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).
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…
Sloth Racket is taking to the road in early May to celebrate the release of our album ‘Triptych’ (released 2nd May on our new Luminous label). We’ll be playing around the UK with support from Arts Council England. Can’t wait! See you out there…
It’s been an admin-heavy February, with a lot of preparations for the forthcoming Sloth Racket album release and tour plus some heavy doses of LUME admin too. I’m happy to say though that I’ll be emerging from hibernation in March! A few nice gigs coming up:
On the 15th March Colin Webster and I have been invited to guest with Far Rainbow at Zero Wave Club (The Fiddler’s Elbow, Kentish Town). We’re billed as duelling saxophonists on the FB event…uh oh! This is part of a really nice multi-band bill – check out the flyer below.
On 3rd April I’ll be playing trio with Olie Brice and Corey Mwamba, on the other side of the bill from Dave Kane Quartet at one of our LUME Vortex gigs. Looking forward to this, and the more organised among you can buy tickets for it already.
The last gig I want to mention here is a special one. On 16th April Madwort Sax Quartet are recording our debut album live at LUME! This is happening at Hundred Years Gallery, which is a lovely space. It’s going to be ace to finally record an album with the quartet, which has been playing Tom’s music since 2012. Tickets will be on sale for this soon too.
All in all, a nice couple of months – see you out there!