Bright star of British jazz scene in Hastings

Matthew Halsall to play at St Mary In The Castle
Matthew Halsall to play at St Mary In The Castle

On October 28 St Mary in the Castle will welcome one of the brightest stars on the UK jazz scene, Matthew Halsall along with the Gondwana Orchestra. With five albums already under his belt, his languid, soulful and deeply expressive playing has won him a legion of fans with critical praise from everyone from Jamie Cullum and Gilles Peterson to Jazz FM, Mojo Magazine, The Guardian, BBC6 Music and many more.

Always pushing boundaries, Halsall’s music blends his love of the modal jazz of John and Alice Coltrane and Eastern music with evocative, rain-streaked visions from his hometown of Manchester. The result is a sublime spiritual jazz all of his own. His latest album Into Forever, takes the Halsall sound still further, influenced by contemporary electronica and the classic Cadet recordings of Dorothy Ashby and psychedelic soul arrangements of Charles Stepney (Rotary Connection, Minnie Ripperton, Terry Callier).

Performing material from the new album alongside highlights from his back catalogue, this show promises to be an evening of wonderful music in the company of some of the UK’s finest musicians - they are Jordan Smart on saxophone, Amanda Whiting on harp, Taz Modi on piano, Gavin Barras on bass and Luke Flowers on drums, plus a string quartet and special guest vocalist Josephine Oniyama.

Advance booking strongly advised. Tickets £14 from Hastings Tourist Information or

St Mary in the Castle is working in partnership with legendary Manchester music venue, Band on the Wall and Root Music to bring diverse and interesting music to Hastings as part of a strategic touring programme, subsidised by Arts Council England.

St Marys has already played host to the incendiary live talents of Chicago Jazz/Hip Hop fusion group the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble earlier this year and will also welcome folk band Lau on November 12 (described by The Guardian as ‘perhaps the best live band in the country’.)

Manager Sean Berkeley commented: “The concept of these strategic tours is to open certain types of music up to new audiences. Promoters, band on the wall and root music are looking to bring interesting and diverse acts to smaller towns that are slightly off the national touring radar, thanks to the help of the arts council we can take a risks and put on lesser known but hugely talented performers like Matthew Halsall and the Gondwana Orchestra.’