Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Jazz Dream Comes True

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Jazz Dream Comes True

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Armstrong

Dj Gilles Peterson has handpicked the best names for the opening of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival at The Sage Gateshead tonight. Simon Armstrong finds out more

It's 10.30am, but already Gilles Peterson is in a lively mood. A fervent Arsenal fan, his team have just clinched a place in the quarter finals of the Champions League after knocking out European giants, Real Madrid.

With the Spanish team's line-up including stars such as David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos, it was a who's who of the world's biggest names rather like tonight's opening of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival but without the saxophones.

Peterson, a doyen of the underground dance scene for more than 20 years, jumped at the chance to get involved after being approached by the event's organisers. Having relentlessly unearthed the finest jazz and soul since his teenage years, his credentials are unquestionable.

Starting out on pirate radio, he's been hosting one of Radio 1's most popular specialist shows since 1998.

The Sage's two halls will play host to world-renowned Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira, (who has worked with Miles Davis and George Benson), the Stan Tracey Quartet and Harry Beckett Quintet, while Gilles himself is DJing in the concourse from 10pm.

"I came up with a wish list of who I'd like to have playing so it's a dream come true to have all these guys together," he reveals excitedly.

"These are all people I really admire. For example, Airto is a hero of the jazz dance scene and he'll be doing his solo thing which is so impressive.

"There'll be two different sides to the music. You could say room one will be kind of traditional sounds, and room two has some really great homegrown talent with maybe a more experimental feel."

The concourse may seem an unusual location for him to be spinning his vinyl, but it's a challenge he's looking forward to: "I did a similar thing at the Barbican in London last year," he says. …

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