Bird Migration: Charlie Parker Centenary Big Band

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Bird Migration: Charlie Parker Centenary Big Band

12 November @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Bird Migration:
Charlie Parker Centenary Big Band

At Crookes Social Club, 8-11 pm

John O’Gallagher, Zhenya Strigalev,
Alex Garnett, Josephine Davies: saxophones
Byron Wallen, Percy Pursglove, Robbie Robson: trumpets
Trevor Mires, Winston Rollins, Richard Henry: trombones
Hans Koller: piano
Calum Gourlay: bass
Shane Forbes: drums

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A 13-piece ensemble exploring and celebrating the musical ideas of Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker. Bird Migration is an innovative, cross-genre project from critically acclaimed composer and multi-instrumentalist Hans Koller, Head of Jazz at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. The project features a stellar group of top jazz musicians who have experience in diverse musical worlds, are characterised by a willingness to experiment and are committed to open improvising as well as being a disciplined part of an overall, innovative sound. Expect a rich soundscape reflecting Parker’s revolutionary jazz innovations as well as his interest in contemporary classical composers.

This project is a development of Hans’ critically acclaimed 2016 JazzLines commission ‘Twelve Re-inventions for George Russell’ premiered at the CBSO in Birmingham and recorded for Radio 3. Bird Migration further develops the compositional methods used that helped bring together the different worlds of contemporary jazz and contemporary classical music inspired by Parker’s interest in Stravinsky, Varèse and others. The central theme is one of connection with the jazz tradition and a musical re-imagination of Parker’s close relationships with his peers; Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Tadd Dameron, Fats Navarro and others.

Hans Koller came to England to Middlesex University where he majored in composition, then to the School of Oriental and African Studies where he obtained a masters in Ethnomusicology. He started playing in bands with Stan Sulzman and Chrs Cheek and went on to form his own group, ‘Neverland’ with Dave Whitford, Rob Townsend and Stuart Laurence. The group was augmented into a nine-piece for his début album ‘Magic Mountain’ (1997) which established him as one of the leading new UK jazz composers. He won awards for compositions, commissions by major festivals and in 2001 released ‘Lovers and Strangers’, an album featuring harpist Helen Tunstall, singer Christine Tobin and percussionist Corrina Sylvester. His next album ‘New Memorie’ was hailed as “the most expansive, expressive and exciting new jazz orchestral sound to have emerged in this country since the late-lamented Loose Tubes” by John Fordham, The Guardian.

Hans has written for Steve Lacy (‘London Ear’); worked in large groups with Evan Parker, Kenny Wheeler and Bob Brookmeyer; performed and recorded with the NDR Bigband (‘Scenic Routes’); played in groups led by Mike Gibbs, with Steve Swallow, Bill Frisell and Adam Nussbaum; with Phil Woods, Dave Liebman, and the HR and WDR Big Bands. He also started a small band with Jeff Williams and Percy Pursglove, recorded with saxophonists François Théberge and Gerd Dudek and formed a formidable creative partnership with NYC altoist John O’Gallagher. Koller’s most ambitious work, his 2016 triple vinyl release ‘Retrospection’, brought together over 30 of the world’s leading jazz musicians, including Steve Swallow, Jakob Bro and the NDR Bigband.

“An exuberant and remarkable talent, Koller’s music is full of surprises.” Ian Carr, Rough Guide to Jazz, 3rd ed.

“A force to be reckoned with on the British scene … his approach to the interplay of the historical and the contemporary is as open-minded as it is creative…” Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal

John O’Gallagher; A graduate of the Berklee College of Music John O’Gallagher is one of the most compelling alto saxophonists and composers working today, known for an innovative style which pushes the boundaries of jazz while rooted in it’s tradition. On their first meeting, Hans Koller and John O’Gallagher were memorably described by John Fordham in The Guardian as “two heavy weight theoreticians fizzing with jazz heat”. They went on to work regularly in performances and recordings, collaborating in a commission from Jazzlines for the renowned Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. John is known for his projects as a leader and as a sought after sideman having worked with artist such as Joe Henderson, Maria Schnieder, Kenny Wheeler, Billy Hart, Jeff Williams, Tom Rainey, Chris Cheek and Ralph Alessi. “a player with crisp articulation and intriguing ideas”– Jazz Times

Alex Garnett is one of the leading saxophonists in the UK being instantly recognizable by his dark, husky sound. A versatile musician Alex has enjoyed success as both a performer, composer, arranger and session saxophonist. He’s a regular sideman of choice for many visiting bands and musicians when touring in Europe and has performed with varied and diverse artists across the spectrum, such as Sir John Dankworth, Wynton Marsalis, Peter King, Van Morrison, Evan Parker, Gareth Lockrane, Phil Robson, Michael Janisch and The Rolling Stones

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Russian-born alto saxophonist Zhenya Strigalev has always been known for his intense and memorable playing with a unique sound on his saxophone. He has worked with musicians such as Eric Harland, Ambrose Akinmusire, Tim Lefebvre, Aaron Parks, Larry Grenadier and Liam Noble. Zhenya has released several albums on the Whirlwind label with an impressive cast of international musicians while his 2019 album featured a partnership with Argentinian guitarist Frederico Dannemann.

Saxophonist Josephine Davies is best known for her highly-rated trio Satori whose three albums have all received critical acclaim and whose Sheffield Jazz gigs, at Crookes in 2018 and online in 2020, were very enjoyable. Winner of Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year in the 2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards her most recent appearance at Crookes was as a member of the Whirlwind Jazz Orchestra whose gig in Autumn 2019 was a highlight of that season and featured one of Josephine’s compositions.

Trumpeter and composer Byron Wallen studied trumpet with Donald Byrd, Jimmy Owens and Jon Faddis in New York and has since played in performance and recorded with many jazz and pop artists including, George Benson, Charles Earland, Chaka Khan, Ronnie Laws, Hugh Masekela, Courtney Pine, Lonnie Liston Smith, Jean Toussaint, and Cleveland Watkiss. His most recent appearance at Sheffield Jazz was a memorable gig with his own quartet Four Corners in Spring 2019. “Byron Wallen sometimes suggests an absorbing fusion of the fragmentary lyricism of late period Miles Davis and the spiky euphoria of Don Cherry” – John Fordham, The Guardian

Percy Pursglove is a multi-instrumentalist trumpeter, double bassist, educator, improviser and composer, working internationally across a broad spectrum of jazz, contemporary classical and creative musical settings. A graduate of the Birmingham Conservatoire he also spent time studying and playing in New York. Percy has played with a wide range of jazz musicians including Bill Frissell, Michael Gibbs, Evan Parker, Peter Erskine, Django Bates, Steve Swallow, Chris Potter, Dave Liebman, Dave Holland and Norma Winstone. In 2020 he was appointed to the world famous NDR Big Band.

Robbie Robson studied Jazz at Leeds College of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and was runner up in the Perrier Young Jazz Musician award in 2000. He is a member of the London Jazz Orchestra, The Loop Collective, Gareth Lockrane’s Big Band and Frank Griffith’s Nonet. His own band Dog Soup has released an album on Loop records and Robbie has formed a trio, Clamour, with fellow Loop members Dave Manington and Paul Clarvis. He has recorded with Julian Arguelles and Bill Frisell and has worked with Tony Bennett, Jamie Cullum, Phil Woods and JTQ.

Trombonist Trevor Mires has performed and recorded with among others, George Benson, James Morrison, Sam Rivers Big Band, Michel Le Grand, Pat Metheny, Toots Theilmans and David Sanborn. Trevor was a member of jazz-funk bands Jamiroquai and Incognito, recording and touring with both for a number of years. He is currently trombonist/arranger for Sir Tom Jones and recently toured with Randy Brecker’s European Big Band, as well as recording with Radiohead and performing with the likes of Alicia Keys, Beyonce and Mark Ronson.

Trombonist Winston Rollins began playing the trombone at the age of ten and later trained at the Trinity College Of Music in London. His background is steeped in music having been in bands such as The Brand New Heavies, Incognito, Aswad, Jamiroquai and Courtney Pine. He is one of four trombonists in the brass section of Jool Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, having been a member of the band since 1994.

Richard Henry is a specialist bass trombonist and multi instrumentalist. He is a much in-demand player for live and recorded projects in pop, jazz, theatre, film, classical and contemporary music having worked with artists including; Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel, Hermeto Pascoal, Carla Bley, Stephen Warbeck, George Michael, Little Mix and Shirley Bassey. He is Professor of Trombone at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Bass Trombone in the London Jazz Orchestra, Musician at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Member of the Chineke Orchestra.

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Ticket Prices

Full – £16
Over 60s, disabled, unemployed – £14
Student with NUS card – £9
15 – 17 year olds – £4
Under 15s – Free

For now we are continuing to restrict numbers and use reserved seating. So we encourage you to book seats online in advance, to secure the seat you want and avoid missing out and to make life easier and safer for our Door Team.  It will be possible to pay for entry at the door (preferably by contactless payment) if seats are available.

Advance tickets available from


12 November
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Event Category:


Sheffield Jazz


Crookes Social Club
Mulehouse Road, Sheffield, S10 1TD + Google Map
0114 266 0114