Preview: Julian Siegel tours jazz orchestra

The debut tour for saxophonist Siegel's brand new 19-piece ensemble features Tales From The Jacquard, inspired by Nottingham's lace industry

Saxophonist, composer and arranger Julian Siegel (pictured right by John Watson) is about to embark on a six-date tour of England with his new 19-piece ensemble, the Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra. The orchestra’s debut tour is produced by Derby Jazz, with support from Arts Council England and East Midlands Jazz (EMJAZZ). The orchestra features some of Siegel’s favourite players from the European jazz scene and represents the fulfillment of his long standing wish to bring this line up together.

The Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra’s tour will feature new music written by Siegel for the orchestra as well as re-imaginings and expansions of his music for small bands. There will also be a new piece commissioned by Derby Jazz specially for this tour. Tales From The Jacquard draws inspiration from the lacemaking process and the Jacquard cards which controlled the lace knitting machines: an inspiration that links directly to Siegel’s upbringing, as his parents and family ran a lace-manufacturing business in Nottingham for 50 years.

Conducted by Nick Smart, the Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra includes Siegel on saxophones and clarinet alongside saxophonists Stan Sulzmann, Jason Yarde, Mike Chillingworth, Gemma Moore and Tori Freestone; trumpeters Henry Lowther, Tom Walsh, Percy Pursglove and Claus Stoetter (from the NDR Big Band, Hamburg); trombonists Mark Nightingale (see the profile in the forthcoming March edition of Jazz Journal), Trevor Mires, Harry Brown and Richard Henry; guitarist Mike Outram and the Julian Siegel quartet rhythm section of Liam Noble on piano, Oli Hayhurst on bass and Gene Calderazzo on drums.

Tour dates are as follows:

Tuesday 14 March - The Venue, De Montfort University, Leicester
Wednesday 15 March - Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham University
Thursday 16 March - Ronnie Scott's Club, London (with Nick Smart's Black Eyed Dog)
Friday 17 March - Terry O'Toole Theatre, Lincoln
Saturday 18 March - Guildhall Theatre Derby
Sunday 19 March - Birmingham Town Hall

For more information on the tour and on the creation of Tales From The Jacquard go to Julian Siegel's website.

Julian Siegel has recorded and toured internationally with the Julian Siegel Quartet, with his New York trio featuring Joey Baron and Greg Cohen and with Partisans, which he co-led for 20 years with guitarist Phil Robson. He’s played and recorded with numerous big bands including Jazz Jamaica, John Dankworth’s Generation Big Band, the NDR Big Band with Al Jarreau, Colin Towns' Mask Orchestra and bands led by Kenny Wheeler, Andrew Hill, Hermeto Pascoal and Mike Gibbs.

Bruce Lindsay

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