Cross St Sessions #2 – John Butcher, Mick Bardon, Adam Fairhall, Fran Comyn

We are pleased to announce the second Cross Street Sessions event at the beautiful Cross Street Unitarian Chapel, located in the heart of Manchester City Centre.
Our guests are John Butcher (saxophones), Michael Bardon (Double Bass) with your hosts Adam Fairhall (Keyboards) and Fran Comyn (Percussion). John will play a solo set and there will be additional sets featuring collaborations between all the musicians.
John, one of the key musicians in European improvised music is long overdue a visit to Manchester and his extensive list of recordings and collaborations both previous and current makes for fascinating reading and listening. Michael is a gifted musician and improviser who has played in many jazz and improvisation settings and projects. He is a member with Adam of Nat Birchall’s current group and has released a superb solo record on Discus Music. We are delighted to bring them to Manchester to play together. It will be a memorable night of music.
Doors will open at 7.30pm and music with intervals will start at 8.15 finishing at around 10pm. Admission is £10 or £5 unwaged and payment can be made on the door or in advance through which gets your name on the door.
There isn’t a bar but you are spoilt for choice with nearby cafes and pubs. If you bring drinks with you please be aware you can only drink bottled water in the chapel itself but can drink in the corridor and other designated areas during intervals. Cross Street is perfectly located close to all city centre train and bus stations and there are tram and bus stops within a few minutes easy stroll.

Cross St Chapel

Cross St, Manchester M2 1NL

Upcoming solo piano gigs

I have two upcoming solo piano gigs, both of which will feature the mixture of early piano jazz, avant garde jazz and points in-between that characterized my recent solo piano album Friendly Ghosts (Efpi 2017).

The first is on Friday November 2nd, 19.00 – 21.00 in Manchester at the Cross Street Unitarian chapel, Cross Street, Manchester M2 1WL. I’m on a double bill with the wonderful Canadian pianist Francois Bourassa and his quartet. The piano at the chapel is lovely, and the evening promises to be a great one. I’m going to do a piece on Indian harmonium too, to mark my forthcoming EP on Efpi Records (the EP is of me playing Dulcitone, accordion, toy piano and harmonium. Further details to be announced!). Here’s a link to the Facebook event page:

The second is a big one; I’m sharing a concert with Ethan Iverson and Alex Hawkins as part of Ethan’s London Jazz Festival residency at King’s Place. We’ll be exploring early British jazz and syncopated music as well as our take on later developments. I’m learning some Billy Mayerl and working on a Ray Noble tune, among other things. Can’t wait! Ethan and Alex are among the most interesting jazz pianists around at the moment, so it’s set to be a hugely enjoyable afternoon. Here’s a page with details:

Hope to see you at one of those!

MJF gigs 2014

I am looking forward to playing on 3 gigs at this year’s Manchester Jazz Festival:

21st July: A solo gig at St Ann’s Church, 14.50, FREE.

Part of the Northern Line showcase. I’ll  be doing half of it on the church’s wonderful grand piano, and half on my prepared mechanical keyboards, including a Hohner Pianet, a toy piano and a 100-year old Dulcitone.

22nd July: The Imaginary Delta with Jackie Kay, RNCM Theatre, 20.00, £17.50.

A collaboration between my project The Imaginary Delta and acclaimed poet Jackie Kay. This is the text from the MJF website:

Jackie Kay / narrator, poetry
Adam Fairhall / piano, composer
Steve Chadwick / trumpet
James Allsopp / clarinet, tenor saxophone
Chris Bridges / trombone, jug
Paul J Rogers / laptop, turntable, diddley bow
Tim Fairhall / double bass
Gaz Hughes / drums

Originally commissioned from Adam by mjf in 2011, this riotous re-imagining of early jazz forms via a mixture of old and new idioms, acoustic instruments new technologies is paired up with readings from one of Manchester’s best-loved poets.

Samples from vintage recordings are used to invoke the past in a soundworld that is playful, haunting and often downright unruly.  They include those of Bessie Smith, who also provides the inspiration for Jackie Kay’s work of the same name, in which the author boards a Pullman with the great blues singer to journey across Tennessee.

Tonight’s performance brings together these two masterpieces and also premières new collaborative work created especially for the occasion.

“A stunning achievement” – Bird is the Worm, Album of the Year

Can’t wait!!

23rd July: Nat Birchall Quintet, Band on the Wall, 19.30, £10 (a) £12 (d).

Nat’s music is intense, lyrical and soul-warming. I feel privileged to be in his band. Our latest album, Live in Larissa, has received 4 and  5 star reviews all over the place. Come down  to BotW and hear what the fuss is about!

The Markov Chain – new project!

The Markov Chain is a new trio with Adam on piano, Tim Fairhall on bass and British Free Music legend Paul Hession on drums. The trio play freely improvised music. Their debut performance was at the Manchester Jazz Festival 2013, a gig that received an excellent review by Mike Butler, who wrote:

This was the orgiastic, earth-shaking, cacophonous real deal, with none of the mimsy “I don’t feel ready for this yet” reticence that besets so much homegrown free jazz… The hour passed too quickly. I loved it.

The full review can be found on Mike’s website at:

The trio are currently mixing their debut album. Please keep an eye out for news about the album’s release and upcoming gigs.

The Imaginary Delta at The Forge, Camden, 22nd February 2013

On 22nd February 2013 The Imaginary Delta will be performing at the Forge in Camden, a wonderful venue. This is a rare London appearance for the project, and we hope very much to get a sizeable audience, and make the night a real event. Please spread the word!

Below is a link to the event page on the Forge’s website, with details of tickets, times, etc