Jan Garbarek, Yazz Ahmed and Trevor Watkis cut loose at Cambridge International Jazz Festival

Mike Flynn
Monday, November 11, 2019

Packing in international names and showcasing exciting new projects from UK artists, this Cambridge festival has become an essential fixture on the autumn jazz calendar

The fifth Brewin Dolphin Cambridge International Jazz Festival runs from 13 to 24 November with an expanded international programme. Building a reputation for showcasing new names alongside established stars, key bookings on this year’s bill include Nordic saxophone supremo Jan Garbarek (Saffron Hall, 16 Nov) and his younger compatriot Marius Neset (Mumford Theatre, 23 Nov), acclaimed British-Bahraini trumpeter Yazz Ahmed’s 12-piece performing music from her Polyhymnia album (Cambridge Junction, 19 Nov) and UK acid jazz and funk heroes The Brand New Heavies (Cambridge Junction, 14 Nov).

Other notable names include pianist Trevor Watkis’ Routes In Jazz: his luminous tribute to Jamaican trumpet icon Dizzy Reece, plus the Mercury-nominated SEED Ensemble and award winning singer Cherise Adams Burnett, who are both part of a special Windrush Jazz Celebration Day (Storey’s Field Centre, 17 Nov). There’s a rare UK showing for top Austrian pianist Christian Muthspiel with celebrated US bass great Steve Swallow (Stapleford Granary, 20 Nov) and leading UK names Liane Carroll and Claire Martin (23 Nov), Camilla George Quartet (14 Nov), and Stan Sulzmann with Nikki Iles (17 Nov). Two electronic projects debut at the fest with drummer Josh Blackmore’s SiZE and Tom Cawley’s synth-heavy False 9 (Nov 22), while saxophonist Rob Cope’s Gods of Apollo celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing (Nov 23). Acclaimed pianist Gwilym Simcock performs solo material from his album Near and Now (St Catharine’s College, 15 Nov) and Danish singer/saxophonist Mads Mathias lines up with the Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra (West Road Concert Hall, 22 Nov).

Bassist Liran Donin leads his fiery-folk crew 1000 Boats (23 Nov), while the packed programme also includes veteran jazz-rockers Soft Machine (14 Nov), guitarist Rob Luft and saxophonist Alex Hitchcock (Nov 16), pianists Elliot Galvin and Sam Leak (19 Nov), guitarist Ant Law (18 Nov) and electro-jazzers Roller Trio (21 Nov), among many others. Highly respected painter Gina Southgate is artistin-residence, while there are numerous musician workshops, talks and films, as well as a busy festival fringe.

Full details and tickets available at www.cambridgejazzfestival.info

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