40 years of Live Jazz and Acoustic Music in Bristol

2024 will see the 40th Anniversary of 'Jazz at the Albert' (Jazzata) promoting music in Bristol. From the early days and the development of The Albert Inn in Bedminster,which became an Internationally renowned music venue; to gigs at Bordeaux Quay, Future Inns, the Hen & Chicken and most recently at Bristol Beacon Foyer. We have managed to work with some of the most engaging and talented musicians from around the world, and been proud & happy to do so.....

With this in mind, the Jazzata programme for 2024 will be based on some things old and many things new, especially in the first 6 months of the year. The second half of 2024 will see gigs with some of the artists who are now the stars of the Jazz and Acoustic music scene, reflecting on the 40 years but playing music that is very much 2024.

I hope you will be able to join me at some gigs in this special year and take in some other special events planned for the year.

Cheers, Ian

Brandon Allen's; 'Groove band'

Sun 26 May - 7:15 for 8:00 (£21.80/£20.71)Bristol Beacon - Book Δ

Brandon Allen

Brandon Allen (Saxes), Mike Outram (Guitar),
Jim Watson (Piano & Keys), Chris Attwell (Electric Bass), Jamie Murray (Drums)

Australian born, UK based saxophonist and composer Brandon Allen, brings his new 'Groove Project' to Bristol, performing original groove, funk; and a fusion of soul jazz, soundscape and electronica.

The musical influences come from the likes of Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Harris, John Scofield, David Sanborn, The Brecker Brothers, Joshua Redman, David 'Fathead' Newman; film music and electronica. You can expect funky baselines, otherworldly drum grooves, soaring synth lines and intricate, intoxicating sax & guitar melodies. A powerhouse band line-up of top UK Jazz, Funk and Indie professionals, Jamie Murray was impressive here with Henry Spencer in February.

Although it's a relatively new group, the band has already sold out 2 nights at Ronnie Scott's and has a busy touring schedule in the works for 2024/25; the band is also due to record sometime in March/April 2024.

Brandon Allen is one of the UK's most in demand saxophonists, working with a wide variety of artists across various genres. He leads his own Quartet and Sextet, The Stanley Turrentine Project and this outfit. He is the go-to saxophonist with The Kyle Eastwood Band, touring internationally. He's also performs with Eric Clapton, Paloma Faith, Omar, Gary Husband, Adam Nussbaum, and numerous others.read more

'A saxophone heavyweight, at the height of his powers.' - Blues and Soul Magazine

Kevin Figes's Sextet; 'You Are Here' (Album Launch Gig)

Tues 4 June - 7:15 for 8:00 (£21.80/£20.71)Bristol Beacon - Book Δ

You Are Here

Kevin Figes (Saxes & Flutes), Pete Judge (Trumpet & Flugelhorn),
Raph Clarkson (T-Bone), Jim Blomfield (Piano & Keys), Riaan Vosloo (Bass),
Tony Orrell (Drums)

'You Are Here' was formed by saxophonist Kevin Figes to perform the music of the legendary Bristolian, improvising and composing pianist Keith Tippett (1947-2020) and his comrades, including Elton Dean, the South African exile Harry Miller, the Dedication Orchestra and rock gods King Crimson.

The music is an invigorating journey into the unique sounds of British Jazz from the 1970s to the present day. Kevin has re-arrange these epic tunes to suit his talented sextet; whose debut was in this building (foyer) in February last year.

The group's development has been mesmeric since, reaping rave reviews up and down the country. Now, they have recorded this material and tonight will be the launch of this full-on music that has a massive sound for only six musicians, should be awesome! read more

'....this was robust, complex music played with conviction by a band clearly at ease with each other and with the material.' - Wakefield Jazz; Live Gig Review

Andy Sheppard's; 'East Coast'

Sun 29 September - 7:15 for 8:00 (£25.62/£24.53)Bristol Beacon - Book Δ

Andy Sheppard

Andy Sheppard (Saxes), John Parricelli (Guitar), Dudley Phillips (Bass),
Nick France (Drums)

This relatively new project for Andy Sheppard; 'East Coast'; is led by the saxophonist, inviting three of the most innovative instrumentalists at work today on the UK's jazz scene....all long-time friends and collaborators.

The music explores new ground for Sheppard's melodic inventiveness, anchored in inspirational coastal landscapes and sounds, much of this new music for East Coast was written by Sheppard during the pandemic; on the coast of Europe, near Ericeira in Portugal, where he now lives.

It was perfectly fitting that its UK premiere was at the First Light Festival in Lowestoft, celebrating one cycle of the midsummer sun; setting and rising over the beach in England's most easterly town. It was then reprised for the Cork Jazz Festival in Ireland.

Innovative but lyrical, sometimes ethereal but always ready to groove, grounded in tradition but free from boundaries, where the contrasts between all the different elements converge in an ongoing moment in time. A group of four distinctive musicians seeking to connect through the synergy of diverse musical languages infused with a greater sense of openness in the making.

East Coast is somewhat different, Sheppard says, to his more contemplative ECM groups. "It's a kind of kicking band!".. "It's far more 'get stuck in', play some tunes, and blow the s*** out of it',".....Sounds like the kind of high energy band Bristolians remember Andy for, back in the day.

Sheppard constantly produces; '...music that ranges from original songs to 'translucently beautiful' extended meditations' - The Guardian

While & Matthews (30th Anniversary Tour)

Tues 8 October - 7:15 for 8:00 (£21.80/£20.71)Bristol Beacon - Book Δ

While & Matthews

Chris While (Vocals, Guitar, Banjo, Dulcimer, Bodhran & Percussion),
Julie Matthews (Vocals, Piano & Keys, Guitar, Mandolin & Bouzouki)

Chris & Julie have played more than 3,000 gigs, appeared on over 100 albums, written hundreds of original songs and reached millions of people around the world. Now, 30 years after their debut, they sound as fresh and vital as ever.

They are two of the best and most hard working musicians on the world & folk roots scene, both are highly regarded producers and they record everything that they are involved in at their own studio in a small Pennine town far from the London-centric music industry....They truly are inspirational women.

The duo are renowned for their seamless harmonies and affinity for each other on stage, they are stunning singers, songwriters, musicians and performers whose energy and commitment to their craft and their audience is boundless. Chris and Julie have been nominated ten times in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in the 'Best Song, Best Duo & Best Live Act' categories, winning Best Duo in 2009; but it is their longstanding and devoted growing fans that they care most about.

Though internationally acclaimed, they continue to be a leading force on the UK's acoustic/roots arts circuit. Their songs cover life as they see it, from injustice and freedom to matters of the heart and everything in between. Their songs are covered by many singers the world over but it is 'While & Matthews' musical partnership and obvious joy of performing together that really brings their songs to life. As performers they are unrivalled and their audiences leave their concerts having travelled an emotional journey, entertained and smiling all the way home!

"Chris and Julie are just awesome" - Judy Collins

"They light up the room with their amazing energy" - James Taylor