by Norman Warwick

The e mail from Jazz In reading  was really positive.

Hi Norman

From the whole Jazz in Reading team: wishing you and your readers all the very best for 2023. 
We look forward to seeing you at some of the Jazz at Progress shows we have lined up for the first half of the year – more

We also have news of a new jam in Reading…

You may well remember the jazz jams at Reading’s Global Cafe. All a vanishing memory now that the cafe is closed and, it seems, there is no immediate prospect of it re-opening.

photo 1 However … 2023 will see a new jam starting at another Reading venue: the Fisherman’s Cottage on Kennet Side RG1 3DW. An easy stroll along the Kennet from the Queen’s Road car park – park for just £3.60 for the evening

The events will run every second Tuesday starting on 17 January at 7:30pm.Live music. Free entry. Excellent food and drink. And a lot more space than the Global.  Who could ask for more?

As well as jazz, we anticipate a healthy dose of blues, a bit of funk and even some occasional freeform to which no name has yet been assigned.

If you would like to receive regular information about the jam just reply YES to this email.

Musicians: if you’d like to take part, call one of the following and we’ll do our best to accommodate you: Ian Germer 07866 251216 / Jim Wade  07788 666608

More information on the Fisherman’s Cottage (RIGHT)
website and Facebook page

Best regards 


There was similarly positive news from ¨Fran At The Stoller´. We don´t know Fran personally but we have received so much uplifting news from her recently that it feels like we are old friends.

In her most recent missive Fran St The Stoller was obviously delighted to announce the programme for their January to June 2023 classical music concert programme.

If any our readers are in the North West of England on Monday 16th January at 7.30 pm they should try to catch THE SACCONI QUARTET + MATTHEW WADSWORTH presented by Manchester Chamber Music Concerts Society.

‘The chemistry between these four young players is tangible and magical’ — The Scotsman 

Championing new music and experimenting with the quartet repertoire has become part of the Sacconi Quartet’s trademark style.

With their fresh and imaginative approach to chamber music, the Sacconi Quartet will perform alongside lutenist Matthew Wadsworth

Their programme will feature an incredibly wide range of composers including 17th– century Purcell, the celestial soundscapes of Jamaican-born British composer Alberga’s Quartet No.2 and Beethoven’s Quartet No.16. In between, audiences can enjoy Welsh composer Stephen Goss’ ground-breaking new 21st Century concerto for theorbo and strings, for a performance not to be missed. 

On Friday 3rd of February you can hear the music of RIOPY, a pianist and composer who wants to change the world, one note at a time.

Born in rural France, his mother left home with him when he was six months old, eventually joining a cult, where family ties were discouraged – and obedience to the head guru was paramount. Deprived of any outside culture, young Jean-Philippe taught himself to play on an abandoned piano when he was two, making up songs in his head, then performing them.

RIOPY was drawn to the piano as it allowed him to focus on creating music from scratch, quiet his mind from his OCD anxieties and to retreat into his own private world. “I understood tones, sounds and numbers, because I’d always been counting,” he says. “Playing piano was the only place I felt safe. I discovered something new every time I sat down at the piano. It was the only thing I enjoyed doing. And even if I wasn’t at the piano, I’d play music in my head to cope with stress.”

After ten years of travels and many fateful encounters, such as Chris Martin giving him a piano, RIOPY began to compose for cinema and adverts – but he still faced the struggle of chronic depression.

This vulnerability emerged in the music of his first two albums RIOPY and Tree of Light which became successes worldwide, powered by personal recommendation and word of mouth. His music has reached 450 million streams worldwide, and now he’s excited by the release of his new album (Extended) Bliss on Warner Classics.

The following evening, 4th February, audiences will be treated to a presentation of Music In The Round from ENSEMBLE 360.

Praised by The Guardian as ‘one of the most adaptable chamber groups in the country’, Ensemble 360 is renowned for its bold programming and engaging interpretations of music ranging from baroque duos, through classical quartets to new commissions for all eleven players.

Following on from the 150th birthday celebrations in 2022 of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, the evening opens with his most famous work The Lark Ascending. Recently voted No.1 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame for a record 12th time, the ensemble presents this well-loved piece in its original version for piano and violin. This is followed by his Concerto for Oboe and Strings, and the compact Sonatine by the composer’s friend and mentor Maurice Ravel. The evening concludes with Robert Schumann’s expansive Piano Quintet, composed in his ‘year of chamber music’.

On Monday 6th February at 7.30pm  THE MAGNARD ENSEMBLE will be performing in the Carol Nash Hall.

This contemporary classical music project was born out of these questions, particularly from a British East Asian point of view, in response to the sharp increase in hate crime against people of East and South East Asian heritage at the start of the covid pandemic.

What changes did Lockdown 2020 bring to your life? Do you think and feel like a different person from your pre-pandemic self? How important are our identities and what shapes them?

This relaxed performance will be the world premiere of a brand new work for wind quintet by the London based American composer Tonia Ko, commissioned by Magnard Ensemble with support from PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music Award and Haworth Trust. The event will also feature a Japanese traditional instrument, Shamisen, performed by Dr Yui Shikakura.

Tonia is a recipient of some of the highest honours for young composers including a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, and has been frequently featured on BBC Radio 3 for her work with the Riot Ensemble / Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Northern Chords Festival, and Tangram Collective. Magnard Ensemble has established a reputation for world class concert performances and innovative education projects over the past decade. As an alumnus of prestigious schemes including Making Music UK and a residency at Snape Maltings, their highlights include a recital at Wigmore Hall and an animated video adaptation of Rob Biddulph’s ‘Odd Dog Out’, available on YouTube.

A few nights later on Thursday 9th February at 7.30 pm there will be a concert given by CRISTIAN GRANJER DE SA and JOHN LENEHAN.

‘A truly great violinist’— Tasmin Little on Cristian Grajner De Sa

‘John Lenehan played with great flair and virtuosity’ —New York Times

Cristian Grajner de Sa is quickly establishing himself as one of the great violinists of the future. After debuts at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, he has performed in many of the great venues of Europe and is a ‘Young Artist’ on Classic FM and Scala Radio. Cristian will be accompanied by John Lenehan, one of the world’s leading chamber musicians.

With more than 70 albums to his credit, reflecting an enormous variety of genres and styles, John Lenehan ranks as one of the most versatile pianists on the classical scene today. Together they will perform a programme which includes Brahms, Profokiev and Beach.

Some of the UK’s most incredible young musicians perform at their home venue, The Stoller Hall on Friday 17th February. CHETHAM´S SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA will be led by guest conductor Karin Hendrickson, musicians from Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra explore the profound depths of Brahms’ 4th symphony, music full of warmth and beauty but with an undeniably tragic character. The first part of the programme has a Nordic theme with Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and Helena Munktell’s Breaking Waves, performed by Chetham’s soloist Kassia Ren.

Another concert you might  note on your calendar will be delivered on Monday 20th February by THE MARMEN QUARTET and is again to be presented by the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society.

 Performing is all about communication. It’s telling a story and I feel the Marmen are dedicated to this ideal’ – Peter Cropper (Marmen Quartet)

With a growing reputation for the courage and vitality of their performances, the Marmen Quartet is establishing itself as one of the most impressive new talents on the chamber music scene.

The UK based string quartet includes violinists Johannes Marmén and Laia Valentin Braun, violist Bryony Gibson-Cornish and cellist Sinéad O’Halloran. 

Nestled between well-loved works by Haydn and Beethoven their programme includes music by Webern and Cage.

Ahead of the concert Professor David Horne will give a talk on Webern’s abstract Five Movements and avant-garde American  composer Cages’ Four. Free to all ticket holders .

The following month there´s an opportunity on Monday 13th March to see the CHARLOTTE NORTON concert, presented by Manchester Chamber Concerts Society.

Watch young rising stars of chamber music in this special live performance.  

Three different sets of young musicians will showcase their talents live on The Stoller Hall stage, in memory of the late Charlotte Norton, generous supporter of Manchester Chamber Concerts Society. Programme to be confirmed 

This performance is free for all Manchester Chamber Concerts Society season ticket holders. 

On Saturday 18th March you can listen to Manchester’s WILLIAM BYRD SINGERS  who  will be joined by the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of one of Britain’s greatest composers, William Byrd. Both William Byrd and Thomas Weelkes died in 1623 and to honour their memory, the choir will perform works by the two composers for a celebratory concert.

Alongside the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, the William Byrd Singers will take to The Stoller Hall stage to give voice to anthems and motets by both composers, rounding the concert off with a complete performance of Byrd’s massive Great Service.

This is a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in Byrd’s musical world including most of Byrd’s massive Great Service, motets and verse anthems by Byrd and Weelkes and instrumental items by these two composers.

On Saturday March 25th see MANCHESTER CAMERATA deliver another of the acclaimed Mozart. Made In Manchester recitals.

five star  ‘…unstoppable energy that really sets the music alight’ – The Telegraph

five star  ‘Energetic Mozart up there with the very best… soloist, conductor and orchestra conjure up a magical sound world’ – BBC Music Magazine

Manchester Camerata are back with another edition of their hugely successful Mozart, Made in Manchester series.

Achieving 5-Star reviews from The Telegraph and BBC Music Magazine, this is Mozart, at his very best, performed with the undeniable chemistry of Gábor Takács-Nagy and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

In this edition, Manchester Camerata will tackle three of his earlier piano concertos as well as the sublime overture from The Abduction from Seraglio, from the comic opera filled with pirates, Turkish princes, kidnapping and daring rescues.

Only two nights later, on Monday 27th March there will be programme presented by the ARCADIA QUARTET.

The Romanian ensemble lives through the emotional eruptions in Janácek’s music with heart and soul…every accent is a stich into the heart’ – Fono Forum

The Arcadia Quartet has established itself as one of the most exciting string quartets of their generation. Praised for their emotionally intense performances they will make their Stoller Hall debut performing a concert of profoundly moving music. 

From one of the original string quartet’s by Haydn to Weinberg’s serenade-like No.6 and Beethoven’s No.7 this concert promises to be a string quartet masterclass. 

The very next month, on Wednesday 19th April you can hear THE AYOUB SISTERS, Scottish/Egyptian instrumentalists and composers, who rose to stardom after their debut album premiered at No.1 in the Official Classical Charts. The sisters are recognised internationally for their chemistry on stage, as well as their ability to unite different musical genres and cultures together through their unique compositional style.

Recipients of the Arab Women of the Year award (2019), The Ayoub Sisters are proud to present their brand new album Arabesque – a celebration of and tribute to music from the Arab World, which shot to No.1 in the Official Classical Chart.

They have performed across the UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia with highlights including appearances at the Royal Albert Hall, London Palladium, The Cairo Opera House and Dubai Opera.

With an international YouTube following of over 100,000 subscribers, The Ayoub Sisters are fast becoming the sound and faces of a truly exciting new generation of classical and crossover artists.

Join award winning instrumental duo The Ayoub Sisters for an evening of live music including songs from their brand new album, Arabesque. The Ayoub Sisters will be joined on stage by renowned Jazz musicians, guitarist Giulio Romano Malaisi and percussionist Daniele Antenucci.

With The Stoller Hall also looking to present The Many Voices of Eve on 11th June, delivered by   THE PRINTMAKER´S UNION + LONDON VOCAL PROJECT there is certainly a plethora of classical music for your consideration in the first half of 2023.

Don´t forget, though, that The Stoller hall is also building a synergy networking with jazz providers not only on the venue´s local turf that also offer with the local talent national and international partners too.

So, why not check out

Have fun.

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