Alvorada are the UK’s leading performers of choro, a style of instrumental music from Rio de Janeiro. Expect to hear lively and expressive melodies combined with infectious rhythmic groove, playful improvisation and virtuosic instrumental interaction.
Since forming in 2016, Alvorada have taken the UK by storm. Their tight-knit quintet have performed at festivals and venues across the UK and beyond, recently selling out the Elgar Room (London Jazz Festival), Pizza Express Live and Paris International Choro Festival. Their debut album First Light was received with much critical acclaim, and received 5* from Songlines.
Alvorada unites top musicians from London and Brazil, whose diverse backgrounds - including jazz, classical and Brazilian music - lend the group a unique edge. Alvorada are:
Rachel Hayter - flutes
Andrew Woolf - clarinets / sax
Aluá Nascimento - pandeiro
Jeremy Shaverin - cavaquinho
Luiz Morais - 7-string guitar
"A fresh, innovative album” - ★★★★★ Songlines
"They breathe a new life into Brazil's popular lilting choro style... adding a distinctive, contemporary edge" - Sarah Ward, JazzFM
“A tight-knit family of virtuosos…. One of the most exciting new bands in London” - DJ Ritu, Resonance FM
Simon Spillett - Tenor
Anders Olinder - Piano
Al Swainger - Bass
Andy Tween - Drums
Winner of the British Jazz Award for Tenor Saxophone in 2011, Simon Spillett is recognised as one of the most distinctive saxophonists on the current UK jazz scene, appearing at famed venues such as Ronnie Scott's club in London and at major jazz festivals from Birmingham to Brecon, recording critically celebrated albums and broadcasting with his own band on BBC Radio 3.
His press reviews include high praise from respected jazz observers; "Formidable" (Humphrey Lyttelton, BBC Radio 2), "Phenomenal" (Dave Gelly, The Observer) and "saxophone playing of the highest order" (Jazz Journal).
Spillett's father Richard worked as a semi-professional musician who studied trombone with Eddie Harvey and played gigs with saxophonists Tony Coe, Jimmy Skidmore and Lol Coxhill.
A love of jazz grew through exposure to his father's record collection and by his teens he was listening to Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra and others. His musical life began at school, singing in school choirs, whilst at home he learned first cornet, then trombone and valve trombone. Spillett took up the alto saxophone aged 16 and tried to teach himself initially by playing along with records. Aged 17, he switched to tenor saxophone inspired by hearing albums by John Coltrane, Stan Getz and Sonny Rollins. At this time he also played piano, clarinet and soprano saxophone.
In his late teens, Spillett began to sit in at local jazz venues, appearing with saxophonists Dick Morrissey, Art Themen, Spike Robinson and Duncan Lamont among others. At the same time he began two and a half years of private saxophone tuition with saxophonist Vic Ash, then a member of the BBC Big Band.
Spillett began playing gigs aged seventeen with a variety of amateur and semi-professional bands playing mainstream jazz. By the age of 21 he had turned professional, working chiefly in function bands. During the early 2000s he played gigs with saxophonists Peter King and Alan Skidmore, trumpeter Steve Waterman, guitarist John Etheridge and vocalist Tina May.
In 2005 Spillett formed a quartet featuring pianist John Critchinson, bassist Andrew Cleyndert and drummer Martin Drew. The band was a popular attraction at UK jazz venues and festivals including Brecon, Marlborough, Swanage, Birmingham, Wigan, Southport and Wavendon. During this period Spillett also worked with English jazz players including Sir John Dankworth, Alan Barnes, Danny Moss, Stan Tracey, Bobby Wellins, Louis Stewart, Jack Parnell, Gwilym Simcock, Clark Tracey, Tony Kinsey Allan Ganley, Tony Levin and Spike Wells. In 2007 he joined the Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra, working with the band up to it disbanding in late 2013. With this band he worked with several popular artists including Will Young and Mick Hucknall.
Spillett has appeared with various American jazz artists including vocalist Jon Hendricks, saxophonist Greg Abate, pianist Phil De Greg and vocalist Monica Mancini.
Joe Webb is a highly regarded pianist and a leading force on the UK jazz scene. He grew up in Wales before moving to London in 2013 to pursue the capital’s growing jazz movement. He is in constant demand as a recording artist on piano and Hammond organ, as well as having a relentless performance schedule with shows across Europe.
Joe met Tom Farmer (bass) and Shane Forbes (drums) in London where they often played together as a rhythm section, backing a wide variety of musicians. After a year of accompanying other artists, Joe began to write music especially for the trio. With inspiration ranging from his travels in the Netherlands, to Britpop classics and even football stars, the trio’s style is highly original, modern and slick.
The band have already established themselves with a series of sold-out shows at esteemed jazz clubs including Ronnie Scott’s, Kansas Smitty’s and Crazy Coqs.
Along with his trio, Joe tours extensively with the acclaimed Kansas Smitty’s House Band, Rob Luft, Adrian Cox, Hailey Tuck, Corrie Dick and Fraser & the Alibis.
‘He can swing and is melodic, letting the ideas unfold without the arbitrary stuff’ - Brad Mehldau
‘A great young pianist, check him out, very talented’ - Jason Rebello
‘Joe Webb - exceptionally promising young pianist. His playing is rare and has an unusual sense of delicate beauty’ - Huw Warren
** Gethin Jones will be on drums for Future Inns, Bristol
Gary Alesbrook - Trumpet/Flugelhorm
John Pearce - Violin
Anders Olinder - Piano
Will Harris - Bass
Ian Matthews - Drums
Jazz trumpeter Gary Alesbrook started his professional career in 1999 working with the likes of Super Furry Animals and the Scissor Sisters before being asked in 2007 to join Kasabian, with whom he has been touring and recording ever since. In between Kasabian commitments he has also toured with artists such as Rag 'N' Bone Man and Nadine Coyle and recorded on the albums of numerous high profile artists including KT Tunstall and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. But despite his successful popular music career Gary is very much a jazz musician at heart. His fluent and sophisticated trumpet and flugelhorn playing, much in the tradition of West Coast Jazz and influenced, as he says, “by such greats as Chet Baker, Stan Getz and Clark Terry” was highlighted on his critically acclaimed first album “Jazz In Movies.”
John Pearce has been exciting British jazz audiences with his impassioned performances and technical brilliance. Known for his emotive sound and mercurial energy, he improvises with distinctive melodic invention and clarity. His major influences include Paul Desmond, Charlie Parker, Keith Jarrett, Jeff Hamilton and Wynton Marsalis. 'Full of energy and intensity…a true musician.' Andy Sheppard 'Immense technical grasp…passionate commitment to everything that he plays.' Venue Magazine (Tony Benjamin) John Pearce was awarded a bursary at the Royal Academy of Music and studied extensively with Nic Fallowfield and Hungarian pedagogue Bela Katona. Performance highlights include the Royal Albert Hall, St. Martin in the Fields and St. John & Smith Square and appearances at the Cheltenham Music Festival.
Tonight they celebrate music in movies; exploring artists as diverse as Ennio Morricone, Burt Bacharach and Alan Silvestri...
Denny Ilett (pronounced eye-let) is rare commodity - a virtuoso British guitarist and a talented writer/arranger, who has honed his chops not on the UK scene but rather by playing and touring with some of New Orleans finest including Lillian Boutte and members of such notable bands as The Meters, Dr John and the Harry Connick Jnr Big Band.
More details to follow...
BEJE's musical message is of strength in diversity from the outward-looking city of Bristol. Formed in 2013 it began as the Bristol European Jazz Ensemble but is becoming increasingly international with collaborations last year with Palestinian Zaid Hilal and South Koreans Yunmi Kang and Sangyeon Park. This concert features the regular combo of Len Aruliah (Hackney Colliery Band) on alto from Sri Lanka Canada and England, trumpeter/flugelist David Mowat from Switzerland and Britain (Bollywood Brass Band), bassist Federico Leonori and drummer Paolo Adamo (John Law) from Rome and Swede-Syrian Anders Olinder (Tony Remy) on piano.
For Future Inn their set will feature Aruliah's 'Jaffna Blues', an exploration in word and tonality of his multiple identity, Mowat's spoken word Palestinian piece 'I am Mazin' and an eclectic array of Milesian grooves, Latin, ambient and other self-penned numbers.
‘Ear-twisting incisive soloing atop the dynamic group playing of David’s exceptional tunes’ Keith Ames MU Magazine
‘The energy of the collective, the fluency of the players are all immediately evident and it’s hard not to grin at the irrepressible optimism of Dave Mowat’s writing and playing.’ Mike Collins review of ‘Live At The Fringe’ cd.
‘…flawless precision and absolute passion.’ Prema Arts Centre
‘tunes were…funky, yet featured melodic turns and harmonic twists that were redolent of both the late, great figures of pianist John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler.’ Richard Leigh Harris, Birmingham Conservatoire tutor
‘A vibrant contemporary jazz argument for international cultural exchange’ Tony Benjamin
‘BEJE tap a rich vein of global sources and infuse it with an inspired freshness’ Philip Clouts Bridport Arts Centre
‘…this exhilarating evening of playing, which was both sensitively lyrical and full of zest.’ Bristol Music Club
‘The blend with Mowat’s clear-toned trumpet gave the whole thing something of the air of the great Azimuth, with Norma Winstone and Kenny Wheeler’ Jon Turney
‘…eclectic, experimental and sophisticated, influenced by the jazz greats. The music is original, creating a fascinating combination of melody, harmony and rhythm.’ Vanessa Garside President WAG UK at Taunton CIC
‘Bristol’s very own Liberation Orchestra’ audience member Bridport Arts Centre
BEJE has gigged across the UK since inception, particularly the South West, highlights being Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival (twice) and Jazzlines at Brimingham's Symphony Hall. Twice attending Jazzahead in Germany where David Mowat met and subsequently collaborated with Dutch singer Anne Chris, BEJE are now planning an album launch (their 3rd) July 9th at St George's Bristol follwed by a short tour with Yunmi Kang and Sangyeon Park. BEJEs 1st 2 albums will be for sale at the gig.
Mowat is the main composer. His influences include Mike Westbrook, Keith Tippett, Sun Ra, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Don Cherry and Miles Davis. He has been playing professionally and leading bands for 30 years and is seen as a 'stalwart of the Bristol jazz scene' (Mike Collins) where he co-founded the East Bristol Jazz Club 21 years ago. Apart from playing and running bands he promotes music weekly at Saint Stephen's Church and is heavily involved in Green and social justice issues, around which he increasingly uses the spoken word.
Joy Ellis releases her brand new album entitled 'Dwell', featuring Adam Osmianski on drums, Henrik Jensen on double bass and Rob Luft on guitar.
Joy's music reflects her passion for jazz and improvisation, love of groove and dance music, her classical roots as a pianist and the soulful, poetic aspects of being a singer-songwriter.
Video link and reviews:
‘Startling debut from British singer-songwriter who sets her cool, poetic meditations...to a suitably restless, sophisticated jazz soundscape. Highly original work that creates a world of it’s own.’ Chris Ingham, MOJO ★★★★
‘Fiery improvisations from Ellis who provides well-structured hard-bop solos on piano and Fender Rhodes.’ John Lewis, The Guardian ★★★★
‘Joy Ellis has a distinctive voice of her own. A very gifted player indeed. A triple threat with those pipes of hers, those fingers and her song-writing assets.’ Simon Redley, Music Republic Magazine ★★★★
Craig Crofton - Tenor
Matt Hopkins - Guitar
Johnny Henderson - Hammond
Andy Tween - Drums
Split Tone is a brand new outfit formed this year by legendary local, but American born saxophonist, Craig Crofton and celebrated guitarist, Matt Hopkins. Split Tone's debut gig features hard swinging standards and a handful of original compositions; filled with the exciting and unique improvisatory style of the two lead instrumentalists. The relentless swing of Andy Tween on drums and the unwavering groove of Jonny Henderson on hammond form the backline of this exciting new group. This is not one to be missed...
“The bands latest CD is packed with atmosphere, respect and excitement. ..On piano, Raible blends the fleetness of Powell with Monkian dissonance…” Leonard Weinreich, London Jazz News”
CLAUS RAIBLE - Piano
HERWIG GRADISCHNIG - Tenor
STEVE FISHWICK - Trumpet
GIORGOS ANTONIOU - Bass
MATT HOME - Drums
This UK/European quintet was formed in 2014 by Munich based pianist Claus Raible (Art Farmer, Andy Bey, Mark Murphy, Jon Faddis) and Austrian tenor man Herwig Gradischnig (Vienna Art Orchestra, Randy Brecker, John Swana, Benny Bailey, Conte Candoli, Dusko Goykovich). Their first record, Searchin’ for Hope followed soon after during an extensive tour of Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Each member of the group a band leader and prolific sideman in his own right, these musicians pay tribute to the music of the late great Jazz pianist Elmo Hope (1923-1967). Hope was a contemporary of Bud Powell and Thelonius Monk. The band tackle the unique and challenging arrangements carved out of the Hard Bop tradition of the late 1950’s, including arrangements for quintet by Claus Raible as well as many of the recordings Hope played together with tenor player Harold Land.
The challenging compositions of Elmo Hope deliver a hard swinging set fronted by the band’s co leader Herwig Gradischnig and UK leading trumpet player Steve Fishwick (Ron Carter, Cedar Walton,Peter King, Anita O' Day, Peter Erskine, George Mraz, Dado Moroni, Tardo Hammer) in the horn section.
Greek Bass player Giorgos Antoniou (Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut, Jesse Davis, Doug Rainey, Terrell Stafford, Roy Hargrove, Tardo Hammer, Scott Hamilton) who resides in Bern, Switzerland and London based drummer Matt Home (Gary Smulyan, Grant Stewart, Eric Alexander, Claire Martin, Barry Harris, Stacey Kent) make up the rest of the rhythm section.