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11 November: Garner & Pope

Powerful Tyneside bassist John Pope and virtuoso violinist John Garner make their Calstock début with their no holds barred music-making. Both internationally renowned improvisers, the duo have immersed themselves in the singular repertoire of composers including Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Garrison, Jeanne Lee, Mary Lou Williams, and Misha Mengelberg, channelling these titanic spirits through the lens of their contemporary experience in myriad musical traditions. Spontaneous, transitory and ecstatic, the pair will plunge headlong into a thrilling and, at times, terrifying world of sounds and colours.

Mercurial violinist John Garner is one of the most exciting and unusual voices to emerge in recent years, combining immaculate technique with a fearless musicality and free-wheeling improvisational aesthetic.

A graduate of the Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, formally trained in classical, jazz and South Indian music, John defies categorisation and is continually seeking new avenues of expression.

John already boasts an impressive discography as bandleader and composer (EMANATA; The Future Ancients; The John Garner Quartet)

John has toured at home and internationally with artists and groups as diverse as Chris Potter, guitarist John Williams, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Kate Williams’ Four Plus Three (Parliamentary Jazz Award 2020), Jim Rattigan’s Triplicity and Riot Ensemble.

John is a senior lecturer at Leeds Conservatoire, a Creative Learning tutor at Sage Gateshead, and a regular workshop leader in everything from improvisation and stylistics, to electronics and sampling.

Together with violinist Marie Schreer, John is the director of record label and podcast Turquoise Coconut.

John Pope is a composer, improviser and bass player living in the North East of England. His work explores the boundaries of jazz, free improvisation, rock and experimental music. He is the leader of his own chord-less quintet inspired by the music of Ornette Coleman, Misha Mengelberg and the Art Ensemble Of Chicago. John is also a founding member of award winning alt-jazz group Archipelago, and in 2020 was selected as one of the artists on Serious’ prestigious Take Five program.

John is deeply committed to the exploration of improvised music as a vehicle for both collective and solo expression. He has performed extensively as a soloist and in collaboration with internationally recognised artists including Joe McPhee, Evan Parker, Tony Bevan and many others.

He has performed at festivals across the UK and Europe, including London Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, TUSK and Gateshead International Jazz Festival, Bimhuis (Netherlands) and Area Sismica (Italy).


Tickets £12 advance, £13 on the door and £1 discount for Friends of Calstock Arts


Doors and bar 7.00pm, start time 8.00pm

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