Live Jazz and Acoustic Music in Bristol

After a truely stunning month of music with two gigs of high quality jazz from Andy Sheppard, firstly with the amazing John Parricelli and then with Swiss trio 'VEIN' who were electric. We finished off June with Charlie Dore & Julian Littman giving us an evening of beautiful songs, carrying much meaning in every phrase, which had more than three or four reaching for the tissues.

Only two gigs his month, on Sun 17th we welcome the eccentric talents of Russian born Zhenya Strigalev, who has captured New York by storm in the past three years, with his mix of hard Be Bop and improvisation. The last day of the month sees a rare visit from Ireland of legendary folk musician Alan Burke. Hope you can make it along to a night of music soon

Cheers, Ian

Zhenya Strigalev ‘Never Group’

Sun 17 Jul 7:30 for 8:15 (£14/12)Hen & Chicken Book

Zhenya Strigalev

Alto saxophonist and composer Zhenya Strigalev is one of the rising stars of the European jazz scene and he is fast building a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic for his exhilarating take on contemporary jazz. His live shows are as exciting as they are uniquely eccentric, and after headlining around Europe with sold out shows at Porgy & Bess in Vienna and Ronnie Scott’s in London he brings his powerhouse trio featuring the extraordinary US bassist Michael Janisch (Joe Lovano, Miguel Zenon, Gary Husband) and first-call Spanish drummer Marc Ayza (Jason Linder, Greg Osby) to blend the lines between jazz, funk, rock, electronica and improv in a genre mish-mash of high calibre interplay and raw emotion.

A typical Strigalev collision of hip jazz virtuosity and surrealism.....Strigalev's alto displays bebop agility, shivery lyricism, or sometimes a bluesy Ornette-ish swerve. ~ **** The Guardian

Possessing fire, grace and edgy attitude alto saxophonist Zhenya Strigalev is a young virtuoso forging an increasingly high profile international presence. In the eight years since graduating from London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Music in 2007, Strigalev has cut a dynamic path between the London and New York jazz scenes. He’s worked with some of today’s most forward thinking musicians and appeared at many world leading jazz festivals, performing extensively in Russia, Finland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, France and Britain. Now with five albums under his belt, Strigalev has reached a new level of artistic maturity on his superb new albums Robin Goodie and Never Group.

This new trio project Never Group was recorded over two days in Berlin with the rhythm section of electric bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Eric Harland – as well as welcoming guests such as keyboardist John Escreet, double bassist Matt Penman and trumpeter Alex Bonney – Strigalev’s desire with this different focus, is to fashion the unexpected and the fleeting (alluded to in the project name) both from his own original compositions and the contributions of respected Austrian electronics composer/musician Bruno Liberda (who also appeared on the recording). Tonight we will hear a touring version of that music.....read more

Russian-born saxophonist Zhenya Strigalev (long domiciled in the UK) is one of jazz’s mavericks. His playing has a mastery which puts him right at jazz’s heart. ~ The Telegraph (Ronnie Scott’s live review) ****

Alan Burke

Sun 31 Jul 7:30 for 8:15 (£11/9)Hen & Chicken Book

Alan Burke

Alan Burke is widely regarded as one of the finest ballad singers of his generation. Well-known as a member of Rambling Boys of Pleasure, Alan possesses an almost inexhaustible repertoire of traditional, contemporary and self-penned songs in both the English and Irish languages. A commanding stage presence, with a voice that is powerful, sensitive and crystal clear, Alan’s gigs are always truly memorable.

He began his musical career as a drummer, before making his name in traditional music circles in the 1980’s and 90’s as the lead singer, guitarist, and bodhrán player with the tremendous band Afterhours, with whom he made three albums. Since then Alan has appeared as a member of bands including At First Light, Airla and Tulsk.

More recently Alan has been heavily involved in collaborative projects, including the Afterhours ‘Bothy Band Tribute’, and he was the cornerstone of the four acclaimed annual Irish Sea Sessions concerts and albums produced in Liverpool, Ireland and London that saw him combine with Declan O’Rourke, Damien Dempsey, Pauline Scanlon, Emily Portman and many more, and from which Rambling Boys of Pleasure evolved.

His voice has been described as “Full of power, sensitivity and clarity”. His guitar playing, being influenced by his earlier incarnation as a session drummer/percussionist is characterised by strong driving rhythms alongside a more gentle and sympathetic approach to the quieter side of his repertoire. His performance, presence and delivery demand the attention of his audiences, and the respect of his peers. Check out the video clips on the full gig page.