Gig information, news and ticket offers.
Created and led by Tara Franks
For parents and babies/toddlers (0-5s)
This joy-filled class offers the opportunity for parents to sing, dance and shake along to songs from around the world and original tunes.
Yoga classes are available Tuesday mornings and Thursday lunchtimes. If you fancy taking time out to relax and revitalise during your day, why not come and try out a session?
Nothing is posted yet for Thu, 11 Apr !
Please browse our programme, scroll down through the upcoming gigs below or select another date in the calendar on the left.
Ryan Francesconi & Mirabai Peart
After 2011's Parables album and two successful solo tours, Ryan Francesconi has signed to Bella Union. New album Road To Palios finds him collaborating with Mirabai Peart (whom he met through their work with Joanna Newsom) on a set of spellbinding duets for guitar and violin, evidencing a world of musical inspiration flowing through its minimal instrumental palette, centring on Balkan folk but also spanning Baroque, Americana and jazz improvisation. On stage these ornate and detailed compositions possess a rare transportative power: an atlas of vividly evoked musical places performed with heart and soul by two extraordinary musicians.
Marcus Corbett is a highly individual singer songwriter with a unique style. A musician with a long involvement with North Indian classical vocal and Tabla, he has also had experience of African high life music having spent some years with Zairean (DRC) bands - Malaika and Intelligencia Britanica.
However while these genres have influenced his composition to a greater or lesser degree, he has wrought his own style and made his music his own.
"Marcus Corbett is an artist with a unique blend of intricate acoustic guitar brilliance and a primal vocal delivery influenced by his years in India. A rare exotic jewel." Sonja Kristina, Curved Air/The Strawbs
See Marcus Corbett - In Deed at YouTube
Here to celebrate the release of their new album, out on ECM in April, The Vortex is very excited about having Deco Heart back.
The two musicians have first collaborated in the award winning third stream extravaganza Enesco Re-Imagined, a CD that appeared on many critics “Best of 2010” lists and featured a stunning group of musicians – Badal Roy, Tony Malaby, Ralph Alessi, John Hebert, Gerald Cleaver among others - in a daring re-imagining of the works of famed romanian violin virtuoso George Enescu. Lucian Ban & Mat Maneri also co-lead Angles of Repose a quartet featuring drummer Randy Peterson and bassist Drew Gress.
In 2013 ECM will release their debut album.
"Mat Maneri has changed the way the jazz world listens to the Violin & Viola." All About Jazz
"One of the most gifted pianists to move to New York in the past decade." Bruce Lee Galanter, jazz writer
Mat Maneri - Viola
Lucian Ban - Piano
Check out the review of the new album 'Transylvanian Concert' by Marlbank
No strangers to the Vortex, the Kit Downes Trio's live shows walk a line between the improvised and the composed, revealing a truly eclectic mix of influences, from Bela Bartok to Bill Frisell to David Lynch. Tonight they're joined by one of the New York iprov scene's most exciting young sax players.
Despite his age, Ben van Gelder (24) is emerging as an important new voice on New York’s groundbreaking improvised music scene. Peers and critics alike praise him for his unique sound and originality as a composer and improviser. Rooted in the jazz tradition, he creates music that is informed by a multitude of contemporary influences resulting in a sound that is lyrical, at times orchestral, but above all current.
Ben van Gelder - Alto Saxophone
Kit Downes - Piano
Tom Farmer - Double Bass
James Maddren - Drums
Check out Kit's preview at
Monthly Vortex residency with master of free improvisation, Evan Parker.
A major force in European improvising, Parker has collaborated with everyone from Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley & Anthony Braxton, to Scott Walker, Robert Wyatt and Squarepusher. He is one of Europe’s most innovative and intriguing saxophonists, which is why he keeps audiences coming back for more.
"If you've ever been tempted by free improvisation, Parker is your gateway drug." Stewart Lee
Sheikh Anorak / Colin Webster / Alex Ward
Sheik Anorak is the nom de guerre of Frank Garcia, boss of Gaffer Records and lynchpin of the thriving underground scene in Lyon, France. As a drummer and guitarist Sheik Anorak is known for collaborating with like-minded musicians from all over the world. Last year he teamed up with British saxophonist Colin Webster for a short UK tour, which included a wild and frenetic gig at The Vortex. This year the pair are joined by one of the leading figures of the improv scene, Alex Ward for what promises to be a night of raw and uncompromising music.
Sheik Anorak: Drums
Colin Webster: Saxophones
Alex Ward: Guitar/Clarinet
Dead Days Beyond Help
"formidably knotty, complex music which avoids the dry geekiness of US math rock" The Wire
One of Britain's most inventive jazz vocalists, Shaw's remarkable vocal range and mesmerising style has seen him breathe life into pop tunes and standards, reinventing even the most maudlin showtunes with sparkling wit.
"a masterly vocalist… one of the finest singers in contemporary music interprets some of the greatest songs of the last 50 years." Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz
Read this fascinating profile of Ian
- 'Ian Shaw: From Free Jazz to Noel Coward' -
by Bruce Lindsay, at All About Jazz
The 7th annual Awards night, celebrating open mic jazz singers and the people who run the monthly events in and around London.
Hosted by Brian Shaw, with the Bob Stuckey Trio plus four singers, selected through a rigorous series of auditions.
With special guests Cathy McNanamon and Catherine Lima.
All profits from the event will go to a chosen mental health charity.
Indigo Kid is a project that guitarist / composer Dan Messore has run for three years, which came out of his collaboration with saxophonist / composer Iain Bellamy. The result was the birth of 'Indio Kid' based on Iain's view of Dan as a little feral and a bit of a country boy. For their first album 'Indigo Kid' (babel) 2012, they were joined by Tim Harries (bass) and Gethin Jones (drums). Recently Dan has been recording 'Indio Kid II' with a new line up: Martin France (drums), Tim Harries (electric bass) and Trish Clowes (sax). Indio Kid will hit the road on a Jazz Services tour between May 16-27 with the Vortex marking the end of the tour.
As someone who has inherited and absorbed a diverse range of music, Messore's first album drew on the sensitive side of post-contemporary fusion where Pat Metheny meets Kurt Rosenwinkel; the rich folk traditions of John Fahey and the recently departed Bert Jansch. Not forgetting the open chords of Led Zeppelin, as on Dan's composition 'Mr Lepard'. But jazz is central, with hints of Bill Frisell's Americana on the tender 'Pages to a Friend', and a beautifully intimate rendition of the Gershwins' 'The Man I Love', while jazz fans' hearts are certain to melt to Messore's bossa-like 'New Man New Place' with Ballamy improvising in sumptuous Stan Getz-like mood.
For thirty years Paul Dunmall has carved out a reputation for himself and is now widely recognised as one of the most uncompromising and talented reed players on the International jazz/improvised music scene.
He turns 60 this month and the Vortex is very proud to host his birthday celebrations. Paul will be joined by friends and special guests:
Paul Dunmall - sax
Simon Picard - sax
Niel Metcalfe - flute
Nick Jurd - bass
Jim Bashford - drums
Paul Dunmall - sax
Howard Cottle - sax
Jim Dvorak - trumpet
Paul Rogers - bass
Tony Bianco - drums
They’re back; violin-led authentic Gypsy and Balkan tunes to stir your heart and soul.
Whether it's a plaintive Gypsy ballad, a rumbustious Romanian dance or a Russian drinking song, this dazzling ensemble will enthrall and delight with their easy virtuosity, good humour and passionate playing.
Piotr Jordan & Flora Curzon – violins,
Jez Cook – guitar,
Raph Mizraki - double bass,
Zac Gvirtzman - accordion, clarinet, piano.
"You can't help but leave with a big stupid grin on your face." London Metro
Pianist Sam Leak's London based contemporary jazz quartet Aquarium received widespread critical acclaim for their 2011 eponymous debut, listed by Mojo Magazine as one of the top ten international Jazz releases of the year. Tonight they kick off their album tour for their new album 'Places,' on the Jellymould Jazz label. Their follow up album is highly anticipated and this promises to be a very special evening.
"Multi faceted and smart as a pin, this is chamber jazz of a very high order" - Mojo Magazine
Sam Leak - Piano/Composition
James Allsopp - Tenor Saxophone
Calum Gourlay - Double Bass
Josh Blackmore - Drums
Post-jazz, post-punk and chamber dub sextet Solus3, featuring members of both Transglobal Underground & Krautrock improvisers Lunar Dunes, spotlight music from their sophmore album, Corner of the World, in an audio-visual collaboration with award-winning pinhole photographer Jan Dunning.
"Stalking a slinky, unlikely path between improvisation, dub and modern classicism, SOLUS3 are truly a law unto themselves." Uncut April 2013 (8 out of 10)
"Deeply excellent." - The Independent on Sunday - Jan 13th 2013 (4 stars)
"An approach that swerves between electronica, improvisation and classicism, this Brit sextet are out on their own." The Observer - Jan 6th 2013 (4 stars)
Tori Handsley - harp
Hamilton Lee - percussion
Ian Blackaby - bass
Jemma Freeman - vocals, guitar
Francesco Filizzola - trumpet, vocals
Jan Dunning - visual artist, projection designer
Free entry from 11:30pm
A chance to hear some excellent new music into the small hours, curated by members of the Loop Collective.
The first project as a leader from Paul Rogers for over a decade, Whahay sees Rogers joined by Robin Fincker and Fabien Duscombs to playing Mingus-inspired improvisations.
Dan Nicholls' Mirror performs music from Ruins – a genre-bending new album featuring an ensemble of some of the UK's most original and progressive new musical thinkers. With accompanying video/animation stills and words, Nicholls evokes the energy and groove of the downtown New York creative music scene.
Fofoulah blend Senegalese voice and west African rhythms with dub basslines, sci-fi synths, raw guitars and intense grooves. Featuring musicians from Senegal, the UK and The Gambia to create a sound that's unique to the UK music scene.
Open mic night hosted by Romy Summers and the Bob Stuckey Trio: Bob Stuckey (piano), Jerome Davies (bass), tbc (drums)
Please arrive at 7pm if you wish to sing and speak to Romy. Policy is first come first served, but we do try and get all singers on the list.
Music starts at 7.30pm. Entrance £9 to singers and non singers. Please bring music in your key and a copy for each of the trio.
Mini sets will be from Annie Peck and Victor Munt
In 1941, three Jewish brothers went into hiding in Poland's Naliboki Forest to escape capture by the encroaching Nazi troops. By the end of the Second World War, they had led over 1,200 other Jews to safety, establishing a tight-knit community that resisted the Germans on one side and their co-operating Belarussian forces on the other. The Bielski Otriad, as the group became known, defied the fate of so many of their kind by refusing to give up hope even under the bleakest conditions.
It is this strength of community spirit that inspired the formation of Alex Roth's Otriad, itself centred around three brothers of Polish-Jewish ancestry. Nick, Alex and Simon Roth (playing saxophones, guitars and percussion respectively) grew up to the sound of their mother's violin and piano, quickly taking up the instruments that would eventually allow them to develop a unique musical understanding together. This three-way dynamic has been pivotal to each of their careers thus far, forming the core of several groups along the way (including the ten-piece electro-acoustic chamber ensemble Sefroth).
Otriad is completed by two musicians whom Alex has met through studying for his MA at the Royal Academy of Music: James Opstad, who has been the bassist in Alex's trio (with Simon again) since 2010, and saxophonist Joe Wright (half of the electro-acoustic improvising duo Wright/Roth, which has been active for almost two years).
Alex's music for Otriad is an expression of the relationships that have formed between these five musicians, moving between folk-like melodies, free-form improvisation, electro-acoustic soundworlds, complex rhythmic structures and richly evocative harmonies.
Nick Roth – saxophones
Joe Wright – saxophones, electronics
Alex Roth – guitar, effects
James Opstad – electric bass
Simon Roth – drums, percussion
Finn Peters - alto saxophone and flute
Josh Arcoleo - tenor saxophone
Kit Downes - piano
Sam Lasserson - bass
Jeff Williams - drums and compositions
Drummer/composer Jeff Williams is a familiar presence at the Vortex with Martin Speake, the Phil Robson/Dave Liebman Quartet, various Hans Koller ensembles and others.
Last May he recorded his New York-based quartet's (Duane Eubanks, John O'Gallagher, John Hébert) live performance at the Vortex, resulting in the group's new CD, The Listener (Whirlwind Recordings Ltd), copies of which will be available this evening, as will the previous release, Another Time, selected by Downbeat as one of the best CDs of 2012.
For the past two years Jeff's UK group has been featured at the London Jazz Festival. John Turney declared in the London Jazz Blog, "...gem of the festival: I doubt if there was anyone doing jazz better, anywhere this evening".
Now a quintet (Finn Peters-alto saxophone and flute, Josh Arcoleo-tenor saxophone, Phil Robson-guitar and Sam Lasserson-bass) and a showcase for Williams' originals, tonight's performance is followed by the group's appearance at the Amazonas Jazz Festival in Brazil in July which will be recorded for future release. In Phil Robson's absence tonight is special guest Kit Downes.
In a career spanning four decades Jeff Williams has worked with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Lovano, Lee Konitz, Cedar Walton, John Abercrombie, Art Farmer and numerous others. Perhaps best known for his contributions to Dave Liebman's '70s cooperative, Lookout Farm, Jeff is also heard on key recordings by Bill McHenry, Ethan Iverson, Mike Gibbs, Nikki Iles, Barry Green, Konitz, Speake, Koller and many more.
Visit Jeff on the web at www.willfulmusic.com
Alex Hawkins - piano
Alex Bonney - trumpet
Seymour Wright - alto sax
Guillaume Viltard - bass
Terry Day - drums
A night of improvised music led by Terry Day, a pioneer of the scene, and bringing together some of the brightest and most exciting young improvisers around. This will be the second outing for the group.
As a pioneer of the improvisation and free jazz movement, Day also formed a duo with Derek Bailey, was a regular member of Company & seminal groups such as People Band & Alterations. He also collaborated extensively with the second generation improvisers including Steve Beresford, John Russell & Nigel Combes
ALEXANDER HAWKINS / piano
Alexander Hawkins is a pianist, organist, composer and bandleader who is ‘unlike anything else in modern creative music’ (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a ‘dazzling new apex’ (Downbeat). Self-taught, he works in a vast array of creative contexts. His own highly distinctive soundworld is forged through the search to reconcile both his love of free improvisation and profound fascination with composition and structure.
ALEX BONNEY / Trumpet
Alex studied jazz compostition at Middlessex University under former Loose tubes members Eddie Parker, Chris Batchelor, Stuart Hall and also Nikki Iles.
He is based in London and plays in a variety of projects, Including Splice, electro acoustic trio Leverton Fox (who in 2010 played a UK tour supporting Norwegian band Humcrush), he has a critically acclaimed improvising duo with bassist Dave Kane, a jazz quartet quartet performing original compositions featuring Jeff Williams and a tribute to Albert Ayler project featuring Paul Dunmall and Mark Sanders.
GUILLAUME VILTARD / double bass
Born in 1975 in the North of Ivory Coast, Viltard grew up in the wild countryside with almost no music. Back in France, he played with many artists of the French underground improv scene, including dancers and poets as well as musicians.
After moving to London in late 2007, Viltard has worked with many of London’s best improvisers, forming strong associations with the circle of musicians centred on Eddie Prevost's experimental workshop, becoming a mainstay of the London Improvisers Orchestra, and playing in a great free jazz trio with Tony Marsh and Shabaka Hutchings that was sadly curtailed by Marsh's untimely death.
It is this eclectic appetite for collaboration across the whole spectrum of improvised music as well as his resolutely unamplified and powerfully physical playing that marks Viltard out as one of the most interesting musicians to emerge from London's fertile improvised and experimental scene in the last few years.
SEYMOUR WRIGHT / saxophone
"Saxophonist Seymour Wright has emerged as the most important saxophonist of his generation. . . [He] shows a command of the saxophone which in contrast to most ‘non-idiomatic’ playing – cynically translated as ‘make your saxophone sound like anything other than a saxophone’ – has deep roots in a tradition of playing that goes back to Frankie Trumbauer, Coleman Hawkins and Willie Smith." - Brian Morton
The return of the V's fun and friendly jazz quiz night.
Come and pit your wits against fellow gig-goers, musicians, jounalists and Vortex staff . Prizes for first, second and third teams. There'll be guest ales from local microbreweries plus other treats.
Teams of 2 to 4 people, but don't be put off coming on your own as we'll find you a team. Places are limited and it's sure to sell out so book now!
After the quiz there will be a set from The Peter Edwards Trio.
The Peter Edwards Trio is fast becoming one of the most exciting dynamic trios in London. The group have recorded a EP, won a ‘Development Award’ from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, performed at prestigious London venue, The Kings Place, broadcasted on Jazz FM and have received a 3 star review from Jazzwise.
"Peter Edwards is a roll your sleeves up and get down and swing guy… he skates seamlessly through skittering meters before zoning into a no frills exposition …[He] has an ear for a soulful song and a Caribbean bounce." Andy Robson, Jazzwise
"[The] trio has an urgency that captivated us all!" Bootleg Jazz Festival, Leicester 2013
Maurizio Minardi is a London-based composer, pianist and accordionist. He performs with his trio, the Maurizio Minardi Trio, which also includes Nick Pini (double bass) and Jason Reeve (drums). The trio performs Maurizio's original compositions.
Maurizio's style is reminiscent of Esbjorn Svensson Trio, Avishai Cohen, The Bad Plus, Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, Yann Tiersen and Michael Nyman.
In 2013 Maurizio released his latest album, 'The Cook, the Clown, the Monk and the Accordionist'.
"A standout recording, full of atmospheric music that combines immediately engaging hooks with sweeping narrative and emotional depth ... A pleasure from first note to last." All About Jazz
On Maurizio's previous album, 'My Piano Trio'.
"Lyrical, intelligent, contemporary piano jazz with its roots in the European classical tradition and beyond..." The Jazz Mann
"The overall feeling is tranquil and meditative- interesting, crafted writing, fine playing and above all a strong emotional appeal" LondonJazz
Partisans have been thrilling audiences since its formation in 1996, with its tightly knit themes and a great freedom coming from years of playing together.
"This foursome are often cited as godfathers of the ferocious 'post-jazz' groups." - Times****
"...tricky zigzagging heads are played with flawless attack, and the quartet's trademark of seamless idiom and time-shifting within each piece operates with a gleeful tautness." - Guardian****
"Partisans present some of the most refreshing music I've heard in a long while, uncompromising, very well written and very well played. It demands serious attention. I hear in these players a sense of common purpose and resolve, and a strong command of a dialect uniquely suited to this music. It's heartening to hear music that looks to find its own particular place." - Steve Swallow
"It's bad, man" - Delfeayo Marsalis
"One of the most exciting all star experimental groups in Jazz today" - BBC Radio 3 Jazz Line Up
"Partisans were the highlight of the festival, jazz that makes you blink in its glare"- John Fordham, The Guardian, Cheltenham Jazz Festival
>>> For more, pick another date or browse our programme >>>
The Vortex Jazz Club
Live Jazz Award winner in the
2013 Parliamentary Jazz Awards