Norman Warwick reads the listings

Today, we take you sidetracks & detours over land and across oceans in search of exciting events taking place in the world of jazz and music and all across the arts. The question is, where do we start?

There is always plenty going on all across the arts in the Greater Manchester area of the UK, most of it covered in news, interviews, previews and reviews by Steve Cooke on his art page in The Rochdale Observer. I noticed from one of recent columns for instance that the Contact Theatre in Manchester is now re-opened and is staging performances. As one of the most important community theatres in the region its return will be greatly welcomed by practitioners and audiences.

Working alongside the likes of Robin Parker and Steve Bewick as well as Steve Cooke I could always feel the buzz in Rochdale and from reports I am hearing it seems the town´s move towards some kind of post-covid nearly-normal is bringing change and excitement. Those barred bards previously hosted by Robin at The Baum on Toad Lane, have stepped out into the wider world,…well,… all the way across the road to The Flying Horse, a hundred yards away near Rochdale Town Hall. They have re-branded as Pegasus, to reflect the pub´s name perhaps, but maybe also to show they are ready to fly high again. Live performance take place on the first Sunday of every month at 7.30 pm prompt and Robin and Eileen Earnshaw are perfect hosts.

Robin is confident an article about last month´s inaugural meeting of  Flying Horse Pegasus evening will appear in the Rochdale Observer on 2 October. Ken Hall took a photo of the ensemble and it is hoped that will also be included.

Robin is also a long-time member of Langley Writers and that group too is returning to live meetings. I see from facebook that another of their members, the indefatiguable Katie haigh continues to her prolific writing and community initiatives.

Another Rochdale writer, and occasional correspondent to these pages, Michael Higgins e mailed with some pithy observations of a recent article we posted on Jack Gilbert´s poem The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart.

Not to damn me with faint praise or anything, he wrote:

´Your article is a bit wordy for the uninitiated but the appreciation of Jack Gilbert is apt.   I must say he is my type of poet in more ways than one´

Although his work is often bracketed with that of the beat poets, Gilbert was perhaps seen as being  neither so smug as Ginsberg, the tortured Jew, nor as deceptive as Kerouac, the escapist Canadian Breton. 

Michael also updated me on his own current writing.

I have just arisen from sloth and written my ‘Jesus the Man’ article for the Travellers Writing Group first official meeting on Saturday. Venue St Andrews Church of the Epiphany in Droylsden  (Originally just St Andrews but rebuilt some years ago as an Anglican, Methodist, Congregational Reformed building shared by those denominations).

Sidetracks & Detours hear from some other sources that the parishes of the Diocese of Manchester might find money to publish the works of The Travellers. Seeing is believing, as St Thomas might have said, but this might be a minor miracle waitng to happen..

I am also now writing promotion material for the Edwin Waugh Dialect Society for the Observer and the Travellers. I have only just received agendas, minutes and syllabuses so could not really do this until we stepped out for our first gatherings.

We spent last week in the Whitby/Middlesbrough area travelling through Thirsk on the way up and Helmsley on the way down. Bought and read an old Billy Bunter book by Frank Richards in Thirsk. Not very pc for our times I am afraid. Calling bespectacled fellow ¨Owl of the Remove , the tuck thief and gorge George William Bunter  ‘fatty’ would not do today. And there are other epithets. But then it is a posh public school with no holds barred. And repeated ‘six of the bests’ abound. And being told to write out the word ‘accident’ a thousand times as a punishment is just cruel.

Now I am writing again I will send something appropriate soon, in the hope that Lanzarote is spared the volcanic eruptions of La Palma

However, just a quick note on my op0ening remarks to say the Travellers writing group has lost its guides and is halted in the Slough of Despond I am afraid and that allegory from John Bunyan is apt as the day before our first meeting the meeting had to be cancelled for a variety of unforeseeable circumstances. This left just me and a lady I had not met. So I took it on myself to let the host church (St Andrews, Droylsden) know the meeting was off and I arranged a pleasant meeting in Bury with Fiona instead.  She seems a well grounded lady though, for a writer poetry and short stories, and with a liking for cask ale she should fit in perfectly.

I have just had a message saying Off the Rails is back on at a secret railway venue in Chorley on 18 October. I was the first to reply with ‘Hurrah!’ but someone after me trumped me with far more erudite ‘Let joy be unbounded!’ I shall practice my sung versions of Masefield’s oeuvre. I have three of his to sing. I hope Robin is up for it. He has not been turning out for our usual Wednesday ale gatherings but he did attend last month’s Pegasus session.

As for the Petrol shortages and  Putin’s cutting down gas supplies through to Europe via Nordstream, they are nothing to the unrestricted lava flows of La Palma. 

We shall probably go to the Medicine Tap pub restaurant (old Post Office building opposite boarded up Town Hall) before going on to read at the Pegasus session on Sunday.

Of course, no journey to the end of a rhyme is an easy one and although change is perhaps as good as a rest the process of change itself is always fraught. Nevertheless, Michael´s reflections reminded me that the arts in Rochdale have always been volcanic, and, as if to add to my feelings of envy of the jazz scene in the region I also received a press release from old friends at The Rochdale Music Society who invariably include a smidegeon of classy jazz on their properly classical calendars.


After all the enforced closure of the last couple of years, the first Concert of the Rochdale Music Society 2021-22 series will be held on Saturday, October 9th at 7.30pm in Touchstones Arts And Heritage Centre, The Esplanade, Rochdale town centre OL16 1AQ.

It will feature the MERAKI DUO, (left) flautist Meera Maharaj and Guitarist Jame Girling, playing a range of delightful music:

The performers will deliver

William Alwyn – Selections from Divertimento for solo flute
William Walton – Selections from Bagetteles for solo guitar 
Claude Debussy (arr Hoppstock) – Beau Soir 


Ástor Piazzolla – Bordel 1900, Cafe 1930 and Nightclub 1960
(from Histoire du Tango)
Rafael Marino Arcaro – À Norte, Rio Preto 
Fabiano do Nascimento (arr Meraki Duo) – Nanã
Quarteto Novo (arr Meraki Duo) – O Ovo

TICKETS AND BOOKING INFORMATION for all RMS upcoming concerts can be found by visiting  https://www.yourtrustrochdale.co.uk/  the newly rebranded Link4Life. 

Sadly, a quick check of the web site for Jazz On Sunday, another major Rochdale jazz meeting-place revealed that the organisation is as yet still unable to deliver live performances again.

Nevertheless the jazz calendar in Greater Manchester is looking fuller than we might have ever expected in thr troughs of covid, so make sure you tune in to Steve Bewick´s Hot Biscuits jazz programme on www.fc-radio.co.uk

Steve not only does Steve deliver recordings from jazz venues across the city but also news of forthcoming events. He retains this local element even as his show has matured into an informed and informative perspective of jazz around the world. he is promising ´a fairly chilled out broadcast next week from Hot Biscuits with pieces from the Nghia Duong Trio, Anthony Jeffrey Roberts and the Mark Lawrence Quartet, a few jazz standards and a feature with Polish guitarist Czesław Kazimierek Let your friends know and tune in on Wednesday, or Thursday at 9pm (GMT+1), or late Saturday at 11pm (GMT+1) at www.fc-radio.co.uk You can find lots of archives of my broadcasts at www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick/

Nevertheless, for even more jazz, I had to look further North (and South) to Music That´s Going Place, who began their press release with a cheery, and urgent, ´Hello, as more venues open up again, we welcome back Nairn Jazz and Garioch Jazz in Inverurie to the diary below so let´s get  straight down to business on October 1st.

photo 1 Playtime, currently presenting monthly in-person and online gigs, have saxophonist Tommy Smith (left) as their guest on Friday 1st. Tommy, seen on the right with his ‘Coltrane’ quartet, joins fellow saxophonist Martin Kershaw, guitarist Graeme Stephen, bassist Mario Caribe and drummer Tom Bancroft onstage at Pathhead Village Hall to play pieces from his albums with jazz greats Kenny Wheeler, John Scotfield and Arild Andersen. It’s likely to get very hot indeed. 

Following rave notices from Limerick and Scarborough jazz festivals, pianist Fergus McCreadie’s trio hits the road again, beginning with a return to the Tolbooth in Stirling on Friday 1st. Nominated for two Jazz FM Awards 2021 (Album of the Year and UK Jazz Act of the Year) and ‘longlisted’ for the Scottish Album of the Year Award,

Fergus also takes the trio (right) to Newcastle on Sunday 3rd, Bristol on Wednesday 6th, Coventry on Thursday 7th, and Milton Keynes on Friday 8th.  

Saturday 9th finds Fergus in a duo with the superb singer Irini Arabatzi at the Blue Lamp as part of Aberdeen Jazz Festival. Irini sang with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra on their recording of trumpet virtuoso Kenny Wheeler’s Sweet Sister Suite and has command of her native Greek traditions as well as the jazz canon. So it should be quite a night. Quite a busy night for Fergus, too, as he also plays with the award-winning and deeply accomplished nu jazz posse, corto.alto in the late show afterwards.

Top singer Tina May (left) takes her 52nd Street Heroes show to Swansea on Thursday 7th. Tina has a strong Welsh connection, having studied French literature at Cardiff University and gained a grounding in jazz at the Welsh Jazz Society’s weekly gigs. Tina also plays Luton on Sunday 10th (lunchtime), and in London on Wednesday 27th, when she will be taking the audience on a musical tour of Berlin (with Dietrich), Paris (with Piaf) and New York (with Gershwn and many others).

Euan Stevenson and Konrad Wiszniewski (right) resume their New Focus: The Classical Connection concerts in Biggar’s Municipal Hall on Wednesday 27th. An entertaining examination of how the classical and jazz traditions interconnect, with seriously good jazz playing from the pianist and saxophonist, the Classical Connection won a five star review from The Herald’s Keith Bruce at Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival in 2019. 

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (left) releases the music from its ambitious Where Rivers Meet series on Bandcamp on Friday 1st. If you missed Where Rivers Meet, it comprises music by pioneering saxophonists Albert Ayler, Anthony Braxton, Ornette Coleman and Dewey Redman and has Martin Kershaw, Konrad Wiszniewski, Paul Towndrow and Tommy Smith as featured soloists. Initially available as a download, the music will be released on CD in February.

Speaking of Bandcamp, the first Friday of the month is the day to catch up on any releases you’ve been meaning to buy as the internet music company waives its fees and all the money goes to the musicians. Here are a few candidates for your support: Leo Blanco & Alexis Cardenas, Matt Carmichael, Fat-SuitSteve Hamilton, Lucien Johnson, Brian Kellock, Jasmine Lovell-Smith, Fergus McCreadieDave Milligan, Brian Molley, New Focus, Ola Onabule, OriolePrime Trio, John Rae, Mark Scobbie, Scottish National Jazz OrchestraTommy Smith, Tom Stephenson, Paul Towndrow, Ben Wilcock.

October Diary

  Blue Lamp
Fri 1: We Love You Bill/Funk Connection
Sat 2: Seonaid Aitken Chasing Sakura/Matthew Kilner 2 Tenors Band
Sun 3: Paul Towndrow Trio
Thu 7: Colin Steele Quintet
Sat 9: Irini Arabatzi & Fergus McCreadie/corto.alto
Sun 10: Niki King
Thu 14: Nishla Smith Quintet
Thu 21:Robb/Gibbs/Cosker
Thu 28: Nathan Somevi Trio


Municipal Hall
Wed 27: New Focus Duo


The Caird
Sun 3: East Coast Jazzmen (12:30pm)
Sun 10: Sheila Gaughan (12:30pm)
Sun 17: Vardo (12:30pm)


Jazz Bar
Fri 1: Run Logan Run
Sun 3: Georgia Cecile
Thu 7: Prime Trio
Fri 8: Boptimism
Sun 10: Norman Willmore Qrt
Wed 13: Fraser Urquhart Trio
Thu 14: Colin Steele-Martin Kershaw Qnt
Fri 15: Matt Carmichael
Sun 17: John Burgess/Brian Kellock/Max Popp
Wed 20: Brian Molley plays Dexter Gordon
Fri 22: Nimbus Sextet
Wed 27: Brian Kellock plays Marty Grosz
Thu 28: Trio HLK
Fri 29: Jon Green Sextet
Sun 31: Ali Affleck

Pathhead Village Hall
Fri 1: Playtime with Tommy Smith

Queen’s Hall
Sat 16: Georgia Cecile


Hopeville Social Club
Fri 29: Tim Kliphuis Trio


Old Kirk
Sat 23: Boteco Trio


606 Club
Thu 7: Christian Garrick
Sat 16: Karen Sharp
Mon 18: Paul Edis Trio
Wed 20: Nicolas Meier
Thu 21: Rob Luft
Sat 23: Tony Kofi

Ronnie Scott’s
Tue 12: Billy Hart Qrt
Wed 13: Emmet Cohen
Sun 17: Mary Coughlan
Mon 18, Tue 19: Citrus Sun (feat Jim Mullen)
Mon 25: Linda May Han Oh
Tue 26, Wed 27: Erik Truffaz


Nairn Community & Arts Centre
Fri 8: Rose Room


1: Fergus McCreadie Trio

Since 2012 Music That´s Going Places have organised tours and festival and concert appearances by Leo Blanco, Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock, Arild Andersen Trio, New Focus, Christine Tobin, Ollie Howell, Tina May, Ola Onabule, Louis Durra, Nigel Clark, Guitar Journey, Jyotsna Srikanth, Don Paterson, Brian Molley, Alyn Cosker, Fergus McCreadie, Philip Clouts, Zoe Francis & Jim Mullen, Karen Marshalsay, Russian String Orchestra, Tim Garland, and Catriona McKay & Chris Stout.

We’ve also helped Eyemouth Hippodrome, Craiglockhart Church, Jazz at St James in Leith and Red Door, Linlithgow with programming and given PR assistance to Playtime, The Jazz Bar, Bridge Music, Fat-Suit, and Paul Towndrow & Ryan Quigley’s ‘With Strings’ project. Clients also include Laura Macdonald & David Berkman, Spark Trio, Ron Davis, Going Dutch, Dave Milligan, SNJO, Thick Records (NZ), Matt Carmichael, Lucien Johnson, Prime Trio, STRATA, and Tom Stephenson.
JAZZ IN READING tell us The Progress Theatre is open, bands are booked and the Jazz in Reading Team has emerged, refreshed and as energetic as ever, from hibernation.

All Jazz In Reading need now is to see you once again in the audience.

The Theatre has sensibly put in place a number of measures to keep everybody as Covid safe as possible.
Box office and bar staff will serve behind perspex screens and front of house personnel will wear masks. Some external doors may be left open to increase ventilation, so you may wish to bring something warm to wear. We encourage you to wear a mask in the auditorium and when moving around the building.
Hand sanitisers will be available on entering the building – please use them. Neveertheless, please do not attend any performance if anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, or are showing any symptoms.
There will be more detailed news soon but here’s what we have in store for the coming months:
Fri 22 Oct
Andrew McCormack’s Graviton
 – information

Fri 26 Nov
Clark Tracey Sextet 
– information

Fri 17 Dec
Moscow Drug Club – information

Fri 28 Jan
Vasilis Xenopoulos Dexterity Quintet: The Dexterity Album – information

Best regards from the Jazz in Reading team
Thank you to music That´s Going Places and to Jazz In Reading allowing us to share this information with our Sidetracks Ad Detours readers
photograph by Zoe White

It was great that JAZZ IN READING were so eager and particularly pleased to announce re-opening of the Progress Theatre (right) that looks and sounds like a great, friendly venue where like-minded people get together and create a great atmosphere. Nevertheless, a space is just a space if there are no people there, and when we do speak of venues with a great atmosphere we usually mean an atmosphere created by people. That is why I know that Pegasus poets, mentioned earlier, will manage to re-create the atmosphere that was always tangible at their former home at The Baum, that atmosphere of mutual, if sometimes irreverent. respect for readers and writers alike and a love of poetry for what it does say not only what it should say. I strongly suspect that atmosphere of The Progress Theatre somehow reflects its name, suggestive of searching and moving on. Welcome back guys.

Kit Downes
BBC Jazz awards winner – piano and organ

St Andrew’s Church Caversham
  Albert Road  RG4 7PL

Friday 29 October 2021 | 7:30pm
£16-£20 under 16 free
BBC Jazz Awards winner Kit, will wow his audience with original compositions, improvisations, extraordinary musicianship and the conjuring up of wonderful sounds from both the piano and organ – not to be missed, and just before he departs for a tour of the States.  www.kitdownes.com
Buy tickets here This concert is part of Concerts in Caversham’s Autumn Festival of Music and Art 23-30 October. Information

Meanwhile, there is still much going on in the North Country jazzlands, as Ribble Valley Jazz And Blues Festival have been quick to remind us.

Red Hot Drop

On Sunday 3rd October there is a village summer jazz event being held in the social club in the beautifully timeless village of Waddington. The headline guest musicians are Red Hot Drop, a funky/jazz rock band covering popular songs with a repertoire to please all tastes. They cover classic songs from the likes of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Janis Joplin, The Doobie Bros, Talking Heads, Roxy Music and Amy Winehouse. The gig is supported by @hereforculture

On the same day of this Sunday 3rd October, from 19:00 to 22:00 pm at The Grand, Clitheroe,  Nubiyan Twist will deliver their blend of virtuosic players, skilled producers and inspired composers who have joined forces to create a unique, infectious sound drawing on jazz, hip-hop, afrobeat, latin, soul, reggae and dance music.

And keep listening out for more of ¨Phil s Jazz Pleasures. He is currently reflecting on 60 years of Impulse Records, the important jazz label.

Check out the web site of this exciting and hard working organisation for ticket details, upcoming events etc at https://rvjazzandblues.co.uk/

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic Paste on-line magazine has announced Bob Dylan´s first shows in support of his acclaimed 2020 album Rough And Rowdy Ways, with a banner on the artist’s website and social media terming his run a world tour set to run through 2024.

As of now, only Dylan’s fall 2021 U.S. tour dates have been revealed, starting with a Nov. 2 show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’ll play Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Boston, among other cities, throughout November, with multiple-night stands in New York City, Port Chester, New York, and Philadelphia, before concluding this leg with a Dec. 2 stop in Washington, D.C. Tickets go on sale this Friday, Oct. 1.

Rough And Rowdy Ways was one of Paste’s top albums of 2020, though Dylan didn’t play anything off the album during his mid-July Shadow Kingdom streaming concert. Fans seemed to relish it all the same, prompting its hosts, streaming platform Veeps, to extend its availability.

Bob Dylan Tour Dates:

02 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin @ Riverside Theatre
03 – Chicago, Illinois @ Auditorium Theatre
05 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Key Bank State Theatre
06 – Columbus, Ohio @ Palace Theatre
07 – Bloomington, Indiana @ IU Auditorium
09 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Procter & Gamble Hall
10 – Knoxville, Tennessee @ Knoxville Auditorium
12 – Louisville, Kentucky @ Palace Theatre
13 – Charleston, West Virginia @ Municipal Auditorium
15 – Moon Township, Pennsylvania @ Robert Morris Univ.
16 – Hershey, Pennsylvania @ Hershey Theatre
19-21 – New York, New York @ Beacon Theatre
23-24 – Port Chester, New York @ Capitol Theatre
26 – Providence, Rhode Island @ Providence Performing Arts Center
27 – Boston, Massachusetts @ Wang Theatre
29-30 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ The Met

With such serious planning needed again now to create time for both what we need to do, (work, own money, care for the family) and what we want to do (scuba dive, enjoy the arts, relax, enjoy the arts and enjoy the arts etc it may well be we are going to need to operate a mode of self-leadership. Having a listen to Dr. Burkhard Bennsman´ s Letter From My Future Self might prove helpful and might well prompt towards his unique web site. To read that letter over Burkhart´´ s shoulder click on the photograph below as he delivered his talk from in front of one of Lanzarote´s many iconic back-drops.

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