Rachael Cohen Quartet

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Rachael Cohen Quartet

Fri 21 01 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 10:45 pm

Rachael Cohen Quartet

At Crookes Social Club, 8-10.45 pm
doors open 7.20 pm

Rachael Cohen: alto sax
Will Barry: piano
Joe Downard: bass
Shane Forbes: drums

(Photo credit; Carl Ulrich Ross-Mohl)

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Saxophonist Rachael Cohen, one of the brightest emerging talents of her generation, makes her Sheffield Jazz debut leading her own band, featuring rising stars Will Barry and Joe Downard with Shane Forbes of Empirical fame. Rachel, who impressed when in Sheffield with the Jensen Sisters’ orchestra, is a prolific composer and an imaginative player. Her tone and fluent, lyrical improvising style is often compared to the jazz greats of the Cool School but also displays a harder edge when the music demands it. Expect an absorbing mix of blues, ballads and bop inspired tunes from the jazz catalogue and Rachael’s own compositions. 

As lead alto for a number of years in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland and Tommy Smith’s Youth Jazz Orchestra, Rachael Cohen cut her teeth playing alongside great British and international artist. While studying at The Birmingham Conservatoire she also sought out opportunities to study with artists Dave Holland, Lee Konitz, Mike Gibbs, Ingrid Laubrock, Larry Grenadier and Jon Irabagon during their local engagements. Whirlwind Records founder Michael Janisch was so impressed with her playing that he made her the label’s first female band leader and co-produced of her critically-acclaimed debut album ‘Halftime’. The album earned four star reviews from major publications and a spot in MOJO magazine’s top ten Jazz Albums of 2014. Rachael continues to work extensively across the UK with her own bands, other projects and became a mainstay at London clubs such as Ronnie Scott’s, hosting her own, often sold out, ‘late shows’ and The Vortex, as well as having residencies at other clubs throughout London.

 “…Cohen takes a softly devious approach reminiscent of Lee Konitz – but, as with the canny Cool School veteran, the quietness is deceptive and the subtlety is in the weighting of phrases and the hipness with which she plays off the rhythm section.”  – The Guardian


Pianist Will Barry is a graduate from the Royal Academy and was winner of the Musicians’ Company Jazz Young Musician Award in 2017. He has played with many UK jazz greats including Mark Lockheart, Stan Sulzmann, Clark Tracey and Jean Toussaint and is part of numerous projects, most prominently Phronesis bassist Jasper Høiby’s group ‘Fellow Creatures’, one of the bands with whom he has previously appeared in Sheffield. Whilst living in Spain Will appeared with numerous Spanish and Cuban musicians and recorded at the Berklee College campus in Valencia. With his deft touch and finely honed musicality, Will’s playing is a joy to hear.

“…sensitive and fluid – a beautiful sound”… – Chucho Valdés

Joe Downard is a crucial component to many of the UK’s top rhythm sections that range from modern contemporary Jazz and Soul to Electronic and West African music. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Centre, Gregory Porter and with some of the top UK jazz instrumentalists, including the Alex Hitchcock Quintet, Jazz/Soul singer Judi Jackson and was last in Sheffield as part of Andrew McCormack’s trio in June 2020 when his own debut album ‘Seven Japanese Tales’ was released. ‘Anyone who doubts there’s a UK jazz scene worth taking note of should listen to Joe Downard’s album. A truly impressive debut.’ – Jasper Høiby

Shane Forbes is one of the most in demand drummers in the UK Shane has worked with most of the great names on the British jazz scene and beyond including Jean Toussaint, Soweto Kinch, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Courtney Pine,  Robert Mitchell, Nathaniel Facey, Steve Williamson  and Steve Grossman.  As well as running his own band ‘Wave’, essentially a collective of musicians he has worked closely with over the years, Shane is co-leader/founder of the MOBO award winning group Empirical.

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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

We encourage you to book tickets online in advance, to 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 www.ticketsource.co.uk/sheffield-jazz


Fri 21 01 2022
8:00 pm - 10:45 pm
Event Category:


Sheffield Jazz


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