Friday 9th June at 8.00pm
(pre-show supper at 7:00pm)
sings with guitarist
DAVE NEWTON and his trio
"A Rose between two thorns ?"
Tickets £16 (£30 including pre-show supper) can be booked on 01460 54973
Two near veteran legends of the UK jazz scene are with us again to accompany the lovely Zoe Francis, on her second visit to Ilminster, her first being a "sit in" early last year, with Dave O'Higgins, husband Jim and the Craig Milverton trio. Brief though that showing was, she impressed us all greatly. Zoe is a singer to look out for, she is definitely going places, up with the very best of our UK vocal talent. She established herself on the London jazz scene a while ago with her first album "Looking For A Boy", a plea to which fabled guitarist Jim Mullen provided the answer !! The two are now a famed duo in the UK.
Zoe Francis is a singer to listen out for. She communicates a love and understanding of the classic American songbook with the lightest of touches. It sounds easy and casual until you notice how deftly each turn of phrase falls in just the right place, both rhythmically and to chime with the meaning of the words. Zoe started singing while Living in New York for a while. Learning her craft through Barry Harris workshops and singing in small venues in Manhattan with great musicians including Harry Allen and Joe Cohn.
Zoe has now established herself on the London jazz scene with her first album "Looking For A Boy", a plea to which fabled guitarist Jim Mullen provided the answer!! The two are now a famed duo and given Jim's number one rating and his unparalleled musicianship they are now leading lights on the UK Jazz scene.
Jim Mullen was born in Glasgow, Scotland on November 26, 1945, Jim Mullen began his musical life aged 8 playing "Tea-chest bass" in the neighbourhood skiffle group. He got his first guitar the same year, and when an older friend introduced him to jazz, he was hooked. After leaving school he trained as a journalist while playing on the local music scene. He formed a group with Malcolm Duncan and Roger Ball (later of the Average White Band) and they worked throughout Scotland playing Coltrane tunes and originals. It was in this group that he started attracting attention and in 1969 he moved to London, going on to work in the groups of Pete Brown, Brian Auger, Vinegar Joe and Kokomo.
In 1975 he met sax player Dick Morrissey and began a 15 year association which produced 7 albums and became one of Britain's top club bands. After the demise of Morrissey Mullen he worked with jazz vocalist Claire Martin (3 albums) and formed a series of quartets (3 albums). As a sideman he is in demand by visiting U.S. stars like Gene Harris, Mose Allison, Jimmy Smith, Weldon Irvine, Percy Sledge, Teddy Edwards, Plas Johnson, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Terry Callier.
Jim Mullen is the current "Best Guitar" in the UK Jazz Awards, and has won that award a previous seven times.
Dave Newton is one of the heavyweights of British Jazz and a master of the jazz piano. There is a sophistication about Dave's playing that runs deep, whether ballads, swingers or flag wavers, he has it all. He is the undisputed top pianist in the country.
Dave always surrounds himself with an array of talented jazz musicians. He performs across the UK playing solo, accompanying some of the leading jazz vocalists, or as a duo with jazz saxophonists such as long time collaborators Alan Barnes and Art Themen and Dutch Violinist, Tim Kliphuis. The David Newton trio normally features Andy Cleyndert on bass and Steve Brown on drums, with all three members winning the 2009 British Jazz Awards. The Trio often performs with guest soloists representing the cream of UK jazz.
Growing up in Renfrewshire, Scotland, David Newton had a musical upbringing with the piano trio sound of Peterson, Tatum or Garner an ever-present feature in the Newton household. After graduating from Leeds College of Music in 1979, in the ensuing years he established himself on the Scottish jazz scene before his old roommate from college, Alan Barnes, persuaded him to move to London where he rapidly became a much sought after pianist teaming up with Barnes, guitarist Martin Taylor and saxophonist Don Weller.
In the first five years of the nineties, Newton's reputation as an exquisite accompanist for a singer, spread rapidly and by '95 he was regularly working with Carol Kidd, Marion Montgomery, Tina May, Annie Ross, Claire Martin and Stacey Kent, with whom he spent the next ten years recording and travelling all over the world. During this time, Newton was composing music which he would record on his own CDs as well as writing specifically for Martin Taylor, Alan Barnes, Tina May and Claire Martin. David Newton's music can now be heard on many television productions, especially in the United States where over twenty TV movies benefit from Newton's haunting themes.
David Newton has been voted best Jazz Pianist in the British Jazz awards thirteen times and has always been in the top five nominations since the early eighties. He was made a Fellow of Leeds College of Music in 2003.
"There is always more to Newton's playing than first meets the ear. The surface may be smooth, but there are all kinds of clever, subtle things going on beneath" - Dave Gelly, The Observer.
LICENSED BAR serving a range of wines, bottled beers and soft drinks.
PRE- SHOW SUPPER (must be booked at least 2 days before the concert).
Tonight's Menu: TBA; Dessert; Coffee
Vegetarian option available. Please ring the Arts Centre on 01460 54973 at least 2 days before the concert