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Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat (1st Show)

Unfortunately and due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to cancel the 2 shows on Thursday 16th December. We apologise for the inconvenience, all tickets will be refunded.



Emma Johnson – Saxophone
Fergus Vickers – Guitar
Richard Jones – Piano
Angus Milne – Double Bass
Steve Hanley – Drums


Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat is a contemporary, cinematic jazz quintet led by Leeds based saxophonist and composer Emma Johnson.

Emma’s writing displays a contemporary sound rooted by infectious melodies and the group have been described as demonstrating a “strong and joyful bond, immediately apparent in their sound”. Gravy Boat is a band that aspires to write and perform melodic, accessible jazz that anyone can enjoy.

Gravy Boat have been played on BBC Radio 3 & BBC Introducing Leeds and play ‘a relaxed, melodic and distinctive style of contemporary jazz’.

Regarding Emma’s playing, a recent review on Bebop Spoken Here noted: ‘Johnson gets a great sound on tenor and has a technique to match. Not one of those in your face players but someone whose solos build gradually and logically, with a natural lyricism reminiscent of Coltrane.’

Gravy Boat released a well received single ‘Where Were You Hiding?’ in 2020, featuring Manchester based vocalist Nishla Smith, as well as a series of live music videos entitled ‘Seafarer’s Suite’ and an EP in previous years. The band were selected for the Jazz North Northern Line scheme for the year 2019 and have performed at many prominent festivals including Marsden, Manchester and Lancaster Jazz Festivals.

Emma has been awarded a Peter Whittingham Development Award and thanks to the support of Help Musicians UK, the band have released their debut album Worry Not to much acclaim this year.



Welcome to the Vortex. Although the government has relaxed its Covid restrictions the Vortex continues to operate measures to protect users of the premises.

Please note the following:

  • We ask you not to attend gigs if you have or think you may have any Covid-19 symptoms. If you can’t make a gig because you have to self-isolate then just get in touch by filling out this form and we’ll give you a voucher for another gig.
  • If you would like to sit by friends who have bought separate tickets, please email the club with details and we will make every effort to accommodate.
  • We are cashless. We only accept cards for purchases at the bar (except American Express).
  • We ask that everyone wears a mask when moving around inside the building.
  • Automatic hand sanitiser stations are provided at various places within the building.
  • Full details of the measures that we are taking to prevent transmission of Covid are set out in our risk assessment and management plan which can be found on our website.

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