The Grand, in partnership with Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club, is delighted to present a special tribute to the late jazz legend Art Blakey, featuring the Gaz Hughes Sextet.
Gaz Hughes first came to wider public attention as the original drummer in the Matthew Halsall Band and featured heavily on the early recordings of the Gondwana label. A particular highlight was recording the album “On The GO”, which won The Best Jazz Album of the Year in the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards 2012, and was nominated Best Jazz Album MOBO Awards, 2011.
His drumming influences include the school of melodic drummers such as Max Roach, Alan Dawson, and Jeff Hamilton. Gaz is specifically inspired by the drummers that are able to spell out form and melody when they improvise.
Gaz has recorded his first album as band leader. The album features the music of the late, great Art Blakey. "The album felt like a very natural decision," says Gaz, who has appeared at The Grand as a session player for a range of different artists and groups.
"Blakey's music has been a constant theme throughout my life. The first Jazz album I ever bought was an Art Blakey live record and it remains one of my most played and treasured albums.
"Blakey was prolific as a recording artist which made the job of deciding which tunes to play even more difficult. With such a huge back catalogue to choose from, I handpicked a selection of compositions by Bobby Watson, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard and Curtis Fuller."
The musicians on the album are considered by many to be some of the most influential musicians in UK Jazz scene today. As a sideman, Gaz has worked with all of these musicians on many occasions and was excited to bring them all together for the project. The album features: Alan Barnes (Alto/Baritone Sax), Bruce Adams (Trumpet), Dean Masser (Tenor Sax),
Andrzej Baranek (Piano), Ed Harrison (Bass).
This performance comes as part of a national tour and will be recorded live to create a live album and keepsake of the project.
As a sideman, Gaz has also performed with many UK and international Jazz artists including: Scott Hamilton, Harry Allen, Marshal Allen, Greg Abate, Alan Barnes, Bruce Adams, Mark Nightingale, Digby Fairweather, Tina May, Art Theman, Gilad Atzmon, Julian Stringle, Roy Williams, Enrico Tomasso, John Hallam, Ben Holder, Brian Dee, Dave Newton, Remi Harris, Tim Kliphuis, Dean Masser, Neil Yates, Arun Ghosh, Matthew Halsall, Nat Birchall, Adam Fairhall, James Allsopp, Ivo Neame and Uno Prism. He is also a long standing member of the Tom Kincaid trio.
Gaz has had the pleasure of performing and recording across many different genres. Pop artists that Gaz has worked with include: Patti Boulaye, Suzi Quatro, Ray Quinn (X Factor), Rick Guard (Platinum selling artist and musical writer), Kristyna Myles (Mobo nominated artist).