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2019 Herts Jazz festival

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Gareth Williams Trio in the Bar
Friday September 27
10:30 -11:59pm

'A front-rank UK jazz musician at home in a world of standard song-shapes, cool funk [and] postbop jazz'.
John Fordham, review of Gareth Williams Trio, The Guardian

As ever, jazz piano figures very strongly in the programming of this year's Herts Jazz Festival (hardly surprising...

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Tom Dunnett Sextet
Saturday September 28
12:00 - 1:15pm

'A newly formed ensemble featuring exciting young talent playing original music...a great platform for composition with influences all the way from Bach to Mingus'.
Write-up of the Tom Dunnett Sextet from Birmingham Conservatoire's Eastside Jazz Club

There's a long and rich history of trombone jazz...

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Graham Harvey Trio in the Bar
Saturday September 28
1:15 - 2:15pm

FREE ADMISSION. 'A swinging trio, very much in the mold of the great Ray Brown ensembles of the 90s'.
Review of the Graham Harvey Trio, Derby Jazz

It's always been more than a little difficult to single out pianist Graham Harvey's strongest musical suit. Is...

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Quentin Collins Sextet
Saturday September 28
2:15 - 3:30pm

'A trumpeter whose style is a sizzling update of the Morgan/Hubbard approach'.
MOJO Magazine
Quentin Collins is, quite simply, a master musician; as an instrumentalist he has attributes likely to turn many of his trumpet playing colleagues green with envy – a tone that remains...

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Melling/Themen Duo
Saturday September 28
4:00 - 5:15pm

'The rapport between the two is impressive, with a mutual gift and plenty of conversational exchanges between the more developed solos. Also lurking beneath the surface is a shared sense of humour...'
The Jazz Rag, review of Melling/Themen album 'Trace Elements'.

How did it happen?...

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Ronnie's Remembered
Saturday September 28
7:00 - 8:00pm

'He can play. He's as good a saxophone player as I've played with.'
Sonny Stitt on Ronnie Scott, Melody Maker 1964

'30 years in a jazz club? It's like a life sentence!'
So mused Ronnie Scott on a BBC documentary in 1989, some three decades...

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Clark Tracey Allstars - Classic Albums Revisited
Saturday September 28
8:30 -11:00pm

'By 1959, jazz had reached maturity. And thanks to successive was about to enter a wild new phase.'
Billboard magazine 'Remembering Jazz's Greatest Year'

There's long been a strong argument for 1959 being jazz's 'greatest' year. Think about it: the vast majority of the...

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Leon Greening Trio in the Bar
Saturday September 28
11:00 -12:30am

FREE ADMISSION. 'Leon Greening stands in the ranks of the greatest'.
Review of Leon Greening Trio, Jazz in Reading

Leon Greening in full flight (and when is he not?) is truly a sight to behold: head held at a right angle to the piano keyboard,...

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Sunday September 29
11:30 -12:30pm

FREE ADMISSION. 'Our future.'
Clark Tracey

OK, here's a quick teaser. Which jazz group has appeared at every single Herts Jazz Festival since its inception in 2011? Easy, right? Got to be one led by Alan Barnes? No. How about Dave Newton? No? Art Themen's...

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Alan Barnes Octet - Requiem
Sunday September 29
1:00 - 2:15pm

'If you go to a gig where Alan Barnes is playing, you never get less than a whole-hearted virtuoso display of muscular jazz.'
Sussex Jazz Magazine

He's the ultimate man-about-British-jazz, a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and bandleader of such prolific abilities that he's rarely if ever...

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Oxley/Meier Guitar Project in the Bar
Sunday September 29
2:15 - 3:30pm

FREE ADMISSION. 'When it comes to empathy this duet of guitar virtuosi comes close to perfection'.
Dave Gelly, The Guardian

Clocking up concerts numbering in their hundreds, and spread across both the UK and continental Europe, the Oxley/Meier Project goes from strength to strength. Critically...

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Laura Jurd's Dinosaur
Sunday September 29
3:30 - 4:45pm

'A mesmerising display of world-class musicianship.'
Jane Cornwell, The Evening Standard

The rise and rise of trumpeter Laura Jurd continues apace. A member of BBC Radio Three's 'New Generation Artists' initiative, she has also won a clutch of other notable awards: the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz...

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Dave O'Higgins Quartet
Sunday September 29
5:15 - 6:30pm

Dave O’Higgins’ saxophone sounds are highly personal and recognisable, with a clear sense of melodic development and adventure. A popular performer with the public, with an excellent sense of pacing and presentation, he has a wide palette from Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Joe...

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Seven Steps to Heaven
Sunday September 29
8:00 -10:30pm

'His tenor solos stood out a mile, conveying a precociously warm tone and a natural fluent phrasing which seemed to exude jazz history'.
Selwyn Harris on Xhosa Cole, Jazzwise

...and talking of hot tickets, there can't be many more smokingly ablaze than new star tenorist...

Click here to see photos of the 2019 festival

Click here to see details of the 2019 film festival