26 May 2023Tommy Smith and New Focus represent Scottish jazz at Lichfield Festival

Saxophonist Tommy Smith and saxophone-piano duo New Focus are among the artists appearing at this year’s Lichfield Festival, which runs from Thursday 6th to Sunday 16th July.


Smith features in a late evening solo concert at Lichfield Cathedral on Monday 10th July, playing and improvising on melodies drawn from jazz ballads, folk melodies, classical themes and praise songs and using the Cathedral’s natural acoustics to make the most of his matchless saxophone tone.


New Focus – saxophonist Konrad Wisznewski and pianist Euan Stevenson bring their acclaimed The Classical Connection to the Hub at St Mary’s on Thursday 13th. The Classical Connection examines and celebrates the common ground shared by classical composers and jazz musicians and includes tributes to Duke Ellington, Erik Satie and Bill Evans in an entertaining and informative presentation.


The festival programme ranges across musical genres and also includes violinist and sometime Jeff Beck collaborator, Lizzie Ball, the Brodsky Quartet, Nitin Sawhney, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, London Community Gospel Choir and the Tibetan Monks of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.



             Tommy Smith (photo by Derek Clark)                                       New Focus (photo by Aldo Ferrari) 

19 April 2023Swing, strings and singing in the latest Heart of Hawick programme

Swing violinist Tim Kliphuis, harper Karen Marshalsay and guitar duo Don Paterson & Graeme Stephen are among the musicians lined up to play in Borders venue Heart of Hawick’s latest programme.


Hailed as 'the Dutch Grappelli' and 'a modern-day improvising Paganini,' Kliphuis has taken his music across the world and fronts a group that features Scottish guitarist Nigel Clark and bassist Roy Percy. They bring their tribute to swing master Django Reinhardt to Heart of Hawick on Saturday 27th May.


Karen Marshalsay is one of only a few harpers who specialise in all three harps from the Scottish tradition – the familiar levered clarsach, the wire-strung harp from the Gaelic tradition and the distinctive sounding bray harp. She’ll feature traditional and original tunes on all these instruments on Saturday 24th June.  


Graeme Stephen and Don Paterson are a relatively new combination playing melodic original compositions inspired by their shared love of guitar heroes Bill Frisell and John Abercrombie. Paterson, who formerly partnered Tim Garland and Christine Tobin in Celtic-jazz group Lammas, is a much-decorated poet as well as a guitarist and has recently received enthusiastic reviews for his memoir, Toy Fights. They appear on Saturday 22nd July.


Also scheduled to appear at Heart of Hawick are saxophone and keyboards duo, Brian Molley & Tom Gibbs, songster Josie Duncan, European roots music specialists Firelight Trio, vintage blues, jazz and Western swing group Cow Cow Boogie, and Main Street Blues.

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