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AAA Music | 24 September 2020

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Jazzwise to the Power of 15

| On 10, Feb 2012

Jazzwise 15th Anniversary Festival: March 12th-17th 2012


Ronnie Scott’s, 47 Frith St, London, W1D 4HT


with Ron Carter, Empirical, Chris Potter, Troyka, [em] and Arun Ghosh


Jazzwise Magazine, the UK’s biggest selling jazz magazine, celebrates it’s 15th anniversary this March, and Ronnie Scott’s is delighted to present a very special ‘Jazzwise to the Power of 15’ festival from the 12th -17th March.  The festival, which has been jointly curated by Ronnie Scott’s and Jazzwise’s editor Jon Newey, showcases the legacy, diversity, and cutting edge of jazz with six days of exceptional artistic talent from the US, UK and Europe, all of whom have been championed by Jazzwise over the past 15 years.


Speaking on behalf of Ronnie Scott’s, chief executive Simon Cooke said “Ronnie Scott’s has always looked to champion the very best in jazz, from the great international stars such as bassist Ron Carter to rising stars of the UK scene such as Empirical and Arun Ghosh. It’s an attitude that we share with Jazzwise and we are very pleased to present Jazzwise to the Power of 15 in conjunction with them in what promises to be six sold-out nights of great music!


Jon Newey adds: “I’m thrilled that we are now in long trousers and old enough to be allowed to celebrate our 15th anniversary at Ronnie Scott’s club, one of the most important jazz shrines in the world. Throughout the week we will be presenting some of the greatest names in jazz alongside contemporary innovators and the best of the UK and European cutting edge. Artists that Jazzwise has supported and discovered over the years and, importantly, musicians that have all taken the music to higher level!


The festival kicks off with a very special double bill on Monday 12th March featuring the angsty prog-jazz of Troyka (Kit Downes, Chris Montague and Josh Blackmore) in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Music Big Band, directed by Nick Smart, performing new music under the banner Troyk-Estra, plus the inspirational Arun Ghosh Quintet. Another special double bill on 13th March features the widely acclaimed UK post-boppers and MOBO winners Empirical with the lauded Berlin-based piano trio, Michael Wollny’s [em]. From the 14th-15th March legendary ex-Miles Davis bassist Ron Carter and his Foursight quartet, including pianist Rene Rosnes, perform ‘Dear Miles’, a project featuring the music of his erstwhile boss Miles Davis. Closing the festival with a bang, is one of contemporary jazz’s most powerful voices, forceful saxophonist Chris Potter with his Chris Potter Quartet, featuring inspirational drummer Gerald Cleaver on 16th -17th March. Support for these four nights comes from some of British jazz’s brightest new talents, with Gilles Peterson endorsed jazz singer Zara MacFarlane on the 14th, superlative saxophonist, composer and improvisor Josh Arcoleo and his quartet featuring Peter Gabriel pianist Tom Cawley on the 15th, fine young trumpeter Laura Jurd on the 16th and singer-songwriter Sara Mitra leads her sextet on the 17th.


Notes for Editors:


Jazzwise was launched in late March 1997 and has grown steadily over subsequent years changing the way jazz magazines look and think to become the UK’s biggest selling jazz monthly as well as the leading English language jazz magazine in Europe. It is also the first jazz magazine to launch their own iTunes App for IPhone, iPad Android phones. Jazzwise has won Jazz Publication of the year at the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Awards in 2007 and Jazz Publication of the year at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2007 and 2010.  More information at


The Jazzwise curated festival kicks off with a unique double bill. In a special commission for this concert the highly acclaimed, power-house, jazz-prog-electronica trio, TROYKA, are partnered with the stunning Royal Academy of Music Big Band, led by the Academy’s head of jazz, Nick Smart, to form the TROYK-ESTRA. The music is fuelled by textural guitar loops, displaced drum grooves, big band brass and an evocative lyricism that is utterly absorbing. TROYKA’s Chris Montague, Kit Downes and Josh Blackmore have arranged music from their debut self titled release in 2009, and brand new material from their highly anticipated second release (scheduled for June 2012 on Edition records).   Rounding out a superb night is the sublime Arun Ghosh Quintet, led by the Manchester raised, London based clarinetist and composer Ghosh and noted for his inimitable mix of Asian and Western melodies and grooves. Featuring Idris Rahman, tenor saxophone, Chris Williams, alto saxophone, Liran Donin – double bass and Rastko Rasic drums.


Tuesday 13th March / Doors 6pm  / £12.50 – £22.50



A superlative double-bill, featuring the sharp-suited poster boys of British Jazz, the hard-hitting, post-bop outfit Empirical and rising-star German pianist Wollny and his much-lauded trio. Empirical should really need no introduction. The project of four young, British Jazz musicians, who aim to expand on the traditions of Jazz, their unique music manages to be both timeless and totally now, inside and out.  In just a few short years they have carved out a place as one of jazz’s most exciting new bands, touring from New York to Molde, London to Montreal, and they have won numerous awards including the 2010 MOBO for Best Jazz Act and Jazzwise and Mojo Albums of the Year. Elements Of Truth is their third album, and second with the current line-up of Nathaniel Facey alto saxophone, Shaney Forbes drums, Tom Farmer bass and Lewis Wright vibraphone. Rising star’s of the European jazz scene, Pianist Wollny’s  [em] have been hailed as heir apparent to the late great Esbjörn Svensson’s band EST and share much of the same modus operandi shifting from powerful anthems to tender lyricism while exploring the sonic possibilities of the trio’s format.


Wednesday 14th Mach – Thursday 15th March / Doors 6.00pm / £20.00 – £40.00


+ Support Wednesday: Zara MacFarlane Band

+ Support Thursday:  Josh Arcoleo Quartet

Astonishingly brilliant bassist Ron Carter has been one of jazz’s biggest stars since making his name with Miles Davis in the ‘60s. A superlative technician with an instantly recognisable sound he appears here with a fine band, featuring top class pianist Renee Rosnes, percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos and drummer Payton Crossley, paying tribute to his erstwhile boss, the great Miles Davis.

Support on Wednesday comes Gilles Peterson endorsed jazz-singer MacFarlane (her debut was released on his Brownswood imprint), and on Thursday from acclaimed young saxophonist Arcoleo (the latest talent to be unearthed by the UK’s ~Edition Records) appearing with a fine quartet featuring Peter Gabriel pianist Tom Cawley, Empirical bassist Tom Farmer and fine young drummer Josh Blackmore.


Friday 16th March – Saturday 17th March / Doors 6.00pm &10.30pm (two shows) £20.00 – £42.50



+ Support Friday: Laura Jurd Quartet

+ Support Thursday:  Sara Mitra Sextet

A world-class soloist, accomplished composer and formidable bandleader, saxophonist Chris Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. Down Beat called him “One of the most studied (and copied) saxophonists on the planet” while Jazz Times identified him as “a figure of international renown.” Jazz sax elder statesman Dave Liebman called him simply, “one of the best musicians around,” a sentiment shared by the readers of Down Beat in voting him second only to tenor sax great Sonny Rollins in the magazine’s 2008 Readers Poll. He appears here with a new band featuring pianist David Virelles, bassist Joe Martin and top class drummer Gerald Cleaver.


Support on Friday comes from fine young contemporary trumpeter Jurd and on Saturday from rising star singer-songwriter Mitra and her sextet.