A FESTIVAL which is again attracting the stars of the UK and European jazz scene to the North-East has got underway in front of a full-house tonight.

The fourth Ushaw Jazz Festival takes place this weekend and began tonight with a free performance by the Early Bird Big Band, playing under the leadership of festival director Paul Edis.

Emma Fisk’s Hot Club Du Nord have now taken to the stage, bringing to life the classic 1930s and 40s repertoire of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli.

Highlights on Saturday include Toni Kofi and The Organisation as well as BBC Young Musician of the Year Xhosa Cole alongside “prodigiously talented” Durham-born guitarist Francis Tulip and his quintet.

Sunday’s programme includes a performance by Zoe Gilby, who was recently nominated in the prestigious All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

The festival is brought to an exciting climax with great swing trumpeter Buck Clayton, with two members of his Legacy Band flying in from Europe especially for the Durham event.



6pm: Early Bird Big band (free). 8pm: Emma Fisk’s Hot Club Du Nord (£12/£10).


1pm: “Velvet voiced” singer Jo Harrop and Paul Edis Trio (£10). 3.15pm: Guitarist Nathan Lawson (free). 4pm Xhosa Cole/Francis Tulip Quintet (£8). 6pm: Saxophonist Matt Anderson and Paul Edis (£6). 8pm Tony Kofi and The Organisation (£14/£12). 10pm: Jam session (feel free to join in with the house band).


1pm: Zoe Gilby Family All Stars (£20 family ticket – two adults, two children – or £6 per person). 2.30pm: Jazz collective VHB plus Faye Thompson on alto sax. 4pm: John Pope Quintet. 7pm: Buck Clayton Legacy Band.