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Gaz Hughes Trio

mjf @ First Street (HOME Stage)

Gaz Hughes drums / Andrzej Baranek piano / Gavin Barras double bass  

With a refreshing take on the piano trio format, Gaz Hughes uses the canon of Bluenote-infused, driving swing and be-bop to forge an original contemporary repertoire that blends heritage with a modern twist, striking the perfect balance between tradition and innovation. 

The results are thoughtfully funky, agile, intelligent – and fun. Their latest opus, Nuclear Bebopalypse, evidences their tight ensemble sound, achieved not only through extensive touring but through a deep understanding of and commitment to the genre from each of the players – all esteemed soloists in their own right.  

With three acclaimed albums under his belt, Hughes has built a reputation for solid playing and an engaging affinity with audiences, establishing himself as one of the premier jazz drummers in the UK.  

Building on the success of “Beboperation” and “Beboptical Illusion,” “Nuclear Bebopalypse” stands as a testament to The Gaz Hughes Trio’s commitment to create new music and continue to develop their identity in the boundaries of Swing and Bop. 

In a short space of time, Gaz Hughes has established himself a one of the premier jazz drummers in the UK.With three acclaimed albums under his belt, Hughes has built quite a reputation with audiences around the country, not just for his drumming but also for his engaging personality both behind and in front of the kit.Positioned at the vanguard of the new wave of British jazz talent, the Gaz Hughes Trio are a group to take note of for 2024. 

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

Date: friday 17 may

Time: 5:45 pm - 6:30 pm

Time: 7:30 pm - 8:15 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Claire Victoria Roberts

mjf @ First Street (HOME Stage)

Claire Victoria Roberts voice / Jacob Savage keyboards / Treske Quartet: Abi Hammet, Oliver Baily violins / Rob Wheatly viola / Mollie Wrafter cello  

Claire Victoria Roberts is a composer, vocalist and violinist, blurring the boundaries of jazz, contemporary and singer-songwriter genres. She collaborates with musicians from classical, jazz and folk spheres, drawing upon her diverse influences and melding styles together: through improvised vocals, contemporary classical timbres, and melody-driven compositions.  

Drawing upon these diverse influences as a composer and performer – lyrical jazz, chanson, and Celtic fiddle music – Claire presents a repertoire blending contemporary string textures with improvisation. The sensitive chamber setting transports listeners through an intimate performance of vocal storytelling, rich string textures and experimentation. 

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

 

Date: saturday 18 may

Time: 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

Time: 2:10 pm - 3:00 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Sonic Threads

mjf @ First Street (HOME Stage)

Supriya Nagarajan Carnatic vocals / Lucy Nolan harp, electronics

A daring and innovative duo, Sonic Threads transcends cultural and genre boundaries as Lucy Nolan and Supriya Nagarajan seamlessly merge Eastern and Western influences in their performances. The duo is heavily influenced by the spiritual movement started by Alice Coltrane and both Supriya and Lucy capture that meditative quality in their renditions. 

Supriya Nagarajan is a composer and singer who creates rich, dreamy soundscapes as she combines her Indian musical background with contemporary classical music, whilst harpist Lucy Nolan uses a combination of rag-inspired music, free improvisation and electronics, which, when combined, weave a unique sonic tapestry drawing on influences from jazz, Carnatic and Western Classical music. 

Frequently performing as a duo and collaborating with other guest artists both nationally and internationally, Sonic Threads are regularly invited to perform at renowned music venues and festivals, with recent appearances including The Royal Albert Hall, TUSK Music Festival, The Sage Gateshead, Lambeth Palace, Cafe Oto, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Jaipur Literature Festival.  

They often draw on pressing current affairs to inspire their programming and composition work and recently performed in Meltwater, a day in the life of a glacier, which tackled issues relating to rising sea levels and water ownership, and was premiered at the Southbank Centre in London before touring the UK.

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

Date: saturday 18 may

Time: 4:30 pm - 5:25 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Meilana Gillard: RBG Trio

mjf @ First Street (HOME Stage)

Meilana Gillard saxophones / Dave Redmond double bass / Kevin Brady drums 

Meilana Gillard – “a gutsy, inventive player” (The Irish Times) – presents Chasing Comets: a 4-movement suite of new music themed around the cosmos and outer space, commissioned by the BAN BAM artist development programme in Dublin. 

The four movements are I. Solar Flare, II. Supernova’, III. Dark Matter and IV. Moontide and the music is also a nod to Gillard’s love of video game music of the 1980’s. Using different effects such as a harmoniser, space echo and loop station, RBG Trio improvises within these movements, sometimes through-composed, other times free, presenting a variety of grooves from triumphant to mysterious and with textures flowing from the very open to thick and dense. Audiences can look forward to a feeling of fun, play and possibility throughout the set. 

“Rhythmically grooving and tightly tethered one moment, loose and exploratory the next, RBG Trio’s aesthetic was both familiar in a rootsy way and thrillingly free-spirited.” – All About Jazz

BAN BAM is a biennial commission and development opportunity for female and gender-minority artists from across Ireland from Improvised Music Company (IMC) Dublin and Moving On Music (MoM) Belfast. 

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

Date: saturday 18 may

Time: 6:45 pm - 7:30 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Archipelago

mjf @ First Street (HOME Stage)

Faye MacCalman voice, clarinet, tenor saxophone, synthesiser / John Pope bass, voice / Christian Alderson drums, percussion  

‘Very original, evocative, and at times haunting’Kevin Le Gendre, BBC Radio 3

Archipelago is a genre-defying trio of adventurous musicians, formed out of the North East of England’s creative musical underground. Their sound is a dreamlike collision of otherworldly atmospheres, heartfelt song-writing and energetic off-kilter rhythms.   

Moving between instruments and effects to create the illusion of a much larger ensemble, before peeling back to their raw, improvisational trio form, Archipelago’s uncompromising refusal to fit into one genre makes for a fully-charged musical experience. With influences stretching from Joni Mitchell to Don Cherry to Esperanza Spalding, Archipelago draws on a deep pool of sonic references and the diversity of their individual musical histories.  

Their latest album Echoes to the Sky received critical acclaim, with a nomination for UK Jazz Act of The Year award at the Jazz FM Awards, support from Gilles Peterson, BBC6 Music and BBC Radio 3 and slots at Love Supreme Festival, London Jazz Festival and Manchester Jazz Festival. 

 “A quiet fire …a gently held back power and energy that I absolutely love.” – Corey Mwamba, Freeness, BBC Radio 3  

 “**** Superb…epically adventurous… An impressive unity of vision.” – Jazzwise 

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

Date: sunday 19 may

Time: 1:45 pm - 2:30 pm

Time: 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required

Amy Thatcher & Francesca Knowles

mjf @ First Street (HOME Stage)

Amy Thatcher accordion, lead vocal, synthesiser / Francesca Knowles drums, vocals, keyboards  

Envelope-pushing accordion and percussion duo Thatcher and Knowles defy the preconceptions of what their instruments can do, breaking with tradition while tactfully adopting it as a foundation for playful experimentation. Their live show is one of both raucous energy and sympathetic intensity, incorporating drums, synths, keys and vocals into an unapologetic brew of colourful and creative composition. Their debut album Emergency of the Female Kind showcases a spectrum of humanness rarely captured in just 46 minutes and the pair’s undaunted attitude to kicking off a genre revolution. 

“Their debut album is an envelope-pushing blast of excitement that warps folky jazz and prog into new and unfamiliar shapes. Exhilarating stuff.” The Crack 

“Together, they are DYNAMITE. – The Crack 

Click here to download the mjf2024 festival leaflet

Date: sunday 19 may

Time: 4:45 pm - 5:30 pm

Time: 6:15 pm - 7:00 pm

Price: Free admission, no ticket required