Past Projects

'Compassionate Dictatorshiip' at the Manchester Jazz Festival (pictured with James Maddren)

'Compassionate Dictatorshiip' at the Manchester Jazz Festival (pictured with James Maddren)


Compassionate Dictatorship

Described as “catching the current wave of Brit Jazz" by Jazzwise Magazine, Compassionate Dictatorship evolved out of the long standing collaboration between Jez Franks and Tori Freestone.  Together with bassist Jasper Hoiby and drummer James Maddren, they have toured extensively since their debut album in 2007, honing and developing their sound, releasing a second album ‘Cash Cow’ in 2010 to rave reviews.

They released a third album, ‘Entertaining Tyrants’ on the ‘Jellymould Jazz’ label in early 2013 with an extensive tour and gigs throughout the year sponsored by jazz services and the PRS for music foundation.. 

this is a muscular but intelligent band playing immediately accessible, spirited but carefully wrought music” - Chris Parker, Jazz Review

this new band is another vital example of UK musicians embracing and incorporating both free jazz and rock elements into an edgy, risk taking approach to their music” - Jazzwise 

For further information visit

Fringe Magnetic

A 10 piece band led by trumpeter and loop collective member Rory Simmons.  The band has recorded three albums on the loop label and performed at the loop festival, the Elb Jazz Festival (Hamburg), Ronnie Scotts, the Brecon and Cheltenham International Jazz Festival, a live recording for Jazz on 3 and recorded for Radio 2.  The first album was released in 2010 to rave reviews in the national and international press.  The second album 'Twistic' was  released in Feb 2011 achieving 4* reviews in the Guardian and MOJO.  A third album ;Clocca' was released in October 2013.  

Line up: Ivo Neame (piano), Jasper Hoiby (bass), Ben Reynolds (drums), Tori Freestone (flute), James Allsopp (bass clarinet), Robin Finker (clarinet), Kit Massey (violin), Natalie Rosario (cello), Elizabeth Nygarrd (vocals) & Andrew Plummer (vocals).  Also featuring Jamie Cullum as guest vocalist on the second album 'Twistic' and at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Jamil Sheriff Big Band - PRS commissioned project performing Jamil's original compositons and showcasing some of the cream of the northern UK music scene. The band have already completed a northern UK tour in the Autumn 2010, and the debut album Ichthyology is to be released in 2011.  


Neil Yates' 'N-Circle' Orchestra - July 2010, Manchester Jazz Festival.
Large ensemble project commissioned for the 2010 MJF originals scheme Neil created a new suite– Surroundings – for full jazz orchestra, exploring the concept of antiphony, with all instruments placed around St Ann's church in Manchester for a ‘surround sound’ effect.. There are further performances and a recording in the pipeline.

Andy Sheppard's 'Saxophone Massive' April 2009 Fuse Leeds Festival '09.
Worked alongside Andy Sheppard as a guest soloist for 'Sax massive' a site-specific saxophone fanfare for Leeds City Museum, composed and led by the UK saxophonist.

Levan J 
Co-writing and recording with DJ/producer Levan J with releases for De Wolfe Music, SFP (USA), Soul Star (Germany), Cool Sound Music (Spain), United (NL) and VI music (Puerto Rico).

Lee Hazelwood @ The Royal Festival Hall August 2004 
Violins/saxophones/flute and backing vocals for country/rock legend Lee Hezlewood as part of the 'Heroes and Villains' Series in one of Lee Hazlewood's last live performances. 

Dave Mannington Septet
Saxes and violin with this contemporary jazz septet, featuring Phil Peskett (piano), Jez Franks (guitar), Carlos Lopez Real (alto sax), Tim Giles (drums) and Trevor Mires (trombone). Performances includind the 606 Jazz Club, the London Jazz Festival and featured on Jazz on 3

Chris Bridges' Spacial Ensemble
Flute, picc, sax, vocals in eight piece band ‘The Chris Bridges Spacial Ensemble’, featuring both London and Manchester based musicians from the free and contemporary music scenes, including John Ellis, John Thorne, Erroll Roberts and Simon Picard.  The group toured the North in October ’98, and were featured in the Manchester Jazz Festival 1999 and the RNCM

Orquesta La Timbala
Electric violin and flute in 13 piece Manchester based Cuban Roots group ‘La Timbala’ working alsongside Cuban and British musicians including Arturo Martinez and Annie Whitehead, Performances incdind the ‘Africa Centre’,‘National Theatre’, ‘Band on the Wall’, the Manchester and Bradford festivals, as well as dates in Scotland and the Drogheda Festival in Ireland.  Featured on their debut CD ‘Bara y Akina’ in 2000. 

The Creative Jazz Orchestra
Flute, alto flute and bass chair for a project with composer Django Bates alongside Ian Dixon, Andy Schofield, Mike Walker, Nikki Isles etc

Flute chair in NYJO. Performances included the Barbican, Bournemouth and Leeds Jazz Festivals, tours of the Channel Islands and Portugal, as well as featuring on several albums, and a solo feature and interview for Jazz FM