The 2014 MOBO nominations have been announced, with five acts in the running for this year’s Best Jazz Act category. Established names include respected pianist/composer Jason Rebello, soul-jazz vocalist Zara McFarlane and Scandinavian-British trio Phronesis who have all made the list, along with newcomer 17 year old Slovakian-born guitar prodigy Andreas Varady and talented 32-year old Peter Edwards, a piano graduate from London’s Trinity College of Music who also appears of McFarlane’s recent album If You Knew Her. Both Edwards and Varady released their debut albums this year. Kwabs, a London based vocalist and alumnus of both the Royal Academy of Music and NYJO, whose music touches upon R&B, soul and electronica, was nominated in the Best Newcomer category.

The MOBOs, or music of black origin awards, were founded in 1996 by Kanya King and Andy Ruffell. The jazz category was suspended in 2006 but reinstated the following year as a result of widespread protests. Previous recent winners of the category include pianist Zoe Rahman; Kairos Quartet, led by saxophonist Adam Waldmann; and Sons of Kemet, featuring reeds player Shabaka Hutchings, tuba virtuoso Oren Marshall and drummers Tom Skinner and Seb Rochford.

The winners of this year’s awards will be decided by a public vote and will be announced at a ceremony held on 22 October at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

– Thomas Rees

For more info and to cast your vote www.mobo.com

 

London-born, Cape Town-raised vocalist and composer Nicky Schrire returns to the UK with a performance at The Pheasantry in Chelsea on Sunday 28 September. Having spent the last five years living in New York where she was a student at the Manhattan School of Music, Schrire has released two albums to date (Freedom Flight and Space and Time) along with a six-track EP of folky originals entitled To The Spring, which came out earlier this year.

To mark her London homecoming, she’s put together a new ensemble, featuring drummer Jon Scott (of Dice Factory and Kairos 4Tet), pianist Tom Hewson (founder of Treehouse) and bassist Matt Ridley, known for his work with Jason Yarde and Darius Brubeck, with saxophonist and Kairos 4Tet leader Adam Waldmann also appearing, as a special guest.

In October of this year, Schrire will make her debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the UBUNTU festival, a celebration of South African music, which features the likes of Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim. Her London set will draw upon similar influences, with classics of the South African jazz canon standing shoulder to shoulder with original compositions.

– Thomas Rees

For more info and tickets go to www.pizzaexpresslive.com

Keyboardist and composer Bill Laurance of globetrotting groove masters Snarky Puppy, who recently played to 8,000 people at the North Sea Jazz Festival, is set to tour in October the UK under his own name in support of his debut solo album, Flint.

British-born Laurance is a founding member of Snarky Puppy, and thanks to their strong UK fanbase is coming over for eight gigs that include headline shows at Manchester’s Band On The Wall and London’s Ronnie Scott’s. Laurance’s trio features Snarky bassist/bandleader Michael League and the group’s explosive drummer, Robert ‘Sput’ Searight, along with a string quartet, all combining to reproduce the album’s epic string-laden themes and heavy latin-funk dance grooves.

Dates are: St George’s, Bristol (3 Oct); Capstone Theatre, Liverpool (4 Oct); Ronnie Scott’s, London (5 Oct); Glee Club, Birmingham (6 Oct); Band on the Wall, Manchester (7 Oct); The Grand, Clitheroe (8 Oct); The Ropery Hall, Barton upon Humber (9 Oct); and Turner Sims, Southampton (10 Oct).

– Mike Flynn

For more info go to
www.billlaurance.com

1000-yen-collection

The Warner Jazz Label has announced the release of another 50 CDs which will be available in the UK from 22 September 2014 at mid-price (£5.99) under the 1000-Yen reissue series, overseen by Warner Music Japan.

The albums, which have been sourced from the jazz vaults of both Warner and Atlantic, have undergone audio remastering and include a number of rare titles, which have previously only been available on vinyl. Bill Evans’ New Conversations, Charles Mingus’ Something Like a Bird, Dee Dee Bridgewater’s Dee Dee Bridgewater, Donald Byrd’s Donald Byrd and 125th Street – N.Y.C, Freddie Hubbard’s Ride Like the Wind, Lennie Tristano’s The New Tristano, Miles Davis’ Live Around the World and two Chico Hamilton Quintet albums, Gongs East! and The Three Faces of Chico, are among the highlights.

The release follows two previous batches of 50 titles in the Warner1000-Yen CD range, which have been made available over the course of the past year. The second batch, as reported in the June 2014 issue of Jazzwise, featured rare albums by Ornette Coleman, Joe Harriott and Yusef Lateef.

– Thomas Rees

 For more info go to www.warnerjazz.co.uk

Jazz FM's Chris Phillips will host a latin-themed percussion workshop and jam at London’s Pheasantry club between 12 midday and 2:30 pm on Saturday 27 September, for children between the ages of four and 15.

Part of the London Latin Jazz Festival, which runs from 23-27 September, the event is led by a professional percussionist and will cover basic latin rhythms, allowing children to experiment with a range of different instruments, including congas, cowbells and clave, all of which are provided. Parents can watch the jam, which also includes a salsa dancing demonstration.

The Pheasantry, on the Kings Road in Chelsea, is a Pizza Express live music venue, and tickets (priced at £15) include a pizza and entry to the jam, with free jam entry for children under five. Places are limited so booking ahead is recommended.

– Thomas Rees

For more info and tickets go to www.jazzfm.com or www.pizzaexpresslive.com

 

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