Clark Tracey Sextet

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Clark Tracey Sextet

3 December @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Clark Tracey Sextet

At Crookes Social Club, 8-11 pm

Clark Tracey: drums
Mark Armstrong: trumpet
Tom Ridout: reeds
James Wade-Sired: trombone
Gareth Williams: piano
James Owston: bass

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Following a great gig at Crookes in 2018, Clark Tracey returns to Sheffield with a new line-up and again featuring some of the most gifted young jazz musicians. Aside from Clark, a six-time winner of Best Drums in the British Jazz Awards, Tom Ridout and James Owston were both past finalists in the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year competition. They are joined by rising star James Wade-Sired and two multi-talented, experienced musicians in Mark Armstrong and Gareth Williams. From his own experience of over 40 years in jazz, Clark leads them through bebop to post-bop, a highly accessible journey that swings all the way.

Clark Tracey’s music is rooted in the bebop and hard bop traditions and her has played alongside some of the most important jazz artists at home and abroad – Americans such as Johnny Griffin, Pharaoh Sanders, John Hicks, Bud Shank, Red Rodney, and Scott Hamilton and British musicians including Ronnie Scott, John Surman, Alan Skidmore, Kenny Wheeler, Alan Barnes, Don Weller and Tommy Smith. He has recorded 15 albums as a leader and has been awarded ‘Best Drums’ six times in the British Jazz Awards, most recently in 2018. Clark continues to play an ‘Art Blakey’ role by recruiting promising young players to his bands, thereby affording them the all-important exposure to audiences they deserve. Pianists Zoe Rahman and Kit Downes plus Empirical vibraphonist Lewis Wright are just three of the musicians to have passed through the ranks of Clark’s UK version of the Jazz Messengers. Clark’s most recent album with the quintet version of this band, ‘No Doubt’ was released in 2018.

‘Another superb album from a band that sound like they have certainly got it together in the recording studio, but who should really be heard live’ – Review of ‘No Doubt’ by Nick Lea, Jazz Views

“Clark Tracey, an increasingly important catalyst in the development of young musicians… – Jazzwise

Trumpeter, composer and arranger Mark Armstrong has been a frequent member of Clark Tracey’s bands over the years. Mark also played regularly with Stan Tracey’s bands, including Stan’s big band when it performed at the BBC Proms in 2009. He has also featured on albums by both as well as Mike Garrick’s Big Band and NYJO.  Mark also plays regularly as a member of the Ronnie Scott Jazz Orchestra and with his own quartet which released the album ‘Coastbound’ in 2010.  “….Armstrong, whose solos evoke the best work of the young Freddie Hubbard, characterised by a gloriously burnished tone and a relaxed intensity…” – Richard Williams, The Blue Moment (reviewing Stan Tracey’s final album The Flying Pig)

Saxophonist Tom Ridout was a finalist in the 2016 BBC Young Jazz Musician Award, winner of the Lancaster Jazz Festival Youth Jazz Commission 2018 and a recent member of NYJO.  He is an in demand saxophonist who has performed with a range of bands and musicians including a number of Clark Tracey ensembles, Patchwork Jazz Orchestra, Gregory Porter, Nikki Iles, Gwilym Simcock and Dave Holland. He is a prolific composer who fronts his own band playing his original compositions. In 2018 Tom released his debut album ‘No Excuses’ which features a 13 piece band including traditional jazz instrumentation with a string quartet and brass trio. “fiery, focussed soloing by impressive tenor saxophonist Tom Ridout”Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise

One of the most dynamic and exciting performers on the UK scene, Gareth Williams studied music at London’s Guildhall and has been described as “…a fantastic improviser” by John Fordham in The Guardian He has worked with jazz hip-hop band Us3, as pianist/MD for singer Claire Martin and with many US jazz greats, including Art Farmer, George Coleman, James Moody and Dave Liebman, plus top British musicians such as Jim Mullen, Tommy Smith, Tim Garland and Iain Bellamy. As bandleader his own trio released their debut album ‘THREE’ (Jazz House), recorded live at Ronnie Scott’s in 2001 while his latest project, the Gareth Williams Power Trio released ‘Shock!’ (Linn Records) to great critical acclaim in March 2009. “Williams is a hugely gifted pianist, with an apparently endless fund of ideas, plus the detachment to organize them into coherent shapes’.Dave Gelly, The Observer

Bassist James Owston, studied Jazz at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where he was tutored by Arnie Somogyi, Mark Hodgson, Percy Pursglove and Mike Williams amongst others, as well as getting to perform with musicians such as Jeff Williams, Steve Cardenas and Julian Arguelles. In 2017 he joined the Clark Tracey Quintet and appeared on the band’s most recent album. James was a finalist on the 2018 BBC Young Jazz Musician contest. As well as being an active sideman, James leads his own groups, notably ‘The James Owston Mingus Quintet’ that focuses on the compositions and style of the great Charles Mingus, a strong influence for James as a bass player and composer.

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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


3 December
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Event Category:


Sheffield Jazz


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