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Mina Agossi Trio

French vocalist Mina Agossi is one of the most unique and identifiable voices in modern jazz. With a personal “Voice and bass” style that can be described as Bjork-meets-Billie Holiday, she has radically changed people’s perceptions of the limitations of jazz singing. Her originals are funky and fresh, and her re-arrangements of classics by Thelonious Monk and Jimi Hendrix are startling in their inventiveness.

Born to French and West African parents, Agossi began her training in the theatre, studying in Niger, Morocco and France. A pickup gig singing some blues (a favour to a saxophonist friend) changed her direction entirely and pushed her further into modern jazz. An early recording of her singing with a double bass player won a “Young Self-Produced Talents” award from the French organization FNAC, which enabled her to study more jazz singing. She spent several years touring Europe and the U.S., honing her sound and incorporating vocal imitations of free jazz saxophone and record scratching into her sound. By this time people were really starting to take notice of this little lady with the huge voice, and offers started flooding in for Mina to sing with other bands. She regularly performs with the likes of Adam Pieronscyk “Amos”, Spirit of Life Ensemble, Mukta and Archie Shepp. Her working trio consists of Eric Jacquot on bass and Ichiro Onoe on drums. This trio blends genres, from hip hop to world to jazz, blues, rock, throwing them around, often when least expected.

 

“Listening to Mina Agossi is like riding a motorbike through Paris, thrilling, beautiful and very bumpy. Don’t expect to come out alive.“          Jamie Cullum

26th January, 8pm at The Blue Lamp

Admission: £15, concession £12, students £10

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The Elusive Tree Ensemble

The Elusive Tree Ensemble members, Doug Hough, Andy Baker, Adam Jackson, Phil Cardwell ,Ben MacDonald and Paul Harrison are a collective of Scotland’s finest up and coming jazz musicians, showcasing exciting talent in performance and composition. This 6-piece ensemble explores the full spectrum of sound, demonstrating what The Herald called “a superb variety of moods, energy levels, grooves and arrangement ideas”.

2nd February, 8pm at The Blue Lamp

Admission: £12, concession £10, students £5

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Colin Steele Quintet

Colin and his quintet of top Scottish players launch his brand new CD at his favourite jazz home. One of the most anticipated albums in Scottish jazz since his acclaimed CDs “Stramash”, “Through The Waves” and “The Journey Home”. His new CD “Even in The Darkest Places” is a much awaited return for trumpeter, Colin Steele’s acclaimed quintet and his wonderful music: “beautifully conceived, mellow and melodic” (The Observer). The band has been in self imposed exile for five years, but Colin has new inspiration, still based on ear-catching melodies and sumptuous Celtic-tinged rhythms and featuring Konrad Wisznewski (saxophone), Dave Milligan (piano), Calum Gourlay (bass) and Stu Ritchie (drums).

9th February, 8pm at The Blue Lamp

Admission: £12, concession £10, students £5

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John Etheridge & Theo Travis Quartet

Two members of the legendary band Soft Machine Legacy including Soft founder John Etheridge come together with Scotland’s finest rhythm section of Euan Burton and Alyn Cosker for a one off night of great music. John Etheridge has been at the forefront of live music in the UK since the formation of Soft Machine in the 1970s and has since been involved in many projects including a long term pairing with Stephan Grappelli in the 1980s and collaborations with John Williams and Nigel Kennedy Saxophonist and flautist Theo Travis is a jazz adventurer. composer and improviser, he has an international reputation as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary British jazz scene. He is also increasingly regarded as one of the foremost saxophonists and flautists in progressive music in the world. He has performed and recorded with Gong, Soft Machine Legacy, Robert Fripp, David Sylvian, Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson Band, the Tangent, Bill Nelson, Francis Dunnery, Bill Bruford, Keith Tippett, Tony Coe, Anja Garbarek and Lol Coxhill.

 

“Etheridge plays with a biting slightly smoldering tone evoking pre-Mahavishnu John McLaughlin. Travis has a fluid surging wail out of Coltrane, Rollins, and Joe Henderson and the bass and drums team is tight and propulsive as as you’re likely to hear this year”             All About Jazz

16th February, 8pm at The Blue Lamp

Admission: £12, concession £10, students £5

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Szymon Mika Trio

Once again we welcome musicians from Poland using the connections we have forged with the great musical city of Krakow. This trio is led by multi-awarded jazz guitarist Szymon Mika with Max Mucha on double bass and internationally acknowledged drummer – Ziv Ravitz, based in New York. Beautiful, intelligent mainstream jazz guitar. Szymon Mika is one of the most talented guitarists of his generaion, prizewinner of International Jarek Śmietana Jazz Guitar Competition, Grand Prix Jazz Nad Odrą and many more.
 He is recognized for his great technique and sound and players such as Peter Bernstein, Mike Stern and John Abercrombie have expressed their admiration for his talent. Szymon has played numerous national and international festivals including Montreux Jazz Festival, Summer Jazz Festival in Krakow and shares the stage with top Polish jazz musicians on a daily basis. 
He’s also a composer and has issued two CDs with some of his original music – “Organ Spot” by Organ Spot and “Popyt” by Mateusz Pałka/Szymon Mika Quartet.

23th February, 8pm at The Blue Lamp

Admission: £12, concession £10, students £5

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Flying Machines

FLYING MACHINES play emotive and dramatic music, drawing upon influences as diverse as jazz, pop, progressive rock and metal to create an utterly unique and modern sound. Formed by guitarist Alex Munk in 2014, FLYING MACHINES features some of the most innovative young musicians to emerge in recent years from the UK jazz scene, Matt Robinson on piano/keyboards, Conor Chaplin on electric bass and Dave Hamblett on drums. Centred on Alex’s unique compositional approach, FLYING MACHINES fuse visceral, rock-out guitar improv with anthemic melodies and lusciously textured soundscapes. It’s a sound shot through with the here and now of London’s cutting-edge music scene, a decadent mash up of free-wheeling improvisations, prog rock energy and ambient meditations that never detracts from the emotive lyricism at the music’s core. Having spent the last year or so touring all over the UK to rave reviews, the band have now recorded their first album, a wickedly bold and uncompromising debut that promises to be one of the most hotly anticipated releases of 2016.

 

“Sweet, lyrical passages blend with impossible prog-like time signatures to create a fresh, modern sound with its own distinctive character          Peter Jones, London Jazz New

 

“Incredible musicianship, tight and crisp”       Jez Nelson, Jazz FM

 

“… alchemical infusions of jazz, prog, metal and pop make for a vibrant mix of the visceral and vertiginous, combining melody and soundscape to startling effect”                   Spencer Grady, Jazzwise

2nd March, 8pm at The Lemon Tree

Admission: £10, concession £8

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Alyn Cosker Group

The Alyn Cosker Group features the outstanding talents of pianist Steve Hamilton (Billy Cobham, Bill Bruford), guitarist Davie Dunsmuir (Maggie Reilly) and electric bass player Colin Cunningham (Hue and Cry). The band perform tracks from the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra drummers critically acclaimed album along with the debut of some new compositions. The music conveys Alyn’s love of artists such as Sting, Peter Gabriel, Steely Dan, Jaco Pastorius, celtic music star Michael McGoldrick, in a groove based electric band with challenging yet accessible time signatures.

 

“can honestly say that Alyn Cosker is one the best drummers I have ever played with. He is equally at home in a small group setting , with all of the sensitivities that go with it, and then changes gears to be the driving force behind a large ensemble. Alyn Cosker can basically do it all, adding his own style to the mix. I look forward to playing with him again in the future!”  Saxophonist Bill Evans

9th March, 8pm at The Blue Lamp

Admission: £12, concession £10, students £5

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Elliot Galvin Trio

The multi-award winning Elliot Galvin Trio (European Young Jazz Musicians of The Year 2014) returns to the Lamp with their second album “Punch”. This is their second album, and their debut for leading European jazz label, Edition Records and is already receiving international acclaim, with The Evening Standard calling it “Audacious and Inspired… A rising star heading for the UK Jazz A-List”. The buzz about recently graduated Trinity Laban pianist and composer Elliot Galvin (a regular sidekick of Laura Jurd) has been abundant for a year. This debut album is just as audaciously accomplished as his admirers would have predicted, and the collective vitality and contemporary-music nous of his trio (Chaos Collective members Tom McCredie and Simon Roth are on bass and drums) burst out of the speakers. Typically, Galvin begins in churchbell-like peals on a tinkling toy piano, then crisscrosses them with a hip-hop groove, and eventually a clanking, fragmentary real-piano melody. A cute take on an orthodox blues follows, but it climbs in restless modulations, occasionally punctured by fearsome low-end crashes and clunks. Danse Macabre develops amid gothic, almost Stan Tracey-like, chords, while 13 is a brilliant rhythm-pattern feature of fast contrapuntal tuggings and lashing drumwork. A Major is a reverie on exactly that, but its exercise-like opening turns into a deliciously swaying melody and Brad Mehldau-like improvisations, and Lulu (Galvin’s take on Lulu’s Back In Town) is a wild splicing of old-school stride piano and slashing abstract sounds. This set hops all over the musical landscape, but the awesome Galvin’s intelligent musicality always reminds him, and us, of the plot.

16th March, 8pm at Blue Lamp

Admission: £12, concession £10, students £5

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