This Years Artists

Artists 2018

Here we will be giving you the lo-down on each artist, and why we chose them, come back and see if the page has grown!

Wednesday 15 Aug 2018
Sam Watts solo piano to film 5.30pm
In association with Ilkley Jazz Festival, Ilkley cinema presents pianist Sam Watts for a talk and improvised piano solo to silent film Shooting Stars (1928).
Before the advent of sound and pictures together all cinemas had a resident pianist who would accompany the film with various sound effects. Sam has remastered this art of film improvisation and will be performing after a talk to the movie.
Bookings via Ilkley Cinema -

Julie Edwards Duo 6pm
A new venue to Ilkley Jazz Festival the Gin Lounge on Brook Street plays host to Julie Edwards, jazz vocalist in duo with Kevin Drearden. Julie performed at the festival last year and will be singing standards and songs outside of the American Songbook. Julie has a great approach to jazz and we can guarantee that she will be the perfect accompaniment to a long G&T!

James Birkett and Bradley Johnston 7pm

Our regular venue Monkmans hosts James Birkett and Bradley Johnston Guitar duo, who present a programme of music by some of the most influential players and composers of the last hundred years – taking the audience on a musical journey which moves from early jazz and blues, through swing and bebop, to cool and contemporary jazz. Tonight’s programme also includes some original compositions.
For tickets please contact Monkmans on 01943 817 485

Nicki Allan Duo 7pm
We have the fabulous Nicki Allan on piano and vocals with the Roomdarkener Rod Mason on Sax, they will be playing a mix of standards and some self penned songs, this will be an entertaining evening to accompany the amazing food at Quinta, Wells Road
For Bookings please contact Quinta on 01943 602 670

Dave Smith Blues Duo 8pm 
We head to Martinez for the welcome return of Dave Smith Blues.
Blues is the foundation of jazz and those who caught Dave last year will know that he has that real old school blues voice reminiscent of the great blues singers.
Tickets are £5 from Martinez on 01943 600 000

Thursday 16 Aug 2018,
Zoe Gilby's Quartet 6.30pm 

Jazz vocalist Zoe Gilby heads down the A1 from Newcastle with her band to sing and play at the Black Hat, with her quartet.
Zoƫ Gilby is a vocalist and songwriter, making a stunning impression on the music scene today. Her compelling original compositions are written with double bassist husband Andy Champion. Her stockpile of music reaches a wide range of more contemporary material from composers such as Pink Floyd to Kate Bush, with influences from Sheila Jordan and Joni Mitchell.

Esther Bennett  7pm
Esther is a well known London based Jazz Singer who returns to the festival to play in Monkmans.
Having a voice that is a throw back to the jazz greats Esther will be singing jazz standards with the accompaniment of guitarist Jeff Hewer. Esther has been described as ‘sultry, sexy, smoky and witty’ in a recent review. Expect an intimate and entertaining evening from this dynamic jazz singer.

Kate Peters Duo 7pm
Kate is a well known Leeds based Jazz singer being accompanied by Bass player John Marley in Quinta,, where you can sample some of the best food in Ilkley.  As an active performer, Kate performs with some of the UK´s most talented jazz musicians on the jazz scene. I’m sure you’ll agree, when you hear her, that she is a performer of rare passion and flair!

Nik Svark Trio 8pm

Nik and his cutting edge, fusion led trio perform at friends of Ham with
Nik Svarc –Guitar/Loops
Steve Hanley-Drums
Martin Longhawn- Organ/Keys

‘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

Directors Jam 9pm

Artistic director Beverley Beirne has invited some of the days performers to jam with the NiK Svarc Trio at the Friends of Ham, expect a varied program (as the performers choose) in a interesting setting for a jam session from professional musicians and singers.

Friday 17th
Back Chat Brass 4pm
After the chaos of last years performance around Ilkley we could help but ask Back Chat Brass back to this years festival, to play their mix of jazz and contemporary songs, starting at the Ticket Office the band may be found anywhere in Ilkley if the weather is suitable for a walk about!

Rod Mason Duo 6pm
Rod Mason is a a well known figure on the Yorkshire jazz scene sometimes referred to as ‘The Room Darkener’ not just as a reference to his height but also his ability to fill the room with beautiful melodic jazz. He will be performing at Monkmans where you will find some of the most amazing food served to accompany the jazz!

Ronnie Bottomley Trio 6.30pm
Ronnie on drums
Adrian Knowles bass
Jason Scott piano
Following his life time achievement award from Yorkshire Jazz in 2010, the octogenarian, Ronnie hasn’t rested on his laurels and has this new multi generational trio to contrast to the jazz orchestra he also runs. The trio will be playing the music of Jeff Hamilton Trio arrangements (which I think is to what you’re referring). Lesser known compositions of Dave Brubeck and Thad Jones plus favourites from the Great American Songbook

Anita Wardell quartet 8pm
Having recently moved back to Australia this will be one of the rare opportunities to hear Anita sing in the UK this year. It is a great honour to have Anita perform at Ilkley this year.

Anita Wardell received the prestigious BBC Jazz Award for Best of Jazz category in 2006 and a British Jazz award for Best Vocalist in 2013. Her singing is exciting and breath taking; she is noted for her mesmerizing and captivating vocal improvisations and vocalese lyrics to instrumental solos. Anita is a musician who uses the voice as her instrument, displaying precision and agility, mixed with heartfelt emotion.

‘The thing about Anita Wardell is that she makes tricky stuff sound not just easy but natural’ The Guardian

Saturday 18th
Jazz Workshop 10am
We start the day with the ever popular jazz workshop, our tutors are Adrian Knowles and Ben Lowman, the theme this year will be Summertime.
Places are already starting to book up and we are limited to 20 and instrumentalists only so please email to book your place
There is a lead sheet and more info on Bens Blog

Daren Dunston Bromley Through out the day
Will be performing solo guitar when the main acts are not playing.
Enjoying the life of the performer, various collaborations in both the jazz and classical fields have allowed Darren to perform extensively throughout the country and abroad. Recent appearances have included Milan, the Edinburg Festival, Southport Jazz Festival, Didsbury Jazz Festival, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Scarborough jazz festival and of course Ilkley Jazz Festival last year!

The Paradise Trio 1pm
We welcome back Richard Iles with his own project the Paradise Trio, The content of The Paradise Trio is strong on melody and with the prodigious talents of Les Chisnell on piano and Mike Walker on guitar, harmony and counterpoint is always evident. There is more info about this performance on Richards Web site :

The Ushaw Ensemble 2.30pm
Grown from a commission by Ushaw College and Durham Cathedral, led by pianist Paul Edis, to compose for septet, pitching improvisers alongside Northumbrian pipes and violin, melding his forte in modern jazz with traditional music from the north east the piece is a rich tapestry of sounds reflecting vibrant narratives. The Ushaw Ensemble has gone on to become Jazz North ambassador artist.

Perpetual Motion Machine 4pm
With an unusual line-up of twin tenor saxophones, twin guitars, bass, and drums, Perpetual Motion Machine creates a cinemascope sound that surrounds the listener. The power of PMM comes not from sheer volume, but from the breadth (stylistic and spatial) of its sources. Rock, free-improvisation, spoken word, and bebop coexist in this exciting new music, crafted by artists who embrace these traditions in all their variety and depth.

Perpetual Motion Machine is a six-piece group, recently selected as ambassadors for Jazz North’s prestigious Northern Line scheme. Its members might be familiar to audiences in the region, but the PMM project represents a bold departure for all involved and the prospect of a live experience like no other.

Bare Brass Band 5.30pm
The Ticket office will be hosting this vibrant New Orleans style brass band just outside the station. Regulars on the festival circuit this band really gets the feet tapping, being fully acoustic they have a wander around town too!

The Ilkley Suite 7pm
Being our 5th year we thought we would celebrate, growing from 4 performances and a workshop in 2013 to 30 events this year.
We have commissioned jazz composer Jamil Sheriff to write a suite of music based on Ilkley and its surrounding landscape, and it inaugural performance will be at this years festival. The suite is going to be recorded and we hope to have cds available at the festival.

There is more about this suite here

Alina Bzhezhinska 8.30 pm
Alina is one of the most exciting and dynamic harpists based in the UK. Her imaginative programmes have established her reputation as a harpist of exceptional accomplishment. She has had the honour of playing at European Parliament, at the Queen’s 80th-birthday celebrations at Balmoral Castle and at the King of Thailand’s birthday celebrations in Bangkok and now Ilkley Jazz Festival, bringing an amazing band, Tiny Kofi on Sax, Larry Bartley on Bass and Joel Prime on Drums.
Alina, drawing on her exploration of Alice Coltrane’s music will be playing originals alongside the music of Alice and John Coltrane from her critically acclaimed new album Inspiration

"Bzhezhinska has a formidable technique which includes conjuring an unusually wide range of timbral qualities from the often monochrome harp. She is further equipped with something you cannot learn: soul, which she has in spades."
All About Jazz 2018

Ilkley Jazz Jam
This year we have a great house band for the jam session at the Black Hat
Please contact if you fancy playing or need guidance

Sunday 19th August

Masterclass with Jamil Sheriff - 10am – Jazz Composition
Jamil has 4 original albums across big and small band, and has composed the Ilkley Suite for us this year. Being the head of the jazz course at Leeds College of Music makes him ideally placed for this masterclass on Jazz Composition. The masterclasses are good for musicians and non musicians wishing to gain an appreciation of elements of jazz

Matt Holborn Latchepen – 12.30 – Contemporary Gypsy Jazz
London based Matt has played Ilkley Jazz Festival in the past (2016) to great applaud, so we couldn’t help ourselves to ask Matt and his new project back for this years festival. Latchepen are a London band born out of a collective admiration of Django Reinhardt and anything that swings, the word Latchepen is an exclamation of happiness in the Romani language. Acoustic by nature but with a projection and heart beat that can rival any amplifier or drum, this is jazz on a string with influences ranging from Romani music to bebop.
Swing Manouche - 3pm – Classic Gypsy Jazz
Mick Shoulders band start Ilkley Jazz Festivals gypsy jazz slot in 2015 so it is only right to invite his new band Sing Manouche back this year! Giving a more traditional edge to the gypsy jazz sound, Swing Manouche (literally - gypsy swing) take from the more prolific part of Django's ensembles, adding clarinet instead of violin and this time featuring Mick on lead guitar.
James Mainwarring duo with Jamil Sheriff – 12.30
Last year James brought his 4tet to Ilkley and this year you can see this virtuoso sax player in the intimate setting of Broadley’s accompanied by Jamil Sheriff on piano. This will be beautiful music ideal for a laid back brunch.
Two Rivers Little Band – 1pm
Two Rivers are a familiar site on the bandstand in Ilkley however this cut down version will be playing classics from the jazz repertoire under the guidance of Ilkley’s own Steph Atkinson!

Dales Jam  - 2pm
The Dales Jam community band make a welcome return to this years festival on the bandstand.

Dales Jam was formed in 2003 in Skipton by a group of people of all ages and musical abilities, who wanted a time and a place to meet up and play music. Since then, under the guidance of jazz saxman Richard Ormrod the band has grown in numbers.
They play world music based including African, Klezmer, Cuban, Asian together with Stevie Wonder, John Mclaughlin and John Coltrane. They recently performed a concert comprising interpretations/arrangements of the work of Bradford composer Frederick Delius.
 Sontuno - 4pm
Sontuno is a Yorkshire-based authentic Cuban quartet, playing son and salsa perfect for dancing from Compay Segundo to Cachao; they round off the festival with their crazy latin jazz sounds, this is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and finish the festival with a cocktail from the Ticket Office in hand!

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