International Jazz Day: An A to Z of jazz at Turner Sims 1995-2020

Looking back at 25 years of music, musicians, and memorable moments…

A for John Abercrombie (2002 and 2014), Geri Allen (special guest with Tom Bancroft’s Orchestro Interrupto in 2004), and Anagrams (Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans’ (pictured) group Oliver’s Cinema 2019)

B for Carla Bley (1999 and 2019); and the Brubecks (Dave in 1995, and son Darius and his band in 2014, 2016, and 2017)

C for Christmas (including Clare Teal’s (pictured) Festive Fiesta 2009 and 2012, and A New Orleans Christmas with Abram Wilson 2011); Courtney Pine, who was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Southampton in 2010; and Coltrane (John’s A Love Supreme interpreted, followed by son Ravi performing with his own band, both in Spring 2015)

D for Django… – whether …Bates (2000 and 2013), …a la Creole featuring clarinettist Evan Christopher (2014), or a …Reinhardt tribute from John Etheridge’s Sweet Chorus (1999 and 2019) or Martin Taylor’s Spirit of… band (2010); and drummer-led projects, including three (Bobby Previte, Gary Husband, and Billy Cobham) which took place in one season (Spring 2004).

E for Edition Records, Turner Sims Associate Label since 2018; and the Europe Jazz Network, which TS has been a member of since 2009

F for guitarists Bill Frisell (2018); and Fapy Lafertin (2014 at a TS gig in Southampton’s Guildhall Square)

G for regular visitor Tim Garland (pictured), and Robert Glasper (sole visit with his trio in 2010)

H for Joe Harriott – our 2005 tribute to the saxophonist, performed by a band led by bassist Gary Crosby and including Soweto Kinch and Byron Wallen. Often compared with the American jazz legend Charlie Parker, Harriott died at the age of 44 in Southampton in 1973 and is buried in Bitterne cemetery. His headstone bears the inscription: ‘Parker? There’s them here can play a few aces too.’

I for The Impossible Gentlemen featuring Gwilym Simcock (2013 and 2016); and International Jazz Day

J for Hampshire-born Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur (2017 and 2018), Julian Joseph (including a BBC Radio 3 broadcast in 2012), and Jazzwise, Turner Sims Media Partner

K for Ketil (Bjørnstad – 2006 and 2014), Keyon (Harrold – 2018); and Kyle (Eastwood – 2009)

L for Let Freedom Ring (Denys Baptiste’s Martin Luther King inspired suite – 2003 and reprised in 2013)

Hugh Masekala at Turner Sims 2013 © Gerry

M for Hugh Masekala – legendary South African trumpeter performed in duet with pianist Larry Willis in 2013; Colin Towns’ Mask Orchestra (2015); Mercury Prize nominees – including Guy Barker (2003 and 2007), Zoe Rahman (2017), and SEED Ensemble (2020)

N for Norway – the country which apart from the UK has provided more musicians than any other to the jazz series in the 21st century. Guests have included Eivind Aarset, Mathias Eick, Mats Eilertsen, Tord Gustavsen, Daniel Herskedal, Nils Petter Molvaer, Silje Nergaard, Marius Neset, and Trygve Seim.

O for Magnus Öström – the Swedish drummer has performed at TS in three guises: as a member of the Esbjörn Svensson Trio (2002 and 2004), with his own band (2017), and with supergroup Rymden (2018 with pianist Bugge Wesseltoft and bassist Dan Berglund).

P for Phronesis (pictured) (2011, 2016, and 2019 with Southampton Youth Jazz Orchestra (SYJO); Premieres – including John Surman and Howard Moody’s Rain on the Window (2008), John Surman’s Saltash Bells album launch (2012), and Peter Edwards Journey with the Giants of Jazz (2017)

Q for Portico Quartet (including two members from Southampton, and performers at the final TS jazz gig before lockdown in 2020)

R for 81 year old Sam Rivers, who performed at TS in 2004 with his Trio and the
Rivbea Orchestra UK as part of a UK tour; and Remember Shakti John McLaughlin’s re-formed group who performed and recorded at TS (1997).

S for Andy Sheppard who has performed solo (Nocturnal Tourist in 2005), duo (with Joanna MacGregor in 2005), trio (Trio Libero in 2012), quartet (2015 and 2017), quintet (Movements in Colour in 2010), sextet (Learning to Wave 2001) and big band (with SYJO – another ‘S) in 2006.

T for Associate Artists from 2012-2018 Tomorrow’s Warriors, presenters of Mango Spice for kids, Nu Civilisation Orchestra, and Jazz Jamaica All Stars; also Trichotomy (2011 and 2013) and The Necks (2015 and 2017) – both from Australia, potentially the furthest travelled groups in the jazz programme

U for Ubizo,- veteran British saxophonist Alan Skidmore’s collaborative band, its core members coming from South Africa’s leading percussion ensemble, Amampondo (2003)

V for Luca Vitali, journalist, photographer and author of The Sound of the North whose exhibition of jazz artists was displayed in 2015; vibraphones (including Luxembourg’s Pascal Schumacher in 2015, and American Joel Ross who appeared with the Marquis Hill Blacktet on International Jazz Day 2019); and vocalists – Carleen Anderson, Josefine Cronholm, Claire Martin, Sarah-Jane Morris, China Moses, Ian Shaw, Joe Stilgoe, and Lizz Wright.

W for Kenny Wheeler, whose 75th and 80th birthdays were celebrated with concerts in 2005 and 2010; Also Abram Wilson (pictured) – much missed trumpeter who died in 2012 but brought many projects and education initiatives to TS in the first decade of the 2000s.

X for Cross-genre collaborationsUri Caine’s Goldberg Variations (2000), Perfect HouseplantsNew Folk Songs (2001), Jason Yarde and Andrew McCormack meet the Elysian Quartet (2014), and Opus Anglicanum and Jason Rebello (2020).

Y for Nikki Yeoh (pictured) (most recently performed in piano duet with Zoe Rahman in 2019)

Z for Frank Zappa‘s Hot Licks (And Funny Smells) and It’s Later Than You Think performed by Colin Towns and the NDR Big Band featuring Norma Winstone (2006)


If this illustrious list has put you in the mood for listening to some great jazz, take a listen to these Intern Insights playlists from last week and maybe even discover your next favourite jazz artist…



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