Exciting line-up of national talent aiming to jazz-up Millennium Hall

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SHEFFIELD Jazz are getting set to kick off 2013 with an exciting new line-up of nationally and internationally recognised artists chosen to appeal to a wide cross-section of music lovers.

The irrepressible saxophonist Gilad Atzmon returns with his Orient House Ensemble to kick things off at regular venue the Millennium Hall in Ecclesall Road on Friday January 18.

gilad atzmon 2011

gilad atzmon 2011

Israeli born and British based, Atzmon is unafraid to mix up music and politics in a challenging way. His aggressively energetic music is very resonant of both bebop and his Middle Eastern roots, which he has been rediscovering with the Orient House Ensemble.

One of the veteran greats of British jazz, Stan Tracey, brings his octet on Friday 25. His perhaps best-known work was based on the Dylan Thomas poem Under Milk Wood and his playing boasts beautiful harmony and pays tributes to two diverse jazz piano legends, Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington.

Looking further ahead, exciting young musician Soweto Kinch appears with his trio on Friday, April 19. Kinch crosses the boundaries between jazz and hip hop with music that looks at British urban city life. The Liane Carroll Trio combine soulful sincerity and vocal flexibility with a fantastically entertaining show on March 1.

On Friday, March 8, Mark Lockheart’s Ellington in Anticipation has an all-star seven-piece group re-examining the great man’s music.

On March 22, Get The Blessing, a Portishead and Radiohead-based jazz quartet promise “thumping tunes, driving bass, monstrously infectious beats and joyous collective spontaneity”.

And on Friday April 12 Troyka bring their visceral mash-up of rock, jazz and dance music. They combine extural guitar loops, angular riffs and displaced drum grooves.

The season finishes on Friday May 17 with Printmakers, a sextet headed by star vocalist Norma Winstone that includes pianist Nikki Iles and guitarist Mike Walker, which fuses jazz, folk and contemporary music ideas.

n Sheffield Jazz is taking over the running of the city’s other main jazz venue at The Lescar on Sharrowvale Road.

For more information, go to the website, www.sheffieldjazz.org.uk. The Lescar jazz sessions, popular for their relaxed feel, have been run for 15 years by Sheffield-based guitarist Chris Walker who has decided to step down.

Jez Matthews has taken on the main organising role and intends to maintain and build upon Chris’s music policy, to provide an inclusive forum for touring bands of all types, and also the very best local musicians.

Music at the Lescar is on Wednesday nights.

The season starts on January 9 with jazz and electronica from the Luke Flowers Trio and Chris Walker appears on January 23 with Djangonauts, who specialise in acoustic gypsy jazz.

For more details go to Jazz at the Lescar or Jazz at The Lescar on Facebook. Twitter updates appear at @SheffieldJazz