Friday, 21 February 2014 13:35

Northside Jazz at Omnibus, Clapham

Written by  Sue Dorey

Sue Dorey is Associate Director of Music at the Omnibus in Clapham.  Here she introduces us to their new Northside Jazz nights and explains how it got started...



Man Overboard

Northside Jazz at Omnibus, Clapham's new Arts Centre, by Sue Dorey

Omnibus opened in November 2013, and is Clapham's new multi-arts venue.  There are four spaces; a 90 seat studio theatre, a Music Room, a gig/rehearsal space and a café/bar for comedy and acoustic nights.  The website gives more details of what Artistic Director Marie McCarthy and her team of associates are dreaming up:

The launch last September attracted a large crowd, and guests were invited to write down what they would like Omnibus to present for the community (Lambeth council had awarded the building, the Old Victorian Library, to a group of local arts lovers over thirteen other bids, mainly property developers).  The team, led by George Owen and Marie, had great fun reading the requests, and one was for 'live jazz.'

I got involved last August having walked in to the building, and was asked to fix four classical concerts.  I am now Associate Director of Music, and in the enviable position of organising the fortnightly afternoon 'Classic Sundays'  and Sunday 'Northside Jazz' nights.  I am a 'cellist myself, and using my connections in the business I’ve managed to book some fabulous artists to come and play at Omnibus.

We have forged a great link with NYJO and they are bringing two bands in April.  Phil Meadows’ Group is coming in July and we are also hoping to run a jazz course with him in the summer.  Nick Smart at the RAM has recommended Misha Mullov-Abbado, Tom Green and Ralph Wyld, each of whom who will each bring their own groups.  Meanwhile Tom Gould, a colleague from the classical scene, is coming with his Man Overboard swing band in March, and I’m thrilled that so many amazing musicians will be helping to put Northside Jazz on the map.

Sue Dorey, Associate Director of Music, Omnibus.

Details of Northside Jazz gigs coming up at Omnibus:

Sunday 9th March.  7pm, tickets £10

With some of the finest players from the Royal Academy of Music, this innovative ensemble plays an original set of compositions and arrangements. From chorales and free music to heavy swing and funk, their influences are as diverse as Bach, Stevie Wonder and Brad Mehldau.

Sunday 23rd March.  7pm, tickets £15/£12 concessions

With a passion for hot swing from the 20's and 30's, this five-piece brings together “staggeringly virtuosic” violinist Thomas Gould, lyrical clarinettist Ewan Bleach and the distinctive vocals of Louisa Jones. With double bass and guitar.

Sunday 6th April.  7pm, tickets £10

NYJO (National Youth Jazz Orchestra) features some of the best, most gifted and talented of the next generation of Great British jazz musicians. Since NYJO’s founding, by Bill Ashton OBE in 1965, most of the current generation of top British jazz musicians have risen through its ranks, often becoming established jazz stars whilst still playing with the band.  Rob Luft Trio features Rob Luft on guitar (praised in Jazzwise Magazine as “One to watch” in 2013), Joe Downard on Double Bass, and Ben Brown on Drums.

Sunday 27th April.  7pm, tickets £10

On the Slide has been formed as a resurrection of the original NYJO trombone band known as Bone Structure, started by leading UK jazz trombonist Mark Nightingale. On the Slide will perform some terrific arrangements first written especially for Bone Structure, along with new compositions by current members. The line-up includes Chris Valentine, Owen Dawson, Maddie Dowdeswell and Alex Kelly on trombones, Chris Eldred piano, AJ Brinkman bass, Rob Luft guitar, and Will Glaser drums.

Box office: 020 7498 4699 or

Visit for further details

Omnibus, 1 Clapham Common, Northside, SW4 0QW.

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