What’s on

April 18th Gareth Williams/Trish Clowes “GLOW QUARTET”

May 16th Digby Fairweather/Julian Marc Stringle Quintet

June 20th Tina May

July 18th Barnes/Waterman/Nightingale Sextet “The Music of Mancini”

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

 April 18th Gareth Williams/Trish Clowes “GLOW QUARTET”

Trish Clowes (sax) Gareth Williams (piano), Calum Gourlay (bass), Martin France (drums)

gareth-williamsBoth exceptional musicians, Gareth and Trish have worked together a few times in the last year or so, and recently decided to create a more formal collaboration in the “Glow Quartet”. The idea behind the band is to bring generations and styles of musicians together, playing arrangements of standards plus originals by the two of them. As Gareth describes it, “…it’s an interactive band, taking risks, and taking the good stuff from both more traditional improvised music and contemporary ideas”.

Gareth Williams has unquestionably established himself as one of the UK’s leading modern jazz pianists. A fiery and creative player, he won the British Jazz Awards in 2013 and his remarkable talent has been seen with an impressive array of world-class artists, from Jazz/Hip Hop band “Us3” through to internationally-renowned jazz musicians such as Joe Lovano, Jerry Bergonzi, George Coleman and Jim Mullen. He has been MD for iconic UK vocalist Claire Martin for many years.

Multi-award winning saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes has made a great impact in the relatively short time she has been on the UK jazz scene. In 2008 she won the Peter Whittingham Development Award that allowed her to form with her first ensemble, Tangent. Two albums and a UK trish-clowestour later, and her 3rd album, ‘Pocket Compass’, was launched at the EFG London Jazz Festival 2014 alongside the premiere of her first BBC commission “The Fox the Parakeet & The Chestnut”, an event which was the culmination of her two years as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist. Her commission also won the “Contemporary Jazz Composition” of the 2015 BASCA British Composer Award. She has since been seen performed at Wigmore Hall in a collaboration with Gwilym Simcock, made her TV debut for BBC Proms Extra in 2015, formed a new project “My Iris”, and been appointed professor of jazz saxophone at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Also featured with the quartet will be the exceptional rhythm section of Calum Gourlay on bass and Martin France on drums.

“Gareth Williams…a jewel of a player” Jazziz

“Trish Clowes is a fiercely talented jazz saxophonist” The Telegraph

“Clowes…a great great talent.” Jamie Cullum

Tickets £12 from the Box Office on 01252 811009, online here,  on the door.

May 16th Digby Fairweather/Julian Stringle Quintet

Digby Fairweather – trumpet, Julian Stringle – sax/clarinet, Martin Litton – piano, Bobby Worth – drums, Marianne Windham – bass

digby-fairweather-3Jazz trumpet legend Digby Fairweather has been a full time professional jazz man for forty years. A prolific award-winner, his honours include ‘BBC Jazz Society’s Musician of the Year’ (1979), BT Jazz Awards (Trumpet 1992/Services to Jazz 1993), Benno Haussman Award for Services to Jazz (1993), and Freedoms of both London (1992) and his hometown Southend-on-Sea (in their ‘Millennium Roll of Honour’ 2000) as well as winning the “Top Small Group ” category in the British Jazz Awards in 2014 for the ninth time in ten years!

In 2013 London’s ‘Worshipful Company of Musicians’ presented him with their ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for ‘Services to Jazz’; he has been Patron of the Birmingham International Jazz Festival since 2008 and in 2009 as Founder of the National Jazz Archive he was presented with their ‘Special Award’ in celebration of the organization’s twenty-first anniversary.

He has recorded over eighty albums in his career, continues to sell out Ronnie Scott’s with every appearance, and also plays solo concerts for clubs and jazz festivals countrywide. Digby Fairweather remains – in the words of ‘The Stage’ – ‘just about the best ambassador the music could have’.

Julian Stringle was a child prodigy reed player. He made his TV debut with Acker Bilk when he was just 14 and at 17 he formed a Modern Jazz quintet and toured Europe.  He has played on concert, club, festival and broadcast dates with his own bands as well as a host of famous names., and was voted ‘Best Clarinettist’ at the British Jazz Awards 2006/7. Julian’s highly melodic music and unique sound reaches the younger audience while his soul, original writing and phenomenal technique on his instrument excites the jazz aficionados.

Digby and Julian are joined by the rythm section of Martin Litton on piano (Kenny Ball, George Chisholm, Humphrey Littleton) and a very welcome for his first visit to the club to Bobby Worth, a drummer of great pedigree and repute, with Marianne completing the lineup on double bass.

Tickets £12 from the Box Office on 01252 811009, online here,  on the door.

June 20th Tina May Quartet


Tina May – vocals, Nikki Iles – piano, Steve Brown – drums, Marianne Windham – bass

Tina May is, without doubt, one of the top female jazz vocalists in the country. Her performances have echoes of the legacy of the great American ladies of jazz but, with her pure soprano voice and flawless pitch, she has developed a unique style of her own. After turning to jazz, Tina gained experience in cabaret and club performances and has produced a series of highly-praisnikki-iles-hi-resed recordings. She remains a regular performer at the top jazz and arts festivals as well as in broadcasts with the BBC Big Band and has toured extensively across Europe and the Far East. In addition, she has received numerous awards including a silver medal by The Worshipful Company of Musicians, the vocal jazz award at the BT Jazz Awards, and an “Outstanding Services to Jazz Education” award in the US.

Nikki Iles is more than an exceptional accompanist. She has established herself as one of the UK’s finest composers and pianists and her duets with Tina May have developed over time into one of the most outstanding and intuitive partnerships in British jazz. Steve Brown has become one of the most sought after and sensitive drummers in the country and since studying in New York in the early 1990s has worked with almost every major British artist, as well as many visiting American musicians.

Tickets £12 from the Box Office on 01252 811009, online here,  on the door.

July 18th Barnes/Waterman/Nightingale Sextet play “The Music of Mancini”

Alan Barnes – saxes, Steve Waterman – trumpet, Mark Nightingale – trombone,  Gareth Williams – piano, Matt Skelton – drums, Marianne Windham – bass.

Saxophonist Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist.  He combines a formidable virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers. His recording and performance catalogue is immense and his unique musicianship, indefatigable touring, and warm rapport with audiences have made him uniquely popular in British jazz.  He has received over 25 British Jazz Awards, most recently in 2016, and has twice been made BBC Jazz Musician of the Year.

One of Britain’s top jazz trumpet and flugel horn players, Steve Waterman has worked regularly on the British and European jazz scene with John Surman, Andy Sheppard, Tony Coe, Carla Bley, Don Weller and many others. He has recorded many critically acclaimed CDs under his own name as well as a number of CDs under the ECM label. He has won numerous BBC British jazz awards over the years, including winner of the 2014 British Jazz Awards, and is professor of Jazz Trumpet at Trinity College of Music in London and visiting Jazz Trumpet specialist at The Royal Northern College Of Music and The Welsh College Of Music And Drama.

Mark Nightingale is widely considered to be one of the finest Jazz trombonists in Europe. A world class player, and winner of the 2014 British Jazz Awards, Mark won the coveted Don Lusher award at the age of fifteen and after graduating from Trinity College in the late 80s he rapidly established himself as one the UK’s busiest studio musicians as well as a highly respected Jazz soloist. Highly popular and much in demand, Mark has worked alongside someone of the world’s greatest jazz musicians.

This star-studded sextet brings together some of the best jazz musicians in the UK to pay a musical tribute to the great Henry Mancini, considered to be one of the greatest composers in the history of film—winner of 4 Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and 20 Grammy Awards—and writer of such memorable songs as “The Pink Panther Theme’, “Moon River” and “The Peter Gunn Theme”.

Expect a fresh approach to these classic Mancini tunes, with inventive solos, virtuosic musicianship and a highly entertaining evening!

A sensational end to the season at Fleet Jazz Club. Absolutely not to be missed.

Tickets £15 from the Box Office on 01252 811009, online here,  on the door.

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