Newcastle Jazz and Improv Festival
(Jesmond 23-25 Sept., then Newcastle from September 29 to October 2)
Peter Slavid writes:
The Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music (NFOJAIM) kicked off in 2017, and after a Covid hiatus it was back last year with a great program (reviewed here). This year it has been extended with the addition of an earlier ‘warm-up’ weekend in the Newcastle suburb of Jesmond.
The festival is unique in that it offers exactly what it says: improvised music and real jazz. The warm-up weekend is an excellent mini-festival in its own right with the opening concert of the very ambitious Pendulums: music for bell ringers, improvisers and electronics, a good statement of intent. The warm-up also features a popular local band Archipelago and two sets comprising Ruth Goller in different bands.
There really are too many bands in the main weekend to mention them all, but highlights include a rare appearance from black top, Which one is Orphy Robinson and pat thomas with the addition here of Mariam Rezaei on the plates. Thomas also appears in the group Chifa with Rachel Musson and Mark Sander, and in the awesome Martin Archer bandaged Anthropology.
local bassist John Pope appears in several bands, Orphy Robinson also does a solo set and a talk, and there are two concerts featuring Alexander Hawkins. There are also some exciting European bands, a conference and workshop, and the dozens of artists I haven’t mentioned.
For anyone interested in the improvisational end of the jazz spectrum, this festival is a must.
Jazz North East has also just launched a video documentary about the Sound of Science festival, also the brainchild of Wesley Stephenson:
Peter Slavid broadcasts a European Jazz show on mixcloud.com/ukjazz and various internet stations
LINK: Full festival program