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Sat 1 June 2024 – 7:00 pm

For our 50th anniversary we thought we are celebrating in style by extending our most popular event! Clonter’s mini Jazz fest will be a two night Jazz extravaganza with James Pearson and Friends on Saturday 1st of June and Polly Gibbons performing her new album with James on Friday 31st June.

We are delighted to announce that joining James Pearson this year, for Clonter’s 50th anniversary, will be vocalist Natalie Williams, saxophonist Alex Garnett, double bassist Sam Burgess, and drummer Chris Higginbottom.

“Excellent, even better than in previous years. All participants were exceptional.”

“Super evening’s entertainment every time – long may it continue.”

“Superb musicians performing at their best in the intimate atmosphere provided by Clonter.”

“Simply wonderful, a lovely atmosphere and very welcoming people. We will be coming again soon.”

Previous Audience Feedback

James Pearson 

James Pearson  is a pianist, composer and creative tour de force.

He is the Artistic Director at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club where his trio are the house band. Their last album ‘Swing the Club’, recorded live at the venue, received excellent reviews across the board.

“James Pearson is in shattering form on these sessions.” – The Sunday Times

The recording was ranked at No. 6 in the Sunday Times albums of 2009, and they were delighted to sell out four nights at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in New York.

James is equally at home as a concert pianist. He has played concertos with the Philharmonia and the BBC Concert Orchestra amongst many others. His performance of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto was broadcast on Classic FM and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto and Rhapsody in Blue on BBC Radio 2. With collaborations ranging from Paul McCartney to Wynton Marsalis, James is fast becoming one of the country’s most sought after pianists.

Recent commissions by the BFI and BBC have seen James back in the composing chair. The Big Smoke, commissioned by the BFI, is a collection of footage of London accompanied by an 80-minute score composed by James. His work can also be heard performed by Brodsky String Quartet, Sir John Dankworth, The BBC Concert Orchestra and The BBC Big Band.

“The harmony of Messiaen mixed with the rhythmic pulse of George Shearing.” – The Sunday Times

James Pearson is one of the country’s most respected musicians. His work covers all genres of music, especially contemporary music, jazz and classical. He graduated from the Guildhall School, having completed his degree and the Advanced Solo Studies Course. Whilst at college he studied with Robert Saxton, Francis Shaw, Peter Bithell and James Gibb. He regularly performed with the symphony orchestra, including a concert at the Barbican with Takemitzu.

James has broadcast on all the major radio and television networks, and he was the pianist in the Steve Martland Band. His work as a Jazz musician has taken him all over the world. His fine piano playing and arrangements can be heard on over 50 albums.

Amongst the many people James has worked with are Dame Cleo Laine, Maria Ewing, Marian Montgomery, Petula Clark, The John Wilson Orchestra, Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, Buddy Greco, Johnny Griffin, Joseph Horowitz, Richard Rodney Bennett, Ray Davies, Polly Gibbons, Nigel Kennedy, Robbie Williams, Rufus Wainwright, Gregory Porter, Imelda May, Jeff Beck and Paul McCartney.

Natalie Williams – Vocals

“One of the UK’s hottest singers…she effortlessly moves from soul-diva to sensual and sophisticated jazz.”
Time Out

Undisputed darling of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Natalie Williams, is a veteran of the British music sphere. Since beginning her residency during the re-opening of the Club in 2007, the vocalist and songwriter has enjoyed a rich, varied music career, garnering awards and devoted fans along the way. Whilst Williams’ name may not crop up regularly in the music media, most successful vocalists coming out of the UK are on familiar terms with the influential musician. Grammy winning artist, Sam Smith, once went to watch her show as a teen. Smith says,

Natalie helped me understand Soul music, and her Soul Family Sundays residency at Ronnie’s is what made me realise,‘this is what I really wanna do!’

The last decade or so has seen her collaborate with artists from Goldie to Incognito to Jacob Collier. Williams’ reach extends to many artists across a diverse scene. She has toured extensively with the Ronnie Scott’s house band, the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, playing the Blue Note Caribbean Jazz Cruise alongside Gregory Porter, Diane Reeves, Pat Metheny and Marcus Miller, Birdland Jazz Club in NYC; Rochester Jazz Festival and their annual residency at the Zermatt Unplugged Festival in Switzerland where she has performed with Paolo Nutini, Gabrielle, Lisa Stansfield, Emeli Sande and Jessie J. This included a performance at the Royal Albert Hall, in November 2019, for Ronnie Scott’s 60th Anniversary concert, alongside Roy Ayers, Kurt Elling, Van Morrison and Imelda May. Additionally, Natalie has regularly toured France and Europe with one of France’s most celebrated jazz and funk musicians, Eric Legnini, playing the Nice Jazz Festival and St Emilion Jazz Festival amongst others. Her own band, Natalie Williams’ Soul Family, are a staple favourite of the Love Supreme Festival, with their Youtube videos having combined views of more than 8 million streams.

Alex Garnett – Saxophone

Alex Garnett has been one of the leading saxophonists in the UK and Mainland Europe for over two decades, being instantly recognized by his dark, husky sound. A versatile musician and first call sideman, he has enjoyed success as both a jazz artist, composer and arranger, and an in demand session, studio and commercial saxophonist, having racked up countless recording credits along the way. A ubiquitous performer with many of Europe’s leading bands from underground to pop, he’s a regular sideman of choice for many visiting American artists when touring in Europe, and has performed in over 30 countries worldwide appearing at such venues as the Blue Note, Birdland, as well as the Perugia, North Sea, Vittoria, Montreax, and Oslo Jazz Festivals to name but a few, with varied and diverse artists across the spectrum such as Sir John Dankworth, Wynton Marsalis, Pete King, Humphrey Littleton, Scott Hamilton, Van Morrison, Evan Parker and The Rolling Stones, as well as with his contemporaries Gareth Lockrane, Seamus Blake, Phil Robson, Michael Janisch, Joel Frahm, and more. Although Alex has accumulated one of the most impressive biographies of any saxophonist in Europe of his generation, he did not release his own solo album until the age of 40 in September of 2011. Recorded in NYC at Systems Two Studios, Garnett’s debut album Serpent features drummer Willie Jones III, Anthony Wonsey on piano, and bassist Michael Janisch, while showcasing eight original compositions from the leader. The album proved to be one of the most anticipated debuts for years in the UK, winning universal acclaim by press, fans and musicians alike. As of late Garnett can be seen at his weekly late-night residency at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho every Monday and Tuesday while not touring, and released his second album with his new band ‘Bunch of Five’ in January of 2015. Titled Andromeda, it features long time musical associate and fellow tenor saxophonist Tim Armacost, pianist Liam Noble, bassist Michael Janisch and drummer James Maddren.

Clonter is delighted to be offering two nights, back to back for its Jazz audience this May/June.

Last summer, singer and songwriter Polly Gibbons released her ninth album, ‘As It Is’. A departure from straight-ahead swinging jazz, this is her first album of all-original songs written, arranged and produced by Polly and co-produced by long-time musical collaborator and artistic director at Ronnie Scott’s, James Pearson.


Ticket Pricing & Booking Information

Tickets £27, £35, £40, £45, FREE for 26-year-olds and under (ID may be required) – 5% Discount if booked in conjunction with Polly Gibbons – ‘As It Is’

Group Discount (10% Discount) 10+

U3A Discount (10% Discount)

Doors Open 6pm

Performance Starts 7pm

Interval 70 minute supper interval; pre-order supper, or bring your own picnic

Drink Arrangements – Please note that any drink consumed inside the premises must be purchased from the bar. For Friends and Patrons of Clonter who wish to bring their own drink, a corkage fee of £4 per person will apply (payable in advance on 01260 224514).

N.B. Table and catering booking facilities close a week before the performance date. Pre-order drinks facilities close at 4pm on the Wednesday before the performance.