Andy Sheppard, Native Dancer and Beats & Pieces line-up for Cambridge Jazz Fest


The third edition of the Brewin Dolphin Cambridge International Jazz Festival, runs from 11-26 November with over 80 gigs and workshops at 25 venues around the city. Packing in established names such as Andy Sheppard's Beyond the Dancing Sun Quartet with Michel Benita, Eivind Aarset and Sebastian Rochford; jazz-rock pioneers Soft Machine; bass-led Alison Rayner Quartet; noisy thrillers Get the Blessing and drummer Clark Tracey's Hexad, who mark what would have been the 90th birthday of his revered father Stan. Stellar forward-looking big band Beats & Pieces appear on 24 November as part of three UK datesthat also include Deaf Institute, Manchester (16 Nov) and Rich Mix, London (17 Nov, as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival) – ahead of their tenth anniversay celebrations throughout 2018.

The defining strand of the festival will be a 'New Gen Jazz' all-day event on the closing Sunday 26 November running from lunchtime to encourage younger jazz fans to check out a vibrant bill of the new wave of bands that have come to the fore in the last couple of years. These include Native Dancer, Resolution 88, Blue Lab Beats, The ElecTrio, Camilla George Quartet, Alex Hitchcock Quintet, Nérija, math-rock-electronics trio Strobes (Nov 25) and the improv-crossover boys Binker & Moses with Friends (Nov 26).

Other highlights on the extensive festival bill include bassist Michael Janisch's groove-heavy Paradigm Shift band with a hefty line-up of saxophonist John O'Gallagher, trumpeter Jason Palmer, Pakistani/American guitarist Rez Abbasi and superb US drummer Clarence Penn – plus a concert from Mercury-nominated pianist Zoe Rahman. The latter also leads a workshop with other high-profile musicians, such as classical percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, the London Vocal Project performs Jon Hendricks' Miles Ahead workshop led by Pete Churchill, and UK-based Swedish singer Emilia Mårtensson leads a vocal workshop ahead of her Trio gig.

– Mike Flynn

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