Live Jazz and Acoustic Music in Bristol

From a jam packed 5-Gig opening month we take a well earned breather with just one gig this month with a fine lyrical pianist from Spain, Juan Galiardo. We stuffed ourselves with some great music over the last four and a half weeks, and what treats we heard. All the gigs were well attended especially the first three (all 100+), some very nice reviews as well, they can be accessed on the blog page

Cheers, Ian

Juan Galiardo Trio (Spain + UK)

Sun 21 Feb 7:30 for 8:15 (£12/10)Hen & Chicken Book

Juan Galiardo

An inventive and often dazzling pianist ~ Ian Mann,

Juan Galiardo hails from Seville in Spain. After studying music and graduating from Cadiz University he gained a scholarship to study at the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston. While there he was mentored by US jazz stars Barry Harris, Danilo Pérez, Joe Lovano, Joanne Brackeen and Edward Tomassi. He also got to perform with a number of top American names during this period including saxophonists Jerry Bergonzi and Donny McCaslin. He later went on to tour and record with these guys.

Juan is a really superb jazz musician in the mainstream jazz genre, and this will be his third UK visit. His first was in 2014 as part of the Arturo Serra Quartet who toured throughout Europe, and included touring Wales in 2013, as part of an Arts Council Wales project España Cymru, organised by Brecon Jazz Club & Jazz Live Cymru. It is a continuation of that scheme in conjunction with Brecon Jazz Club (BJC) that brings Juan back this time. I encountered the folks from BJC at a recent Jazz Promotion Network meeting in Bristol and managed to hook up a gig for Juan to come to Bristol. Tonight he is supported by two young Welsh jazz musicians; leading graduates of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama specialist Jazz Performance degree programme.

Galiardo coaxed consistently inventive, adventurous and frequently feverish solos… I was highly impressed with his playing… ~ Ian Mann

It will be mainstream lyrical jazz that really swings. A classic jazz trio, piano-led, by a talented artist with a subtle touch. more

Andy Hague Big-50 Band

Sun 6 Mar 7:30 for 8:15 (£14/12)Hen & Chicken Book

Andy Hague Big Band

Trumpeter Andy Hague first formed a big band back in 2005 to mark his 40th birthday. The idea was to showcase the wealth of jazz talent residing in Bristol, and to use as far as possible the musicians with whom Andy played most frequently. The band played a few gigs over the next couple of years at The Tobacco Factory, St George's and Swanage Jazz Festival, gaining excellent reviews.

His band was superb, relaxed yet focussed, packed with serious soloists, Hague among them, the writing quite spell-binding ~ Jazz Journal

Now ten years on it's time to do it all again, this time as the Big 5-0 Band. This is a new line-up with quite a few different players to the original band, reflecting the changes in Andy's musical activities over the past decade. Debuting the line at The Cresswell Centre last October a near capacity audience were treated to a great night of big band sounds with top class soloists, time then for another run out, in more intimate surroundings. All the music performed has been arranged by Andy, and the repertoire is a mixture of original compositions and jazz standards. The aim has been to stay true to the traditional big band sound and instrumentation whilst playing arrangements informed by current jazz styles.

The review of the Cresswell Centre gig for Bristol 24/7 by Tony Benjamin can be read here giving you a flavour of what you can expect this more

Brejeiro: ‘Choro do Brazil’

Thu 17 Mar 7:30 for 8:15 (£10/8)Hen & Chicken Book


Tonight sees a re-launch of the band Brejeiro with a new look line-up, playing the uplifting acoustic music of South America.

Brejeiro will transport you to Brazil through the sunshine and sparkle of Brazilian Choro music. An infectious and uplifting mix of mandolins and guitar propelled by Latin percussion, Brejeiro combine driving rhythms and haunting melodies, skilfully improvised and exquisitely arranged, capturing the essence of Brazil. From its roots in folk song and the pulsating rhythms of the Samba the music encapsulates the fusion of South American Latin rhythms, North American jazz and the evolution of the mandolin and its music from Portugal.

It is strange for such joyous music to be called Choro, which quite literally translates as "to cry". It was born in the middle of the 19th century when musicians began experimenting by fusing together Brazilian folk tunes and European harmony with Afro-Brazilian and native rhythms.

Often described as Brazilian jazz, Choro became the music of the people and spread throughout Brazil. "This music is ageless", says trumpeter Silverio Pontes. "In a Choro group, one is 70, another 15, and the third 40 ... This music is... like a communion. For they all are taking part in this great thing that's already over 100 years old. That is fantastic."

Brejeiro respectfully walk in the footsteps of this unique tradition adding their own unique line up of twin mandolins leading and weaving delicate harmony, pulsating guitar and innovative percussion. 'La Llorona' celebrates the music of Brazilian composer Pixinguinha, recognised as one of the greatest flute players and improvisors of his generation, and the virtuoso mandolin player and composer, Jacob do Bandolim along with Mike Pryor's original composition 'La Frontiera' adding a contemporary flavour.

Choro may have begun over 150 years ago but it is still very alive today and still evolving. Relax, sip your Caipirinha, tuck into your traditional Pao de Queijo and absorb the Latin atmosphere. more