Page 1 Box Office (01723) 821888

Photo courtesy of George Coupe

Scarborough Spa

WELCOME! We’re 15 this year!

I think we have a very special programme of top quality jazz for our fifteenth festival. Doesn’t time fly? We kick off with the amazing New York Brass Band and then over the weekend we have:

Two outstanding big

Something different


Get The Blessing.

Mike Gibbs’ 80th Birthday Celebration with the Hans Koller 17 piece Big Band. Clark Tracey’s Stan Tracey Legacy Band.

Rising Stars

Jazz Songsters

modern jazz

Polly Gibbons, Mads Mathias.

Keyboard virtuosos Jason Rebello, Janette Mason Trio.

Wandering Monster.

A variety of the best swinging Clarinet Maestros with Ken Peplowski & Julian Stringle, Gilad Atzmon, Alan Barnes & The Lowest Common Denominator, Hexagonal, Loire Funk All Stars, Nicolas Meier Quartet, Nikki Iles & Stan Sultzman, Seven Pieces of Silver.

All taking place in the wonderful Grand Hall with lots of exciting fringe events and of course our incomparable compère, Alan Barnes. I look forward to meeting familiar and fresh faces. Mike Gordon Festival Director

Festival Compère: Alan Barnes

Alan Barnes is renowned for his offthe-cuff sharp wit on the microphone and has been the festival compère since our first event in 2003. Alan is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist. He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone sax. He has received over 25 national awards, most recently for clarinet in the 2016 British Jazz Awards and has twice been made BBC Jazz Musician of the Year.

FRIDAY 12.30pm



NEW YORK MARCHING BAND taken from the rhythmic complexity of modern jazz, juxtaposed with the intensity of classic blue note recordings.

4pm ISSIE BARRATT’S INTERCHANGE Stunning! Memorable! Full of surprises! That’s what they will be saying about the opening of this year’s Scarborough Jazz Festival by the New York Brass Band fresh from Glastonbury and Wembley Stadium. Led by trumpeter James Lancaster, the band is a powerful team of some of Yorkshire’s finest musicians with a varied repertoire and a broad range of styles from jazz to pop, reggae to funk and New Orleans to ska.


How often does a festival manage to book a band with ten star female performers? And very unusual, because commissions for large jazz ensembles are more often than not given to male composers and performed by almost exclusively all male ensembles. Composer and artistic director Issie Barratt (also a fine baritone saxophonist) has brought together musicians who have a breadth of musical experience and expertise across many genres and is commissioning some exciting new and eclectic works.

Winner of the 2016/17 Jazz North Introduces Award, the young quintet ‘Wandering Monster’ has influences

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GET THE BLESSING and multi-instrumentalist, he has captured the hearts of music lovers with his charismatic performances, spirited personality and creative original songs.

‘…they may well be the most original and exciting band on the British scene at the moment.’ Jazzwise Magazine Formed in 2000 to share a fascination with the improvisation and monophonic nature of Ornette Coleman’s earlier works, the line-up has remained the same throughout with Portishead rhythm masters bassist Jim Barr and drummer Clive Deamer (who also drums with Radiohead), Pete Judge on trumpet and Jake McMurchie on saxophone.

Inspired and influenced by the great jazz vocalists from Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra to Harry Connick Jr, Mathias is nevertheless an original talent with a unique and effortlessly charming vocal delivery.


‘GTB harness rock and jazz with uncompromising power’ Time Out


Festival Director Mike Gordon is convinced that Mads is heading for the big time. A vocalist/songwriter

Hexagonal came together in 2016 to play the music of the late great South African composer and multiinstrumentalist Bheki Mseleku, with whom bassist Simon Thorpe and pianist John Donaldson toured a decade or so ago. With drummer Tristan Banks, saxophonists Jason Yarde and Greg Heath, and trumpeter James McMillan, the group have added to Bheki’s work compositions by McCoy Tyner, as well as original writing by members of the band which stays close to the spirit of Bheki’s music.

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SATURD AY 12.30pm




This is a rare chance to hear two of the UK’s most respected jazz musicians. Saxophonist Stan Sultzman and pianist Nikki Iles have a long-standing musical friendship and frequent collaborations. Observer critic Dave Gelly wrote of their recent CD:

Led by leading UK drummer Tristan Mailliot, The Loire Funk All Stars share a love of the music of the late 70s and early 80s and their repertoire includes compositions by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield and the Brecker Brothers and features a tight rhythm section sound with heavy funk influences and jazz improvisation. The featured soloist is Gareth Lockrane on flutes.


‘As a display of technical and mental agility, these nine pieces verge on the stupendous, but they also have great charm. Mainly improvisations on elegant old standards, they overflow with melody and a kind of cheeky good nature.’


Janette is one of UK jazz’s wellkept secrets: a pianist, arranger and composer, she has worked as a musical director for artists as diverse as Oasis and Robert Wyatt. Her three albums have each received four-starred reviews in the Guardian. Expect a piano trio that is innovative, punchy and accessible, that plays cool grooves, interesting time scapes, funky synths and a cinematic texture. Think Herby Hancock meets Dave Brubeck.

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SATURD AY 7.00pm GILAD ATZMON, ALAN BARNES & THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR Reed players Gilad Atzmon and Alan Barnes will be brilliantly backed by Gilad’s Orient House Ensemble trio. ‘Atzmon’s fluid lyricism is in full flow on songbook classics and worldly originals. But as sweet romance morphs to modernist uncertainty, the bittersweet balance and rich emotional palette equally impress.’ Financial Times ‘Barnes plays music that was radical 50 years ago – hard, urban postbop – but he infuses it with so much passion and energy you could believe it was minted on the spot…..’ The Guardian

8.45pm JASON REBELLO Solo pianist Jason has appeared with many notable artistes including Bud Shank, Wayne Shorter, Gary Burton and Branford



Marsallis and has recorded with Sting and performed several classical concerts with the Nice Symphony Orchestra and the Halle Orchestra. He received two awards in the 2016 British Jazz Awards: for best pianist and ‘Album of the Year’ for his CD ‘Held’. Who better to play the Spa’s beautiful Bosendorfer grand piano? ‘… Jason is probably the finest young jazz musician this country has produced…...’ Stuart Nicholson

10.30pm CLARK TRACEY’S STAN TRACEY LEGACY BAND Clark, a leading UK drummer and bandleader who received a British Jazz Award in 2016, is putting together the Stan Tracey Legacy Big Band which 15 players for our 15th festival. Pianist Stan Tracey, who died in 2013, was known as the ‘Grandfather of British Jazz’ and performed three times at Scarborough Jazz festival. His music continues to live and develop, thanks to the continued enthusiasm and dedication of Stan’s son Clark to keeping his legacy alive.

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SUNDAY 12.30pm



SEVEN PIECES OF SILVER ‘Julian Marc Stringle is the best clarinettist to emerge in British jazz for decades.’ Sir John Dankworth These two maestros are backed by the trio of British Jazz Award winner Craig Milverton ‘7 Pieces of Silver’, led by acclaimed bass player and arranger Paul Baxter, continue their celebration of the late, great hard-bop pioneer Horace Silver into 2017 with enthusiasm and passion and wonderful arrangements.

‘… an extravagantly gifted pianist with an unrivalled sense of swing.’ Dave Gelly, The Observer


“Baxter’s freshly-hued arrangements are, in the best sense of ‘new light through old windows’, a joy to hear – and it’s great to feel the immediacy and enthusiasm in these contemporary performances, including some rather tasty nuances.” - AP Reviews, 2016


In just a few short years, UK-based Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier has carved out a reputation as one of the UK’s most original and uniquely talented guitarists. Drawing from a love of Turkish, Eastern and Middle Eastern music, Flamenco, Tango and more – all mixed with jazz, his considerable talents drew the attention of rock guitar legend Jeff Beck, who has made Nicolas a mainstay in his group. The group has violin, guitar, bass, drums and percussions.

‘Ken Peplowski is arguably the greatest living swing clarinettist.’ Russell Davies BBC2 NicolasMeierMusic

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SUNDAY 7.00pm



POLLY GIBBONS QUARTET This is undoubtedly a coup for the festival. Internationally respected Mike Gibbs - composer, arranger and trombonist - has worked with many music luminaries including Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Gary Burton, Whitney Houston, Peter Gabriel and Bill Frisell.

Polly Gibbons is one of the most respected and talked about young singer-songwriters of her generation. She is a regular at Ronnie Scott’s and ‘My Own Company’, her debut UK album with James Pearson, pianist and Musical Director of Ronnie’s, was released to critical acclaim in 2014. James will be accompanying Polly in Scarborough. With warm, rich, soulful vocals and innate blues sensibility, Polly has been likened to many of the jazz and soul greats.


His pulsating compositions blend the colours of Africa, Charles Ives, Messaien and rock into a unique jazz style. The 17-piece Big Band reads like a Who’s Who of jazz stars and includes Mike Janisch (bass), Henry Lowther (trumpet), Julien Siegal (sax), Mark Nightingale (trombone), Mike Walker (guitar) and Nigel Hitchcock (sax). John Fordham of the Guardian wrote about leader Hans Koller’s music: ‘the most expansive, expressive and exciting new jazz orchestral sound to have emerged in this country since the late-lamented Loose Tubes.’ VENUE INFORMATION All the festival’s performances take place in Scarborough Spa’s magnificent Victorian Grand Hall, situated by the sea in Scarborough’s picturesque South Bay. Despite The Grand Hall having a capacity of over 1000 people, the cabaret style layout, spectacular sound and atmospheric lighting makes for a wonderful intimate setting for 3 days of high quality Jazz.

The venue has great accessibility and has numerous eating and drinking outlets on site. See page 11 for more details. | (01723) 376774

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FRINGE 8.45pm Wednesday 20 September DENNIS ROLLINS & ALAN BARNES + MIKE GORDON TRIO Scarborough Jazz @ The Cask Entry £7 What a great line-up! International star trombonist Dennis Rollins joins record award-winning reeds player Alan Barnes. The Mike Gordon Trio will provide the backing. Info at

5.30pm Saturday 23 September THE EASTERN AREA SCHOOLS YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA Scarborough Spa’s Sun Court 5.30pm Saturday 23 September Free Entry Following a morning workshop in the Sun Court led by two of the Festival’s stars – an entertaining and interesting event which anyone is welcome to attend – the tutors will take part in the afternoon interval performance. Why not come along and have a drink or some food whilst you listen to these talented young people?

The perfect choice for the orchestra lover’s stay in Scarborough

Tel: 01723 362431 | 11am – 12.15pm Prince of Wales Terrace, Scarborough YO11 2AJ


11am Sunday 24 September MISTER TOOLEY’S GOSPEL BRUNCH Scarborough Spa’s Sun Court Free Entry The inimitable Scarborough based DJ-Mister Tooley, plays a righteous mix of hand clapping, foot-stomping gospel recordings on original vinyl. These rare and unique recordings range from raw spirituals and the exciting harmonies of the jubilee groups to the sanctified soul of The Caravans and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

11am – 12.15pm Sunday 24 September TEDDY BEARS’ JAZZ PICNIC Scarborough Spa’s Ocean Room £4 per person, £7 Parent & Child ticket. Free entry for toddlers up to the age of 18 months. Kathy Seabrook, along with members of The Northern Showtime Orchestra, host a special jazz-infused Teddy Bears’ Picnic. This highly interactive and educational session will introduce young children to jazz. There will be plenty of opportunities to sing along, play along and dance along, so why not bring along your own shakers and maracas, as well as your teddies, to play with us?

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FRINGE 5.30pm Sunday 24 September THE STEPHEN JOSEPH THEATRE’S FUNKY CHOIR Scarborough Spa’s Sun Court Free Entry This adult funky community choir, around twenty-five in number, perform classic disco, funk, pop and rock tunes mostly arranged by Musical Director, Mark Gordon. With an original approach, the emphasis is on having lots of fun singing! Material includes numbers by Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, The Mamas and Papas, Tina Turner and The Beatles.


THE JIM BIRKETT TRIO WITH FESTIVAL GUESTS The Jazz Lounge - in between Grand Hall performances Free Entry Our post-festival audience evaluations always show that the trio is an important and popular part of the weekend. Jim on guitar is an in-demand musician on the northern scene, as are drummer Tom Townsend and bassist Paul Baxter. This year we are encouraging even more festival performers to sit in with this fine group.

This lively and colourful choir will also be slotting a couple of jazz-related numbers into their set, just for the occasion!

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Clarinet Maestros: Ken Peplowski & Julian Stringle Clark Tracey’s Stan Tracey Legacy Band Dennis Rollins & Alan Barnes + Mike Gordon Trio Get The Blessing | Gilad Atzmon, Alan Barnes & The Lowest Common Denominator | Hexagonal playing McCoy and Mseleku | Issie Barratt's Interchange Janette Mason’s Red Alert | Jason Rebello Loire Funk All Stars featuring Gareth Lockrane Mads Mathias Quartet | Mike Gibbs 80th Birthday Celebration with the Hans Koller 17 piece Big Band Mister Tooley’s Gospel Brunch | New York Marching Band Nicolas Meier Quintet | Nikki Iles & Stan Sultzman Polly Gibbons Quartet | Seven Pieces of Silver Teddy Bears’ Jazz Picnic | The Eastern Area Schools Youth Jazz Orchestra | The Jim Birkett Trio The Stephen Joseph Theatre’s Funky Choir Wandering Monster Compere: Alan Barnes

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TICKETS Weekend Tickets

Session Tickets

Earlybird (Before 1 June) ..................£87

On sale from 1 June

Full Price...............................................£92

Friday Afternoon.................................£15

Student & Under 25s.........................£45

Friday Evening.....................................£37 Saturday Afternoon...........................£29

Day Tickets

Saturday Evening...............................£37

Adult......................................................... £49

Sunday Afternoon..............................£29

Student & Under 25s........................... £20

Sunday Evening...................................£32 Teddy Bears’ Picnic.....................£4 & £7

HOW TO BOOK Online | Telephone: (01723) 821888 In Person: From Scarborough Spa’s Box Office Venue Address: Scarborough Spa, South Bay, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 2HD


FESTIVAL DINING Restaurant Jazz There will be a host of options to choose for your evening meal in between the afternoon & evening music sessions in The Spa’s Ocean Room. Choose something from the wonderful carvery, the delicious hot buffet or sample the delights of our salad bar.

Farrer’s Bar & Brasserie The Spa’s bar and brasserie Farrer’s will also be open throughout the festival. It will be open for breakfast from 9am and will be serving hot food up until 8pm.

Due to Farrer’s popularity we encourage you to book your evening meal (4.30pm7.30pm) well in advance. To make a reservation please call (01723) 357860 or visit

Jazz Lounge Serving a range of daily specials, light bites and snacks plus great coffee. We are delighted to welcome back the extremely popular Jim Birkett Trio, who will be performing throughout the festival alongside some very special guests.

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AT A GLANCE Friday 22 September 12.30pm

New York Marching Band


Wandering Monster


Issie Barratt’s Interchange


Get The Blessing


Mads Mathias Quartet


Hexagonal playing McCoy and Mseleku

Saturday 23 September 12.30pm

Nikki Iles & Stan Sultzman


Loire Funk All Stars featuring Gareth Lockrane


Janette Mason’s Red Alert


Gilad Atzmon, Alan Barnes & The Lowest Common Denominator


Jason Rebello


Clark Tracey’s Stan Tracey Legacy Band

Sunday 24 September 12.30pm

Seven Pieces of Silver


Clarinet Maestros (Ken Peplowski & Julian Stringle)


Nicolas Meier Quintet


Polly Gibbons Quartet


Mike Gibbs’ 80th Birthday Celebration with the Hans Koller 17 piece Big Band

Scarborough Jazz Festival 2017  
Scarborough Jazz Festival 2017