NJF 2019

Festival review – Be Bop Spoken Here

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The 2019 programme of the new Newcastle Jazz Festival is excited to present the very best of Newcastle Upon Tyne and the North East’s jazz scene.

A whole festival of music in a single day, in a single venue.

A full day of music from North East artists: Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion’s bass and voice duo; two incredible and contrasting trios headed by Mark Williams and Alan Law; Emma Fisk’s violin and guitar duo with James Birkett; BBC Jazz Musician of the year Alexander Bone; and wrapping up with sets from Strictly Smokin’ Big Band feat. Alice Grace.

Tyne Bank Brewery provides the perfect relaxed venue to soak up the programme, along with food vendors Cheese Sir and Il Fuoco Pizza.

Full day festival ticket £15.

1330 – Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion
1440 – Alan Law Trio
1550 – Mark Williams Trio
1700 – Emma Fisk & James Birkett
1945 – Strictly Smokin’ Big Band

Getting to Newcastle Jazz Festival

Press Information

We’re grateful to Jazz North for their support through the Northern Line scheme in assistance with programming the Mark Williams Trio.


zoeZoe Gilby & Andy Champion

Zoë has teamed up with her husband, the innovative and powerful double bassist Andy Champion for a voice and double bass duo.

This exceptional and unprecedented pairingcreate an electrifying soundscape in this beautifully integrated music. Breathing fresh life into the familiar as well as heading off to the unchartered. The well-honed duo know each other by heart.

A mix of intelligent original songs and innovative arrangements of tunes by both jazz and pop composers… — The Jazz Mann

Their approach is bold, hypnotic and mesmerizing. Interacting and infiltrating one another’s sound. Removing the boundaries, exploring space and time with just voice and double bass. Inspired by the legendary Sheila Jordan, this exciting project has been taking audiences by storm throughout the UK and Europe and highlights her ingenuity in interpreting a lyric.

Zoe Gilby – Vocals
Andy Champion – Bass


🗓 Saturday 17th August
⌚️ 1330
📍 Tyne Bank Brewery

FB_IMG_1562311888357.jpgALAN LAW TRIO

Three veterans of the local jazz scene invite you on an unfettered journey into the great American songbook.

The influences are wide ranging (swing, gospel, Cuban son, the Beatles) but underpinned by a jazz sensibility and love of a good time that should provide a listenable treat.

Alan Law – Piano
Paul Grainger – Bass
Rob Walker – Kit

🗓 Saturday 17th August
⌚️ 1440
📍 Tyne Bank Brewery


Mark formed his own trio in 2006 and they recorded they’re first album “Balaclava Street” in 2007 (which you can purchase below). Since then they have been gigging throughout the North East regularly, whilst constantly composing new material.

The much anticipated second album ‘Last Bus to Bensham’ has finally been recorded!

“An impressive offering from Williams and one that showcases his abilities as both a guitarist and a composer” – The Jazz Mann

Mark Williams – Guitar
John Pope – Bass
Russ Morgan – Drums


🗓 Saturday 17th August
⌚️ 1550
📍 Tyne Bank Brewery


Emma Fisk is a UK based jazz violinist, specialising in Hot Club/ Gypsy Jazz, Classic Jazz and Swing styles. She has received critical acclaim both for her spirited gypsy jazz performances, and her interpretations of early jazz violin master, Joe Venuti’s music.

Emma’s current projects include her Gypsy Jazz quartet ‘Hot Club du Nord’; a Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang inspired duo with guitarist James Birkett; The Ushaw Ensemble led by Paul Edis and a violin/ piano duo with Paul Edis. She also appears as a guest soloist at jazz festivals and clubs and was a longstanding member of Gypsy Jazz quartet Djangologie with whom she toured and recorded c.2000-2015.

“Dazzling violinist Fisk plays the classic early fiddle jazz of Joe Venuti with guitarist James Birkett.”  — Guardian Guide, Editor’s Picks   

Emma has played alongside many inspiring musicians including  Keith Nichols, Jeff Barnhart, Remi Harris Trio, Spats Langham, Martin Wheatley, Daryl Sherman, Enrico Tomasso, Matthias Seuffert, Duke Heitger, Daryl Sherman, Cecile McLorin-Salvant, Andy Schumm, the Tony Oreshko Trio, Michael McQuaid, Josh Duffee, Frans Sjostrom, Guy Barker, Mike Piggott, Mellow Baku, Morten Gunnar Larson, Lars Frank, Martin Litton, Robert Fowler, Richard Exall, David Boeddinghaus and Jean-Francois Bonnel.

Emma Fisk – Violin
James Birkett – Guitar


🗓 Saturday 17th August
⌚️ 1700
📍 Tyne Bank Brewery


Alexander has led his own bands playing original music at venues & festivals across the UK & Europe including London Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scotts (Jazzwise Festival), Manchester Jazz Festival & London Saxophone Festival (headlining alongside artists including Bob Reynolds & YolanDa Brown)


In 2018, the ‘Alexander Bone Quartet’ toured Czech Republic for 2 weeks.

He’s performed live with internationally-acclaimed artists including Newton Faulkner, writing an exclusive arrangement of his hit song ‘Indecisive’. Other artists include the Gwilym Simcock Trio, Scott Hamilton, Liane Carroll & Gary Barlow.

As a producer, Alexander has recently worked with global superstars Kylie Minogue and Dannii Minogue, pop/disco legend Nile Rodgers and chart-topping producers Rudimental.

He has performed globally as a club sax player, including Ibiza, Hawaii & Mallorca.


🗓 Saturday 17th August
⌚️ 1815
📍 Tyne Bank Brewery


Newcastle Jazz Festival stole Strictly Smokin’s gig!

But we’re very happy they did… we’ll be playing our sets as origianlly planned and are thrilled to be sharing the day with Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion, Alan Law’s Trio, Emma Fisk & James Birkett, Mark Williams’ Trio and the amazing Alexander Bone.

Stan Kenton bombastically proclaimed “This is an orchestra!” Michael Lamb would be justified in doing the same! — Be Bop Spoken Here

We’ll be playing two sets from 1945 at Tyne Bank taking you into the evening and rounding off the inaugural Newcastle Jazz Festival. Featuring Alice Grace and our usual array of musicians this will be the perfect way to unwind after a full day of jazz!

Alice Grace – Vocals
Steve Summers, Niall Armstrong, Jamie Toms, Dave Kerridge, Laurie Rangecroft – Saxophones
Gordon Marshall, Michael Lamb, Dick Stacey, Pete Tanton –  Trumpets
Kieran Parnaby, Mark Ferris, Chris Kurji-Smith, John Flood – Trombones
Graham Don – Piano
Pav – Guitar
Michael Whent – Bass
Guy Swinton – Kit


🗓 Saturday 17th August
⌚️ 1945
📍 Tyne Bank Brewery

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