'An Evening with Alan Barnes and Friends'

Sun 31 March - 7:15 for 8:15 (£21.80/£20.71)Beacon Lantern Book

Alan Barnes (Saxes/Clarinet)
Bruce Adams (Trumpet)
David Newton (Piano)
Will Harris (Basses)
Mark Whitlam (Drums)

When these two get together fireworks happen. Both top players in their own right, when on stage as a frontline horn section they play off each other brilliantly and compete with amazing technique and equally quick one-liners that has audiences loving the music and having a fun night out.

Alan Barnes

Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist. He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone sax, where he combines a formidable virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers. His range and brilliance have made him a “first call” for studio and live work since his precocious arrival on the scene more than thirty years ago. His recorded catalogue is immense. He has made over thirty albums as leader and co-leader alone, and the list of his session and side-man work includes Bjork, Bryan Ferry, Michel Legrand, Clare Teale, Westlife, Jools Holland and Jamie Cullum.

He has toured and played residencies with such diverse and demanding figures as Ruby Braff, Freddie Hubbard, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Ken Peplowski, Harry Allen and Conte Candoli. In British jazz, the young Barnes was recognized – and hired – by the established greats of the time: Stan Tracy, John Dankworth, Kenny Baker, Bob Wilber, and Humphrey Lyttelton. But he is equally respected for his longstanding and fruitful collaborations with contemporaries such as David Newton, Bruce Adams, and Martin Taylor.

Alan's unique musicianship, indefatigable touring, and warm rapport with audiences have made him uniquely popular in British jazz. He has received over 30 British Jazz Awards, most recently in 2016 for clarinet, and has twice been made BBC Jazz Musician of the Year.

Bruce Adams

Bruce Adams's regular appearances at the Edinburgh and Glasgow jazz festivals enabled him to share the stage with people like Dick Hyman, Bob Wilbur, Benny Carter, Buddy Tate, Al Cohn, Al Grey, Ray Bryant, Milt Hinton, Gus Johnson, Danny Moss, Jack Parnell and Roy Williams

Bruce's big band career includes Drinking with the Scottish Radio Orchestra, The Tommy Sampson Big Band, The Kenny Baker Dozen, Echoes of Ellington, The Don Lusher Big Band and one of the last concerts of the Ted Heath Band under the direction of Don Lusher. Bruce has also featured as guest soloist with the BBC Big Band, The Fat Chops Big Band and MYJO. Often a regular nominee in the British Jazz Awards, Bruce won the Top Trumpet prize in 2000, 2006 and 2008 and placed in the top 5 again in 2010 before regaining his crown the following year.

Adams performs with Boppy zip and, when appropriate, a nice dirty, low down feeling.
~ Martin Gayford, The Daily Telegraph

David Newton

David Newton's recording career had begun in 1985 with Buddy De Franco and Martin Taylor and his first solo album was released in '88 in association with producer Elliot Meadow who oversaw the next nine years of recording for Linn Records followed by Candid Records. Once again, in 1997, David Newton and Alan Barnes teamed up and together with Concorde Label agent Barry Hatcher, made four CDs for that label.

In the first five years of the nineties, Newton's reputation as an exquisite accompanist for a singer, spread rather rapidly and by '95 he was regularly working with Carol Kidd, Marion Montgomery, Tina May, Annie Ross, Claire Martin and of course Stacey Kent, with whom he spent the next ten years recording and travelling all over the world. While all this was going on, Newton was composing music which he would record on his own CDs as well as writing specifically for Martin Taylor, Alan Barnes, Tina May or Claire Martin and Newton's music can now be heard on many television productions, especially in the United States where over twenty TV movies benefit from Newton's haunting themes. In 2003, after a twenty year gap, David Newton was reunited with playwright Alan Aykbourn having been involved with eight world premieres in Scarborough and London back in the early eighties, and he was asked to write the music for two new productions, 'Sugar Daddies' and 'Drowning on Dry Land'.

David Newton was made a Fellow of Leeds College of Music in 2003 where he taught jazz piano.

Newton has a deliciously crystalline touch. ~ The Observer, (Dave Gelly)


Will Harris

Will Harris's dynamic and comprehensive approach to the double bass has put him in high demand as a musician in the South-West. He is a regular member of Andy Hague quartet, Kevin Figes quartet, Michelson Morley, Karen Street's 'Streetworks' and most recently the Jazz Defenders.

Will has also shared the stage with the likes of Bobby Wellins, Alan Barnes, David Newton, Simon Spillett, Tina May, Anita Wardell, Damon Brown, Ed Jones and LA-based sax player Benn Clatworthy.

Mark Whitlam is a versatile drummer who has worked with artists as diverse as Jim Mullen, Alan Barnes, Tina May, Dave Newton and US saxophonist Benn Clatworthy through to Mike Outram, Gareth Williams, Chris Biscoe, Alexander Hawkins, Nick Malcolm and Ollie Brice.

Mark Whitlam

Growing up near Nottingham, Mark initially studied piano from age seven and then later percussion, receiving tuition from Royal Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra percussionists. Learning from master drummers Ralph Salmins, Jeff Hamilton, Jim Chapin and Dave Wickens, Mark was offered a place at Trinity College of Music to study for a Masters degree in jazz performance. He’s now a first call for the drum chair in many local bands including the Andy Hague Quartet, Greg Cordez Quintet and Jim Blomfield’s trio. Latterly he worked often with Andy Sheppard in several of his Bristol based bands

Tonight's gig will allow Alan to curate the evening as he sees fit, choosing the music and relating many of his humourous tales of playing jazz all over the world with some remarkable collaborators, it promises to be a fun night with guaranteed swinging jazz.