Upcoming gigs

Past Gigs

Watts + Weston

27th Apr 15 // 18:30

A concert by two major forces in improvised music. Saxophonist and composer Trevor Watts and pianist Veryan Weston have an musical understanding that has developed over 50 years, and performances at almost every major jazz festival worldwide. Their duo set is an irresistible blend of strong rhythmic ideas with pure sound.

Taupe + Dave Sturt

17th Mar 16 // 18:30

Taupe are a Newcastle-upon-Tyne based trio specialising in razor-sharp polyrhythmic play, exploratory improvisation and raw, high energy live performance. The group's sound draws on free jazz, math metal, hip-hop grooves, and post-bop, with a healthy dollop of skronk.

Bassist, composer and producer Dave Sturt is a legend in our midst, having worked with Michael Kamen, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Robert Fripp, Bill Nelson, and Gong. His latest solo album *Dreams and Absurdities* is an eclectic world of grooves and ambient soundscapes.

Rowland Sutherland Flute Sextet

24th May 16 // 18:30

Master flautist Rowland Sutherland is professor at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Northern College of Music, Trinity College of Music; and also lectures at Birmingham Conservatoire. His experiences include playing with Gnawa musicians from Morocco, King Sunny Ade, Evan Parker, and most recently with the Chineke! orchestra. This sextet will feature improvisations and Rowland's compositions in an intriguing all-flute line-up:

  • flautist, pianist and composer Eddie Parker is well known for his work with the legendary big band Loose Tubes and South African jazz pianist Bheki Mseleku;
  • Rachel Musson is an improviser and composer living in London. She is involved with a variety of improvisation projects, one of which, a trio featuring John Edwards and Mark Sanders, is due to release an album on Two Rivers Records later this year;
  • Jan Hendrickse is an artist, composer and improvisor, having researched a wide range of flute traditions, and was the presenter of the BBC’s Musical Nomad project researching music in Central Asia. He has performed as a soloist on many film scores including Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit, Apocalypto, Narnia, The Hunger Games and many others;
  • Clive Bell is a musician and composer specialising in East Asian musics. He studied the shakuhachi (Japanese flute) in Tokyo, and the khène (mouthorgan) in Laos and Thailand; and
  • Paul Cheneour trained at the Guildhall School of Music London under the late Professor Rainer Schuelein. He has 47 CDs published by Northstar music UK, 5 major films; including EMMA award winning ‘6th Happiness’ and ‘Hideous Kinky’. Best Foreign film winner in 2007 for ‘In The Place of the Dead’.

En Bas Quartet

21st Jun 16 // 18:45

Double bassist and composer Seth Bennett presents his "low string" quartet - two violas, a 'cello, and the bass - and startling new compositions. They will be playing a work based on the Northumberland folk song tune “Sair Fyeld Hinny”, and exploring various settings and provocations for group and solo improvisation. Inspired by the quartets of Shostakovich, Beethoven and Bartok, as well as more contemporary jazz ensembles like Arcado String Trio, the Masada string trio and contemporary British free improvisation, En Bas Quartet weave their disparate influences into a compelling whole.

Ratcliffe + Grignon

20th Jul 16 // 18:00

Keyboardist Matt Ratcliffe and drummer George Grignon are vibrant lights in the Derby jazz scene. For this concert they bring their collective experiences from jazz, funk, metal and chamber music to produce a free-wheeling set of daring improvisation.

Black Top + Phillip Achille

29th Aug 16 // 14:00

British jazz/improv legends Pat Thomas and Orphy Robinson are the critically acclaimed Black Top.

Their music is Archaic Nubian Step Dub, which explores the intersection of live instruments and technology in the myriad of styles in African Classical Music such as the looping and sampling used in dub, reggae and other worldly noises. Black Top pick the best and brightest to collaborate; and this time they are joined by classical and jazz harmonica star Phillip Achille.

Sloth Racket

29th Sep 16 // 18:45

Sloth Racket is a quintet of UK improvisers led by baritone saxophonist Cath Roberts, with Anton Hunter (Beats & Pieces Big Band, Article XI) on guitar, Sam Andreae (Trio Riot, Silence Blossoms) on tenor saxophone, Seth Bennett (Metamorphic, En Bas Quartet) on bass and Johnny Hunter (Nat Birchall, Johnny Hunter Quartet) on drums. Cath's compositions combine composed fragments with graphic notation to explore the balance between freedom and structure, and range across musical territories from fiery free jazz, to minimal improv textures, to deep grooves.

Les Diaboliques

18th Nov 16 // 18:00

Blurring the lines between free improv and cabaret, with a wickedly satirical edge, three fiercely independent spirits draw on some five decades of creative energy at the heart of European free improvisation with a collective history that stretches back to the Spontaneous Music Ensemble of the 1960s, and an extraordinary catalogue of collaborations, from Derek Bailey to Han Bennink to Louis Moholo-Moholo to much, much more.

British vocalist Maggie Nicols, French bassist Joëlle Léandre and Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer formed Les Diaboliques in the early '90s – this is a rare opportunity to experience the artistry and intuitive chemistry of a seminal European ensemble.

Wooley, Davies, Lash & Sanders

7th Feb 17 // 18:30

Oregon-born trumpeter Nate Wooley moved to New York in 2001, and has since become one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes. He has performed regularly with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Eliane Radigue, Ken Vandermark, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada, as well as being a collaborator with some of the brightest lights of his generation like Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson. As part of a short UK tour he appears with three astounding UK improvisers: drummer Mark Sanders, harpist Rhodri Davies, and bassist Dominic Lash.

Madwort Saxophone Quartet

2nd Mar 17 // 18:30

Madwort Sax Quartet brings together four diverse improvising saxophonists from across the UK scene. Led by Tom Ward and playing his original compositions, the project's influences include numerology and the movement of the planet earth through space, Steve Coleman, pioneering saxophone quartet ROVA, Tim Berne, and transcriptions of bird song. The quartet played to a sold-out Portico Library at Manchester Jazz Festival 2015, and recorded their debut album live in Spring 2016 at a packed Hundred Years Gallery in London, documenting Tom's music and capturing the infectious energy of a live gig.


26th Apr 17 // 18:30

German born saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock teams up with acclaimed UK pianist Liam Noble and one of New York's finest drummers, Tom Rainey for an exciting brand of new improvised music. Sleepthief play with a wide spectrum of sound, rhythm, space and colour whilst maintaining a strong feeling for form.


5th May 17 // 18:30

Violist Mat Maneri and pianist Lucian Ban return from New York for a European tour, joining vibraphonist Corey Mwamba ahead of their upcoming release on Discus Records. This is eloquent yet earthy music, coming straight out of European folk and 20th Century chamber music, as well as the creative music of New York and Chicago.

This performance is a co-presentation with the Romanian Cultural Institute.

Deep Trouble

6th Jul 17 // 18:30

Deep Trouble is a trio of some of Europe's most compelling improvisers. All three have collaborated in different groupings but this is the first outing for this new ensemble. Improvised music with percussive, textural and melodic intensity from three captivating musicians.


Sarah Gail Brand: trombone

Paul Rogers: bass

Mark Sanders: drums/percussion

Raymond MacDonald/Alexander Hawkins

9th Dec 17 // 18:00

NOTE: This performance will take place in the Archer Gallery inside The Voicebox

A rare chance to hear two amazing improvisers in our last concert of the year!

Alexander Hawkins is a composer, pianist, organist, and bandleader who is ‘unlike anything else in modern creative music’ (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a ‘dazzling new apex’ (Downbeat). A largely self-taught improviser, he works in a vast array of creative contexts. His own highly distinctive soundworld is forged through the search to reconcile both his love of free improvisation and profound fascination with composition and structure.

Raymond MacDonald is a saxophonist, composer and academic whose work explores the boundaries and ambiguities between what is conventionally seen as improvisation and composition. Much of his recent performing work has been in collaborative free improvisation contexts, however his roots in jazz and pop music are always evident in his playing and writing. MacDonald collaborates widely and has worked with visual artists, dancers, writers and filmmakers and has produced music for film, television, theatre and the concert hall.