What’s on

2019 Programme






September 17th



“’An exciting talent, Starace is developing a seriously impressive body of work’ – Bruce Lindsay – (www.allaboutjazz.com)

‘He soars assertively when needed, cajoles and caresses with ‘molto’ lyricism on the ballads and demonstrates unequivocally that it is possible for contemporary jazz to be accessible’. Lance Liddle – ( Bebop Spoken Here)

Born in 1975 in Milano, Italy Tommaso started playing the saxophone and studying music at the age of 18. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1994 where he graduated at Birmingham Conservatoire with a Bmus first class honours and later at the Guildhall School Of Music and Drama with a Postgraduate Degree in jazz studies in the year 2000. He has performed with some of the most respected jazz musicians including Billy Cobham, David Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Stan Sulzmann, Jim Mullen, Jonathan Gee, Paolo Pellegatti, Gianni Giudici.  In 2008 Tommaso was awarded with an Honorary Membership by Birmingham Conservatoire given to him for his significant contributions made across the years within the various branches of the music profession.

‘Celebrating the Music of Michel Petrucciani’, a new CD recorded by Tommaso Starace’s Italian Quartet, is a project dedicated entirely to the music of the great French pianist. Petrucciani was very much respected by the American Jazz Community and around the world for his extraordinary technique, elegance of execution, and his charismatic energy conveyed through his many memorable performances and compositions. Petrucciani led his band over many years recording a total of 32 albums and the quintet will perform some of the most popular tunes from his extensive repertoire, as well as some other well loved jazz standards.

Featuring Tommaso Starace on alto sax, with the UK’s vibraphone virtuoso Roger Beaujolais, pianist Frank Harrison, Chris Nickolls on drums, and Marianne guesting on bass.

Tickets £14 – Book online

October 15th



featuring MARK CROOKS

A career-wide celebration of the great lyrical genius of the saxophone Stan Getz, from ‘Early Autumn’ (1949) to ‘People Time’ (1991), taking in the swinging 1950s, the bossa nova years of the early 1960s and the fruitful, daring collaborations with Chick Corea and Kenny Barron.
Featuring woodwind star of the John Wilson Orchestra star MARK CROOKS (saxophone) with CHRIS INGHAM (piano/commentary), MARIANNE WINDHAM (bass) and GEORGE DOUBLE (drums).

“Crooks’ tenor raises the hairs on the back of the neck…” LONDON JAZZ NEWS

From the late 1940s to the early 1990s, tenor saxophonist Stan Getz was one of the great, individual instrumental artists in jazz. As jazz itself went through many phases, Getz as a player was remarkably consistent, producing album after album of poetic, swinging music. While his accompaniments were elaborately varied, Getz’s playing was always unmistakable, characterised by his singing, luminescent tone, his unmatched facility for elegance, passion and lyricism and an almost supernatural melodic creativity.

Yet perhaps there’s a sense of Getz being somewhat underrated, perhaps even taken for granted. Firstly, he had the temerity to achieve several commercial successes in his career, communicating way beyond the jazz connoisseurship, an achievement which never seems to sit well with jazz posterity. Secondly, despite his dipping in and out of in-the-air jazz styles, his genius was very much of the invention-within-the-melodic-tradition variety, a much less musically flamboyant route than some other options available to him. His very consistency probably worked against him, posterity-wise. In the end, whatever he was playing, and as brilliant as it was, it was always just Getz being Getz…

However, for a man who could have toured lucrative Greatest Hits shows for most of his career, his choices in both in the material that he tackled and the musicians with whom he associated, show a notably intrepid attitude. Stan thrived on challenge and was dedicated to keeping his music fresh and vital, rarely taking the easy option. The result is a musical legacy among the richest in jazz.

“Another superb album…a musical love potion…recommended – highly”

Tickets £14 – Book online

November 12th



Early in 2005, tenor saxophonist and British Jazz icon TIM WHITEHEAD toured with the award-winning Italian pianist GIOVANNI MIRABASSI, which led  to the release of their album Lucky Boys in 2006 and since then they have continued to work together both in the UK and Europe. After a recent gig in Paris to celebrate the 20th year of Giovanni’s career, they are back together for a UK tour this Autumn, and we are delighted to welcome them to Fleet Jazz for what is sure to be a very special night!

A self-taught Paris-based Italian pianist whose technique is grounded in the example of his compatriot Enrico Pieranunzi and the modern masters Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett. He has enjoyed considerable international success and is hugely popular in Japan and South Korea.

In 2001 he recorded his first solo album ‘Avanti!’, which won him the prestigious Victoires du Jazz in 2002. His album “air”, a trio with Glenn Ferris and Flavio Boltro was voted best album of the year 2003 by the Django Reinhardt Academy of Jazz.

In 2006, Giovanni and Tim recorded ‘Lucky Boys’ with co-leader status and sharing the compositional duties, with Oli Hayhurst on bass and Milo Fell on drums.

“With an absolute individuality of tone and touch, Mirabassi displays a
profound confidence in his own musical language and imagination… one of
Europe’s most compelling musicians, working at the top of his powers.”
Praise for LUCKY BOYS (2006)

“Music that speaks rather than shouts… The playing and interaction is incredible…A high quality album with excellent original writing by the two leaders and sparkling playing by all concerned.” Ian Mann

Renowned throughout the UK, Europe and the USA, the multi-award-winning Tim Whitehead is a remarkable performer and composer with a dazzling CV. From work in the 70’s with Ian Carr’s “Nucleus” and “Graham Collier Music” (winning the Young Jazz Musician of the Year Award on the way), and in the 80’s with groundbreaking big band Loose Tubes and the likes of John Parricelli, Django Bates, Nic France and Pete Jacobsen, to the critically acclaimed albums he made in the 90’s, winning The Andrew Milne Award for Jazz, as well as the BBC Music Magazine Jazz Album of the Year, Tim has established himself as an international musician of considerable note. Tim was also the first ever musician to be made Artist in Residence at Tate Britain, resulting in a number of brilliant gigs, a highly acclaimed album “Colour Beginnings” and a short-listing for the British Composer Of The Year Award in 2010.

 “There are many fine tenor players on the current British scene but Tim Whitehead is undoubtedly one of the best we have” Peter Lund – Crescendo

With Tom Hooper on drums and Marianne Windham on bass

Tickets £14 – Book Online

December 3rd




British jazz legend Alan Barnes celebrated his 60th birthday this year. In 1959, the year of his birth, Art Pepper recorded a classic called Art Pepper+11 with arrangements by Marty Paice and featuring Art Pepper as the main soloist throughout. With this in mind, Alan commissioned Mark Nightingale to write 13 charts for 12 piece big band of tunes written in 1959, including Boogie Stop Shuffle (Mingus), Naima (Coltrane), Blowin’ the Blues Away (Silver), Dreamsville (Mancini), As Catch Can (Mulligan) Little Rootie Tootie (Monk), Single Petal of a Rose (Ellington) and A Felicidade ( Jobim)
These arrangements are pure fire, and need to be heard to be believed! Alan himself features on alto and baritone saxes, clarinet and bass clarinet and the band also features:

Pat White – trumpet
James Copus – trumpet/ flugel horn
Howard McGill – alto sax/ clarinet
Mark Nightingale – trombone and director
Gordon Campbell – trombone
Robert Fowler – tenor sax/ clarinet/ bass clarinet
Andy Panayi – tenor sax/ clarinet/ flute
Mick Foster – baritone sax/ bass clarinet
Robin Aspland – piano
Sam Burgess – bass
Matt Skelton – drums

Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist.  He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone sax, where he combines a formidable virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers.  His range and brilliance have made him a “first call” for studio and live work since his precocious arrival on the scene more than thirty years ago.

His recorded catalogue is immense.  He has made over thirty albums as leader and co-leader alone, and the list of his session and side-man work includes Bjork, Bryan Ferry, Michel LeGrande, Clare Teale, Westlife, Jools Holland and Jamie Cullum. He has toured and played residencies with such diverse and demanding figures as Ruby Braff, Freddie Hubbard, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Ken Peplowski, Harry Allen and Conte Candoli.

In British jazz, the young Barnes was recognized – and hired – by the established greats of the time:  Stan Tracy, John Dankworth, Kenny Baker, Bob Wilber, and Humphrey Lyttelton.  But he is equally respected for his longstanding and fruitful collaborations with contemporaries such as David Newton, Bruce Adams, and Martin Taylor.

Alan Barnes’s 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 2014 for clarinet, and has twice been made BBC Jazz Musician of the Year.

Tickets £17 – Book Early!!!!