Ben Holder specialises in entertainment! His foot tapping, dancing, violin toting swing music concerts are becoming the stuff of legend and we are delighted to welcome him back to Woodstock Jazz for our re-opening concert. Ben could accurately be described as one of the finest jazz violinists in Europe. He is famous for his pin-point accurate articulation, even at break neck speeds (we’re talking in excess of 300bpm if he chooses) but he is also gathering a reputation as a sensitive vocalist and mature composer. Ben’s music crosses 30s American classics with Hot-Club swing, plus a pinch of classical and Latin to create a heady mix that thrills and excites every audience he is placed in front of. For this concert Ben will return with his regular trio line (Ben plus Jez Cook on guitars and Paul Jefferies on bass) plus drummer Nick Millward. Grab your seats early, he is eagerly awaited!
We’re proud to present two young musicians who are very much in the ascendancy of their musical careers. Both are consummate professionals and both have the ability to magically narrate a story with their unique musicianship. For our concert they will bring to Woodstock Jazz the same magic that has seen them perform to critical acclaim at all of the UK’s most prestigious venues. Singer Emma Smith is credited as being one of the most exciting vocalists of her generation. She sings jazz fabulously, but she has also performed professionally since the age of 15 with artists like Michael Buble, Robbie Williams & Georgie Fame. In recent years she has also been part of the chart topping vocal group 'The Puppini Sisters’.
Since graduating from London’s Guildhall school of music, Jamie Safir has performed with a veritable Who’s Who of the Jazz, Pop and Soul worlds. He toured as music director for Will Young, has performed and toured with Olly Murs, Tony Christie and many more and his jazz credentials are evidenced by his work with such luminaries as Joe Stilgoe, Ian Shaw and Claire Martin OBE to name a few.
Jonny is a superb piano-accordionist who only began playing at the relatively mature age of 15! After studies with Piano-accordion world leaders Frank Petrilli and Richard Galliano - he quickly found himself touring Europe and earning accolades from the jazz public and jazz press alike - this led to some impressive session work with the show Peaky Blinders and recording for Warner Records. The Jonny Kerry Quartet is now touring a new show. It’s an acoustic ensemble inspired by Gypsy Jazz, New Musette, Classical & Tango music. The quartet performs dynamic and lyrical arrangements of both standards and original compositions that draw upon diverse international rhythms and musical idioms. The Quartet is Led by Accordionist Jonny Kerry and completed with guitarists Harry Diplock, Ducato Piotrowski & Paul Jefferies on double bass.
A players player, David Newton inspires his fellow musicians and his audiences. This remarkable pianist has won acclaim not only for his own trio work (which has been recorded in several incarnations) but also for his work as a much sought after accompanist for some of our very finest jazz singers including Annie Ross, Stacy Kent, Claire Martin, Carol Kid, Tina May and others. What marks his playing our as special is not just the harmonic subtleties he creates but his uncanny way of teasing the very best from his fellow musicians. Balanced, nuanced but powerfully present whenever he plays whether it’s weaving his way between vocal phrases, propelling great swing phrases or hitting a bebop spot David Newton is always winning over his fellow musicians and of course his audiences.
With David will be Paul Jefferies (double bass) and Charlie Stratford (drums).
Bristol based trumpeter Andy Hague presents his group Double Standards in their first recording “Release”.
Andy is a superb Bristol based trumpeter (and drummer) he who draws on the rich tradition of Bebop for his performances, but takes the language and somehow re-forms it with a ‘hip’ contemporary edge that renders his playing sharp and of the moment. His project ‘Double Standards’ is more varied than previous recording with other ensembles, consisting of four standards plus Nick Drake's River Man, Wayne Shorter's United, four new originals from 2020 plus two older tunes, Blue Swinga [based on Kenny Dorham's Blue Bossa] and Damon Blues, a nod to trumpeter Damon Brown.
The band comprises the stellar line-up of: Andy Hague (trumpet/flugel horn) plus pianist Jonathan Taylor, bassist Paul Jefferies (standing in for Henrik Jensen who played on the new CD) and new young gun and receiver of the coveted Tony Levin Award, Gwilym Jones on drums.
“As crisp and incisive as we have come to expect ... Hague himself is on excellent form throughout, his improvisations packed with agile and well-wrought phrasing” – Barry Witherden, Jazz Journal
“A very classy offering from Hague, featuring some accomplished original writing and some absolutely terrific playing from all four participants. A fine album delivered from the throes of lockdown.” – The Jazzmann