Xhosa Cole at Jazz Hastings: award-winning 22-year-old starts 2020 in style

Xhosa Cole
Xhosa Cole

Saxophonist Xhosa Cole is bringing his quartet to Jazz Hastings’ first session of the year this month.

The gig takes place on Tuesday, January 14 (8.30pm), at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association on The Stade.

Doors open at 7.45pm and tickets cost £10 on the door (under-18s £3).

Xhosa, 22, from Birmingham is the BBC’s 2018 Young Jazz Musician of the Year. He won the title at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall with a stunning performance that featured John Coltrane’s ‘Moment’s Notice’, Johnny Green’s ‘I Cover the Waterfront’ and his own work ‘Moving Ladywood’.

A Jazz Hastings spokesperson said: “Xhosa has been playing the saxophone since he was 12 and has appeared with the Jazzlines Ensemble, the Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra and Midland Youth Jazz orchestra. He is also a flautist, composer and teacher.

“For his first UK tour, Xhosa will be joined by Vancouver-born but London-based trumpeter Jay Phelps, who created and co-led the hip jazz sensation Empirical and has performed and recorded with artists such as Courtney Pine, Wynton Marsalis, John Hendricks, George Benson, Jamie Cullum, Sir John Dankworth, Amy Winehouse, Hugh Masakela and Jazz Jamaica.

“On bass will be fellow BBC Young Jazz Musician finalist James Owston, who is also the bass player for Clark Tracey’s latest quintet. And on drums will be powerhouse drummer Jim Bashford, who has played with such greats as Drew Gress, John O”Gallager, Jean Toussaint and Hillary Jensen.

“The quartet will aim to embody the spirit of the Bebop and Hard Bop greats.

“With a repertoire inspired by the great music of Sonny Rollins, Clifford Brown and Gigi Gryce, the band hope to light up the stage with all the charisma, passion, edge, chemistry and spontaneity reminiscent of this great era.

“They will feature classic arrangements, contemporary takes on standards and some original works written by members of the band.”

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