Richard Baker Quintet
Originally a classically trained trombonist, Richard has worked in virtually every genre of music and appeared on numerous recordings during his career.The quintet was formed in 2013 is an unashamedly straight-ahead ensemble reminiscent of the quintets led by Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana during the 1950s and 1960s. Their repertoire is an entertaining mix of material from great jazz composers such as Gerry Mulligan and Joe Henderson, combined with sophisticated arrangements of standards.
Richard is joined on the frontline by renowned saxophonist Alan Wakeman and they are propelled along by the dependable rhythm section of Alan Savage (drums), Ian Riley (piano) and Dirk Griffin (bass).
John Hallam with the Rod Kelly Trio
Well-known throughout the Midlands & North West, band leader John Hallam is a virtuoso clarinettist and reeds specialist whose clarinet playing draws inspiration from Benny Goodman,Artie Shaw and Acker Bilk, whilst on saxophone he cites Lester Young, Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan as just a few of his influences.
Having worked alongside many of the greats, John's playing is imbued with the rich history of jazz and resonates strongly with audiences wherever he appears.
Rod Kelly started his jazz career playing trumpet in the Midlands before moving to London in the sixties and forming a Mainstream and later Bebop sextet which featured BBC Jazz Club Producers Robin Sedgely (tbn) and Roger Eames (bs). As Rod says "this inside access to the corridors of jazz power led instantly to absolutely nowhere!".
He played with Bobby Wellins for a year and New York Pianist Errol Clarke for 2 years and in 1978 was playing regularly at Ronnie Scotts. Moving to the South West he supported George Shearing on a rare British concert. Eventually He moved back to the Midlands and swapped to playing piano in the early nineties, forming his own band and finding himself much in demand. Rod is also a published novelist and playwright.
John Day (bs), Roger Powell (dms)
Zoltan Sagi Quintet featuring Devon Harrison
Born in Hungary, a musician and composer, Zoltan Sagi attended the Guildhall School of Music studying clarinet but is completely self taught on saxophone drawing much inspiration particularly from Johnny Hodges, Cannonball Adderley and Stan Getz. He played for 3 years with the Chris Barber band and amongst others has played with Kenny Davern, Bob Wilber, Humphrey Lyttelton, Kenny Ball, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra and The Sticky Wicket Swing Orchestra.
Devon Harrison is one of the most versatile and charismatic jazz singers currently performing in the Midlands today. His rich baritone voice, very reminiscent of Johnny Hartman, so easily seductive in popular ballads such as: Misty, Body and Soul and My Funny Valentine, also demonstrates controlled power and flexibility in a variety of mid and up tempo Jazz, Blues and Soul Classics.
Devon has performed extensively in the UK and worldwide with orchestras, show bands and jazz ensembles. Including residencies at “Jazz after Dark” in Soho, London.
Completing the Quintet are Clive Morton (bs), Al Gurr (keys) and Keith York (dms).
The Scott Hamilton Quartet
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Legendary American tenor star Scott Hamilton back in Worcestershire, but appearing at Severn Jazz for the first time, is joined by his regular, all-star UK band. Hamilton was born in Rhode Island in 1954 and, after moving to New York, cut his teeth in Benny Goodman’s band. He soon formed his own quartet, got signed to the legendary Concord record label, and collaborated with the likes of Woody Herman, Tony Bennett, Warren Vache and George Wein’s Newport Jazz Festival All Stars. Now based in Italy, Scott regularly tours across Europe and beyond, playing mainstream jazz and standards of the highest quality.
Scott Hamilton with John Pearce (piano), Dave Green (bass) and Steve Brown (drums)