The Be-Bop Club

The Bear, Hotwell Road, Bristol. BS8 4SF

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What’s On

Doors open 8.30pm for 9pm start.

Archive - previous programmes

Fri 22nd April

Davide Logiri and Ben Thomas Quartet


Special guest pianist Davide Logiri is based in Milan, and began his career by being voted Best Pianist at the 1995 Berklee Summer School in Perugia, leading on to performing at the Umbria Jazz Festival. Since then he has toured internationally, including trips to the USA, Russia and Brazil. Whilst in the USA he recorded the CD Wingspan with noted saxophonist Mike Tracy, well known as a member of the Jamey Aebersold teaching faculty. Davide is currently director of the Jazz Department at the MusicTime School in Milan. Trumpeter Ben Thomas is based near Hereford and has appeared at the club several times with various groups. Check out Ben’s website for examples of his highly creative work combining music with video, photography and painting. Ben’s 2004 release Equinox was reviewed as “Versatile and creative - auspicious is the word to describe an excellent CD” - Humphrey Lyttelton, BBC Radio 2. The band is completed by Pasquale Votino - bass and Paolo Adamo - drums.

Fri 29th April

Mike Fletcher Quartet


We’re very lucky to have this band appearing at the club en route to Cheltenham Jazz Festival, at which they are playing the following day. Saxophonist Mike Fletcher brings his compelling sound to melodic, well-crafted tunes combining the jazz tradition with a contemporary approach to improvisation. Besides alto sax he often plays the rarely heard C-melody sax. A stellar year has seen his trio touring major European concert halls as part of the ECHO Rising Stars scheme. For this tour Mike’s regular trio is expanded to quartet by the addition of one of Spain’s best known jazz trumpeters Julian Sanchez. Bassist Olie Brice is familiar to Bristol audiences through his work with Nick Malcolm, and special mention must be made of drummer Jeff Williams. Originally from the USA Jeff now divides his time between New York and London, where he teaches at the Royal Academy. His stellar career includes performances and recordings with Stan Getz, Joe Lovano, David Liebman and many more, so he can fairly claim to have achieved legendary status. He last appeared in Bristol with saxophonist Martin Speake’s trio at the Hen & Chicken with guitarist Mike Outram. Should be a fantastic evening.

Fri 6th May

Julien Alenda Quartet


Julien Alenda began playing alto sax as a teenager in local Jazz clubs in Normandy. Graduating from the Conservatoire in Toulouse in 2008, he then went on to spend a year in San Diego, where he studied with alto sax master Charles McPherson. In 2009 Julien spent a few months in Brazil recording original songs with local musicians. Since he moved to Bristol in 2012 he has gradually become one of the busiest alto sax players in town.

Julian is joined by Anders Olinder [Sweden] on piano, Pasquale Votino [Italy] on bass and new drummer in town James Vine to form this truly international quartet.

Fri 13th May

JATA presents Jonathan Kreisberg


Please note that there is no gig at The Bear tonight, but JATA are presenting this fantastic all-star USA line-up round at the Hen & Chicken. Guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg has been steadily building his name as one of the most compelling composer/performers in Jazz, combining timeless melodicism with forward thinking lines and textures. His style and approach has created a strong following of fans around the globe. The band also includes piano legend Dave Kikoski who has recorded with Joe Henderson, Randy Brecker, Bob Berg and many more, with Rick Rosato - bass and Colin Stranahan - drums. All the details are here

Fri 27th May

Play Jazz Weekend Tutors feat. Alan Barnes


It has become something of a fixture in the Club’s calendar that we present the team of tutors booked for the Play Jazz Weekend before they head over to Wiltshire Music Centre for the rest of the weekend. This year’s visiting guests are multi-award winning alto saxophonist Alan Barnes “His stylistic range is quite phenomenal… He has a wonderful capacity for suggesting a given style without actually imitating anyone” - Dave Gelly, Masters Of The Jazz Saxophone, and acclaimed tenor saxophonist Damian Cook, winner of the BBC Radio 2 Big Band Competition Outstanding Soloist Award in 2004. They are joined by Andy Hague - trumpet, Jim Blomfield - piano, Greg Cordez - bass and Mark Whitlam - drums for a programme of three front-line arrangements in Blue Note and Jazz Messengers style.

Fri 20th May

Julian Costello Quartet


Julian Costello is a London based saxophonist touring with his quartet. The group plays contemporary music which incorporates a range of different grooves, moods and colours. Some of the tunes are really structured and scored while others are more free flowing and left to chance. They will be playing original compositions by both Julian and other band members, and bringing their own take on some jazz standards. "Costello is an extremely moody player on both saxophones and his compositions cover many musical areas emotive and soulful tenor player" - Jazzwise magazine. "left leaning out there tenor player" - The Guardian, "Delicate and melodic ...saxophone led original material with nods to Jan Garbarek and Ralph Towner from multi-instrumentalist Costello" - Time Out. Patrick Naylor "sensitive guitar.... A treat" - Daily Telegraph. Julian Costello - saxes, Patrick Naylor - guitar, Dave Jones - bass and Adam Texeira on drums.

Fri 3rd June

Aidan Thorne’s Duski


Duski is led by bassist Aidan Thorne, one of the finest players across the bridge in South Wales and probably best known for his work with Slowly Rolling Camera alongside Bristol’s Ben Waghorn. Guitarist Dan Messore divides his time between London and Cardiff, and has recorded alongside Iain Ballamy and Steve Waterman. Bristol audiences may know him through his work with Jake McMurchie’s Michelson Morley project. The other band members are some  of the most forward thinking musicians in South Wales namely pianist Paul Jones (Sweet Baboo/Zervas and Pepper), saxophonist Greg Sterland (Gin Bowlers) and drummer Mark O’Connor (Khamira/Burum). This tour sees them collaborating with record label Cambrian Records and also marks their first single release. Aidan Thorne - bass, Greg Sterland - sax, Dan Messore - guitar, Paul Jones - piano and Mark O’Connor - drums. For more information check out their Facebook page

Fri 10th June

Tribute to Kenny Garrett


Amazingly it is eight years since we last presented a night of compositions by Kenny Garrett, so it feels like another one is due. Since coming to fame with Miles Davis in the early 90s Kenny Garrett has remained at the top of the jazz ladder, and is one of the true greats of the alto sax. Alongside his ability to build the most searing solos Garrett has a real knack for writing catchy melodic tunes which are great fun [but not always easy] to play. It is probably fair to say that Kenny Garrett has been French alto saxophonist Julien Alenda’s biggest influence, so he seemed the natural choice to invite to play the role of KG, alongside Andy Hague on trumpet, who has produced most of the arrangements, Jim Blomfield - piano, Chris Jones - bass and Andy Tween - drums. Should be a great way to end our season.

The Be-Bop Club takes a summer break and will be back 9th September.