Friday 13th July
ROBIN PARK INDOOR SPORTS CENTRE
£25 / £23
Make a day of it in Wigan … A suggestion from the Festival organisers.
Arrive in Wigan by train just before 12 noon, walk 50 yards to Wigan Central for the afternoon session (free admission) where you can sample a large range of beers and other excellent drinks, food also available.
Listen to Pete Long with William Morrison (guitar) Harry Morrison (bass) & Patrick Danao (drums)….members of James Morrison’s Trio as seen on BBC Proms in the summer (James isn’t playing on this gig…you’ll have to wait for Saturday to hear him).
Around 3pm hear the Blue Ensemble from California Jazz Conservatory with their two sets & then around 5pm for Rover ticket holders or holders of tickets for Champian Fulton / Scott Hamilton concert, enjoy the FREE mini bus transport to Robin Park for the evening celebrity concert.
At approx 10.30pm the courtesy mini bus will take you back to Wigan Central for the late night session (11pm – 1.00am) or to the railway station for your journey home!
Born in Oklahoma, Champian Fulton has become a world class Jazz pianist and vocalist with international acclaim. She grew up with music in the home; her mother and father (Jazz trumpeter and educator Stephen Fulton) recognized her fascination with music at an early age. The presence of her father’s musician friends, including Clark Terry and Major Holley, inspired her focus on Jazz. Her first paid musical engagement was with her own band at Clark Terry’s 75th Birthday Party; she was 10 years old. Since then, her piano and voice skills have been recognized by peers and critics as distinctive and sophisticated. This young woman from Oklahoma captivates audiences in New York’s finest Jazz rooms and in concert halls around the world.
A mainstay on the vibrant New York Jazz scene, she has performed with musical royalty such as Lou Donaldson, Frank Wess, Eric Alexander, Buster Williams, and Louis Hayes. From New York to Barcelona, Champian’s swinging style and charismatic performances have made her a guardian of the legacy of Jazz. Champian’s heroes include Bud Powell, Red Garland, Erroll Garner, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington.
Jazz education is a concern near and dear to Champian’s heart, having been inspired by Clark Terry’s tireless advocacy for the perpetuation of the craft. Clark coached her on rehearsal techniques, performance etiquette, private teaching, and the business of the Jazz. Champian strives to impart this unique knowledge to students around the world, while being involved in educational programs such as Litchfield Jazz Camp and Rutgers Jazz Institute. Her skills as an educator in Jazz come from the highest authorities as she works to perpetuate the Jazz language.
Champian is ambitious about recording her music. As a leader she has nine recordings to her credit. Her debut album, Champian with David Berger & the Sultans of Swing (2007 Such Sweet Thunder Records) was recorded following a two-year residency at the famed New York Jazz Club Birdland. Her releases Sometimes I’m Happy (2008 Venus Records) and the breeze and I (2010 Gut String Records) featured her working trio. Champian’s following two releases, Champian Sings and Swings (2013 Sharp Nine) and Change Partners (2014 Cellar Live) were both recognized as being “in the top 10 releases of the year” for their respective years (NY Observer). Champian’s album, “After Dark” (2016) with Jazz luminaries David Williams on bass, Lewis Nash on drums, and Stephen Fulton on flugelhorn, features the music of Dinah Washington. In 2017, she published no less than three albums an instrumental one (“Speechless” – Posi-Tone), a wonderful recording with Scott Hamilton (“The Things We Did Last Summer” – Blau Records) and “Christmas with Champian” (Champian Records).
Recognised as a Rising Jazz Star by the Downbeat Magazine Critic’s Poll, Champian also received the “Female Jazz Vocalist Of the Year” at the 2017 Hot House Jazz Magazine Fans Decision Award Ceremony.Her “galvanizing presence” (the New Yorker) and her alluring musical presentation have made her “a charming young steward of the mainstream Jazz tradition.” (The New York Times)
Scott Hamilton was born in 1954, in Providence, Rhode Island. During his early childhood he heard a lot of jazz through his father’s extensive record collection, and became acquainted with the jazz greats. He tried out several instruments, including drums at about the age of five, piano at six and mouth-organ. He had some clarinet lessons when he was about eight years of age, but that was the only formal music tuition he has ever had. Even at that age he was attracted to the sound of Johnny Hodges, but it was not until he was about sixteen that he started playing the saxophone seriously. From his playing mainly blues on mouth organ, his little band gradually became more of a jazz band.
He moved to New York in 1976 at the age of twenty-two, and through Roy Eldridge, with whom he had played a year previously in Boston, got a six-week gig at Michael’s Pub. Roy also paved the way for him to work with Anita O’Day and Hank Jones. Although it was the tail-end of the of old New York scene, a lot of the greats were still playing and he got to work and learn from people like Eldridge, Illinois Jacquet, Vic Dickenson and Jo Jones. Eldridge was Scott’s champion, but pulled no punches, and could be extremely critical, something for which Scott has always been grateful. In December of the same year John Bunch got Scott his first recording date, for Famous Door, and was also responsible for him joining Benny Goodman. He continued to work with Goodman at different times until the early 1980s.
In 1977 he formed his own quartet, which later became a quintet, with Bunch added to the group. The same year Carl Jefferson heard him, and began recording him for his Concord record label. More than forty albums later he is still recording for them, having made many under his own leadership, several with his regular British quartet of John Pearce, Dave Green and Steve Brown, including his latest, Nocturnes & Serenades. The Quartet plus two guests, Dave Cliff and Mark Nightingale recorded Our Delight! for Alan Barnes’ Woodville label. A new release, Across the Tracks on Concorde is due this May. Along the way he has made albums with Dave McKenna, Jake Hanna, Woody Herman, Tony Bennett, Gerry Mulligan, Flip Phillips, Maxine Sullivan, Buddy Tate, Warren Vache, many with Rosemary Clooney and a number with another of his mentors, Ruby Braff, with whom he played residencies at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, London in the mid-1980s. Over the years Scott has also performed and recorded with such touring bands as the Concord Jazz All Stars, the Concord Super Band and George Wein’s Newport Jazz Festival All Stars.
For some years he was based in London, where he first played in 1978, but now travels the world from Italy. Each year, in addition to two or three residencies with the quartet at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, British jazz club dates and festival work including Brecon, where he is one of the patrons, he regularly tours Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Japan, Spain and Italy. He returns to America three or four times a year to play at festivals, including in 2007, the New York JVC festival in June and Irvine, California in September, and in February 2008 for three nights at the Lincoln Centre New York.
His playing has best been described by fellow tenor saxophonist and writer, Dave Gelly: “Following a Scott Hamilton solo is like listening to a great conversationalist in full flow. First comes the voice, the inimitable, assured sound of his tenor saxophone, then the informal style and finally the amazing fluency and eloquent command of the jazz language.” Scott was awarded the ‘Ronnie’ for International Jazz Saxophonist of the Year in the 2007 inaugural Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Awards. It is no wonder that Scott Hamilton is in demand the world over.