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Ashburton Live

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Streetworks: 27 April 2014

Streetworks in Studio: Karen Street, Mike Outram, Andy Tweed, Will Harris

Accordionist Karen Street's latest project features the amazingly creative talent of guitarist Mike Outram, Will Harris who is fast becoming the South West's most in-demand bassist and honey- toned saxophonist Andy Tweed. The music is melodic, influenced not only by jazz but with strong leanings to both Central European and South American styles.

The accordion, hugely popular in the first half of the 20th century produced american jazz accordionists Art Van Damme, Matt Mathews, Leon Sash, Frank Marocco, and in the UK, Jack Emblow but it’s decline in the 1960s discouraged it's natural course of development. However the instrument maintained it presence and popularity in mainstream music across continental Europe and there is now a resurgence of interest in the instrument with performers like Richard Galliano and Stian Carstensen becoming internationally known artists. It truly is an amazing instrument with many colours and much to offer the jazz world. Karen continues to be in the vanguard of those accordionists giving the accordion a fresh voice in jazz.

16 Feb 2014: Massimo de Majo Quartet

…at the Bay Horse Inn, 64 North Street, Ashburton, TQ13 7QG.

Some musicians playing jazz

…were joined on stage by Bob Martin on Trombone, and Martin Holland on trumpet, for a night of sponaneous arrangements of some classic jazz tunes.

Sunday 2 February 2014: Ben & Alfie

“An absolutely delicious performance!” (West-country Storytelling Festival)

Ben & Alfie are an engagingly individual duo of 5-string Violin, Double Bass and voices. Always pushing the boundaries of their own intimate sound, they combine intricate music with powerful lyrics. They have performed as far afield as Spain, Sweden and Senegal as well as some of the UKs most prominent venues (Colston Hall, Dartington Great Hall, Princess Theatre, The Sage Gateshead and The Royal Albert Hall). They have performed at prominent festivals such as Stockholm Fringe Festival (Stoff) Malmo Festival, Bristol Folk Festival, Summer Sundae, Interrogate, Westcountry Storytelling Festival and were awarded The Musicians’ Union Ensembles Award” at The MFY National Festival 2012. This young duo are fast becoming a much sought after act, supporting renowned artists such as Chris Wood and Seth Lakeman.

Ben & Alfie have forged a unique sound that is possible only because of their close understanding of each other as musicians, performers and brothers. Their complex rhythms and colourful harmonies are drawn from an eclectic range of influences including West-African, Latin and Eastern European traditions. As classically trained musicians they have obtained a clarity of sound that is rivaled only by their comfortable and commanding presence on stage. They achieve a fine balance of subtle musicianship with a raw and ifery energy that has consistently moved and delighted a wide variety of audiences.

Radio Banska in Ashburton 9 November 2013

Saturday 9 November 2013: Radio Banska

World-style instrumental quintet Radio Banska play a stunning array of genre-defying Latin, east European, middle eastern and fusion compositions delivered with passion and style. They will take you on an exciting tour of musical influences from around the world, from Morocco, Jamaica and Buenos Aires to Paris, Budapest and the Balkans.With Nina Trott on violin, Dave Spencer on electric guitar, Tony Barby on acoustic guitar and Peruvian charango, the band have recently acquired a dynamic new young rhythm section in the shape of Tosh Wijetunge on double bass and the virtuosic drummer Mark Whitlam, enabling the band to expand their vision of intelligent, danceable music with wide-ranging world roots seasoned with jazz. Check out some of their sounds here.

Sunday 17 November 2013 : Philip Clouts Quartet

When pianist Philip Clouts began his collaboration with F-IRE collective saxophonist Carlos Lopez-Real in 2008 sparks flew and a formidable new unit was born. Clouts is steeped both in the music of his native South Africa and in a diverse range of world musics which he has explored to critical acclaim with his larger outfit ZubopGambia; he draws on a wide range of compositional areas, challenging musical boundaries. Lopez-Real has developed a ground breaking solo voice which builds on the work of M-Base founder Steve Coleman and maverick genius Dave Liebman, who himself has said of Carlos “he plays with a sound that comes from his soul.” More info on Philip Clouts's website

Sunday 1 December 2013 : Tom Green Septet

The band plays original compositions and arrangements drawing from a wide range of influences, from Brazilian music, New Orleans as well as modern British and American jazz. Check out some recordings here, and more about Tom here on his website.

Sunday 20 October 2013 : Marco Marconi Trio

Marco Marconi recently moved to London from Italy, where he's played at some of the most prestigious jazz festivals and venues (eg Umbria Jazz). The word is that he's shortly to be signed by the Candid Jazz Label, which was the first step to stardom for Stacey Kent and Jamie Cullum, so this should be a night to remember, and a chance to hear the wonderful piano in St Lawrence Chapel being played by a real virtuoso. Marco Marconi Trio website
Marco Marconi Trio

Here's a review of the trio's concert in Stratford a few weeks ago.

“An inspirational feast of stylish contemporary jazz was on the agenda on Wednesday evening when pianist/composer Marco Marconi brought his trio to the Chapel at No.1, Shakespeare Street. Accompanied by fellow Italians, Andrea di Biase on bass and Enzo Zirilli on drums this remarkable trio had the audience spellbound from the onset with Marco's original compositions interspersed with jazz standards.

This concert was the first of their UK tour being an introduction to their new album which is to be released later this year and considering that this is a new grouping they had a fluency which suggested otherwise.

Marco's compositions range from the elegant and sophisticated to some robust/raunchy upbeat tunes displaying his undoubted skills as a jazz composer. His piano playing has immediate impact, his abundant energy combining with impeccable technique. Andrea on bass, a new name to me, was a revelation - beautiful tone and superb interplay with both Marco and Enzo and some intricate bow work to boot. I do not believe that one could find a better drummer for a piano trio than Enzo Zirilli, he is unfussy, never overplays his hand but his support is quite telepathic, above all he makes things look so easy - a sure sign of a musician at the top of his game.

Marco's jazz standards included works from Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis but it was two of Duke Ellington's pieces that epitomised the range of Marco's playing. Firstly I got it bad and that aint good was rendered with such pathos that I was reminded of Billie Holiday. Secondly a refreshing new arrangement of Caravan which was taken at a blistering pace and gave Enzo the opportunity to exhibit his soloing skills.

Three excellent musicians all excellent improvisers in their own right but combine together as a wonderfully entertaining tight knit jazz trio.” (Roy Stevens, Stratford Jazz Organiser 26/09/2013)

Martin Speake Trio, Tuesday 1 October 2013

Fabulous British Jazz from one of our top saxophonists. This trio will sound amazing in St Lawrence Chapel. They appeared on Radio 3's 'In Tune' the other week, playing live and sounding great there too. I think this is going to be beautiful, perhaps haunting, mellow jazz, played by world class musicians. What more can I say - please come and give it a try. Martin Speake's website.

Roz harding's "Wave": Sunday 7 July at 8pm, St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton, TQ13 7DD.

Roz Harding is a sax player based in Exeter, but with a growing national reputation. She appeared in Exeter Cathedral with the Big Buzzard Band in December 2012, where her solos got a great reception from the capacity crowd there. She also plays with Mike Westbrook's Big Band. This is a chance to see her in the altogether more intimate setting of her own trio, Wave which features Mike Outram, of whom the Daily Telegraph's Jazz Correspondent, Seb Scotney wrote: "There is no musician with such complete control of the sounds coming out of a guitar. Mike Outram plays the sweetest wailing rock guitar in Britain. It's a sound of great beauty."

Wave 7 July 2013 Ashburton Poster

Below: Roz Harding (sax) and Mike Outram (guitar)
Roz Harding (sax) and Mike Outram (guitar) Jim Bashford (drums)

Mama Tokus and the Andy Williamson Buzztet, Sunday 2 June 2013

Mama Tokus and Andy Williamson Poster

Dave Hamblett Group

Sunday 17 February 2013, at 8pm. St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton, TQ13 7DD, £10 (£5)

The group was formed at the end of 2009 from some of Londons most exciting players as a compositional outlet for drummer and composer Dave Hamblett whilst still studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Since then, the group has been performing around London regularly, carefully refining and consolidating its material and group sound to create a unified, cohesive unit with an identifiable compositional voice. In 2010 the group expanded from a quintet to a sextet with the addition of guitarist Alex Munk, further widening the textural range of the group, to create the current line up of:

Dave Hamblett – Drums/ Compositions (Abram Wilson/Budy Greco)
Josh Arcoleo – Tenor Saxophone (Joss Stone/Jeff Williams)
Joe Wright – Tenor/Soprano Saxophone (BBC Scotish Young Jazz Musician of the Year)
Ivo Neame – Piano/Keyboards (Phronesis/Cinematic Orchestra)
Alex Munk - Guitar (Stan Sulzmann Big Band)
Calum Gourlay – Double Bass (Kit Downes Trio/SNJO)

The group was featured in the December/January 2010/11 Issue of Jazzwise on the cover-mounted Yamaha Jazz Scholars CD after Dave won the prize on graduating in 2010. They have performed across London at venues including The Forge and the Con Cellar Bar, and at the Greennote as part of the London Jazz Festival.
Jon Newey described the group as having “...delivered a sophisticated, impressionistic set that boiled up with hard-hitting solos...” (Jazzwise magazine). At the end of 2011 the group recorded its debut album "Light at Night" at Eastcote studios. It is due to be released in February 2013 on Whirlwind Recordings.

Joanna Eden Quartet

Sunday 10 February 2013, at 8pm. St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton, TQ13 7DD, £10 (£5)

Joanna was here this time last year, and performed a stunning set that put a spring in everybody's step, and really lifted the winter gloom. For more about her, see Joanna will be joined by Andy Williamson on sax, Al Swainger on double bass, and Keith Russell on drums.

Sector7 - appeared live on Sunday 7 October 2012

This fantastic group fronted by FOUR great jazz singers performed at St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton, TQ13 7DD on 7 October 2012. Tickets £10 (£5 concessions to anyone who needs one).

Sector 7 appearing live on 7 October 2012

Steve Lawson and LobeliaSunday 13 November at 8pm: Steve Lawson, Lobelia and Andy Williamson

St Lawrence Chapel, St Lawrence Lane, Ashburton, TQ13 7DD (map below)

Tickets: £10 full £5 concessions (to anyone who needs one). To book: email: with number of places needed and pay at the door. Or just turn up – we'll squeeze everyone in! All ages welcome. More info: call or text Andy on 07980 680052.

The final 'Ashburton Live' gig of the year. Steve is rather extraordinary. His instrument is, nominally, electric bass guitar – as that's what you see in his hands, and what generates the initial source of the sounds he makes. The results are stunning, and sound nothing like most bass guitarists. Jazzwise magazine wrote:

“Lawson’s writing and his phenomenal command of the possibilities of looping creates a compelling and surprising variety of sounds one would never imagine the bass capable of producing.” – JazzWise (click here for many more critics' descriptions of his art)

He basically creates multitrack recordings live in front of you – it's a bit like watching a master juggler at work, and wondering “how is that possible – is that really all happening live right now?” Visit to hear loads of music – free to stream, or download on a 'pay what you think' basis, or look him up on Youtube.

Steve met his partner, Lobelia, via Myspace – she's a fabulous singer and songwriter in her own right, and they've now made many recordings together including this album.

A few more facts:

Saxophonist Andy Williamson has played on stage with Tom Robinson (War Baby, 2468 motorway, etc) and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas (original version of 'Dancing in the Street', Jimmy Mack, etc), Stacey Kent and Jamie Cullum; at Cork Jazz Festival, Brighton Festival, graced stages at The 100 Club, the Festival Hall, The Pleasance and the Famous Spiegeltent for many years at the Edinburgh Fringe with The Honkin' Hep Cats and played live on BBC Radios 2, 3 and 4 with The Big Buzzard Boogie Band as well as at the Prom in the Palace at Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002. He now lives in South Devon, and promotes Ashburton Live and is typing this now, so that's quite enough about me…

The music these guys create together is going to sound simply gorgeous in the beautiful acoustic of St Lawrence Chapel – it would be great to see this concert series out with a full house, please come along and tell your friends. Tune into the John Govier show on BBC Radio Devon on Saturday morning 12 November, 10am - 1pm, to hear Steve, Lobelia and Andy as live studio guests, also streamed live online.

Sunday 16 October at 8pm: Aimua Eghobamien Quartet Preview in the Plymouth Herald
St Lawrence Chapel, St Lawrence Lane, Ashburton, TQ13 7DD

Aimua is a truly original singer, in the great tradition of jazz vocalists who do more than sing songs, but use them like an instrumental jazz musician as a basis for new melodies and harmonies, but wi th the added emotional depth that the words of beautiful songs can provide. He sings with power and passion, and is someone new to the UK jazz scene, who you should catch here, in a small intimate acoustic venue while you still can, as he looks set to take the jazz world by storm.

A review of him in the world-renowned Jazz Times says: "Listening to Eghobamien it is difficult not to be reminded of Kurt Elling. They are kindred adventurers, determined to discover freshness in the familiar and venture bravely into unchartered territory. Stylistically, there’s also the strong suggestion of Ian Shaw. In other words, Eghobamien synthesizes the two finest male jazz singers on the planet. Which is not to suggest any derivativeness. He is a true, thoroughly exciting, original."

Aimua Eghobamien Poster