Monday March 2nd: Dave Smith / Robin Fincker / Tom Challenger / Alex Bonney / Dan Nicholls

We’re kicking off another killer month at Jazz @ The Oxford with a veritable supergroup of Loop Collective musicians, some of whom we don’t get to see too often over here, gathered together by the amazing Dave Smith!

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Dave Smith – drums

Robin Fincker – saxophone

Tom Challenger – saxophone

Alex Bonney – trumpet / electronics

Dan Nicholls – keyboard / electronics

London audiences for new & improvised music have been missing a bit of Dave Smith in their lives recently, mainly because he has been touring prolifically in Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant’s Sensational Space Shifters, but we’re absolutely delighted to have him back with a specially assembled band of incredible musicians!

Dave is best known for his work with traditional Sabar drumming from The Gambia. As co-founder of Loop Collective Dave has been part of some of the most adventurous, and accessible, musical projects in the UK. A co-leader of Outhouse Ruhabi (alongside Fincker and Challenger)which featured five Gambian Sabar drummers, and Sabar dance driven Dakar/London band Fofoulah, he is the man behind the most fruitful collision of West African drum music and European jazz yet to surface.

French saxophonist and clarinettist Robin Fincker lived in London for over 10 years and now divides his time between the British and the French music scenes. A hyperactive project-instigator and an in-demand sideman, Robin’s work is reflective of his taste for new experiences as well as his desire to draw from a musical spectrum that is free from stylistic concerns, and this has seen him share the stage with musicians such as Bill Frisell, Evan Parker, Hilmar Jensson, Vincent Courtois, John Tchicai, Paul Rogers, Mikkel Ploug to name but a few.

Tom Challenger is a key figure on London’s new music and jazz scenes, leading and engaging with numerous current and forward thinking projects, including Brass Mask, Fofoulah, Outhouse, Ma, Dice Factory and Can of Worms.

Alex Bonney is a trumpeter and laptop-ist who co-leads and composes for a variety of projects including Splice, electro acoustic trio Leverton Fox, BABs and an improvising duo with bassist Dave Kane. He also leads the Alex Bonney Trio performing original compositions with Jeff Williams and Olie Brice. He is a sideman with several other projects including Andrew Plummer’s World Sanguine Report, James Allsopp’s Golden Age of Steam, Riaan Vosloo’s Examples of Twelves, Nostalgia 77, Steve Davis’ Human, Sefiroth, and various other improvised music projects.

Dan Nicholls is a London-based keyboardist, producer, reeds player and composer also working with video and animation. He has worked extensively in the fields of Indian classical music, various African musics, jazz and has also produced work with film, visual art and contemporary dance. As a performer he has achieved great success as a composer and bandleader, leading projects in Berlin, London and Copenhagen.

An amazing assembly of musicians, and it will be a pleasure to welcome back a few faces who, though we’ve not seen them with us for a while, were instrumental in setting up and establishing this night at The Oxford – we can’t wait to hear what they have in store for us!

As ever, doors at 8:30, music from 9; please note entry is now £10 / £5 concessions for students - statement on that here.

We really hope to see you for what will be an awesome evening of live music and improvisation.

See you there!

Entry Fee Change – £10 / £5 as of Monday 2nd March

After much deliberation, we’ve taken the decision to raise the entry fee here at Jazz @ The Oxford, and from next Monday 2nd March the entry charge will be £10 with a £5 concession for students.

While we understand that this might seem like quite a severe raise all of a sudden, the price of entry at The Oxford has remained the current £5 for the best part of 8 or 9 years, while prices have gone up all around. There are other DIY music nights around now charging £10/£5 not to mention institutions like The Vortex, and I firmly believe that our programme here at The Oxford is absolutely worth the increased entry and stands up next to pretty much anything in this city. Furthermore, so many great bands and musicians write and rehearse for gigs here which are so well received, I genuinely believe these events hold more value than a pint of craft beer.

We are very grateful to the feedback of regular audience members who have positively encouraged us in making this move; we dearly hope that the rest of you will continue to support these gigs and all the wonderful musicians who play here – the support for the night over the last couple of years or so has been really wonderful and strong, and we really hope you’ll continue to enjoy music at The Oxford, and that with this increase in revenue for the musicians, we can take the night even further and be more ambitious.

Thanks,

George

ps. details of Monday’s gig coming up later today – it’s going to be quite something :)

Monday February 23rd: Alex Munk Quartet

Yet another gig at Jazz @ The Oxford featuring some of the country’s premier young musicians, this time playing host to the amazing guitarist and composer Alex Munk and his Quartet!

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Alex Munk Quartet:

Alex Munk – guitar / compositions

Matt Robinson – keyboards

Conor Chaplin – bass

Dave Hamblett – drums

Alex Munk is an award winning guitarist, composer and bandleader living in London. With a distinctive personality on the instrument and a highly individual voice as a composer, Alex’s profile has grown steadily to the forefront of the capital’s jazz scene. He has performed at all of the major jazz festivals and venues around the UK, alongside the likes of Iain Ballamy, Stan Sulzmann, Gareth Lockrane, Ivo Neame, Trish Clowes, Nick Smart and James Taylor. Alex has appeared on a number of critically acclaimed recordings, such as Reuben Fowler’s Between Shadows and Dave Hamblett’s Light At Night.

Alex graduated from the masters programme at London’s Royal Academy of Music with distinction in 2011, where he was awarded the Elton John Scholarship, the Scott Philbrick Jazz Scholarship and the John Baker Memorial Prize. Upon graduating from Leeds College of Music with first class honours in 2009, Alex was awarded the prestigious Yamaha Jazz Scholarship and had a recording of his featured on the front cover of Jazzwise magazine.

This Quartet finds Alex in formidable company with some of the London scene’s most in-demand young musicians, playing vital, hard-grooving music – not to be missed!

“A wonderful young guitarist with a unique musical voice”
– Stan Sulzmann

This promises to be yet another brilliant gig, get there early for a good spot!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry only £5.

See you there!

 

Monday February 16th: Rachael Cohen Quartet

Another week, another stunner of a gig here at The Oxford, as this time it’s our great pleasure to welcome back the phenomenal saxophonist and composer Rachael Cohen, with her stellar quartet!

Rachael-Cohen

Rachael Cohen Quartet:

Rachael Cohen – alto saxophone / compositions

Phil Robson – guitar

Dave Whitford – double bass

Jim Bashford – drums

Rachael Cohen, a London-based alto saxophonist and composer, is one of the brightest emerging stars of her generation.  Her infectious tone mixed with her uncanny lyricism as both a composer and improviser have gained her a great deal of attention in the UK and beyond.  The Guardian has recently asserted that “Cohen takes a softly devious approach reminiscent of Lee Konitz – but, as with the canny Cool School veteran, the quietness is deceptive and the subtlety is in the weighting of phrases and the hipness with which she plays off the rhythm section.”  Emusic noted “Saxophonist Cohen crafts some deceptively simple melodies, where nuance and subtlety provide great rewards.” One of Rachael’s strongest attributes is her lyrical and controlled phrasing as an improviser, which she delivers as if telling a story with the ease and sophistication of someone twice her age.

For this gig Rachael is joined by members of her incredible quartet, featuring UK guitar hero Phil Robson, Birmingham-based drum master Jim Bashford and, on this occasion the incredible bassist Dave Whitford in a lineup worthy of any gig anywhere, playing, amongst other things, music from Rachael’s debut album Halftime, which gained huge critical reception upon its release late in 2013, including a 4 Star reviews from Jazzwise & MOJO Magazine.

This promises to be a really special gig – get there early to guarantee a good spot!

As usual, doors at 8:30, music from 9; entry only £5.

See you there!

Monday February 9th: Svarc Hanley Longhawn

This week at Jazz @ The Oxford we’re delighted to be welcoming a fantastic band from the Leeds scene, in the form of organ trio Svarc Hanley Longhawn – let’s give them a fine London welcome!

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Svarc Hanley Longhawn:

Nik Svarc – guitars

Steve Hanley – drums

Martin Longhawn – organ / keys

Formed in 2012, Svarc Hanley Longhawn are a collaborative band performing original music with influences from the classic organ trios of the past and current jazz musicians alike. The music is written as a group with an emphasis on both written material and extended improvisation.

‘These three push all the buttons, tick all the boxes. You want funk? you got 
it? You want Jazz? It’s right there. Maybe you want to go a little towards 
the outside? They’ll take you there and bring you back in one piece’. Lance Liddle – Bebop Spoken Here

‘The album closes on a majestic crescendo that is yet another of the many disparate characteristics that go up to make one of the album releases of the year for this reviewer. Gracefulness and power are very difficult to attain without upsetting the equilibrium, but this release manages that fine balancing act with a great deal of dignity.’- Jazz Goes to Leeds

In 2014 Svarc Hanley Longhawn were selected by Jazz North to feature on the Northern Line Jazz Roster. Northern line is Jazz North’s innovative scheme for supporting touring for northern jazz musicians across the north of England. The scheme aims to encourage new or cautious promoters to book selected northern artists by reducing the financial risk.

Please come down and check out these great musicians, as ever it’s doors at 8:30, music from 9; entry only £5.

See you there!

Monday February 2nd: Angus Bayley’s Scrapbook Septet

This week at The Oxford it’s our pleasure to welcome the brilliant young pianist and composer Angus Bayley, and his Scrapbook Septet!

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Scrapbook Septet:

Angus Bayley – piano / compositions

Dave Hamblett – drums

Paul Trippett – bass

Kieran McLeod – tbn

Alaric Taylor – tpt

Nick Sigsworth – violin

Daisy Watkins – viola

Though he actually studied as a scientist, 25 year old London-based pianist and composer Angus Bayley has never been far from music and has been an active musician all the while, as well as a prolific composer. His music for the Scrapbook Septet is both pensive and poignant, clad in a delicate timbre of horns and – tonight for the first time – strings (Daisy Watkins, Nick Sigsworth), where each tune is a heartfelt ode that sits somewhere between jazz, folk and rock, underpinned by chord sequences that tell a story in their own right.

Bayley’s arrangements are in it for the long game – pretty melodies dance and swell over the course of minutes, gradually transforming into fierce and fiery chordal riffs loaded with dark and beautiful harmony. Tunes are interspersed with the improvisational input of young horn stars Alaric Taylor and Kieran McLeod, vibrantly supported by an ever-shifting and responsive rhythm section comprising Dave Hamblett and Paul Trippett.

This promises to be a really lovely gig – do come and join us!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry only £5.

See you there!

Monday January 26th: DOUBLE BILL: Ralph Wyld’s Mosaic + Can of Worms

Straight back into action after last week’s cancellation! We said we’d have Ralph Wyld’s band Mosaic back at the soonest opportunity, and we weren’t kidding, so we’re delighted to be able to present them this week in a great double bill opposite George Crowley’s Can of Worms!

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Mosaic:

Ralph Wyld – vibes / compositions
James Copus – trumpet
Sam Rapley – clarinets
Cecilia Bignall – cello
Misha Mullov-Abbado – bass
Ben Brown – drums/percussion

Though still a student at London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Music, Ralph is already widely recognised as a hugely versatile and in-demand player on London’s exciting jazz and new music scene – regulars to The Oxford will remember his contribution to excellent gigs from Rick Simpson’s Klämmer and the Michael Chillingworth Septet, and he has also been a member of the brilliant Troykestra, among many others. For this gig we have the pleasure of hearing Ralph’s own writing with the interesting line-up of Mosaic, which features many other rising stars.

Featuring an array of young talent, and a huge diversity of influences, Mosaic was created as a means of bringing together people, ideas and genres. The lineup provides Wyld, as a composer and arranger, with a spectacular textural and timbral palette, from glistening, transparent treble to powerful, earth-shuddering bass. The unique character of each player is also highly valued, with improvisation taking a central role.

Examples of the broad range of influences on the music include Shostakovich, Copland and Piazzolla as well as Gil Evans, Vince Mendoza, Kenny Wheeler and Bill Frisell.

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Can of Worms:

George Crowley – sax

Tom Challenger – sax

Dan Nicholls – keys

Sam Lasserson – double bass

Jon Scott – drums

A set of anarchic, freewheeling jazz from George Crowley’s five-piece, as they warm up for a tour promoting the release of their new album on Whirlwind Recordings!

This promises to be a very special evening of music from two great bands – please come down and join us!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry only £5.

See you there!

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