From 23-25 March, Gateshead will again play host to an array of jazz artists from the North East and all over the world at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival. The Sage Gateshead, now an instantly recognisable Tyneside landmark as well as a world-class music venue, provides the ultimate backdrop to the festival - the first in the UK jazz calendar.
The festival will open in style with Roberto Fonseca, a Cuban prodigy of the Buena Vista Social Club, who will lead the audience on a journey through his country's diverse musical landscape, from jazz through classical to Afro-Cuban rhythms.
Veteran US singer Curtis Stigers - of 'I Wonder Why' fame - will be showcasing material from his latest album. Other international acts include Tord Gustavsen Ensemble, further cementing the North East's historical links with Scandinavia, and Norway in particular. American trumpeteer, Ambrose Akinmusire will also appear at the festival.
However, ever keen to reflect the festival's geographical base, the event will feature many acts from northern England; a particular highlight will be The Sharkestra, a project led by Gateshead-born Chris Sharkey. The Sage Gateshead's own youth jazz ensemble Jambone are also set to participate. The festival culminates on 25 April with a performance by a specially formed Jazz Festival Choir who will round off the fantastic free series of events on the Concourse of the award-winning building.
So So Gay will be attending Gateshead International Jazz Festival to bring you all the highlights from the event. Watch out for updates, both live from Twitter @SoSoGay_Music and reviews from the concerts on our website.
For more information, visit the festival website or call The Sage Gateshead's box office on 0191 443 4661.
You can follow The Sage Gateshead on Twitter @sage_gateshead