Electric Theatre

From January 2013, the Electric Theatre in Guildford has been  hosting a monthly Jazz Cafe evening in the welcoming and intimate setting of the Cafe Bar. Our guests have included some of the best jazz musicians in the country, many internationally renowned, including Dave O’Higgins, Mark Nightingale, Martin Shaw, Karen Sharp, Art Themen, Laura Jurd, Simon Allen, Georgia Mancio, Brigitte Beraha, Jim Mullen and many others.

Seating is cabaret style, and intimate, and you’re welcome to bring your own supper or snacks. If you want to reserve a table as a group just let the box office know when you book. The music starts at 19.30pm , and the doors open from 18.00

Tickets are available from the Box Office on 01483 501200 or online from the Electric Theatre website. The theatre is very close to the train station in Guildford and there’s parking very nearby in the Bedford Road or Portsmouth Road Car Parks.

Electric Theatre, Onslow Street, Guildford GU1 4SZ

Coming up…

June 26th Alex Curtis Quartet featuring Dave O’Higgins

July 31st Derek Nash Quartet

August 21st Paul Higgs “Shades of Miles”

September 25th Stan Sulzmann with Kate Williams

October 23rd Pete Oxley & Nicolas Meier

November 27th Alan Barnes with Phil DeGreg


June 26th Alex Curtis Quartet feat. Dave O’Higgins

A celebration of local talent at the Jazz Cafe this month, with pianist Alex Curtis and his trio plus their special guest, award-winning saxophonist Dave O’Higgins.

Alex Curtis – piano, Dave O’Higgins – tenor sax, Jamie Murray – drums, Dave O’Brien – bass

Since forming in 2016, the highly enthusiastic audience reactions to the concerts of the Alex Curtis band bear testimony to how well the band works together in this setting. Drawing on a whole range of influences, they demonstrate outstanding musicianship and very strong collective writing skills. In addition to their individual instrumental strengths, all band members are established composers in their own right.

This combination creates an ideal unit with great creative potential and allows for plenty of stylistic diversity as well as a broad range of original repertoire. Last year was a busy and exciting year for the band and their debut album “Patterns, Habits and Changes,” is due to be released later this year. Expect highly original arrangements/compositions, heavy grooves and plenty of exciting group interaction.

Tickets £14 from the Box Office on 01483 501200 or online here


July 31st Derek Nash Quartet

Much-loved alto sax player Derek Nash is a featured soloist with the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and is a vibrant and charismatic performer.

An evening of the best of swinging modern mainstream jazz, infused with catchy melodies and infectious rhythms, fronted by one of the most popular and versatile saxophonists in the UK, with a rhythm section featuring the fantastic Graham Harvey on piano (Incognito, Sax Appeal, Stacey Kent…), Alex Eberhard on drums and Marianne Windham on bass.

“Derek Nash is not only a superb player, he has a stage presence that enthuses both his audience and his fellow musicians.” (Jazzin’ Around)

derek-nash-1Derek has been a member of the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra since 2004, has led Sax Appeal for over thirty years, fronts the funk/fusion band Protect the Beat, and is a member of the Ronnie Scott’s Blues Explosion.

He is renowned for his energetic, vibrant, passionate and charismatic performances on all four saxophones – from sonorous baritone to soaring soprano – and is an award-winning performer having received the John Dankworth Award and the British Jazz Award (Small Group) for Sax Appeal. He received Best Jazz CD of the Year for Young Lions, Old Tigers with the late Spike Robinson, receiving the same British Jazz Award for “Joyriding” by The Derek Nash Acoustic Quartet in 2012. He regularly appears in the British Jazz awards nominations in several categories (Alto/Tenor and Baritone) and was nominated for Jazz Musician of the Year by the Global Music Foundation.

He has recorded four solo CDs and has appeared on CDs with many other artists including Don Grusin, George Melly, Bob Dorough, Jools Holland, Tom Jones, Peter Green, Shakatak, Lulu, David Sanborn, India Arie, Geoff Gascoyne, Alison Moyet, Digby Fairweather and Trudy Kerr.

With the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Derek performs approaching 100 gigs per year and has performed live and on TV with such greats as Eric Clapton, Amy Winehouse, Emeli Sande, Jessie J, Sir Paul McCartney, Solomon Burke, Annie Lennox, Eddie Floyd, Sam Moore, Madeleine Peyroux, Roger Daltrey, David Sanborn, Eddi Reader and Tom Jones, as well as Don and Dave Grusin, John Dankworth, Ray Gelato, John Etheridge, Russell Ferrante, Nelson Rangell, Snake Davis, Bob Dorough, Oscar Castro Neves, Lillian Boutte, Clare Teal, Jamie Cullum, Humphrey Lyttelton and Alan Barnes.

Tickets £14 from the Box Office on 01483 501200 or online here


August 21st Paul Higgs “Shades of Miles”

Trumpet player Paul Higgs, renowned for his subtle and sensitive style, presents an evening of music by trumpet legend Miles Davis. Outstanding!

Paul Higgs – trumpet and flugelhorn , Chris Ingham – piano, Marianne Windham – bass, George Double – drums

Paul Higgs Shades of MilesAce trumpeter Paul Higgs plays with a sublime tone and breathtaking technique. He has performed with Johnny Dankworth, Lulu, Tony Hatch, John Williams, Peggy Lee and Nancy Wilson. He has also performed in major concert venues around the world, and receives standing ovations on a regular basis.

Paul is renowned for his magical sound and exceptional skill. His great sensitivity, high energy and his own skill as a composer make him a superb proponent of Miles Davis’s music.

Miles Davis, the most revered jazz trumpeter of all time, was at the forefront of several major innovations in jazz from the mid ’40s to the early ’90s – bebop, cool, hard bop, modal, jazz funk and jazz fusion. Paul plays well-known favourites from these styles as well as some less familiar gems.


“I’ve never been sure if I’m a bigger fan of Paul’s trumpet playing or his marvellous composing talents as they’re both monumental! Paul Higgs is a world-class composer and trumpet player.” Digby Fairweather: BBC presenter (Radio 2 and 3), and jazz trumpeter

Tickets £14 from the Box Office on 01483 501200 or online here


September 25th Stan Sulzmann with Kate Williams

British jazz legend Stan Sulzmann is joined by renowned pianist Kate Williams, Dave Ingamells on drums, and Marianne Windham on bass for an evening of standout jazz!

stan sulzmann.jpegA veteran of the UK jazz scene, Stan Sulzmann has a rich and varied career that has included playing with musicians as diverse as Kenny Wheeler, Larry Grenadier and Gwilym Simcock, as well as a prolific output as bandleader.

Always moving forward, Stan’s Neon Quartet sees him amongst some of the UKs most sought-after young musicians, and their latest album “Subjekt” explores Stan’s ever-developing musical influences. Stan is also a highly respected composer and arranger; his vibrant big band arrangements have excited and inspired people for the last 25 years, and in 2013 Stan was commissioned to write an original piece for the London Jazz Festival.

Highly in demand as a sideman, Stan has worked with a host of musicians, including: John Taylor, Jim Mullen, Nikki Iles, Mike Gibbs, Marc Copland, Allan Botchinksy, European Jazz Ensemble, Kit Downes, Michael Brecker and Gil Evans.

‘It simply doesn’t get any better than this’ John Kelman

Jazz pianist/composer Kate Williams was born in London into a musical family (her father is the guitarist John Williams, her mother a classical pianist). A recipient of the John Dankworth Award For Talent Deserving Wider Recognition, she has gained a distinctive reputation as both a writer and performer. She has released several CDs, each one to critical acclaim. Her latest album, Four Plus Three, was released in 2016 and is a unique collaboration between Kate and the Guastalla String Quartet, with repertoire including material by Bill Evans, Cole Porter and A.C. Jobim as well as originals.

She has also performed with many of the UK’s leading musicians, including Stan Sulzmann, Nikki Iles, John Etheridge, Anita Wardell, Georgia Mancio, Dave Cliff, Tony Woods, Tim Whitehead, Julian Siegel, Karen Sharpe, Allison Neale, and is a member of Chris Biscoe’s Mingus Moves.

“…crisp, incisive and totally at one with the rhythmic ebb and flow.” **** The Observer

Tickets £14 from the Box Office on 01483 501200


October 23rd Pete Oxley & Nicolas Meier

Following their sell-out appearance in Guildford in 2017, virtuoso guitarists Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier once again visit the intimate setting of the Jazz Cafe, as part of their “Colours of Time” 2018 UK Tour.

Expect a dazzling display of contemporary fare, ranging from Turkish panache to soundscapes of Latin America to English pastoralism. This is music to indulge your musical senses, so “Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that this is something exclusively for guitar buffs, or even jazz buffs. If you love music of any kind you’ll probably fall for this”. The Observer ★★★★March 2015

Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier – guitars, Paul Cavaciuti – drums, Marianne Windham – double bass

Pete Oxley began his musical career in Paris in the mid ‘80s before relocating to the UK in 1997. Shortly afterwards he opened The Spin jazz club in Oxford which in 2012 won the Parliamentary jazz award as ‘The Best Jazz Venue In The UK’. Pete regularly performs with some of the world’s leading jazz artists including Chris Garrick, Gilad Atzmon, Tim Whitehead, Dave O’Higgins, Bobby Wellins, John Etheridge and his own band Curious Paradise. He has now released 14 critically acclaimed CDs featuring his original compositions. As a composer, Pete was recently selected as one of only a handful of British jazz musicians to have his compositions included in the definitive ‘European Real Book’ (Sher Music).

With his unique style that is a blend of Metheny-esque jazz and Turkish inspired world music, ​Nicolas Meier has toured extensively around the world with his band the Meier Group. The band, which features Gilad Atzmon and Dave O’Higgins,  won the overall prize for ‘best band’ at the Juan-les-Pins jazz festival. Nick was, for the last three years, guitarist in Jeff Beck’s band, with whom he toured worldwide. He has recently recorded a new album with the rhythm section of Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets) and Vinnie Coliauta  (Sting, Frank Zappa etc.).

“This album is a wonderful example of the high level of music that can be made by combining two great guitarists/composers/improvisers such as Pete and Nicolas. They have put together a feast of virtuosity, delivered with depth, wit and joy” ~ Ralph Towner (Oregon etc.)

‘Top ten CDs of the year’: The Telegraph ★★★★

Tickets £14 from the Box Office on 01483 501200


November 27th Phil DeGreg with Alan Barnes

A first appearance in Guildford from US piano star Phil DeGreg, accomplished and comfortable in a wide range of jazz styles ranging from mainstream to bebop. His versatility has led to performances with dozens of internationally recognised jazz artists, as well as leading and recording with his own groups. For this unique performance at the Jazz Cafe he is joined by the all time greats, the multi- award winning saxophonist Alan Barnes. 

Alan Barnes – alto sax, Phil DeGreg – piano, Marianne Windham – bass, Nat Steele – drums

Phil DeGreg began playing the piano in his childhood and now performs as a jazz pianist internationally. His earliest jazz influences were Bud Powell and Bill Evans, but he is accomplished and comfortable in a wide range of jazz styles, ranging from mainstream to bebop to Brazilian jazz. His versatility has led to professional performances with dozens of internationally recognized jazz artists, as well as leading and recording with his own groups. Phil DeGreg has released eleven recordings as a leader and has been recorded as a sideman on many other jazz projects. He is also featured with J.J. Johnson on the video “J.J. Johnson Live in Concert.”

A native of Cincinnati, Phil completed a degree in psychology from Yale University before becoming a professional musician. After three years working and studying music in Kansas City, he finished a masters degree at University of North Texas, and subsequently toured the world for a year with Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd. Later he was the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants. He was named one of the 10 finalists in Jazziz Magazine’s 1995 “Keyboardists on Fire” competition, and was a 1996 finalist in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition. For 16 years, he served as the house pianist at Cincinnati’s famous Blue Wisp Jazz Club, accompanying visiting artists on weekends. His jazz festival appearances include the North Sea, Pori, Monterey, Montreux, Brecon, Wigan, and Elkhart Jazz Festivals and he has performed in clubs and concerts worldwide. He is currently Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

Phil DeGreg is a pianist whose music always swings…the music surges with power and energy…” – Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Magazine

Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist. He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone sax, where he combines a formidable virtuosity with a musical expression and collaborative spirit that have few peers. His range and brilliance have made him a “first call” for studio and live work since his precocious arrival on the scene more than thirty years ago.

His recorded catalogue is immense. He has made over thirty albums as leader and co-leader alone, and the list of his session and side-man work includes Bjork, Bryan Ferry, Michel LeGrande, Clare Teale, Westlife, Jools Holland and Jamie Cullum. He has toured and played residencies with such diverse and demanding figures as Ruby Braff, Freddie Hubbard, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Ken Peplowski, Harry Allen and Conte Candoli.

In British jazz, the young Barnes was recognized – and hired – by the established greats of the time: Stan Tracy, John Dankworth, Kenny Baker, Bob Wilber, and Humphrey Lyttelton. But he is equally respected for his longstanding and fruitful collaborations with contemporaries such as David Newton, Bruce Adams, and Martin Taylor. Alan Barnes’s unique musicianship, indefatigable touring, and warm rapport with audiences have made him uniquely popular in British jazz. He has received over 25 British Jazz Awards and has twice been made BBC Jazz Musician of the Year.

An outstanding evening of world class jazz – advance booking highly recommended!

Tickets £14 from the Box Office on 01483 501200

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