Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2023 closes with a superb double bill: Ubunye (2:30-3:30pm) followed by Zoë Gilby Quintet with Tony Kofi (4-5pm).
Ubunye – Winner of Parliamentary Jazz Awards Jazz Ensemble of the Year 2023
Xolani Mbatha (Vocals) / Nokuthula Zondi (Vocals) / Dave Evans (Keyboards and Vocals) / Nik
Svarc (Guitar) / Sam Dutton-Taylor (Bass) / Steve Hanley (Drums)
The pounding rhythms of Africa blended with the explosive energy of a live band. This vibrant
group of Zulu performers combined with seasoned musicians from the UK mix ancient tradition
with contemporary flare. Ubunye deliver a soulful, goose bump inducing performance of original
pieces cleverly fused with South African songs. It is a fantastic multi-cultural experience.
“In that moment, it seemed hard to believe that anything so propulsive and joyous could come to
a halt. The same could be said about the applause and shouts that followed” – Wakefield Jazz
“Ubunye is a joyous celebration and proof, should it be needed, of the creative energy and unity
possible when cultures meet through the medium of music. Rejoicing in their wide-ranging
backgrounds, ages and styles, they were a surefire hit with the Manchester Jazz Festival
audience, uplifting the soul with their close vocal harmonies, undulating rhythms, and affirmative
lyrics, and with a powerful facility to reach and affect listeners far beyond the reaches of jazz” –
Steve Mead (Artistic Director: Manchester Jazz Festival)
Zoë Gilby Quintet with Tony Kofi
Zoë Gilby (Vocals) / Tony Kofi (Saxophone) / Mark Williams (Guitar) / Andy Champion (Double Bass) / John Bradford (Drums)
Winner of Parliamentary Jazz Awards Jazz Vocalist of the Year 2019 Zoë Gilby brings an engaging
repertoire of story telling and atmosphere with a commanding mix of musical sophistication and
dramatic edge. Zoë will be appearing with the exceptional award winning saxophonist Tony Kofi.
Tony Kofi performs and records in the top flight having established himself over the years as an in-
demand musician with the likes of Jazz Jamaica, Courtney Pine, Donald Byrd and Ornette Coleman.
Children and young people under 16 years old may attend events accompanied by an adult (age over 18). They are not allowed to enter the premises after 9pm and they must leave the premises by midnight. Under 16s are not allowed to purchase soft drinks, but they may consume soft drinks bought for them by their accompanying adult.
16 and 17 year olds are allowed to attend events unaccompanied by an adult and they may purchase soft drinks. They must leave the premises by midnight.