Monday April 27th: Alex Bonney Quartet

Closing out a fantastic month of gigs this April at Jazz at The Oxford, we’re delighted to welcome the multifaceted trumpeter and composer Alex Bonney, with his stellar quartet!

Alex-Bonney-press

Alex Bonney Quartet:

Alex Bonney – trumpet / cornet / compositions

James Allsopp – reeds

Olie Brice – double bass

Jeff Williams – drums

The Alex Bonney Quartet use Alex’s compositions – influenced as much by American and European free jazz of the 1960s and 70s as by 20th Century ‘classical music’ – as starting points for open, interactive and exploratory improvisation. Comprised of some of the most in-demand and electrifying musicians around – wild reeds virtuoso Allsopp, superlative bassist Brice and US jazz drums legend Williams – this is an ensemble not to be missed!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

Monday April 20th: Martin Speake Trio

Another brilliant gig in store here at Jazz at The Oxford this coming Monday, as we play host to legendary UK saxophonist and composer Martin Speake and his formidable trio.

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Martin Speake Trio:

Martin Speake – alto saxophone

Mike Outram – guitar

James Maddren – drums

One of the foremost improvising saxophonists in the UK for many years, Martin Speake brings us his unique and intimate trio which assembles all of Martin’s musical influences alongside his favourite musical partners – meditative ballads, trance like grooves, free improvisation, minimalism, jazz standard songs, Arabic influenced music, heavy metal guitar and unaccompanied solos among many others combine to create an intoxicating and immersive soundworld.

In this longstanding trio format (they recently released the double album ‘Always a First Time‘ to great acclaim) Martin is joined by legendary and inspirational guitar wizard Mike Outram and, on this occasion, James Maddren on drums who has been at the forefront of the young UK jazz scene for many years now – this promises to be an incredible gig!

‘Martin Speake is one of the most interesting and rewarding alto saxophonists now playing jazz on any continent.’ –  Thomas Conrad,  Jazz Times

‘There is no musician with such complete control of the sounds coming out of a guitar. Mike Outram plays the sweetest wailing rock guitar in Britain. It’s a sound of great beauty.’ – Seb Scotney, London Jazz

Do come and join us for what will be an amazing night of music – we recommend arriving promptly for a good spot!

As ever, doors at 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

Monday April 13th: Alec Harper Trios

Back with a bang after our bank holiday hiatus, Jazz @ The Oxford returns on Monday with a bumper double bill of improvised music lead by the fantastic saxophonist Alec Harper!

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One of London’s foremost and award-winning  young saxophonists, both in the realms of improvised music and jazz, Alec Harper leads two fascinating trios drawing on musical relationships from both sides of the Atlantic.

Opening the evening with the first set will be a trio featuring:

Alec Harper – tenor sax
Tom Wheatley – double bass
Andrew Lisle – drums

Harper, Wheatley and Lisle have been improvising together and also on the circuit for a few years in London, over the UK and throughout Europe and the U.S. This newly formed trio met through mutual friends on the London scene. The group play lengthy sweeping improvisations exploring sound worlds with abstract forms and textures. Strong rhythmic interactions are a key part of the trio’s identity.

The second group will feature:

Alec Harper – tenor sax
Andria Nicodemou – vibraphone
Mark Sanders – drums

Alec and Mark have collaborated together on the London Jazz/Improv scene over the past couple of years and are now joined by Andria Nicodemou, Cypriot Vibraphonist based in Boston. Alec and Andria first met in Boston where the pair studied at New England Conservatory and the pair have since gone on to perform together in Cyprus and now in London. This performance follows on from a recent debut by the trio at the Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston. The group combines 3 diverse musical personalities together with a sensitivity resulting in a broad range of possibilities for musical exploration.

This promises to be an incredible night of spontaneous music – do come and join us!

As ever, doors at 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

Monday March 30th: Dave Manington’s Riff Raff

Closing out a superb March programme here at The Oxford we’re delighted to welcome formidable bassist and composer Dave Manington with his band Riff Raff!

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Riff Raff:

Dave Manington – bass  / compositions

Brigitte Beraha – voice

Ivo Neame – piano / accordion

Rob Updegraff – guitar

George Crowley – tenor sax

Tim Giles – drums

This dynamic ensemble of young musicians features the highly acclaimed musicians Brigitte Beraha (Paul Clarvis/Chris Laurence, Kenny Wheeler, Henry Lowther, L.J.O.), Ivo Neame (Cinematic Orchestra, Fringe Magnetic, Phronesis), Rob Updegraff (Ronnie Scotts All Stars, Zigaboo Modeliste) Tim Giles (Iain Ballamy/Stan Sulzmann/Kenny Wheeler/Art Farmer) and on this occasion George Crowley (Can of Worms, Brass Mask, Vula Viel). The starting point for the music is collective improvisation but compositionally it draws on as wide a range of styles as possible – folk, electronic music and contemporary classical influences are added to the mix with complex jazz harmonies and rhythms.

Often the music has been rewritten many times after rehearsals sent the music spinning off in different directions. Most of the material is through-composed with the themes re-emerging in different forms, different keys, or time signatures. The most important thing for us is to develop a band sound and understanding so each time we play the music can be re-invented together, often quite radically.

Several new compositions feature fantastic lyrics from Brigitte Beraha and on other tracks she sings wordless vocals, often harmonizing with the sax line to great effect. Their most recent album Hullabaloo was released on Loop Records in January 2013

” Riff Raff mix the leader’s clever composing with a formidable lineup, including Ivo Neame on piano and occasional accordion… and the excellent Tim Giles on drums. Add John Scofield-like guitarist Rob Updegraff and softly surefooted vocalist Brigitte Beraha, and the soundscape embraces a 21st century sax-led cool school sound, raw guitar-fusion, diffident Wayne Shorteresque lyricism, and vocals that showcase Beraha’s eloquent lyrics and inventiveness as a wordless improviser. ” John Fordham – The Guardian 

This promises to be another fantastic gig – please come and join us!

As ever, doors at 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

Monday March 23rd: Mikkel Ploug Trio

This week at The Oxford we have the special pleasure of welcoming some overseas guests as we play host to the brilliant longstanding trio of Danish guitarist / composer Mikkel Ploug, beginning a UK tour promoting their new album ‘At Black Tornado‘ on Whirlwind Recordings.

MikkelPlougTrio_Sean

Mikkel Ploug Trio:

Mikkel Ploug – guitar / compositions

Jeppe Skovbakke – double bass

Sean Carpio – drums

A Denmark native currently based in Copenhagen with six previous albums released to worldwide acclaim, Mikkel Ploug brings his long-standing trio – who’ve toured globally the past ten years – to The Oxford for the first time.

With Jeppe Skovbakke on double bass and Sean Carpio on drums, the threesome have often toured and recorded in the company of renowned musicians such as Mark Turner and Loren Stillman, but the goal of their latest album was to capture the aesthetics they have come to inhabit as their own sound, documenting the feel, development, groove and joy of three like-minded musicians.

“Guitarist Mikkel Ploug’s star has been ascending—not only in his native Denmark, but also in various overlapping international jazz circles.” – Elliott Simon – All About Jazz

“Masterclass – The danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug is on the way into to the champions league of contemporary jazz” – Alex Schmitz – Jazzpodium (DE)

“Music this free and also this beautiful is a rare gem and it just keeps getting better with every listen” – The Province (CA)

This promises to be a very special gig – get there early for a good seat!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

Monday March 16th: Fini Bearman Quintet

Another real treat in store this week as we welcome singer and composer Fini Bearman with a brand new band!

Fini Bearman

Fini Bearman Quintet:

Fini Bearman – voice / compositions

Nick Costley-White – guitar

Matt Robinson – piano

Calum Gourlay – double bass

Dave Hamblett – drums

It’s a pleasure to welcome back London-based singer, songwriter and composer Fini Bearman, whose music melds influences as diverse as jazz, folk and contemporary music into an ‘arresting and uniquely personal‘ sound. Sometimes dealing with settings of poetry or pre-existing texts, and other times with original lyrics or open, wordless evocations, this music is honest yet witty, mixing lush harmony and orchestration with contemporary grooves. Her recent album celebrating  and rejuvenating the music of Porgy and Bess was brilliantly received across the UK and further afield, making the ‘best of 2014′ list on AllAboutJazz, but for this performance Fini is bringing a brand new line-up comprised of some of London’s brightest young stars.

‘.. (Fini) has an irresistible voice… She is an expressive singer, and an intriguing composer and lyricist…‘  
Bruce Lindsay, allaboutjazz.com 

As ever, doors at 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

Monday March 9th: Huw V Williams’ HON

Another cracking gig in store this week, welcoming the scintillating young bassist and composer Huw V Williams and his amazing HON!

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HON:

Huw V Williams – bass / compositions

Laura Jurd – trumpet

Alam Nathoo – saxophone

Elliot Galvin – accordion

Pete Ibbetson – drums

Hon is the exciting new project by double bassist and composer Huw V Williams. Huw’s original music is played by a phenomenol collective of London’s finest young improvisers featuring Laura Jurd on Trumpet, Alam Nathoo on Tenor Saxophone, Elliot Galvin on Accordion and Pete Ibbetson on Drums.

Huw explains “The word “Hon” means “This” in Welsh. I got the idea for the name from a poem by T.H. Parry Williams. The poem is about a love hate relationship with Wales, and I feel that in myself; Wales is my roots and my family, but its like you have to leave Wales to fulfill yourself.”

Winner of the 2012 Yamaha Jazz Scholars Prize from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Huw draws on a rich combination of his Welsh roots, his training in Jazz and the contemporary creative music scenes in London, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

“I really like the idea of music coming from the mixing pot of all your history, so this is just as much about a teenage rock phase in North Wales as a mid twenties Free Jazz phase in London.”

With a fast growing CV lit up by the names of some of his heroes including Jim Black, Michael Blake, Jason Rebello, Neil Yates and long time mentor Huw Warren, Huw V Williams is building a beautiful bass filled world of free music and primal creativity.

HON have just recorded a record produced by the legendary Huw Warren; now is a perfect time to catch them!

Doors 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / £5.

See you there!

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