Tommaso Starace & Dave O’Higgins Quartet

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Tommaso Starace & Dave O’Higgins Quartet

Fri 08 04 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 10:45 pm

Tommaso Starace & Dave O’Higgins Quartet

At Crookes Social Club, 8-10.45 pm

Tommaso Starace: alto sax
Dave O’Higgins: tenor sax
Alec Dankworth: bass
Jacob Miazga: drums

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Italian alto saxophonist Tommaso Starace, now based in London, joins forces with acclaimed British tenor player Dave O’Higgins. Working in tandem and supported by a fine rhythm section their performance will include original compositions and skilful arrangements of jazz standards from the likes of Monk, Coltrane and Gillespie. Starace and O’Higgins are well matched and complement each other, while the interplay between them makes for a spirited dialogue and for each to stretch out and deliver thrilling individual solos. Expect joyful, contemporary jazz with inventive and fluent improvisation from this world class twin saxophone front line.

Tommaso Starace moved to the UK in 1994 where he graduated at Birmingham Conservatoire and later at the Guildhall School. He has performed with many respected jazz musicians including Billy Cobham, David Liebman, Kenny Wheeler and Stan Sulzmann. In 2004 he collaborated with award winning film composer Dario Marianelli in recording music for ‘This Little Life’, a BBC drama for Channel Four. His 2013 album ‘Simply Marvellous!’ featuring arrangements of Michel Petrucciani compositions in homage to the late French pianist and composer. Tommaso has worked regularly with musicians from both the UK and Italy with concurrent British and Italian quartets. He refers to this band as the Harmony Less Quartet as gets its title from the absence of a harmonic instrument, such as the guitar or piano, which gives the opportunity to both horns to improvise with more harmonic freedom. In 2018 he recorded an album ‘Narrow Escape’ with such a quartet with Dave O’Higgins.

“…cerebral arrangements married with vital rhythmic structures and superlative soloing. This is hard bop but with a twenty first century edge” – Roger Farbey, AlllAboutJazz 4* review of ‘Narrow Escape’

“This is an absolutely cracking band that plays hard and swings hard…”  – JazzViews,net

With 22 albums as leader to his credit Dave O’Higgins has twice won Best Tenor Sax in the British Jazz Awards. His most recent appearance at Crookes was a great gig with Rob Luft as part of their ‘O’Higgins and Luft Play Monk and Trane’ for which they were nominated for Best Band in the 2020 Parliamentary Jazz Awards on the back of a 40-date album tour. Dave has worked with some of the world’s finest musicians, including: Phil Woods, Jimmy Smith, Nancy Wilson, Peggy Lee, Kurt Elling, Wayne Shorter, Eddie Gomez and Abdullah Ibrahim. When he’s not on the road, Dave’s also an in-demand producer, most recently producing Matt Bianco’s album ‘Gravity’. Dave’s 2017 recording ‘It’s Always 9:30 in Zog’ received a British Jazz Award nomination, while he was nominated ‘Best Tenor Saxophonist’.

“O’Higgins plays with quite exceptional fluency and his fund of ideas never runs out.”… –  The Observer

“A stunning player in the neo-bop vein, with an apparently effortless flow of coherent ideas, beautiful time and a highly developed harmonic sense.”Jazz Guide

Alec Dankworth is an award-winning jazz bassist and composer. In 1980 he joined his parent’s band, the Cleo Laine/John Dankworth quintet, touring the world. Alec went to the Guildhall School of Music for a while before heading for Berklee College of Music with his bass guitar. In addition to leading several groups of his own he has worked with an amazing list of artists including Van Morrison, Stephane Grappelli, Abdullah Ibrahim and The Dave Brubeck Quartet. He is known for his energetic stage presence, versatility of style and some of the most imaginative bass solos around. “elegant stability, big sound, sure beat and thoughtful spontaneity”  – John Fordham, The Guardian

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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


Fri 08 04 2022
8:00 pm - 10:45 pm
Event Category:


Sheffield Jazz


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