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Music Editorial

jazzimprov17.jpg Your mind! Consider it blown!

Oh man! The very first Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music is hitting in September with a line-up that’s going to take you to places that you won’t find on any goddamn map.

This festival is set to run for just four days but in that short space of time they’re going to pack in the kind of rare thrills that’ll have you talking about it until next year’s rolls around. But 2017 is special because it marks the 100th anniversary of the first ever jazz recordings, and down through those years jazz has never stood still, a fact made abundantly clear with the depth and variety of this line-up.

One of the highlights is sure to be on the Saturday night when a stunning international bill comes together including Julian Desprez (co-founder of Paris music cooperative Collectif Coax), Denmark’s Mette Rasmussen, London-based experimental fusion trio Troyka and Swiss power-trio Schnellertollermeir.

The finale on Sunday looks pretty tasty too with three trios looking to kick up a real storm, fusing contemporary chamber music with free jazz and experimental electronics (including Leafcutter John – pictured – who has firmly established a name for himself as part of the ground-breaking band Polar Bear).

Other acts to look out for during the festival’s run include Bearpark (delivering a modern take on a wide variety of standards), The Mark Williams Trio (featuring some of Tyneside’s most respected musicians, the trio will launch their much anticipated second album Last Bus to Bensham) and Zoe Rahman (who is among the most revered pianists on the international jazz scene).

There will also be workshops, screenings and more at venues The Jazz Café, The Lit & Phil, The Globe, The Black Swan and The Bridge Hotel. Check the websites, below, for the full line-up.

Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music, Thursday 28 September-Sunday 1 October, various venues, times & prices. jazznortheast.com; facebook.com/newcastlefestivalofjazzandimprovisedmusic