Part of our autumn Women Jazz Leaders series, Karen, a multiple award winner, will be appearing with her long established line-up of Nikki Iles, Dave Green and Steve Brown – world class musicians who also happen to be great friends. Together they create a unique sound that is warm, spontaneous and exciting, incorporating free flowing improvisation with almost telepathic ensemble playing. They will be performing music from their long awaited second album, ‘The Sun, the Moon and You’ which includes familiar, lesser-known and original tunes showcasing the unique spirit of a band with a shared passion for strong melodies, group interplay and respect for the jazz tradition.
After graduating in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, Karen discovered a love of jazz and was inspired to play the tenor sax by two giants of improvisation – Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins. Karen’s career took off when she was asked to join Humphrey Lyttelton’s band with whom she toured the UK and Europe for four years. During this period Karen also established her own band, recording the first of five albums under her own name and touring at festivals and jazz clubs. She has also toured and recorded extensively as a ‘side man’ with some wonderful musicians that include Tina May, Nikki Iles, Esther Miller, Jeremy Pelt, Alan Barnes, John Dankworth and Jacquie Dankworth. During this time Karen began appearing as a soloist working alongside musicians such as Ken Peplowski, Howard Alden, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache and Harry Allen. Highlights of this period include the Ginza Festival in Tokyo, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Singapore International Jazz Festival.
A busy and popular musician with an accessible yet distinctive style, Karen has won the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards on numerous occasions. She tours regularly with her quartet and she plays with numerous larger ensembles including Robert Fowler’s ‘Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band’, Steve Waterman’s Big Band and the Stan Tracey Big Band. More recently Karen was part of the ‘Guy Barker Big Band’, performing at the BBC Proms in 2015 and 2017. Recent recording projects including the ‘Barnes/O’Higgins – The Sax Section’, a project for five saxophones and Alan Barnes’ ‘A Christmas Carol’
Karen Sharp: tenor/baritone sax; Nikki Iles: piano; Dave Green: bass; Steve Brown: drums.
Support from accapella group Harmony Row 8pm
Seven Arts 31 Harrogate Road Leeds LS33PD Doors 7.30pm Music 8-11pm Tickets £16/14 conc 25 and under £8 www.ticketsource.co.uk/jazzleeds