Josh Kemp returns to Jazz Nights to play with the Simon Brown Trio at the Bell Hotel, Clare on Sunday 8th May 2016

(click on images for larger pictures)

Jazznights Josh Kemp 080516 (20)Sounding equally impressive playing within the jazz standards tradition and also presenting his own original compositions, Saxophonist and Composer Josh Kemp has completed major UK tours in 2014 and in 2015, gaining many plaudits along the way for his fluid improvising style and attractive compositions.

With a playing style combining melodic inventiveness, a rich tone and a lyrical style of improvisation, Josh is a regular performer at Jazz Clubs and Festivals across the UK, with recent performances including Ronnie Scott’s and the London Jazz Festival.

Josh Kemp is an acclaimed jazz saxophonist and composer known for his melodic inventiveness, warm tone and a heartfelt and lyrical approach to improvisation.

Josh has a sound that is lyrical and melodic, whether playing standards or more contemporary Jazznights Josh Kemp 080516 (54)material. “…a lovely round sound….really a player to watch….he will grow into a musician of great individuality.” Alan Barnes. “mature, fully realized jazz of a high order, and a pleasure to hear.” Ian Carr.

“wonderfully rich toned tenorist Josh Kemp with a laconic, subtle, highly nuanced and original sound” – Time out

“Josh’s lyrical and melodic saxophone style reflects a wide knowledge of jazz from the tender tone of Ben Webster and Stan Getz to the probing thoughtfulness of John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter”

Josh has performed at jazz venues around the UK, including Peterborough Jazz Club, Cambridge Modern Jazz Club, The Bull’s Head, Barnes, Jazz in the Round, The National Portrait Gallery and National Theatre Foyer, the 606 club, Ronnie Scotts in London and at Jazznights. He has played with NYJO, and the Combustible Alarms big band, and was chosen by making Music and the Arts Council Developing Young Artist Programme 2006. Josh is also active in jazz education, directing the Cambridge Youth Jazz Orchestra and coaching at workshops and courses.

Jazznights Josh Kemp 080516 (58)Josh will be on tour in November playing material from his newly recorded CD ‘Rare Groove’ with a new ensemble, featuring Steve Fishwick on Trumpet, Mike Gorman on the Hammond B3 Organ and Chris Higginbottom/Tim Giles on Drums.

28th Oct, Walthamstow, e17 jazz@Gnome House
2nd Nov, Bexley Jazz Club, The Kings Head
5th Nov, Cambridge, Hot Numbers
6th Nov, Cambridge, Jazz@John’s
8th Nov, Croydon, The Oval Tavern
11th Nov, Sheffield, Jazz@The Lescar
12th Nov, Manchester, Matt&Phreds
15th Nov, Teignmouth, Teignmouth Jazz Festival
15th Nov, Ilminster, Ilminster Arts Centre
16th Nov, Portsmouth, Portsmouth Jazz Society
23rd Nov, Bedford, Bedford Arms
29th Nov, Cambridge, Cambridge Jazz Festival

Josh was playing with the Jazznights Trio who were:

Simon Brown – Piano
Leading UK Jazz innovator and musical entrepreneur Simon Brown is a highly respected and popular jazz pianist who is equally known for his arranging skills. His bands include the  quintet Beyond Cantaloupe featuring the music of Herbie Hancock, as well a the very popular Simon Brown Trio and Quartet.  He is also a stalwart of the Jazznights Trio with Roger Odell and Bernie Hodgkins.

Jose Cana – Double Bass

In 2005 he began classical study under Miguel Leiria. He later enrolled at Escola de Jazz do Barreiro (Barreiro’s Jazz School) where he became a teacher 3 years later. Also in 2008 he get into ESML attending the Jazz Music college course. After completing this and before moving to the UK, his work was mainly focused on popular music and world music fusion. Now in the UK he has been working as a jazz double bassist accompanying various artists from the London, Essex and Suffolk Jazz scene. He  continues working with artists and composers from Portugal in studio and as a live session player.   

    Jazznights Simon Brown 080516 (168)     Jazznights Jose Cana 080516 (177)

Alex Best – Drums

After achieving his music degree and studying with the likes of Troy Miller (Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse), Trevor Tomkins, Craig Blundell and Ash Soan (Adele, Cee Lo Green, Robbie Williams), Alex has become an in demand drummer for many artists in a variety of genres. His vast performance experience includes TV work, European & UK tours, numerous albums and session recordings, live radio broadcasts and music video, along with appearances in theatres, clubs, festivals and on various stages all over the UK. 
Jazznights Alex Best 080516 (6 A) (1)   Jazznights Simon Brown Trio 080516 (81)

Josh Kemp opened the first set with the Simon Brown Trio to play extended versions of some great jazz classics including:

Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood.

Jazznights Josh Kemp with The Jazznights Simon Brown Trio 080516 (181)
A great combination which included Thelonius Monks Ornithology and Morgan Lewis’s How High The Moon.
The Shadow Of Your Smile
written by Johnny Mandel but played in a 3/4 waltz time.
Bags’ Groove is a jazz composition by Milt Jackson . It was first recorded by the Milt Jackson in 1952.

Jazznights Josh Kemp with The Jazznights Simon Brown Trio 080516 (184)
It’s Easy to Remember (And So Hard to Forget)
written by Richard Rodgers in 1935.
A wonderful ending to the first set Lester Young’s Lester Leaps In  leading in to Oleo a hard bop composition by Sonny Rollins.

Following the Jazznights raffle of three jazz cd’s Josh Kemp returned to play the second set which included:

Brooks Bowman’s East Of The Sun (and West Of The Moon).
From the Abbot & Costello’s 1941 film You Don’t Know What Love Is written by Gene de Paul.
A stunning combination of  the 1925 Sweet Georgia Brown and Thelonius Monk’s 1951 Straight, No Chaser. Josh featured this on his latest CD Rare Groove as Stirred Not Shaken.

Jazznights Josh Kemp with The Jazznights Simon Brown Trio 080516 (183)
Blame It on My Youth
is a jazz tune written by Oscar Levant and Edward Heyman in 1934.
Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Triste played in the original Bossa Nova form.
Although it was now May Josh and the band played another Gene de Paul composition I’ll Remember April.

Reluctantly this was the final number of this beautiful and melodic gig. This was Josh’s third visit to Jazz Nights and we are sure that Roger and Larraine will ensure that he returns again in the future. They both missed this great gig as they were both at a wedding.

Sunday 22nd May 2016 – ED JONES (sax) will be at Jazz Nights

“A formidable saxophonist… he’s an improviser to his fingertips, a player of forceful imagination, and one of the UK’s most distinctive saxophonists.” John Fordham, The Guardian. “The Vigorous, sometimes downright volcanic tenor sound of Ed Jones has long been one of the great live delights of British Jazz”. Chris Parker, Jazzwise.

THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, The Bell Hotel. Clare, Suffolk.

Admission £10. Doors open 7.00 pm. Music 7.30 – 10.00 pm.

Reserve seating on 01787 237653 or email
Pay on the night.

You can join us at facebook, read reviews of previous performances on more opinions blog or tweet at

Pictures from past gigs can also be seen HERE

For further information on future gigs go to

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