Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival 2016

The Old Market, Brighton

Friday, 9 Sep 2016 – Saturday, 10 Sep 2016

18:50 – 23:00

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Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival 2016
The Old Market, Hove, UK

Friday 9th September 6.45pm – 11pm
Saturday 10th September 4.30pm – 11pm

Launched in 2015, Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival is the UK’s newest and most daring jazz festival: a real alternative to mainstream, commercial festivals, providing exciting, left-field improvisation and deep jazz for those in the know and those keen to learn.

For 2016, we’ve programmed another world-class line-up of some of the most creative and uncompromising avant-jazz practitioners currently working in the US, Europe and the UK – including several debut UK performances and special collaborations – all presented over two days in an intimate venue by the sea.

On Friday 9th September


This duo brings together two of the most imaginative improvisers currently working in New York. Tom Rainey is a master drummer who has built a keen reputation over the last 25 years. Here, he performs with Ingrid Laubrock, a German tenor saxophone player, now based in New York, who has worked with Anthony Braxton and others. “Any sax and drums duo requires a certain amount of connection if it’s going to work, but few achieve the relaxed intimacy enjoyed by Laubrock and Rainey.” The Wire


The British trio of pianist Matthew Bourne, bassist Dave Kane and Northern Irish drummer Steve Davis have performed and recorded together for many years, making some of the most convincing and spirited free-jazz to come out of the UK. They have also developed a long-running creative partnership with veteran British tenor sax colossus, Paul Dunmall, releasing several albums of improvisations. Dunmall is a genuine legend with a huge sound that owes a debt to the heartfelt spiritual jazz of John Coltrane. He has worked with many key figures in avant-garde jazz including Ketih Tippett, Barry Guy and Henry Grimes.


Young Finnish trio Taco Bells - Sami Pekkola (tenor sax), Tero Kemppainen (double bass) and Jaakko Tolvi (drums) - are one of the best kept secrets in avant-jazz. More often seen playing on the noise circuit than in jazz festivals or clubs, they make fierce, uncompromising free-jazz that takes Albert Ayler's ecstatic aesthetic into new realms. In recent years, they have been working with veteran Finnish pianist and experimentalist Pekka Airaksinen, with whom they will perform in Brighton. Airaksinen formed his infamous first band, The Sperm, in the 1960s, mixing elements of avant-garde music with free jazz and psychedelic pop. This will be his first ever performance in the UK.

On Saturday 10th September


Nicole Mitchell is a flautist, composer and former president of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). In many ways, she represents the current embodiment of the spirit of Chicago's experimental jazz scene. She has worked with Roscoe Mitchell, Hamid Drake and Exploding Star Orchestra among many others. Performing in Brighton as part of Artifacts Trio with fellow critically acclaimed Chicago musicians Tomeka Reid (cello) and Mike Reed (drums), this will be their debut UK performance.


French pianist Sophie Agnel is one of the most uncompromising and experimental improvisers working in Europe today. An intensely physical performer, she interrogates the piano like no other, often paying as much attention to the instrument's insides as to its keys. She will perform with the hugely experienced British rhythm section of bassist John Edwards and drummer Steve Noble, with whom she released the album 'Meteo' in 2013.


Konstrukt are a Turkish free-jazz quartet who combine saxophone, bass, drums, guitar, keyboards and traditional wind instruments to create free-wheeling improvisations that explore and develop the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra. In recent years, they have performed and recorded with a host of avant-jazz greats including Peter Brotzmann, Marshall Allen, William Parker, Joe McPhee and others. In Brighton, they will perform with British pianist Alexander Hawkins, one of the most talented and important improvising pianists of his generation, who has collaborated with the likes of Evan Parker, Steve Noble, John Edwards and many others.


Swedish saxophonist Anna Högberg's all-female sextet, Attack, have been making waves in recent years with a fresh and irreverent perspective on modern and free jazz. Högberg has been a member of Mats Gustafsson's monumental Fire! Orchestra, and brings a similarly grand vision to her more manoeuvrable sextet of hand-picked young musicians. The group's debut, self- titled CD, released this year, has received huge praise and marks them out as an up-coming band to watch out for. This will be their first ever performance in the UK.


Sloth Racket are a young British quintet led by London-based baritone saxophonist and composer Cath Roberts, featuring four other players currently or recently involved with the extremely fertile Manchester out-jazz scene: Sam Andreae (tenor sax), Anton Hunter (guitar), Johnny Hunter (drums) and Seth Bennett (bass). Their music explores extremes of ferocity interspersed with moments of fragile beauty, in an ongoing investigation of the relationship between improvisation and composition. Their debut album 'Triptych' was released this year on Roberts' own Luminous label.

Plus, on both days:


Over many years, British painter Gina Southgate has built a reputation as a daring and witty proponent of spontaneous action painting, working specifically in the milieu of free jazz and improvisation, creating live visual accompaniment and documentation of countless gigs in London and beyond. She will be on-hand to paint as many of the performances in Brighton as possible, providing a striking and always entertaining visual counterpoint to the music on stage.


The Old Market , 11a Upper Market Street , Brighton