PROGRAMME

Friday 20 March 

SURREY YOUNG JAZZ MUSICIANS CONCERT

The opening concert of the Jazz Festival celebrates the best young jazz talent across Surrey. Applications to take part are open until October 31st – please click here for more details.

Saturday 21 March

NICOLAS MEIER WORLD GROUP

In just a few short years, UK-based guitarist Nicolas Meier has carved a reputation out as one of the UK’s most original and uniquely talented guitarists. Drawing from a love of Turkish, Eastern and Middle Eastern music, flamenco, tango and more – all mixed with jazz – his versatility and musical fluency extends well beyond that… so much so that his considerable talents drew the attention of rock guitar legend Jeff Beck who has since made Nicolas a mainstay in the Jeff Beck Group, taking him on two world tours over the past several years.

Having made a lasting impression on gentlemen like Jeff Beck, Bill Bruford and Steve Vai – to name just a few – Nicolas Meier is unquestionably one of today’s most well-rounded, ambitious, masterful up-and-coming talents on guitar.

Nicolas Meier World Group’s new album Peaceful features the talented Demi Garcia on percussion, Richard Jones on violin and Kevin Glasgow on bass. Together they capture the beautiful colours of the different folk sounds they incorporate in the world compositions written by Nicolas. They will make you dream and travel.

JAZZ CHOIR with PETE CHURCHILL

An opportunity to take part in a Jazz Choir workshop and concert with Pete Churchill, one of the country’s leading choral jazz directors and an inspirational and charismatic conductor. The workshop is open to everyone, you don’t need any previous jazz singing experience or an ability to read music, just enthusiasm and a willingness to try something new! 

Pete Churchill, Director of the London Vocal Project and Professor of Jazz Composition at the Royal Academy of Music, is an the acclaimed jazz vocalist, pianist and educator, and has been a member of both Kenny Wheeler’s and Abdullah Ibrahim’s vocal projects, travelled extensively as Mark Murphy’s accompanist and has also released several critically acclaimed jazz albums under his own name.

The workshop will run during the afternoon followed by a performance at the Electric Theatre. If you’d like to register, or to find out more, please email info@guildfordjazz.org.uk

DENNIS ROLLINS VELOCITY TRIO

Dennis Rollins MBE- Trombone, Will Cleasby- Drums, Ross Stanley- Hammond Organ

“…Rarely can an instrumental trio have produced such a rich and varied tonal range.” London Evening Standard

Rollins’ latest project is the Velocity Trio, a brilliant marriage of refined contemporary jazz arrangements with simmering grooves that appeals to multiple generations of jazz, funk and world music fans.

Featuring Hammond organ virtuoso Ross Stanley and (for today) the ever-creative Will Creasby, their unique trombone-Hammond organ-drums line-up honours the jazz tradition while pushing it forward at the same time. The ‘electric’ energy of the group also covers a wide area, ranging from atmospheric ethereal melodies (from Rollins’ harmonised horn) to terra firma straight-ahead jazz.

Today see’s the trio performing compositions from their two albums, ‘The 11th Gate’ and most current release, ‘Symbiosis’

Dennis say’s “Together as a trio we’ve drawn our collective influences to pen what we feel is an exciting programme. The music combines crazy time shifts with infectious grooves. We aim to take the listener on a ‘roller-coaster’ musical journey.”

“Infectiously accessible, playful jazz” – John Fordham, The Guardian

THE AGE OF JAZZ: A HISTORY OF THE EARLY YEARS with SANDY BURNETT

Sandy Burnett is one of the UK’s most authoritative broadcasters in the field of classical music. His varied career has seen him as author, bassist, conductor, broadcaster and presenter, sharing his passion for music. His lecture , The Age of Jazz, will cover the early years of jazz from its beginnings through to the start of the Second World War, with illustrations from early pre-impressions by Maurice Ravel to the very earliest jazz recordings through to classics by Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five, the Duke Ellington Orchestra and the dawn of the Swing Era.

IAIN BALLAMY – 21st CENTURY PASTORAL

with the GUILDHALL BIG BAND, directed by Scott Stroman

The Festival’s headline concert, with music by Iain Ballamy (soloist), arranged by Malcolm Edmonstone,

ECM recording artist  and internationally recognised saxophonist and composer Iain Ballamy, in a rare performance of the 21st Century Pastoral, an arrangement of a broad selection of Iain’s work from over the last thirty years written by Malcolm Edmonstone, Head of Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and performed with the Guildhall Big Band under the directorship of Scott Stroman.

Not to be missed!

Sunday 22 March

The ALAN BARNES and DAVE NEWTON DUO

with Alan Barnes (sax) Dave Newton (piano)

Sax player and jazz impresario Alan Barnes and award winning pianist David Newton have been playing duets together for over 40 years. These multi award-winners cover a vast repertoire from Louis Armstrong to Chick Corea and play with an empathy that can only come with long experience. The emphasis, as always, is on swinging, accessibility and interplay. Expect a hugely entertaining programme of straight ahead jazz flawlessly played and interspersed with lots of anecdotes.

THE MAGIC OF MANCINI: NIGHTINGALE/BARNES/WATERMAN SEXTET

An all-star lineup as the sextet of Alan Barnes, Steve Waterman  and Mark Nightingale pay tribute to the music of the great Henry Mancini, considered to be one of the greatest composers in the history of film—winner of 4 Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and 20 Grammy Awards—and writer of such memorable songs as “The Pink Panther Theme’, “Moon River” and “The Peter Gunn Theme”.

Expect a fresh approach to these classic Mancini tunes, with inventive solos, virtuosic musicianship and a highly entertaining afternoon!

Featuring Mark Nightingale (trombone) Alan Barnes (sax) Steve Waterman (trumpet) Gareth Williams (piano) Marianne Windham (bass) Clark Tracey (drums)

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1929, Buster Keaton/Charles Reisner)

with piano accompaniment from GARETH WILLIAMS

One of Buster Keaton’s masterpieces, in a beautiful new restoration, and featuring the live accompaniment of one of the country’s leading modern jazz pianists and Guildford Jazz favourite, GARETH WILLIAMS

STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. was Buster Keaton’s last independent silent comedy and also one of his best. The captain of a paddle steamer, William “Steamboat Bill” Canfield, eagerly awaits the arrival of his college student son, whom he has not seen since the lad was a baby. Expecting a big, husky man like himself he is sorely disappointed with his slight, awkward offspring (Buster Keaton). This hilarious film features some of Buster’s most daring and famous stunts. As one critic says: “Boasts the most astonishing and indelible images in Keaton’s body of work, and some of the best moments in movie history… wildly inventive, increasingly audacious stunts.”

Gareth Williams is one of the most intensely creative, dynamic and exciting jazz pianists on the UK scene, and has been receiving increasing critical and public acclaim since becoming a professional musician in the early 90s. Dave Gelly in The Observer described Gareth as ‘A prodigiously talented pianist… he brings a joyous, uncompromising celebration of sophistication, musicality, muscularity, he’s shockingly good’. Gareth will bring technical virtuosity and versatility, and a keen sense of humour, to his unique interpretation of Keaton’s classic film.

SIZZLING JAZZ SALSA with HEADS SOUTH

Heads South plays superb Latin Jazz combining Cuban and other Latin rhythms with distinctive melodies in an exhilarating repertoire of original and classic tunes. The Band is led by John Harriman on piano/organ and features top UK trumpeter Steve Waterman, Venezuelan bassist Adolfredo Pulido, Cuban percussionist Chino Martell Morgan on congas, bongos, cajon, guiro and Buster Birch on drums, timbale, castanets, frame drum.

Heads South plays sizzling Cuban Jazz Salsa combining Cuban and other Latin rhythms with tuneful melodies in a thrilling repertoire of original compositions and arrangements of classic tunes. “Cool, cultured and exhilarating” The Musician “A refreshing cultural mix of players with outstanding jazz credentials..Cuban rhythms dominate, rocking syncopated percussion…well worth seeing” The Gig Guide “Impeccable musicianship” The Times “Spare, crisp, invigorating Latin jazz…Waterman’s mastery of this idiom suits Harriman’s deceptively simple compositions to perfection’ The Observer ‘Very talented..dazzling solos….a Band that is well worth seeing’ The Jazzmann.

The Band features top UK jazz trumpeter Steve Waterman, Cuban percussionist Chino Martell Morgan on congas, bongos, cajon, guiro, Buster Birch on drums, timbale, castanets, frame drum, Venezuelan bassist Adolfredo Pulido, and leader/composer John Harriman on piano and organ. Heads South has released two albums to critical acclaim and was chosen from over 75 jazz bands nationwide as winner of the UK Jazz Services/National Rural Touring Forum award.

For newcomers to this music, think Buena Vista Social Club in a smaller package, add the excitement of Jazz, tuneful melody, and imbibe the warmth of a Latin evening, grooving into the night… premium Latin Jazz Salsa that thrills the keen music listener and the dance lover.