KAREN SHARP QUARTET – Sun 11th Aug 2.00pm


KAREN SHARP QUARTET – Sun 11th Aug 2.00pm-3.15pm at GUILDHALL THEATRE (advance £16, standard £18 )

LINEUP: Karen Sharp tenor sax / Nikki Iles piano / Dave Green double bass / Steve Brown drums
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Karen Sharp is busy and popular musician with an accessible yet distinctive style, Karen has won the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards on numerous occasions. She tours regularly with this quartet which features Nikki Iles, Dave Green and Steve Brown and she plays with numerous larger ensembles including Robert Fowler’s ‘Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band’, Steve Waterman’s Big Band and the Stan Tracey Big Band. This quartet has worked artistically together for some time now leading to their highly aclaimed Album “The Sun, the Moon and You”. Each player is given space to air their artistry and is never routine or predictable. Karen Sharp seems to prefer the tonal middle-ground, reminiscant of Stan Getz, yet calm and authoritative, with Dave Green providing a supple second voice. Karen is in much demand these days and often seen in other ensembles, but this has to be the best way to hear her, working at her own pace in the company of trusted colleagues.

“Music to treasure”. Peter Vacher, 11th July 2018

After graduating in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, Karen discovered a love of jazz and was inspired to play the tenor sax by two giants of improvisation – Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins. On relocating to London in 2000, Karen’s career took off when she was asked to join Humphrey Lyttelton’s band with whom she toured the UK and Europe for four years. During this period Karen also worked hard to establish her own band, recording the first of five albums under her own name and touring at festivals and jazz clubs. During this time Karen began appearing as a soloist working alongside musicians such as Ken Peplowski, Howard Alden, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache and Harry Allen. Highlights of this period include the Ginza Festival in Tokyo, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Singapore International Jazz Festival.

What they say:
“Sharp loves melody, whether composed or improvised, as reflected in her relaxed and natural phrasing” — Downbeat Magazine, February 2019


Nikki Iles is in the front rank of British jazz musicians. From a musical family, she first became aware of jazz through her father’s record collection, and playing the harmonica and clarinet at primary school. At eleven she won a Junior Exhibitioner’s Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, studying piano and clarinet, and later joined the Bedfordshire Youth Jazz Orchestra. It was at this time that the piano took over as Nikki’s principal instrument. After graduating from the Leeds College of Music, Nikki worked in both Yorkshire and London. These gigs included Wakefield Jazz Club where she played with Dick Morrisey, Jim Mullen, Pete King, Iain Ballamy, Scott Hamilton, Art Farmer and Teddy Edwards, and London where she worked with the group Emanon, led by trumpeter Richard Iles. This included guitarist Mike Walker and saxophonist Iain Dixon, all were members of the Creative Jazz Orchestra, working with Vince Mendoza, Anthony Braxton, Mike Gibbs, Kenny Wheeler and Mark Anthony Turnage. Nikki also began playing with London based bands including the Steve Arguelles group, Mick Hutton’s Straight Face, Stan Sulzmann’s Quartet and Tina May. She was also nominated for a number of awards and won the John Dankworth Special Award at the BT British Jazz Awards in 1996.

What they say:

‘Iles displayed the rhythmic surprises, shape shifting phrases, playful dialogue with a mix of ruggedness and reflection that make her comparable with the great John Taylor.’   The Guardian

“..one of the most refreshing figures to have emerged in the UK scene in recent times’ The Guardian


One of the foremost drummers on the UK jazz scene and hugely popular with audiences everywhere, Steve is the ‘first call’ for an impressive array of jazz stars with his assured swinging playing. Born in Manchester, Steve developed an early interest in music and began playing drums at age 14, later performing with local jazz groups. By 23, he was working with Scott Hamilton, Art Farmer and UK artists during their engagements in the city. After his move to London, Brown worked as a sideman with many of the capital’s finest musicians including engagements with jazz greats Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison and Conte Candoli. During the next 4 years his playing career went from strength to strength and Steve was the winner of the ‘Drums’ and ‘Rising Star’ categories in the 1999 British Jazz Awards. In 2000 Steve joined the UK quartet of the great jazz saxophonist Scott Hamilton, with whom he has toured internationally over the last seven years. He is also featured on his last four recordings for Concord records. In between these engagements, Steve continues to perform and record with a wide variety of artists including Benny Golson, Benny Green, Carl Fontana, Barry Harris, Junior Mance, Charles McPherson, John Bunch and Hod O’Brien.


A bass player of great skill and prestige, Dave’s first important engagement as a professional musician was with the Don Rendell – Ian Carr band, which he joined in the early 60s. He toured with Humphrey Lyttelton, Big Joe Turner and Buck Clayton, working at Ronnie Scott’s, accompanying visiting Americans such as Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins, working with Norma Winstone, BBC Radio broadcasts. By the end of the decade Dave Brown established himself as a major figure, having worked with musicians as diverse as Stan Tracey and Humphrey Lyttelton. He also played and recorded with many front-rank visiting Americans who counted themselves fortunate in having his solidity and flair behind them. For a while in the early 80s he led his own group, Fingers, which featured Lol Coxhill, Bruce Turner and Michael Garrick. In the following decades, Green remained at the forefront of British jazz, working with Peter King, Didier Lockwood, Spike Robinson and a host of other British and visiting jazzmen. A superb timekeeper and exceptional soloist, Green is the essence of the international jazz musician (Allmusic.com)

What they say:

A perfect evening of jazz including everyone’s favourite rhythm section of Dave Green on double bass & Steve Brown on drums – John Edwards Brighton

Included event for holders of a Jazz Weekend Tickets and Day Passes (Limited number) with individual early bird Festival tickets also available. Use our Ticket Link to pre-book – no booking fees.
Discount Cards & Membership – via our online box office CLICK_HERE.

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