Bath Jazz Weekend 2023

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6 January 2023 at 12:00 am
8 January 2023 at 11:59 pm

The third Bath Jazz Weekend – Friday 6 to Sunday 8 January 2023 – features a remarkable line up of bands and soloists of international standing from across the British jazz scene.
After a two-year Covid-enforced break, this unique co-operative event follows on from the success of the inaugural 2019 and 2020 festivals which saw musicians and audiences alike delighted to fill the ‘no-mans-land-downtime’ of the first week in January with some of the best and highest quality contemporary jazz.
The 2023 Weekend continues this new tradition, appropriately in the friendly surroundings of the Widcombe Social Club.
Beginning on Friday night with an affectionate retrospective film featuring the likes of Count Basie and Big Joe Turner in their own Kansas City musicians’ version of a social club, the programme in Widcombe kicks off live music with the Parisian-inspired Esprit du Jazz quartet led by accordionist Karen Street and celebrated newcomer violinist Theo May’s folk-into-jazz Odd Unit quintet.
Saturday’s programme divides into afternoon and evening sessions.
In the afternoon, pianist and composer Rebecca Nash (cited by the USA’s seminal Downbeat jazz magazine as ‘at the vanguard….of compelling new music’) presents her quintet project Redefining Element 78, followed by adventurous solo pianist Matthew Bourne, firmly established as one of Europe’s leading improvisers.
Saturday evening’s session reinforces the internationally-renowned flavour of the programme. Bandleader Robert Mitchell’s True Think, now with the addition of vocalist Liselotte Ostblum, offers a musical picture of contemporary life, with a recently released and highly-praised CD to attest to its impact.
Solo vibraphonist Orphy Robinson, another voice for contemporary Britain, has commanded a place on the international scene for three decades.
And Paul Dunmall, leading his new younger-generation quintet, is simply acknowledged as one of the world’s most indefatiguable, inspiring and creative saxophonists.
On Sunday the three-gig programme begins with trumpeter Pete Judge (of Get The Blessing fame) and rising star vibraphonist Harriet Riley’s special project Comfort In Chaos, inspired by and dedicated to the courage of young people finding themselves leaving care or homeless, with new music performed by a full band together with Bristolian poets.
Following them is pianist Andrew Cormack, recently heard and touring with (among many others) Soweto Kinch and Kyle Eastwood and celebrated in a review of his latest solo CD by BBC Music Magazine as ‘at the pinnacle of his compositional and pianistic powers’.
To round off the weekend in full-blooded jazz style, saxophonist Jake McMurchie (also of Get The Blessing) leads his new local-but-international Bristolian quartet – a fitting finale to the ‘think global, act local’ ethos of the third all-new Bath Jazz Weekend.

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