Jazz In The Round

Barrier-Busting Music With Jazz On 3's Jez Nelson.

Mon 29 Feb to Mon 25 Jul

Jazz In The Round

A Cockpit Production



Every last Monday of the month we gather the finest musicians we can find and throw them together in a barrier busting night with Jazz on 3 presenter Jez Nelson. 




Django Bates Solo
Free improv featuring Evan Parker, Orphy Robinson, Laura Jurd and Alexander Hawkins

Tickets £12 (free to Cockpit Supporters Of Sound)

DJ set in the bar with Jez Nelson & Chris Phillips from 7pm

Main acts on the main stage at 8pm 



While Empirical’s moniker implies cool detachment and disinterested observation, the quartet has become one of Europe’s top jazz ensembles by creating a bracing sound rife with rolling emotion. The band builds on the extroverted improvisational ethos of the 1960s New Thing, embracing oblique harmonies, translucent textures and jagged, quick shifting rhythms. Featuring Nathaniel Facey (alto saxophone), Shaney Forbes (drums), Lewis Wright (vibraphone) and Tom Farmer (bass), Connection is the fifth Empirical album.  Slated for release on Cuneiform on 18th March, it captures the ensemble at its most pure and potent.

Connection is a programme of original music that unfolds with the kind of intuitive momentum generated by a great set.  Opening with Famer’s concise stop-and-start ‘Initiate the Initiations’ the album kicks off like a carnival parade driven by Forbe’s deft trap work. ‘Anxiety Society’ pits Facey’s discursive alto against Wright’s calm and cool vibes, caught in a labyrinth, searching for a way out. They explore a different kind of disorientation on ‘Maze’, a piece that sways to-and-fro in various directions before breaking apart as the centre cannot hold.  Facey offers several surprises on ‘Stay the Course’ the album’s longest track.  With three distinct sections, it opens with a brooding theme, moves to an introverted swagger and resolves with a long skittering vibes solo that’s unlike anything else on the album. Wright contributes some of the album’s most divergent tracks, from the seductive tranquillity of ‘Lethe’ to the angular ‘Mind Over Mayhem’. In a fascinating pairing, Wright’s ‘It’s Out of Your Hands’ follows, closing the album on a soft insinuation ostinato. It’s another moment of probing contemplation on a musical journey marked by unanticipated swerves and cutting drama.

“Each of our previous album was an experiment, where we included various guests from a string quartet to a pianist to bass clarinet,” Farmer says. “This time we went into a great sounding studio with just the four of us. Connection is an accurate representation of what we’re doing now, what our gigs sound like. This is our expression.”



Django Bates is a pianist, Eb horn player, and composer who credits the variety of musical influences in his work to his childhood. His father is a collector of Jazz, and Romanian and African folk music.

A founder member of Loose Tubes, Django was a leading light in the 1980s European jazz renaissance. The Dutch Metropole Orchestra, The Brodsky Quartet, Joanna MacGregor, Britten Sinfonia, Royal Shakespeare Company, and Duisburg Philharmonic are some of the many groups that have commissioned new works from Django. As an internationally respected musician he has appeared alongside Bill Bruford, Dudu Pukwana, Sidsel Endresen, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Tim Berne, and Ronnie Scott. In 1997 Django was awarded the prestigious Danish Jazzpar prize, dubbed the ‘Nobel Prize of Jazz’.

Django was the inaugural artistic director of FuseLeeds04: UK’s biennial new music festival. For the opening concert he composed ‘Umpteenth Violin Concerto’ for violinist Ernst Kovacic and, in honour of improvising saxophonist Evan Parker’s 60th birthday, Django commissioned sixty composers including Gavin Bryars, Laurie Anderson, Sir Patrick Moore and John Zorn to write one bar each. He then quilted these bars into the piece ‘Premature Celebration’ which was performed by The London Sinfonietta with Evan Parker and Paul Lytton improvising to music they had never previously heard.

In 2010 Django released Belovèd Bird LM004: a celebration of his childhood hero Charlie Parker, for which he used the classic acoustic piano trio constellation, beloved of jazz listeners and players throughout the world. In September 2012   Django continued the exploration of Parkers  work with the  release of the  album Confirmation LM007. Django’s originals stand in their own right but also serve to recontextualise Parker’s lines, using the same rhythmic and harmonic signature that is brought to bear in the re-workings of “Donna Lee”, "Confirmation", et al

Norrbottensmusiken commissioned The Study of Touch which  work received  its world premier On the  1st  June 2013 at  The New Directions  festival ,  Kulturens Hus Luleå Sweden  and its UK Premier  at The   Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms on 28th August 2013.  Django Bates  was honoured with  BASCA /PRS  British Composers Award, Contemporary Jazz Composition for the  work in December 2014.

Django  Bates  is  currently  a professor of jazz at University of the Arts, Bern, Switzerland.


Evan Parker took up the saxophone at the age of 14.
Early influences included Paul Desmond, Eric Dolphy, and above all John Coltrane. After witnessing the Cecil Taylor Trio with Jimmy Lyons and Sunny Murray in full flood in New York in 1962 he was, as he says, "marked for life", converted to the intensities of free jazz. Back in England, he gradually found players to share his fervour, including John Stevens and the members of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble - Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Rutherford, Derek Bailey and others - and, importantly, Peter Kowald, who made the introductions to the German scene. Parker played on Peter Brötzmann's still dangerous 'Machine Gun' in '68 and, before the 60s had run their course, had also recorded with Manfred Schoof and Pierre Favre. In 1970 he joined the Alex von Schlippenbach Trio, of which he is still a member, and subsequently the Globe Unity Orchestra. By this point the hallmarks of his unique style were established, his combinations of circular breathing, tonguing, rhythm patterns, overtones and polytones making his sound instantly recognisable.

Free improvised music has accounted for most of Parker's activities over the last forty years, whether playing solo or in groups, but both jazz and art music composers have also deployed the arresting physicality of his sound as a contrasting and energising element. His saxophones have been heard inside jazz big bands led by Kenny Wheeler, Chris McGregor, Barry Guy, Stan Tracey and Charlie Watts and in the chamber music of Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, Frederic Rzewski and others.

A major force in European improvising, Parker has collaborated, too, with American innovators, amongst them Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley, Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis and Wadada Leo Smith. He has also been sought out by artists on the experimental fringe of pop music, and Scott Walker, Robert Wyatt, Annette Peacock, David Sylvian, Jah Wobble, Spring Heel Jack, and Squarepusher have all called upon the sonorities that only Evan Parker's saxes can provide.

The reiterative, intricately-detailed patterns of Parker's soprano saxophone improvisations can recall the 'loops' of systems music. Aspects of electronics have long interested him; already in 1969, in the Music Improvisation Company, his saxophone phrases responded to the tweaked coil microphones of Hugh Davies. In the subsequent duo with Paul Lytton, raw live electronics were again frequently foregrounded. Since 1990 Parker has led the Electro-Acoustic Ensemble whose radical cross-referencing of improvisation and real-time sound processing has brought fresh sound-colours into the music as well as new ways of working Ð Ensemble member Richard Barrett has spoken of the EAE providing a model for a new kind of improvising orchestra.

Evan Parker appears on more than 200 recordings on labels including ECM, FMP, Emanem, Incus, Ogun, Po Torch, Okka, Island, CBS, RCA etc. In 2001, he founded his own label, Psi.




Each month we are lucky enough to have Steven Cropper with us to take photographs and capture the music magic that happens here. 
Catch up on, or re-live a back catalogue of Jazz In The Round events on his photography blog site Transient Life  where you can marvel at his moment capturing images and read his summary of each show.  
Below is a snippet of last months gallery & blog.. 


 31st January:  ENEMY, JULIE KJAER & BAHLA

Jazz In The Round was back in town last night and, my goodness, were we ready for it!? The Windsor Castle Contingent was a little constrained, however; dry January? too many competing gigs? hmmmm, we’ll try to do better next month.

It was our stroke of luck that The Cockpit is producing something at the moment that had required the erection of a small proscenium arch and, doubly lucky, it had to be left up for the gig. Whoa! Dave Wybrow – we want this left up the whole time; it created a very stylish backdrop creating the feeling of some kind of debauched cabaret; all we needed was a temporary suspension of the smoking ban and waiter service to complete the scene. Also, the lighting was a lot whiter than usual, which was grand: the whole setting is just such a special one for music or theatre production. Magical and wondrous place. Read more...




We were very proud to be a part of last year's EFG London Jazz Festival.

We had sell out Jazz fairy tale MOLLY & THE OWL, a Free afternoon of improvisation in ADVENTURES IN SOUND, plus a night exploring the parallels between JAZZ & SURGERY in a Jazz in The Round Special with trauma surgeon and Professor of Surgical Education Roger Kneebone, Consultant Neurosurgeon Mark Wilson, pianist Liam Noble and drummer Ollie Howell with his SEXTET!





For 100 quid you get free entry to 10 Jazz In The Round  shows - saves £20 (or 6 beers) - plus half price tickets to Jazz In The Round special events, contemporary chamber music, studio opera plus free tickets to shows and a load of other stuff. Save money, support new music at The Cockpit and try something new.

Go on. You know you want to. Click here.



“Jazz in the UK is growing: Free music, electronica, more mainstream things, dance music and big bands. excellent players coming out of colleges and great things rising up from underground scenes. Plus we're still lucky to be able to hear great legends of UK jazz who started out in the 60's as well as new artists just finding their feet. We want to mix all of this.” Jez Nelson


Every month our artist in residence Gina Southgate paints the action as it happens.

You can see her work on display in our foyer, view it on her website, and watch her at it live on the night.


Later 2015 lineup TBC includes:

Iain Ballamy, Steve Williamson, Sam Eagles Qt, Ashley Henry trio, Nick Smart, Moss Freed's Let's Spin, Marc Cary Focus Trio, Rob Luft band

Keep your jazz juices flowing with this video from the first ever JAZZ IN THE ROUND.

For The Cockpit, Jazz In The Round has reinvented an iconic event.
Forty years ago Humprey Burton broadcast T. Rex, among others, from the iconic seventies theatre off Marylebone’s Lisson Grove as part of the London Weekend Television Music In The Round series (Video p.1 - Video p.2). 

For those that were at the Phronesis recording a while back , you may see yourself here in this delightful trailer


Jez Nelson, everyone at The Cockpit, Sean Corby, Chris Phillips, everyone at Somethin Else and Richard Wyatt wish to thank all of  you for joining is in completing a 3rd year of JAZZ IN THE ROUND.




BOOKING TICKETS: For tickets call The Cockpit box office on: 020 7258 2925 (lines open 10.30am-6pm, Mon to Sat), or click the link. Please have your credit or debit card details handy when you call. We do not charge booking fees either online or over the phone. We do not post out tickets. Once you have booked and paid, you can collect your tickets on the night, on the door. Please arrive in good time - and bring proof of concessionary status if applicable, a note of your online booking reference number (or a print-out of your confirmation) or the card you paid with if you booked over the phone. Box Office for ticket collection and purchase closes at 9pm sharp. For artist submissions, email Sean at freedominstructure@yahoo.co.uk