Live Jazz and Acoustic Music in Bristol

Two gigs left of the autumn series and both are crackers in different ways! Dave O'Higgins & Rob Luft Quintet is a great straight-ahead, swinging Jazz gig (sold out Old Vic 4yrs ago); then a very different happening in June, with Norwegian bassist Ellen Andrea Wang in trio format; again with Rob Luft, typically Scandinavian but with a twist

Hope you can join us for the last two of the series. Click the link on the right to join the mailing list and get notified early!

Cheers, Ian

Dave O'Higgins - Rob Luft Quintet

Sun 28 May - 7:15 for 8:00 (20.71/ 19.08)Bristol Beacon - Book Δ

O'Higgins & Luft

Dave O'Higgins (Saxes), Rob Luft (Guitar), Ross Stanley (Piano), Misha Mullov-Abbado (Bass), Rod Youngs (Drums)

This is straight-ahead modern jazz in the African-American tradition, clearly coming from the Monk and Trane lineage, but not bound to emulating it.

You will hear Luft easily morphing Wes Montgomery with Bill Frisell, adding his own trademark soundscapes and world influences, while O'Higgins' emotive melodies evoke Dexter Gordon, Trane, Joe Henderson and Brecker; with a melodic logic of his own.

Dave O'Higgins' experience working with artists across different genres spans a huge spectrum, such as US Jazz musicians Darius Brubeck, Kyle Eastwood, Joe Lovano, Jimmy Smith and Wayne Shorter; to Jazz vocalists Nancy Wilson, Peggy Lee and extraordinary Kurt Elling.

Add to that long term UK work with Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine; plus collaborations with South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim to the legendary French pair; violinist Stephane Grappelli (in Martin Taylor's 'Spirit of Django') and composer/songwriter Michel Legrand.
He also wrote and produced the pop group Matt Bianco's album, "Gravity".
But it dosen't stop there.... Frank Sinatra (the last London appearance - a week at the Royal Albert Hall in 1992) and a tour and album with Blues great Ray Charles (Strong Love Affair). Its a CV to die for!

Rob Luft is an award-winning 28-year-old jazz guitarist from London whose virtuosity has been compared to that of six-string legends John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola & Paco De Lucia. Those are big boy boots to be compared too, and I must admit when I put these two on at the Bristol Old Vic (Sept 2019) as a quartet, I didn't know too much about Rob....turned out he stole the show with some incredible guitar lines delivered at exceptional speed and accuracy, without breaking sweat!

Praised by 'The Times' for performances with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in 2015, who said he was destined "to achieve great things in the future", well he has already.

His debut album, 'Riser', was released on Edition Records in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim from the European jazz media. John Fordham wrote in The Guardian that "it's a very sophisticated debut, but given Luft's old-soul achievements since his early teens, we should have heard it coming". Well, that turned out to be prophetic!

These two together makes for a formidable frontline, with an A-List rhythm section, this will swing like someones mother!

The Quartet is now a Quintet; and if its anything like the Old Vic gig, you won't want to miss it read more

"O'Higgins plays with quite exceptional fluency and his fund of ideas never runs out." - The Observer

".a singular talent, a fluent improviser and a composer of catchy, earthy, infectiously upbeat tunes. There are echoes of West African high-life, English folk, indie rock and various strands of contemporary jazz, but Luft's sound is joyously original, robust and in-your-face." - The Irish Times (IRE)


Ellen Andrea Wang Trio

Sat 24 June - 7:15 for 8:00 (20.71/19.07)Bristol Beacon - Book Δ

Ellen Andrea Wang Trio

Ellen Andrea Wang (Bass & Vocals: Norway), Rob Luft (Guitars: UK), Jon Flt (Drums: Sweden)

Born and raised in Norway, Bassist and singer Ellen Andrea Wang has become a powerful force in European Jazz and beyond, distinguishing herself as a truly inventive artist that blends styles in unprecedented ways. From collaboration with Sting, Manu Katch, and Marilyn Mazur, to performances at major Jazz Festivals, to her appearance with the vocal Jazz Group GURLS, to her own projects Pixel and the Ellen Andrea Wang Trio. She was appointed Artist in Residence at the Molde Jazz Festival in 2021.

Wang has consistently sought to tastefully blend Jazz and Pop in new ways. Her compositions and performance balance the lyrical with the rough and the acoustic with the electric; resulting in a unique modern sound. Her voice is subtlely strong and haunting, much in the way we heard the vocal theme songs of those Scandinavian TV series of the recent past, such as The Killing and The Bridge

Ellen's third studio album, Closeness, features this trio line-up. In what now seems prescient, the album is an adventurous mix of traditional spirituals; soothing in their delivery of her longing and personal compositions; plus two carefully selected covers from Ornette Coleman (Lonely Woman) and Pat Metheny (This Is Not America). The connection between the musicians is quite evident as they approach each song with patience and absolute care for the art.

Rob Luft is an multi-award-winning 28-year-old jazz guitarist from London whose virtuosity has been compared to that of six-string legends John McLaughlin , Al Di Meola & Paco De Lucia. Praised by The Times for performances with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in 2015, who said he was destined "to achieve great things in the future", that has proved prophetic, Big Time!
If you come and hear him with Dave O'Higgins in March, you will hear a grooving, spectacularly speedy & accurate guitarist: With this trio he shows a completely different side, using texture, tone and an affinity with his fellow musicians, that produces something very beautiful.

Jon Flt was playing in very good company from a very young age. After playing in the National Jazz Orchestra of Sweden, he quickly progressed to play in the bands of some stellar Scandinavian artists such as; Bobo Stenson, Fredrik Ljungkvist and legendary Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. He's won multiple awards and diversified into Indie, Rock and Contemporary Pop bands. What he gives to this trio is a delicate touch, similar to the feel you get when listening to Paul Motion.

This could end up being the top gig of the season....maybe; read more

"A commanding presence in any ensemble she plays in, her soft tone and vocal precision are always counterbalanced with heavy and assertive grooves from her double-bass, interlocking with drummers, jazz, pop and groove alike".
The Guardian