What’s on

September 19th Karen Sharp Quartet

October 17th John Etheridge “Sweet Chorus”

November 14th Alex Ridout, BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year

December 5 Christmas Concert: Brandon Allen All-Star Sextet


September 19th Karen Sharp Quartet

Karen Sharp – tenor sax, Nikki Iles – piano , Marianne Windham – bass, Steve Brown – drums

After graduating in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, Karen discovered a love of jazz and was inspired to play the tenor sax by two giants of improvisation – Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins.

On relocating to London in 2000, Karen’s career took off when she was asked to join Humphrey Lyttelton’s band with whom she toured the UK and Europe for four years. During this period Karen also worked hard to establish her own band, recording the first of five albums under her own name and touring at festivals and jazz clubs. She has also toured extensively as a ‘side man’ with some wonderful musicians that include Tina May, Nikki Iles, Esther Miller, Jeremy Pelt, and Alan Barnes, and as a soloist working alongside Warren Vache and Harry Allen. Highlights include the Ginza Festival in Tokyo in 2006, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Singapore International Jazz Festival in 2013. Karen has also performed and recorded with numerous top musicians closer to home such as John Dankworth, Mark Nightingale, Jacqui Dankworth, Ken Peplowski, Howard Alden and Scott Hamilton.

A busy and popular musician with an accessible yet distinctive style, Karen has won the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards on numerous occasions. She tours regularly with her quartet which features Nikki Iles, Dave Green and Steve Brown and she plays with numerous larger ensembles including Robert Fowler’s ‘Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band’, Steve Waterman’s Big Band, and Guy Barker’s Big Band.

She is also a member of the Barnes/O’Higgins and the Sax Section’s “Oh Gee”, a project for five saxophones and Alan Barnes’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, project which performed it’s premier gig in Fleet in 2015 and has since gone on to sell out venues all over the UK.

We are delighted to welcome Karen back to Fleet for our first performance of the Autumn season. Karen is joined by the one of the UK’s finest composers and pianists, Nikki Iles, with Fleet Jazz favourite Steve Brown on drums,  and Marianne Windham on double bass.

A gem of an evening!

Doors open at 7.15, music from 8pm. Tickets just £12 from the Box Office on 01252 811009, online here,  on the door.

October 17th John Etheridge “Sweet Chorus”

John Etheridge- guitar, Chris Garrick – violin, Andy Crowdy – double bass, Dave Kelbie – rhythm guitar.
One of the greatest and most versatile guitarists in the world, John Etheridge enjoyed enormous notoriety with legendary jazz-fusion band The Soft Machine. A world class performer, he has recorded and  toured with Birelli Lagreme, Nigel Kennedy, Andy Williams, John Williams, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Mundell Lowe, Miroslav Vitous, Birelli Lagrene, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Williams, Yehudi Menuhin, and Pat Metheny, and he was also associated with Stéphane Grappelli for many, many years. John has had numerous television appearances, recordings, festivals and tours – treating the world to the very finest gypsy jazz & hot club swing.

“I never wanted to be a star, just a highly respected musician like John Etheridge” Sting (The Guardian, 1991).
Award-winning jazz violinist Chris Garrick has appeared as soloist with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Nigel Kennedy, Bireli Lagrene, Dolly Parton, All About Eve, Simon Mulligan, Duffy, Van Morrison, Dame Cleo Laine and the late great Sir John Dankworth – Dankworth composed his jazz violin concerto especially for Chris. His performance at the Genius of the Violin Festival in 2004 led to an invitation to perform Astor Piazzolla’s Seasons with Barry Wordsworth and the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. Chris is also a busy session musician and his violin can be heard on many film soundtracks. Chris Garrick is simply the most accomplished and expressive jazz violinist on today’s jazz scene.

Now celebrating it’s 19th year together, John Etheridge’s Sweet Chorus was originally formed as a personal tribute by John to his mentor and inspiration Stephane Grappelli with whom he worked for 5 years in the 70’s and early 80’s.

Taking its cue from the Hot Club of France -the legendary group that featured Grappelli and Django Reinhardt the band features John’s dazzling guitar work and the scintillating violin of Chris Garrick. The relationship of these two has been described as one of the most potent in european jazz and backed up by the propulsive drive of Kelbie and Crowdy the band produces breathtaking sallies through repertoire both old and contemporary.

A must for all fans of melodically based inspired, swinging acoustic jazz!

Doors open at 7.15, music from 8pm. Tickets £12 from the Box Office on 01252 811009, online here,  on the door.

November 14th The Ridouts feat.

Alex Ridout, BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2016

Alex Ridout – trumpet, Tom Ridout – sax and recorder, Mark Ridout – guitar,  Marianne Windham – double bass, Tristan Mailliot – drums

Alex Ridout 1Two generations of great jazz musicians come together as Mark Ridout, one of the most sought-after guitarists on the UK jazz scene,  is joined by his daughter Alex on trumpet and son Tom on sax and recorder.

tom ridoutWinner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician Jazz Award, Alex is currently studying at The Purcell School of Music and at The Junior Department at the Royal Academy of Music. Tom, predicted by Jazzwise Magazine in 2012 as an upcoming jazz musician to watch out for, was awarded the prestigious Richard Turner Jazz Prize while studying jazz saxophone at the Royal Academy of Music and was also a finalist in the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award 2016!

Mark Ridout has performed in most of the UK’s major jazz venues and festivals, and appeared with such illustrious musicians as Jimmy Smith, Barbara Dennerlein, Tony Martin, Natalie Cole, Jane Monheit and Eddie Parker. Mark toured the US with Jazz funk band ‘Down to the Bone’ has performed on TV for ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ is also regularly to be heard with the BBC Big Band. He last played in Fleet for our very first jazz night with Steve Waterman and we are delighted to welcome him back with his hugely talented family. And a great pleasure to welcome back drummer Tristan Mailliot too,  for a very overdue return visit!

Doors open at 7.15, music from 8pm. Tickets £12 from the Box Office on 01252 811009, online here,  on the door.

December 5th Fleet Jazz Christmas Concert: Brandon Allen All-Star Sextet

Brandon Allen – Tenor sax/arrangements,  Sam Mayne – alto sax/flute,  Mark Nightingale – trombone,  Ross Stanley – piano, Tim Thornton – bass, Ian Thomas – drums

Brandon Allen

A regular performer at Ronnie Scott’s, Brandon Allen is one of the most exciting tenor players in Britain today. His sextet was formed in 2012 with the intention of creating the ultimate dream band and all members of the band are highly respected soloists, leaders and composers/arrangers in their own right.

The idea was to perform exciting new arrangements of much loved standards, including compositions by Weather Report, Michel Legrand, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and others, the tunes being geared towards showcasing the improvising talents of the frontline as well as the rhythm section.

The band has sold out Ronnie Scott’s twice and has performed at various festivals including Swanage, Scarborough Jazz, Highgate Jazz with Soul Festival, Wigan Jazz, Herts Jazz and the Southport Winter Weekender.

Brandon Allen 1“Many musicians would respond to the opportunity of their own band by starting to write original material to foist onto the unsuspecting public. Allen has taken another route by putting his effort into producing wonderful arrangements to showcase the richness of the writing and the skill of his performers. The result is nothing less than a six-person big band – an extraordinary achievement.”
London Jazz News

Not to be missed! Tickets £15 including a festive glass of sparkling wine and a mince pie. Advance booking highly recommended.

Doors open at 7.15, music from 8pm. Tickets available from the Box Office on 01252 811009 or online here.

 “And make no mistake, theirs was a world-class performance….a front line that Art Blakey would have branded “the baddest cats in town”” The Evening Standard