Award winning friendly jazz club presenting the best in jazz from the UK and beyond

JazzLeeds Covid 19 Audience Survey

Please take a moment to read the results of our recent audience survey. We have noted what you said about not wanting to attend inside events at present, and instead we are running regular outside live jazz in the Seven Arts courtyard on Sundays 1.30-3.30pm and our Rush Hour jazz on Wednesdays 6-7.15pm. See elsewhere on the site for details

Don Weller – 19/12/1940 - 30/5/2020

British saxman Don Weller has died on 30 May 2020 after a long illness aged 79. He was a great favourite amongst jazz fans – he memorably appeared for us in Leeds at Seven Arts on 15 Dec 2009 with his good friend Bobby Wellins on tenor sax (picture is by Colin Watson).

I lived in Sheffield during the 1980’s and as promoter for Sheffield Jazz (then known as Hurlfield Jazz) arranged for Don to play at many of the venues in that city – including his own quartets, quintets, Major Surgery , Rocket 88 and several bands led by pianist Stan Tracey. Here’s music from a couple of those concerts. The first is Don with Bobby Wellins Quartet on tenor saxes, Errol Clarke piano, Andy Clyndert on bass and Bryan Spring 12/10/83 and “Promised Land”. This was a concert featured in the BBC2 Jazz at the Leadmill series broadcast by Charles Fox on Jazz Today on BBC radio 3, 15/04/84

The second is an hour long performance from the Radio Hallam Airwaves Jazz festival at the Leadmill Sheffield on 28/11/84 – a quartet with Errol Clarke piano, Andy Clyndert on bass and Bryan Spring. I was the jazz presenter on Radio Hallam at the time so the introduction at the start is by a much younger me! The tunes he played were were “Sudden Discomfort, Softly as in a morning Sunrise, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, The Red Zinger and one other unnamed tune. The original broadcast was on my Jazz Unlimited show 8 Dec 1984 (

An obituary for Don Weller by Pete Vacher in Jazzwise magazine is here

Steve Crocker
Jazz Leeds

JazzLeeds appoints New Trustees to Board

Jazz Leeds is pleased to announce it is appointing two new Trustees to the Board of Trustees.

-Ben Gilbert is a jazz piano player, who trained at Newcastle and has been involved in running workshops and classes at the Sage. He lectured in creative thinking in music at St Mary’s University College in Twickenham and has now moved to Leeds. He has had a great deal of performance experience.

-Karen Gourlay is Head of the Junior and Short Courses Departments at Leeds College of Music working with all age groups from 8-80. She’s worked with Ronnie Scotts Charitable Foundation in a project promoting widening participation in jazz.


Thanks for your involvement! These two Trustees will join Jamil Sheriff, Steve Crocker, Steve Ross and Rosemary Holmes on the Jazz Leeds  

Jazz Leeds Trustees

JazzLeeds are a registered charity and our activities are managed by a Board of Trustees. We are now seeking to recruit a number of new Board members to help future developments. We are particularly keen to recruit people who have skills and experience in any of the following areas:

Fundraising, Business development, Web design and Graphic design, PR and Marketing, Inclusion, Community engagement and inclusion, Event producing.

Details of this voluntary role and how to apply are here on the Artsjobs website –

Deadline is 20th December

Get a new year’s present – a Jazz Leeds season ticket!

This festive season, how about a present of a Spring Jazz Leeds season ticket for the jazz fan in your life? They’ll get to see these seven superb concerts, have some amazing nights out, save money and support JazzLeeds!

·         Emilia Mårtensson Quintet

·         Ethan Iverson/ Martin Speake Quartet

·         Ian Shaw with Iain Ballamy and Jamie Safir

·         Nikki Iles Jazz Orchestra

·         “Sound of ’59”

·         Lukas Oravec Quintet feat. Alex Garnett

·         Ari Hoenig Trio

Cost £80, with reduced prices for concessions (£65) and 25’s and under (£40)

Women Jazz Leaders – review of the Autumn 2019 series – by Allan Friswell

So the captains and the queens have left the stage and the Women Jazz Leaders season comes to an end. Suggested by Steve, he and I worked together to find 11 women-led bands to disprove the commonly if unconsciously held belief in many jazz fans and male players that women musicians aren’t as good. I think Steve was also motivated to stop me constantly banging on about the lack of headlined women musicians as leaders or soloists.

Well, was it all worth it? We’d all ages of women, from 19 to those who won’t see 60 again. We’d women musicians from England, Scotland, Wales, Denmark, Italy, Canada and just down the road. They offered us all combinations from a duo to an 18-piece band. They played tenor, trombone, trumpet, alto, soprano, baritone, piano, bass, guitar, harp. We’d bands in their infancy, we’d long-established. What we got throughout without a shadow of doubt was tremendous music, hugely varied in style from the “traditional modern” jazz line-ups and style of playing of such as Kalpadruma, Kathrine Windfeld, ARQ,  and Karen Sharp to the downright quirky offerings of Kim Macari, Rosie Turton and Maria Chiara Argirò.


I can’t say for sure what the financial return was on these gigs – gates were always better than expected, but relatively unknown players (making my point!) don’t attract big numbers precisely because they’re not headlined enough. Nor will they get the fans in until they’ve been given more such opportunities. We’ve done that here, in a small way. The Women Jazz Leaders season won’t necessarily take the jazz world by storm, or change anything overnight, but it was a unique season which we don’t believe the jazz world has seen organised in this country before. We intend to publicise it now across the country, to the many other jazz societies, telling them why we did it, how it went, what it proved and giving them the simple message “It worked for us. Why not try it yourself?”

I really hope they do.

Let us know what you thought of it, how it could be improved, whom you preferred and would like to hear again. Our thanks to ALL of you who played and attended and made it work. Maybe again, in 2021?

Allan F



JazzLeeds, 11 Gledhow Park Drive, Leeds LS7 4JT

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