Poster as always by the wonderful Osian Roberts

Hello everyone! It’s been a fairly dramatic couple of weeks at Oxford HQ with the sudden closure of the venue and the scramble to sort something new out. We’re really happy to report that the Assembly House 200m up the road has stepped up, and we’ll be kicking off there this coming Monday (31st) with Jack Garside leading an outrageous quartet. Tickets here:

Here’s what’s coming up in November – it features a three-gig extravaganza week for the EFG London Jazz Festival. Please note there is no gig on Monday the 21st, as with the stress of the new venue hunt and the inevitability of that week suffering from a post-festival hangover, we are having a week off! We’re back for the last week of the month and will continue into December.

The change of venue coming right before the biggest month of music we’ve ever put on obviously does make us feel a little more precarious than we might like, so we would really appreciate seeing your faces and your bums on seats at these gigs. The new room is a tiny bit smaller, so we would encourage booking in advance to guarantee seeing the gigs. The LJF gigs are already selling quite fast and we don’t want any of our regular supporters to miss out! Spread the word, share far and wide on Instagram and Facebook, and encourage anyone who might be interested to sign up to the newsletter.

Thanks as ever for being such great supporters of proper grass-roots music.

Monday 7th – David Ferris Septet

David Ferris – Piano, composition
Hugh Pascall – Trumpet
Richard Foote – Trombone
Chris Young – Alto Saxophone
Nadim Teimoori – Tenor Saxophone
Nick Jurd – Bass
Euan Palmer – Drums

This band was originally formed in October 2016 by pianist, composer and Jazz at the Oxford denizen David Ferris, featuring some of the Midlands’ best musicians. The music written for this band draws from his experience of playing in large fully-orchestrated groups, and smaller more improvised settings, and focuses on melody and warmth, with influences ranging from John Scofield to Fred Hersch to The Beatles.

Their debut album “Alphabets” was released in February 2018, featuring the Estonian singer Maria Väli, and for this gig they’ll be debuting some new music.

Monday 14th – Sam Jesson’s Magpie Trio
(EFG London Jazz Festival)

George Crowley – Tenor Sax
Tom Farmer – Double Bass
Sam Jesson – Drum Kit

All star acoustic saxophone trio reworking the glorious compositions of Wayne Shorter’s from his electric era, from groove heavy Weather Report bangers to the soaring melodies from seminal albums Atlantis and Joy Rider.

United by their love for the tradition of legendary jazz trios from Ahmad Jamal to Sonny Rollins, Oscar Peterson to Dewey Redman, the trio wind their way through many gems of the jazz canon – some lesser known than others – sometimes deconstructing and breathing new life, sometimes paying homage to classic arrangements, with a devoted focus on making music that feels honest and joyous.

This gig is part of a national tour in which the trio take on the electric work of Wayne Shorter, in music written for Weather Report and seminal solo albums Atlantis and Joy Rider.

Wednesday 16th – Alexandra Ridout/Iver Cardas
(EFG London Jazz Festival)

Alex Ridout – Trumpet
Iver Cardas – Guitar
Conor Chaplin – Bass
TBC – Drums

Alexandra Ridout, Jazz Trumpeter, UK, is currently studying her Masters Degree at the Manhattan School of Music. She recently went on European Tour with the Grammy nominated, Blue Note signed all star band Artemis.

Alexandra was crowned the winner of the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award 2016 and noted in ‘The shape of jazz to come: who to look out for in 2018’ in Jazzwise magazine.

In 2018 Alexandra won The British Jazz Awards ‘Rising Star’ category. In October 2019 Alexandra was named one of ‘London’s Most Influential People’ under 25 and was a Parliamentary Jazz Awards nominee in 2020.

Alexandra joined British jazz luminary Clark Tracey’s latest Quintet in 2017 who performed regularly promoting their most recent album ‘No Doubt’.

She has performed with ECM artist Kit Downes, and world renowned Jason Brown.

She was chosen for the JEN Sisters in Jazz Collegiate Combo 2021.

Alexandra released her debut EP ‘Remote Duets’ in 2020.

She has featured on various albums.

Alexandra fronts her own Quintet, who have recently recorded their debut album.

In 2022 she performed around Europe with award winning pianist Pablo Held and with Star Bass player Orlando Le Fleming’s band ‘Romantic Funk’.

Alexandra performed at the Jazz Gallery in New York with Dayna Stephen’s Custom Deluxe.

She has been invited to perform at the Festival of New Trumpet Music in NYC 2022.

Friday 18th – Stan Sulzmann Quartet
(EFG London Jazz Festival)

Stan Sulzmann – Saxophone
Will Barry – Piano
Steve Watts – Bass
Kai MacRae – Drums

‘But a shining light of the whole attractive enterprise is the presence of Stan Sulzmann, who seems to sound more personal and hauntingly moving than ever.’ John Fordham, Jazz UK

A veteran of the UK jazz scene, Stan Sulzmann has a rich and varied career that has included playing with musicians as diverse as Kenny Wheeler, Larry Grenadier and Gwilym Simcock, as well as a prolific output as bandleader.

Always moving forward, Stan’s Neon Quartet sees him amongst some of the UKs most sought-after young musicians, and their latest album “Subjekt” explores Stan’s ever-developing musical influences. Stan is also a highly respected composer and arranger; his vibrant big band arrangements have excited and inspired people for the last 25 years, and in 2013 Stan was commissioned to write an original piece for the London Jazz Festival.

Highly in demand as a sideman, Stan has worked with a host of musicians, including: John Taylor, Jim Mullen, Nikki Iles, Mike Gibbs, Marc Copland, Allan Botchinksy, European Jazz Ensemble, Kit Downes, Michael Brecker and Gil Evans.

‘It simply doesn’t get any better than this’ John Kelman

Monday 21st


Monday 28th – Sam Norris Quartet

Sam Norris- alto sax
Jay Verma- piano
Will Sach- double bass
Harry Ling- drums

‘An extraordinary technique and improvisational flair for one so young’ (Ronan Guilfoyle).

Sam Norris is an award-winning London-based alto saxophonist, flautist and composer with a forward-thinking outlook.

Originally from Cambridge, UK, Sam has been moved from an early age by deeply expressive improvisers with their own musical language. Among the most formative influences on his playing and composing have been John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Lee Konitz and Eric Dolphy. The study of these musicians’ work, combined with a parallel interest in twentieth-century classical music, has led him to develop a musical vocabulary which is resolutely his own.

The Sam Norris Quartet (SNQ) brings together three of Sam’s favourite musicians on the London jazz scene- pianist Jay Verma, bassist Will Sach and drummer Harry Ling- to perform his original compositions. High-energy and uncompromising, their music takes the listener on a journey through carefully crafted forms, thoughtful solo interludes, and passages of free improvisation.