with major names including Jacqui Dankworth, Alison Balsom and Jamie Cullum.

Dylan Howe is a British drummer best known for leading his quintet and other groups since 2002 and his tenures with Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Steve Howe and Wilko Johnson, coupled with extensive session work since 1990, playing with Ray Davies, Paul McCartney and Andy Sheppard amongst many others.

"... [The Ray Davies Songbook] swings consistently ... with this sharp, cogent collection, a dedicated follower of Ray Davies has made him a well-respected jazz composer too." - The Times
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30 August, £20
Dave Lewis's 1UP Band
Dave Lewis

About the "Under the Same Sun" album: "Kinda jazzy, kinda bluesy, kinda souly – lots of influences – great singing, great playing ..." - Paul Long, BBC producer

Dave Lewis Tenor Sax, Lizzie Dean Vocals, Al Cherry Guitar, Robin Aspland Piano, Neville Malcolm Bass, Rod Youngs Drums

We were blessed with Dave Lewis's playing in March. He is one amazing player. Dave leads 𔃱UP’ with raw, lyrical emotion and a horn full of funk. His sound is steeped in the Blues – his St. Louis roots come through. Amongst others, Dave has performed, recorded or toured with John Martyn, Lamont Dozier, Bryan Ferry, Joan Armatrading, John Mayall and Eric Clapton & The Blockheads.

Soulful intensity – searing blues vocals – Lizzie Deantotally embodies the spirit of a song. Amongst others Lizzie has performed/recorded/toured with: Pee Wee Ellis & Fred Wesley (JB Horns), Carleen Anderson, Mica Paris, Jocelyn Brown, Belinda Carlisle & Boy George

Al Cherry great jazz guitarist with real blues and rock credentials – with his left-hand Telecaster Al tells it the way it is. Amongst others Al has performed/recorded/ toured with Albert Lee, Paloma Faith, Lisa Stansfield, Cat Stevens, Darryll Jones (Rolling Stones), Deodato & Percy Sledge.

Robin Aspland has played for us many times. He is something of a key's wizard. Robin brings passion, lyricism and rhythmic drive to everything he plays. Amongst manyothers Robin has performed/recorded/ toured with Van Morrison, George Coleman, Kenny Wheeler, Phil Woods, Curtis Stigers & Arturo Sandoval.

Newille Malcolm says, "I love the blues. I've got the blues, but I smile". 'Level-Neville' is bass-ability personified Amongst others, Neville has performed/recorded /toured with Roy Ayers, Joss Stone, Billy Cobham, Gregory Porter, Tom Jones, Mavis Staples and George Benson.

From Washington D.C., Rod Youngs lays it down with passion and authority. He plays the deepest grooves – he can really make it cook. It will be great to see his mastery again. Amongst others, Rod has performed, recorded or toured with Gil Scott-Heron, Hugh Masekela, Angela Bofil, Ronnie Laws, Jon Hendricks, Bennie Maupin & Natalie Cole.

The band lays down the deepest grooves with space for virtuosic improvisation and breathtaking interplay.
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