London based pianist Will Butterworth has written a suite of original music inspired by the Oscar Wilde story ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’ The suite employs beautiful melodies and rich and dark harmony to retell Wilde’s story of love and sacrifice. Butterworth’s suite spans forms both simple and complex, starkly beautiful melodies and simple rhythms juxtaposed against intricate contours and free-wheeling improvisations. Circling piano figures, tumbling cadenzas, and searching alto lines correspond to the nightingale’s evermore desperate search in the service of love.The music plays into the hearts of the audience, just as the nightingale’s last song touches the moon, seduces the rose and travels far. When words finish music begins, said poet Heinrich Heine, and music has the final say and comes to a dramatic crescendo as the final song of the nightingale is performed. This music started life as a solo piano piece for a story book and has developed into a large, dynamic jazz quartet. This performance will feature local actor and musician Kevin Haggart.
During the course of 2017, with the release of her sixth studio CD, Look Back and Love, Sue McCreeth has consolidated her reputation as one of the most original and convincing jazz singer-songwriters in the world. Sue holds a B.A. Hons in Music from University of Sussex, and has studied improvisation and composition at Berklee College of Music. Having been twice shortlisted in the International Songwriting Competition, winning multiple accolades for her work, and her songwriting being used as teaching materials at Berklee, she is one of the most well regarded vocalists of her generation. This artist never fails to impress, her voice managing her self-penned formidable lines with grace and passion.
“As a singer-songwriter, Sue McCreeth is highly unusual in two ways. First, she takes as her starting point not a few words or snatch of melody, but a harmonic idea. This comes, perhaps, from having studied with Gary Burton and Joe Mulholland at Berklee, the “jazz university” in Boston. Second, she alters her singing voice quite radically to suit the character of individual songs. As a result, the sheer contrast from one song to another, is very effective.” … John Fordam – Guardian
Jazz with a capital J is back! Alongside Belgian hot shot pianist Bram De Looze (LABtrio) and a Norwegian rhythm section reminiscent of the seventies jazz heyday, sax player Harald Lassen (prev. Pixel) is conquering the world with his new band LASSEN. A band that despite short existence already played for a packed Ronnie Scott’s in London and was booked to Norway’s biggest festivals in 2017 such as Molde Jazz Festival and Oslo Jazz Festival, and received top score in Down Beat Magazine. 2018 is already looking like a big year with LASSEN representing Norway at JazzAhead in Germany, as well as releasing a new album on Jazzland Recordings. The quartet plays colourful, passionate and catchy jazz, inspired by the 70s and life so far, and is a perfect frame for their concerts that has been described as «liberating», «unpretentiously» and «pure magic».
Harald Lassen – sax/perc // Bram De Looze – keys // Stian Andersen – bass // Tore Flatjord – drums/perc
It is impressionistic, it is beautiful – it is life!” – Molde Jazz Festival, 2017
Luca Manning is a young jazz vocalist from Glasgow who made his debut at the 2015 Glasgow Jazz Festival and within a short time now studies at the Guildhall School of music, gigs around London with his own quartet and has played Ronnie Scott’s club and the Royal Albert Hall! He is inspired by a wide range of artists from singers such as Betty Carter and Mark Murphy to instrumental players like Brad Mehldau and Kenny Wheeler. Luca recently became a member of the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz orchestra and is currently a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland. He performed with NYJOS at the Royal Albert Hall BBC PROMS in 2016 alongside ECM recording artist Iain Ballamy and award winning vocalist Liane Carroll. As well as his passion for singing classic jazz standards, Luca also enjoys composing his own music in a more contemporary style, using the voice as a fully improvising instrument within an ensemble.
“With Luca, you get such a complete musical experience. He is so honest and true when he sings. He has a very old soul for someone so young and I look forward to listening to a lot more of his music” – Liane Carroll
Blue Lamp favourite Martin Kershaw makes a welcome return to the Blue Lamp with a stellar quartet including Paul Harrison (piano), Alyn Cosker (drums) and Scottish Young Jazz Musician of the Year David Bowden (bass). The music ranges from the hauntingly lyrical to the blisteringly energetic – at once accessible and challenging, and performed with utmost skill and imagination by a supremely talented line up.
“What lifts Martin Kershaw head and shoulders above other commanding, technically flawless saxophonists is his canny gift for melody” (City Life)