"Barnes is such a consummate stylist that his playing tends to buck any argument that his musical approach is conservative or out of step with the times."

- Peter Marsh,

BBC Music Review

"Barnes is a legend in that British jazz community that rarely gets to Ronnie Scott’s or the Barbican. He’s one of the UK’s key figures keeping the non-metropolitan

jazz scene alive."

- John Fordham,

The Guardian

+ Syrian

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Sunday, November 3rd

Alan Barnes Octet & Josie Moon: A Requiem

A jazz and poetry commission by Grimsby Jazz Projects, commemorating the

end of the First World War and subsequent conflicts across a century

"This work could so easily have failed to cohere; and the fact that it was so engaging and at times moving, was an outcome not only of the quality of the commitment of all involved, but also to the conception: to restore through the force of words and music combined a way of life that is already fading from lived memory," wrote The Whitman Review on the jazz suite, Fish Tales.


The combination of jazz and poetry has a long history. In addition to verses being put to music, there is also a tradition of jazz suites, in which jazz and poetry are complementary. For example, the late British pianist Stan Tracey's Under Milk Wood and The Poets' Suite. 


Following the outstanding success of his acclaimed jazz suite Fish Tales, comes A Requiem, an exciting and ambitious commission of new music which brings together the dynamic compositional talents of the multi-award winning reeds player Alan Barnes, and guitarist Pat McCarthy, plus the creative imagination of poet Josie Moon.


Featuring a stellar line-up of international jazz musicians, A Requiem examines the impact of conflict on individuals across a century, and is an audacious, daring challenging, moving, but ultimately uplifting and soulful work, which invites the audience to both remember the history of conflict, and resolve to do better in the future.

Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist. Best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone sax, he combines a formidable virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers.


Pat McCarthy is regarded as one of the country's leading jazz guitar players, and also an outstanding composer and educator. He has led his own bands, and played and recorded with some of the top names in the jazz world.


Author, poet, composer, musician and singer, the very talented Josie Moon brings as much to the reading of her work as to the writing of it. Her poetry brings to life and complements the music of A Requiem.

Following its success at June's Finding Home concert, Refugee Action - Colchester will be manning a Pop-Up Syrian Kitchen, serving a limited selection of delicious sweet and savoury food.


Alan Barnes, Gilad AtzmonDean Masser (Saxophones), Mark Nightingale (Trombone), Neil Yates (Trumpet), Pat McCarthy (Guitar), Dave Green (Double Bass), Sebastiaan De Krom (Drums).  

". . . he has his own sound and style, and could not be easily

be confused with another player.

And in these days of musical conformity; that is quite something."

- Jazz Journal

"Barnes plays all the saxophones plus clarinet and bass clarinet. He has a wonderful capacity for suggesting a given style without actually imitating anyone."

- Dave Gelly,

Masters Of The Jazz Saxophone 

Tickets: £16 / £14 Concessions. Students £6 (+ Booking Fees)

Doors: 7.00pm. 1st Set: 7.30pm