Some very exciting news for the Autumn: I’m going to be Artist In Residence at Lancaster Jazz Festival 2016! Their tireless artistic director and ace clarinettist Matt Robinson emailed me a few months ago to offer this fantastic (and terrifying) opportunity and obviously I had to say yes. The main focus of my Artist In Residence role will be to produce some new music, the performance of which will be the festival’s headline set on Saturday 17th September. So, not a very high pressure gig then…
I decided to assemble a large ensemble for the occasion, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s ended up as a ten-piece, and the line-up will be:
Julie Kjær flute & bass clarinet Tom Ward flute & bass clarinet Graham South trumpet Tullis Rennie trombone Dee Byrne alto sax Sam Andreae tenor sax Cath Roberts baritone sax Anton Hunter guitar Seth Bennett double bass Johnny Hunter drums
The band is basically an expanded Sloth Racket, and I can’t wait to get started on putting the music together. More on this to follow….
The festival is happening over the weekend of the 16th-18th September, and the full programme will be announced soon (keep an eye on the festival website).
I’m playing at this ace-looking benefit gig in July, raising money for the second edition of Daniel Spicer’s excellent Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival. Looking forward to collaborating with the guys from Woven Entity! Tom, Anton and Seth are also playing in a trio for the first time.
The Sloth Racket May tour was a lovely run of gigs. It was great to have the chance to develop our existing music by playing it every night, as well as trying out some new compositions of mine (plus one by Sam Andreae!). Massive thanks to all the promoters who put us on: Andrew Woodhead at Fizzle (Birmingham); Jez Matthews and team from Jazz At The Lescar (Sheffield); Laura, Bill, Dave K and all at Fusebox (Leeds); Chris, Kerstin and all at Fuse Arts (Bradford); and Dee for being our host at LUME for the Vortex album launch gig in London. I’m also extremely grateful to Arts Council England for supporting our touring activities this year: roll on the October tour! I’ve collected together a few tour photos for the blog…
Playing at Fizzle, Birmingham.
On the road to Sheffied with the tour sloth pillow…
Laura Cole, Corey Mwamba and Seth ‘two sets’ Bennett, sharing the bill with us at Fusebox in Leeds.
The Hot Beef Three, sharing the bill with us at Fuse in Bradford.
Backwards Fuse window faces in Bradford.
The album launch gig at the Vortex!
Raclette, who turned up on the first gig of the tour as self-appointed band mascot.
Quick post to report that Madwort Sax Quartet has recorded what will hopefully become a debut album! On 16th April we played a LUME gig at Hundred Years Gallery, and the whole thing was recorded by Alex Bonney. It was a great evening with a lovely crowd (thanks to all who came!), so I look forward to hearing the results. Stay tuned for news of the release plans…
Boom! After a phenomenal amount of admin, the Sloth Racket album ‘Triptych’ is out for pre-order today on our LUME spin-off label Luminous. I made a relatively silly video to draw your attention this fact:
You can reserve your copy today and get it on release day, 2nd May. The CD edition comes in a hand-printed sleeve with my linocut Sloth design…