The first of the year’s big festivals kick off next month with the Gateshead International Jazz Festival from 20-22 March. It may be just a long weekend but organisers have packed in some big names – Courtney Pine, Guy Barker, Joshua Redman and an ECM double bill with Nik Bartsch’s Ronin and the Marcin Wasilewski Trio.
Neil from Cosmic Jazz went along last year and saw Robert Glasper’s amazing hip hop influenced trio – and got a chance to catch up with him afterwards. The new Sage Centre is a dramatic venue and if you’re not local to the north east you can have a look at what the Tyneside regeneration has done for the whole of this dramatic riverside area.
For more information, tickets and full listings call 0191 4334661 or check out the website at www.thesagegateshead.org
For more great jazz try the Cheltenham Festival which this year is between 28 April and 04 May. New names are still being added, with latest recruits being clarinettist Don Byron and guitarist Pat Martino. Already confirmed are Jack deJohnette (see our feature article on this great drummer), Dave Liebman and two of our favourite trumpeters – Dave Douglas and Arve Henriksen. British artists at Cheltenham include Julian Arguelles, the Robert Mitchell 3io, and last year’s Mercury Music Prize nominees the Portico Quartet. Cheltenham uses a wide range of venues arond the town and there’s a great atmosphere across the whole week.
For more information, tickets and full listings go to the Festival website at www.cheltenhamfestivals.com
Listen to all these artists on Cosmic Jazz over the next couple of months.