Alan Barnes Octet

Large alan barnes

There's always been a paradox at the heart of jazz – that of whether a listener wants to be “challenged” by new material and po-faced, edgy performers, or whether they simply want to look down the personnel list of a band and know with 100% certainty that what they'll hear will be the real deal, played by familiar musicians who'll deliver the goods hands down every time. Just take a look at the names in this particular edition of Alan Barnes' Octet to witness how, very often in jazz circles, familiarity breeds not contempt but genuine affection. Those who like to follow the British Jazz Awards will spot a clutch of very deserving category winners, including, of course, the leader whose mantelpiece we understand has recently undergone extensive underpinning in order to accommodate his ever expanding tranche of jazz trophies.

But besides award-wins and music that is guaranteed to embody the swinging lifeblood of the idiom the Barnes octet also boasts another collective asset: humour. Alan has never shied away from the fact that a jazz gig is as much about entertainment as it is about self-expression and his witty compering and subversive observations on his fellow musicians are almost worth the price of admission alone. But it's the music that really matters most, and today's gig promises to highlight some of the best of Barnes' writing through the years.
< Back to festival

Saturday October 6, 6:30pm

  • > Alan Barnes - Reeds
  • > Mark Nightingale - Trombone
  • > Bruce Adams - Trumpet
  • > Robert Fowler - Reeds
  • > Karen Sharp - Reeds
  • > Dave Newton - Piano
  • > Simon Thorpe - Double Bass
  • > Clark Tracey - Drums