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CLASSICAL AND JAZZ: Preview - The Highgate Jazz with Soul Festival

Brandon Allen

Published: 23 August, 2012

CALLING all jazz jammers: get yourself ready to jam the night away at the second Highgate Jazz with Soul Festival this weekend.

It’s a much more substantial festival than last year. More than 60 musicians are playing at two dozen gigs at four venues – The Old Crown, The Bull, The Caipirinha and Lauderdale House. Each evening ends with a jam session at The Caipirinha stretching past midnight into the wee hours.

The jam sessions are being laid on to prove an opportunity for aspiring musicians with some of the finest players on the London jazz scene.

Saturday’s late evening is being led by the Steve Fishwick Group followed the next evening by the Quentin Collins/ Brandon Allan Quartet and on Monday by the Alex Garnett Group.

Most jazz festivals tend to be organ­ised by profes­sional promoters with an eye on the bottom-line.

Not this one. It’s the brain­child of Highgate resident, tenor saxo­ph­onist Brandon Allen who’s playing with top trumpeter Quentin Collins in the festival.

“The turnout for last year’s inaug­ural festival was far more than we expected,” says Brandon. “So I thought we had to do it again. We’ve now got four venues on board so there’ll by shows in the four corners of Highgate. The response showed there is definitely an appetite for us to build the festival and we want to make it an annual event.”

The festival opens at The Bull with two outstanding jazz singers at the peak of their powers, firstly Brigitte Beraha playing with Steve Fishwick and Ross Stanley, followed in the next session by Jacqui Dankworth with Charlie Wood and Chris Allard.

Sunday at Lauderdale House has pianist Gareth Williams’s Power Trio featuring Laurence Cottle and Ian Thomas will perform; and over at the Old Crown is Nigel Price Organ Trio.

Monday at the Old Crown has flautist Gareth Lockrane’s Grooveyard featuring Alex Garnett. Other musicians playing at the festival include Jim Watson, Carl Orr, Freddie Gavita, Clark Tracey, Theo Jackson, Nathaniel Facey, Matt Home, Oli Hayhurst, Abigail Boyd, Tim Thornton, Tim Lapthorn and Ross Stanley.

• The Highgate Jazz with Soul Festival runs from Saturday -Monday. Daily performances start at 3pm and end at 3am. Tickets can be purchased at the venue on the day. Day and festival passes can be bought in advance, price £22.50 for Saturday, £25 for Sunday and Monday. A three-day pass is £65. The festival is supported by the Highgate Business Society.

Full details at


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