JAZZ lovers can start planning their diaries for 2013 thanks to the newly-announced line-up for Gateshead International Jazz Festival, with tickets going on sale on December 7.
Topping the bill at the festival - said to be the largest in the UK held under one roof (Sage Gateshead’s) - are such class acts as The Brand New Heavies, Lighthouse, Phronesis, National Youth Jazz Orchestra on a first-ever visit to the venue, Christine Tobin and Ruby Turner.
The dates to mark down are April 5-7 and a key theme of the festival will be, appropriately enough, The North and it has been left open to interpretation.
So expect two North East-inspired jazz suites – a first-ever performance of Northumbrian Sketches, written in the 1980s by Newcastle jazz musician and composer Ian Carr, and a current year work, Songs to the North Sky, by local talent Tim Garland.
Both will be performed by the Sage’s orchestra Northern Sinfonia, accompanied by jazz soloists Tim Whitehead and Henry Lowther plus award-winning trio Lighthouse, including award-winning pianist Gwilym Simcock.
There’ll be Jazz from the North afternoons and, in a nod to the region’s link with Brian Johnson of AC/DC, a tribute to the band in a Speed of Grace concert by German jazz singer Jens Thomas with Verneri Pohjola which turns their music into late-night chamber jazz.
All jazz tastes will be catered for, with other highlights including the Sage’s youth jazz ensemble Jambone; Soweto Kinch presenting material from his new double album; Jazz Works workshops with Alyn Shipton, setting the poetry of Larkin and Yeats to jazz; and seminal French guitarist Bireli Lagrene making a rare appearance outside London.
There’ll be one for soul and funk lovers in a double bill featuring Jools Holland regular Ruby Turner and 90s superstars The Brand New Heavies, while festival regulars Andy Sheppard and guitarist Chris Sharkey will fill the Sage concourse with the sound of more than 100 saxophones.
See www.thesagegateshead.org or call 0191 443 4661.