Band on the Wall presents a series of outstanding live performances from three of our favourite international contemporary jazz artists, in the intimate and historic Hallé St. Michael’s church, Ancoats. Join us and celebrate all corners of jazz on the contemporary scene, from Nordic minimalism, to US funk-inspired grooves and the genre-bending sounds of modern Britain.
WEDNESDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER
ESPEN ERIKSEN TRIO
Rooted in the finest traditions of Norwegian jazz, Espen Eriksen Trio formed in 2007 and have released four critically acclaimed records on the Norwegian label Rune Grammofon. Their music relies on highly melodic and lyrical instrumentals and a “less is more” approach, and are often credited for their unique voice within today’s jazz scene.
“A wonderfully plaintive jazz record, abandoned to the lost art of melodic minimalism, stripped back and beautifully near bare. No smoke and mirrors, just the graceful chemistry of superb musicians at the top of their game.” – BBC
MONDAY 8TH NOVEMBER
Bob Reynolds Group
Saxophonist Bob Reynolds is an in-demand jazz performer, educator, and sideman, as well as a Grammy Award-winning member of the band Snarky Puppy.
As a leader, he debuted with 2000’s ‘The Bob Reynolds Quartet’, followed by 2006’s ‘Can’t Wait for Perfect’. That same year, he joined fellow Berklee alum John Mayer’s band and spent the next five years with the pop star, touring and appearing on such albums as 2008’s ‘Where the Light Is’ and 2009’s ‘Battle Studies’.
In 2013, he returned to his solo work with ‘Somewhere in Between’, which reached number one on digital jazz charts. He then made his Snarky Puppy debut appearing on the genre-bending group’s 2014 effort, ‘We Like It Here’. Two years later he was back with Snarky Puppy for the Grammy Award-winning ‘Culcha Vulcha’. In 2017, Reynolds delivered ‘Guitar Band’, a live video album which featured appearances from Kneebody bassist Kaveh Rastegar as well as fellow Snarky Puppy members Robert “Sput” Searight (drums) and Mark Lettieri (guitar). Guitar Band now has millions of views on YouTube.
In 2018 he began touring with four-time Grammy-winning guitar legend Larry Carlton. He also released the albums ‘Hindsight’ and ‘Quartet’ which both landed in the top 10 of Billboard’s jazz charts.
“…Reynolds flexes an assured hand with melding hip-swiveling jazz and funk as a bandleader.”
WEDNESDAY 3RD NOVEMBER
Raised in the South London, pianist/composer Ashley Henry draws his unique inspiration from a vast landscape of sounds, infusing the likes of Skepta; Sinead Harnett, Digital Underground & ZuZu, Goldie and even Dreezy. Ashley’s authentic and refreshing jazz piano style has made fans of the visual artist, Gareth Nyandoro and filmmaker Idris Elba.
Graduating from Royal Academy of Music with performance and collaborations Jazz legends Terence Blanchard and Jean Toussaint, Henry draws on inspiration from his Jamaican roots from the Jamaican jazz musicians that changed the face of UK Jazz such as Joe Harriott, Dizzy Reece and Jackie Mittou.
On his debut studio LP ‘Beautiful Vinyl Hunter’ he once again moves in all different musical directions. Drawing influences from classic jazz, hip-hop, and grime he enthuses that the album “takes you to some crazy places to meet some beautiful and crazy people, all you need to do is listen.”
“..a record of enormous breadth, one that moves from post-bop to Solange via the Manchester rap scene, while still remaining resolutely a UK jazz artefact….‘Beautiful Vinyl Hunter’ is a triumph in every sense.” – CLASH