Michael Wollny et al play Kings Place

A raft of European jazzers will play a mini-festival at Kings Place, London this March as part of the “AIR Sessions”, including acclaimed pianist Michael Wollny

The latest up-and-coming jazz names from Europe will play at a special mini-festival at London’s Kings Place from 13 to 15 March, including German pianist Michael Wollny (pictured), British vocalist Julia Biel and Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset.

The music will be heard in three concerts at the London arts venue near King's Cross station as part of the “AIR Sessions”, with all billed artists signed to the Air Artist Agency (whose roster also includes Kyle Eastwood and Get The Blessing).

The first concert on Thursday 13 March is voice-themed and features two British pianists and vocalists, Anthony Strong and Julia Biel. Strong will perform music from his debut album Stepping Out, which reached number 1 on the US iTunes jazz charts. Biel, who has been described as “the best British vocalist to emerge in an age” by The Independent, will accompany herself on electric guitar and piano with backing from bassist Idris Rahman and drummer Saleem Raman.

A second concert, titled “Visions”, takes place on Friday 14 March featuring British jazz-rock trio Troyka and Swedish drummer Magnus Öström. Troyka feature pianist and 2008 BBC Jazz Award winner Kit Downes and were nominated for the 2010 Mercury Music Prize. Meanwhile, Öström will play music from his albums Searching For Jupiter and the Swedish Grammy-nominated Thread Of Life with his new quartet.

The mini-festival concludes with a number of duets on Saturday 15 March from Michael Wollny, harpsichordist Tamar Halperin, saxophonist Marius Neset, tuba-player Daniel Herskedal and a reprise from Magnus Öström. Wollny with his trio “em” have been lauded as “the world’s most exciting piano trio” in German newspaper Die Zeit, while Neset has been described as “the most talented Norwegian saxophonist since Jan Garbarek” by Norway’s Dagbladet.

All three concerts start at 8pm. Tickets are from £9.50 to £29.50 and can be booked at kingsplace.co.uk, by calling the box office on 02075 201440 or by visiting the box office in person at Hall 1, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG.

Michael Wollny will also play a UK tour in April/May promoting his new release, Weltentraum ("Dreamworlds"), on 10 February with dates as follows: 29 April (The Vortex, London), 30 April (Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple), 1 May (Watermill Jazz at Friends Provident Social Club, Dorking), 2 May (Sheffield Jazz, Sheffield), and 3 May (Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Cheltenham).

Sally Evans-Darby

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