Gateshead Jazz Fest celebrates 10 years

The 10th Gateshead International Jazz Festival looks across the pond with US acts including Esperanza Spalding and Robert Glasper

The 10th anniversary of the annual Gateshead International Jazz Festival next April takes America as its inspiration, with headlining names including Oregon-born bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding (pictured) and Texan pianist Robert Glasper.

The festival's decennial celebrations will take place at the Sage Gateshead from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 April 2014.

Esperanza Spalding, the first jazz musician to win a Grammy award for Best New Artist, will debut her new "supergroup" the Spring Quartet, comprising saxophonist Joe Lovano, pianist Leo Genovese and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Robert Glasper will play a late-evening set on the festival's opening night with his quartet the Experiment, playing tracks from their new album Black Radio 2.

The American theme continues with Baltimore-born guitarist Bill Frisell, who will perform tracks from his 2010 album Beautiful Dreamers that recast the music of such players as Blind Willie Johnson and Benny Goodman with his trio, which features violist Eyvind Kang and drummer Rudy Royston.

As well as US musicians, the festival will also play host to players from across Europe, including the Norrbotten Big Band from north Sweden and Swedish saxophonist Joakim Milder, who will play jazz arrangements of the music of County Durham pop band Prefab Sprout. Kent-born composer Django Bates is another name on the roster; he will bring his Charlie Parker-inspired programme to the festival. Courtney Pine will also present his House of Legends show, and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (clarinet section pictured left by Andy Catlin) will play music from their acclaimed album In The Spirit Of Duke.

Ros Rigby, Performance Programme Director at Sage Gateshead, said: “For the 10th Jazz Festival we have our strongest ever line up, with stars from the jazz scene coming to Gateshead from across the UK and Europe – as well as some great American names, including two of the most charismatic new talents to break through into the international scene in recent years."

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling 0191 4434661, visiting or calling into the Sage Gateshead Ticket Office in person. More programme information and acts will be announced on the Sage Gateshead website over the coming months.

Sally Evans-Darby 

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