Emma Johnson

International Jazz Day Double Bill

Tuesday, 30 April 2024 Time: 7.30pm
International Jazz Day is an International Day declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2011 “to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.” It is celebrated annually on April 30. To coincide with this the Capstone Theatre is presenting a double bill on North West based female fronted groups, each of which will present a 45 minute set of exciting and original music.


Moore & Fairhall

Olivia Moore - violin
Adam Fairhall - Accordion
Moore and Fairhall are a folk-jazz accordion and violin duo, based in Manchester. They bring together Indian Ragas, American Folk and jazz from all eras, resulting in music that is lyrical, passionate and highly rhythmic. Adam and Olivia met when they were selected for Edition VI of Serious’ prestigious ‘Take Five’ Artist Development Scheme and this duo is the result of their shared interest in a jazz approach to folk and world traditions. They have performed to enthusiastic audiences in Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle.

Olivia Moore (violin) has studied in India with her guru Kala Ramnath, and is a long-established band leader, fusing her love for Indian music and Jazz in groups such as The Owl Ensemble and Unfurl. She has performed internationally with Elaha Soroor (Afghanistan), Mukesh Jhadav (India) and Alabaster De Plume. Much in demand for her intoxicating, microtonally-infected playing style, Olivia has recently worked with the Srishti Dance company and with Milapfest’s Indo Jazz Club band, with superstar Zoe Rahman.

Adam Fairhall (accordion) is best known as the pianist in Nat Birchall’s acclaimed Coltrane-inspired groups, and for his trademark ‘ragtime-to-free’ eclecticism as a jazz pianist. Over the past several years he has been working intensely on his accordion playing to get closer to the folk and roots music which has always informed his approach. The result is an accordion style that incorporates ostinato baselines, innovative rhythmic bellow techniques and free-flowing melodic improvisation.

“Nourished by Indian and Jazz traditions, but with an elegance that comes from her classical training, Olivia Moore’s violin has an Eastern tang which is genuinely entrancing” - Manchester Evening News

“Adam is a total star” - Independent on Sunday


Emma Johnson's Gravy Boat

Emma Johnson - Tenor Saxophone
Fergus Vickers - Electric Guitar
Richard Jones - Piano
Angus Milne - Double Bass
Steve Hanley - Drum Kit

Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat is a cinematic, melodic instrumental group based in Leeds, led by saxophonist and composer Emma Johnson.

Since augmenting into a quintet in 2019, the band have gone from strength to strength - moving from touring as part of Jazz North's Northern Line Scheme that year, to being awarded the Peter Whittingham Development Award to record their first album, Worry Not in 2021. In 2022, Johnson was commissioned by Lancaster Jazz Festival to write new work to be performed that year, and out of this, the group developed the music into Northern Flame, their second album release which 'confirms Johnson as a singular and exciting talent' according to All About Jazz.

Their sound has been compared to a whole host of greats including Walter Smith III's In Common project and Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band. As with most jazz acts, Gravy Boat really comes to life in the live setting, with freedom and interplay at the heart of their performances, punctuated by stories and inspirations behind the music from bandleader Johnson.

This year, with a 4* Jazzwise Review under their belt, Gravy Boat set off on a national tour including stand out performances at London Jazz Festival, NQ Jazz and Howard Assembly Room in a double bill with Gondwana's Jasmine Myra. Featured on BBC Radio 6, Jazz FM and Worldwide FM, as well as Fresh on The Net's Fresh Favs and Bandcamp's Best Jazz Releases November 2023, this release marks a step up for Johnson and Gravy Boat, who have been hailed by Trust The Doc as 'one of the most refreshingly imaginative and perfectly configured acts in contemporary jazz'.

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