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 Sat, 20 Apr !
Please browse our programme, scroll down through the upcoming gigs below or select another date in the calendar on the left.
Monthly Vortex residency with master of free improvisation, Evan Parker.
Tonight he presents 'Hasta la Vista', dedicated to the founders of Emanem Records, Martin and Madelaine Davidson. With guests John Russell, Caroline Kraabel, Adam Linson, Hannah Marshall and more.
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
Pianist, Andrew McCormack and saxophonist, Jason Yarde played their first gig together as a duo at the Vortex in the summer of 2008 and have since gone on to become one of the premier UK duo groups. Their first album, ‘MY DUO’ (JoY AnD EaRs-2009) featured compositions from both Yarde and McCormack and was followed by ‘Places And Other Spaces’ in 2011 (Edition Records); both received critical accolades internationally.
As they prepare to release their third album featuring the Elysian String Quartet next year, they return once again to the Vortex to celebrate 5 years as a group.
Andrew McCormack launched his solo career with his debut album, 'Telescope' in 2006 winning the prestigious BBC Jazz award for Rising Star. An active composer in Jazz, Classical and Film music, he studied privately with Mark-Anthony Turnage and has written for many ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra which commissioned Incentive, a ten-minute work for full orchestra premiered at the Barbican in 2009. In 2012, he released 'Live In London' showcasing his new trio which was critically acclaimed across the board (**** 4 stars - The Guardian; “High emotional intensity beautifully delivered” **** - York Press).
Jason Yarde began playing saxes in the Jazz Warriors as a teenager going on to direct and become one of its principal writers. As a producer, musical director, arranger and musician, he has worked with Hermeto Pascoal to 4hero, Plan B to Britten Sinfonia, Keziah Jones to Kronos Quartet and Jonzi-D to Jack DeJohnette. As a composer his flugelhorn concerto, All Souls Seek Joy was premiered by the legendary Hugh Masekela and the LSO in 2007 and his BBC Proms compositional début, Rhythm And Other Fascinations, won the first ever BASCA award for contemporary Jazz Composition in 2009. ("Swing, hip-hop, improv, you name it, he can make it all sound as if it was meant to live together" The Guardian)
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
Led by guitarist Dan Messore, this excellent line up will be performing an ever growing pad of arrangements. A bodacious mix of material featuring compositions from... Iain Ballamy, Gwilym Simcock, Huw Warren, Gareth Lockrane, Trish Clowes, Steve Waterman, Dave Hamblett, Julian Argulles, Phil Robson, among others... with new arrangements being added each instalment.
Dan Messore - Guitar
Gareth Lockrane - Flute
Joe Wright - Tenor Sax
Steve Waterman - Trumpet
Elliot Galvin - Piano
Tom Farmer - Bass
Dave Hamblett - Drums
Liz Green will be playing an intimate and special show at the Vortex, showcasing material from her forthcoming second album. This is a small room exclusive, so book early to avoid being disappointed.
Liz Green’s debut album, O, Devotion! was released by Play It Again Sam to critical acclaim at the end of 2011. Her early 7" single releases way back in 2007 and 2008 sparked a flurry of media attention, but it wasn’t until she met producer Liam Watson and started recording at his Toerag Studios that the album came together. Liz’s music owes a debt to a wide range of influences: musicals; gospel and blues and country; interwar Weimar cabaret; Bugsy Malone’s dancehall; Marlon Brando’s brilliant turn in Guys and Dolls; Johnny Cash; Dolly Parton; Son House; Blind Willie McTell; the inimitable Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The first single from the album, Displacement Song, featured an animated video directed by Kate Anderson, which went on to win the British Animation Awards 2012 "Best Music Video". Two further animation videos were completed for songs on the album: Bad Medicine, directed by Joseph Brett & Simon Taffe from End of the Road Films, a stunning achievement in stop motion, with sets and characters made entirely from cardboard; and Luis, directed by Tamzin Forster, a beautiful paper-cut animation about an inveterate Mexican funeral-goer.
Liz is currently writing and arranging songs for her second album.
Røyst Trio, consisting of Jazz Yorkshire Vocalist of the Year Kari Nergaard Bleivik, Cecilie Giskemo and Maria Jardardottir, performs original composed and improvised material: varied, human and bold with inspiration from jazz, contemporary music and voice use, Norwegian folk music and other world music. On Røyst: "... the fiendish arrangements of the songs providing a severe test of each woman's range and technique. ... There is a simmering power and surging beauty in everything they sing. If you think there's a strong and totally unapologetic feministic streak to Røyst, you'd be exactly right." [Vibrations Magazine]
Metamorphic are a contemporary song-based jazz/folk sextet lead by pianist Laura Cole. Metamorphic's music has been described as "refreshingly feminine" [Dan Spicer, Jazzwise]; as "brave, honest, yet beguiling" [Jazz UK]; and as "really original music.. Metamorphic are on to something really new..." [Jez Nelson, Jazz on 3] Metamorphic are: Chris Williams, alto (Led Bib); John Martin, tenor (The John Martin Quartet); Kerry Andrew, vocals (Juice); Tom Greenhalgh, drums (World Sanguine Report); Paul Sandy, bass (The Dead Victorians); Laura Cole, piano/composer/arranger (Engine Room Favourites). Metamorphic's 2nd album, Coalescence, is due for release in May 2013 on the F-ire label.
This double bill with Røyst is part of a UK tour; the tour will also feature collaborative pieces involving both groups written specially for this gig series. Special guests Seth Bennett on bass (IDST) and Oliver Dover on bass clarinet (Shatner's Bassoon) will also be joining the double bill for the tour.
This gig is very special as it is the album launch for the new Metamorphic album, Coalescence.
Metamorphic & Røyst Trio gratefully acknowledge financial support from PRS for Music Foundation
Penny Rimbaud's Last Amendment continue their bi-monthly residency with evenings of poetry, jazz and visuals. Predictable only in their unpredictability: improvisational journeys challenging the confines of morality, mores, law and regulation, religion, nation, gods, demons, human conceits and all the hopes and fears that they are designed to induce.
Featuring the now established band of Penny Rimbaud/voice, Louise Elliott/sax & flute, Kate Shortt/cello, Jennifer Maidman/guitars, with regular appearances from Eve Libertine, Chas Weber and invited guests.
The Vortex are delighted to welcome back the intriguing and ethereal Monooka and her stunning band.
Award-winning Romanian-born singer and puppeteer, Monooka (aka Monica Lucia Madas) performs traditional songs from the Carpathian mountains in collaboration with British Balkan music specialists Meg Hamilton (violin), Matt Bacon (guitar) and Shane Allessio (double bass). Ottoman and Greek influences blend with soulful Jewish melody, Wallachian gypsy music and traditional Transylvanian doinas.
"She's a genuine talent"' Romanian Cultural Institute, London
An evening of musical experiments, original music and songs. Built around the organ trio of Ross Stanley, Rob Updegraff on guitar & Tim Giles on drums.
Babelfish is led by Brigitte Beraha (vocals) and Barry Green (piano), joined by the wonderful Chris Laurence on bass and Paul Clarvis on percussion. Beraha and Green clearly have a close musical rapport; his fluent, robust piano complementing her strong but affecting voice perfectly as they play a mix of originals and music inspired by classical and literary works, from Britten through E.E. Cummings to Raymond Carver.
"A great musician, Brigitte Beraha uses her voice like an instrument in the tradition of people like Flora Purim, Tania Maria and the recently aknowledged bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding" - Julian Joseph, Jazz Line Up, BBC Radio 3.
Enrico Pieranunzi, one of the leading pianists, playing a rare concert in London in a trio with Enzo Zirilli (drums) and Geoff Gascoyne (bass).
"Italy's jazz piano poet" allaboutjazz.com
"The Epstein’s sound is cinematic, captivating and immersive. With intrinsically woven vocals and warm melodies that swoop and soar, this band not only builds on the recent success of British folk, but suitably adds to it as well." Music Week
"The Epstein play in another league – in a vast, desert like land of the soul." Rolling Stone, Editors Choice.
Co-Pilgrim: "Marries Jayhawks harmonies to wafting Beach Boys tunes" Q
As part of the Shubbak Festival of contemporary Arab culture, the Vortex presents two very different artists, both of whom take their inspiration from traditional Arabic music and meld it with a Western sensibility.
Karama, led by Moroccan Oud player Soufian Saihi take inspiration from the ecstatic Gnawa, North African and Arabic classical music as well as the diverse sounds of London streets. The music wanders through diverse sonic landscapes from Tinariwen to Alice Coltrane.
Syrian kanun player, Maya Youssef is a real master of this traditional instrument.
Having recently collaborated with The Elysian Quartet, her music pushes the boundaries of what the instrument can do.
Check out Maya's YouTube Channel for more performances and interviews.
Maya will be joined by percussionist Sara Fotros, a Daf musician who has worked with traditional and contemporary Persian music.
One Thousand Boats
One Thousand Boats are back again to the Vortex after time away writing and gathering more material for their debut album. The group plays simple songs which explore the fragile balance between structure and improvisation and comprises Liran Donin on bass alongside another Led Bib alumni Chris Williams (alto) as well as Eddie Hick (drums) and Robert Stillman (tenor).
Donin brings the bass to the forefront and directs the music with his abstract groove, while the folk-inspired melodies cast an intriguing new light on the quartet. They draw influences from across Sub Saharan Africa, the Middle East and travel back to 1930s folk and Country Americana, revisiting Japanese film and animation soundtracks once in a while.
A collaborator with Seb Rochford and Jason Singh, the London-born vocalist Ranjana Ghatak has a strong passion for her South Asian roots; evidenced by her unique sound, which is neither 'world' nor 'fusion'.
Tonight she is excited to be playing alongside Asaf Sirkis (drums), Nick Ramm (keys) and Liran Donin (bass).
Allo Darlin' are set to delight and frustrate fans in equal measure this summer by playing four teeny tiny shows at different London venues representing the four points of the compass. The West is represented by Ginglik in Shepherd's Bush, the South by the Half Moon in Herne Hill, North by St Pancras Old Church and we're very happy to have them here in the East at the Vortex.
The London-based four-piece - led by Elizabeth Morris, with guitarist Paul Rains, Bill Botting on the bass and Michael Collins on drums - create perfect, sophisticated pop gems and know how to put on a joyous, effervescent, fun-filled live show. Achingly personal, incredibly poignant and familiar all at once, Elizabeth Morris' songwriting has deepened and developed since their debut, but they've lost none of their ability to create sophisticated, intelligent pop music with an uplifting, joyous feel.
"Her mesmerizing voice and magnetic stage presence should encourage many to follow where she leads... about to hit the big time" THE GUARDIAN
Hailed by The Independent as "the best British vocalist to emerge in an age", Julia Biel is a rare artist indeed. Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Julia Biel blends vocals reminiscent of the greats of jazz's golden age with a poetic yet conversational lyrical style, a uniquely sharp perspective on contemporary life and love, and a melodic and accessible, chorus-led style of song-writing.
Former Perrier Jazz Vocalist of the Year winner and Jazz Awards Rising Star nominee, her self-produced debut album Not Alone spearheaded a wave of British vocal folk/jazz and emerged amid a flurry of critical praise. Features with a host of other acts followed including Polar Bear, Hidden Orchestra, Ben Watt of Everything but the Girl and Soothsayers.
Whether performing self-penned material, or re-inventing old classics, Julia Biel’s signature sound, edgy and smooth in equal measure, defies easy classification hovering between jazz, pop, soul and folk. With influences ranging from Massive Attack, Nina Simone, Bjork, Portishead, PJ Harvey and Rickie Lee Jones and an eagerly anticipated second album awaiting release, prepare to be moved, beguiled, soothed, transported and ultimately mesmerized.
Performing as a 3-piece at The Vortex:
Julia Biel - vocals / piano / guitar
Idris Rahman - bass
Saleem Raman - drums.
Building on resounding praise from the UK press for her debut album ‘The Aviary’ released early last year (via the Karamel Music Collective), singer-songwriter Ana Silvera is currently preparing her second full-length record and will be debuting some of these new songs exclusively for this special performance.
From playing a sell-out joint headliner with Imogen Heap at The Roundhouse, performing her BASCA nominated seven-song-cycle ‘Oracles’ at The Sage, Gateshead, to playing intimate gigs in front of a hushed, tiny, packed-out Bedroom Bar in Hoxton, Ana is a versatile, constantly inventive artist.
As well as appearing throughout the year at a variety of national and international venues, she is also developing a new work for herself and members of the Royal Ballet, to be premiered in 2014.
"Stunning.. a gorgeous album that mixes operatic and folk elements with magical storytelling" The Guardian
"Melodies that just won't leave you alone, and a voice that tugs at your heart" Late Junction, BBC Radio 3
Laura Moody is a startlingly original, cello wielding, avant-singer songwriter and long-standing member of innovative string quartet Elysian Quartet. Fascinated not only with words and songwriting but also with sounds, noises and textures she eschews laptops and loop pedals to explore what is possible using only solo cello and voice to create unique, acoustic, avant-pop music. She looks to combine the two instruments with hugely diverse musical influences in interesting and often physical, even theatrical ways composing what she believes to be essentially pop songs, although nobody else ever seems to agree with this definition...
"... for enjoyable astonishment, nothing quite beats the singer-cellist Laura Moody. She plays lyrically; then as if it was a box for sound effects. She sings her own almost-pop songs, gurgles, hoots, wails, taps her throat with the bow. Yet it's all seamless, as if she, the cello and the music are a single organism." The Irish Times
A firm favourite at the Vortex, Carol Grimes is one of the authentic London voices.
For her show tonight Carol is joined by a formidable group of players, performing songs and excursions from new CD 'CDAWN'.
Expect a special evening with old songs new songs and a story or two.
Winston Clifford, drums
Neville Malcome, double bass
Annie Whitehead, trombone
Dorian Ford, piano
MOJO (moderately optimistic jazz orchestra) are an exciting 17 piece jazz big band based in north London, made up of great musicians from all over the capital.
With a repertoire including laid back & up tempo swing, Latin and funk and playing a wide ranging variety of charts from the traditional (Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Duke Ellington) through to the modern (Gordon Goodwin, Michel Camilo, NYJO, Tower of Power) there is sure to be something for everyone in this big band's dynamic set !
Back once again at their favourite venue the Vortex, this is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Open mic night hosted by Romy Summers and the Bob Stuckey Trio: Bob Stuckey (piano), Jerome Davies (bass), Cheryl Alleyne (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.
Short sets from Clare Gordon and Carol Jewel.
John Turville - Piano
Dave Whitford - Bass
Ben Reynolds - Drums
The John Turville Trio are one of the leading contemporary jazz ensembles in the UK. Their debut ‘Midas’ won the ‘Best Album’ category of the 2011 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, and their second received four and five star reviews in the press including winning MOJO’s #3 Best Jazz Album of 2012. The trio have played at most major UK venues and festivals, including Scarborough, Manchester, London, Kings Place, Ronnie Scotts, Pizza Express, and many national and European clubs and theatres. The music is distinguished by its breadth, lyricism, empathy and a deep communication among all the trio, coming from over ten years of touring and rehearsing, and it’s scope is broad, from fiery tangos and spiky rhythmic compositions reminiscent of Phronesis and Avashai Cohen to poignant ballads evoking the writing of Julian Arguelles and John Ireland.
"A startling contemporary piano trio..with a formidable identity" MOJO ****
MOJO #3 Jazz Album of The Year 2012
After an intense touring period through 2011/12 that saw them take in over 10 countries around Europe and regular road trips through the UK, WorldService Project launch the release of their second album, Fire in a Pet Shop, (on Megasound) at The Vortex.
Led by pianist/composer Dave Morecroft, WorldService Project’s music is a high-octane combination of dark, playful, building passages, dissonance and complex rhythmic manipulation, drawing on the language of 20th Century Classical composers layered over boisterous grooves. Imagine a four-way cage match between Frank Zappa, Loose Tubes, Stravinsky and Meshuggah … in a Monty Python universe.
"tight, deftly structured and grittily grooving music" The Guardian
"..tricksy time signatures, bursts of light funk and loungey swing, and bouts of squally freedom, all mashed up.." Jazzwise
WorldService Project are:
Dave Morecroft – keys
Tim Ower – saxophones
Raphael Clarkson – trombone
Conor Chaplin – bass
Liam Waugh– drums
>>> For more, pick another date or browse our programme >>>
The Vortex Jazz Club
Live Jazz Award winner in the
2013 Parliamentary Jazz Awards
Thu, 15 - Sat, 17 Aug
Julie Tippetts &
Fri, 13 Sep
Sat, 14 Sep
Fri, 20 Sep
Sat, 21 Sep
Sun, 22 Sep
Fri, 27 Sep
Vortex City Sessions, in association with The Local, presents Gravenhurst at the Bishopsgate Institute
Fri, 4 Oct
Vortex City Sessions presents Polar Bear at the Bishopsgate Institute