Jazz lovers in the interval break at the Progress – photo by Zoë White
Progress Theatre 6 March  |  Finding Home: Kate Williams’ Four Plus Three meets Georgia Mancio – photo by Zoë White

Welcome to 2021!

Hang out the flags, ring the bells and shout from the rooftops … Jazz in Reading, albeit in modified livestreaming form, is back in the business of presenting live jazz.

We’ve joined forces with Marianne Windham of Guildford Jazz to livestream gigs from the Boileroom Guildford.

Firm favourites Alan Barnes and Dave Newton took centre stage for the first gig on Tuesday 12 January. Notwithstanding a few teething problems that one would expect with an ambitious venture of this kind, it proved that with vision, grit and determination it is possible to overcome the challenges of the present situation. The brilliant online audience of over 350, some viewing from as far afield as Portugal, were generally agreed that the gig came close to capturing the atmosphere of late-night intimacy that we like to think inspires great jazz. Read Trevor Bannister’s review here

Plans are afoot to present three more gigs over the coming few months. These will kick off on at 7.30 Tuesday 26 January, with the BASCA award winning composer and saxophonist Trish Clowes. She will be leading My Iris, a band described by critic Dave Gelly in his 4-star review for the Observer as,  ‘An awesome foursome… With just four players, the variety of tone colour is quite remarkable and the playing … is impeccable’.

Tickets for this event at £10 are available here

Trish Clowes

Meanwhile , local trumpet hero Stuart Henderson released ‘Back To Blue Note’, his first digital album, on 16 January. Progress regulars enjoyed a foretaste of this when Stuart brought his brilliant quintet to the Progress late in 2019, when we dedicated a ‘Jazz-n-Film’ night to the 80th anniversary of the Blue Note record label. Full details of the album are available here


The times are certainly a-changin’, but we shall do our best to keep the show on the road until it becomes possible to present live jazz once again.

With all good wishes

The Jazz in Reading Team

Why not sign up to receive regular updates on these and other local jazz events by joining our mailing list here

Jazz in Reading

Jazz in Reading is a not-for-profit association of six enthusiasts who share a passion for jazz and seek to promote the best of live jazz across the Thames Valley on this website and to present regular concerts in the convivial surroundings of the Progress Theatre, Reading and beyond. Meet the Team

Jazz at Progress has played host to world class musicians such as Gilad Atzmon, Alan Barnes, Andy Sheppard, Tony Kofi, Clark Tracey, Dave Newton, Gwilym Simcock, Claire Martin,  and Art Themen, local hero Stuart Henderson, American guests Darius Brubeck, Ethan Iverson and Greg Abate, and the emerging talents of a new generation of musicians such as Xhosa Cole, BBC Young Jazz Musician of 2018, Jonny Mansfield, Tom Smith and the Ingham brothers Dom and Rory, not to mention the unique ‘jazz entertainment’ packages of Get the Blessing and the Moscow Drug Club,

We are proud to have presented ‘Finding Home’, an innovative collaboration between Georgia Mancio and Kate Williams embracing words, strings and jazz rhythm and Mark Lockheart’s ambitious orchestral suite ‘Days on Earth’.  Also, we have presented ‘Jazz & Film’ nights dedicated respectively to Tubby Hayes and the 80thAnniversary of Blue Note Records.

We hope that this broad spectrum of styles represents the very best in the contemporary UK scene with an appeal to all lovers of live jazz.  Read reviews of past gigs

Our friends at the Progress Theatre received the  well-deserved Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (the equivalent to an MBE) in 2020. The theatre, tucked away in The Mount off Christchurch Road, Reading has a special atmosphere, beloved of audiences and musicians alike. ‘Audiences listen here,’ commented one musician who regularly plays at London’s top jazz spots, while multi-instrumentalist Ben Holder said, ‘It’s a great venue. We had a blast. Brill audience!’ The Progress also has a well-stocked bar!

Preferred dining: We have a special arrangement with The Queens Head (a short stroll from the theatre at 54 Christchurch Road), offering an excellent range of food including a full à la carte menu and specials dishes. Just show your Jazz at Progress ticket for 7% discount off food and drink on the day of the show you are attending; tickets to be presented when ordering.

email: info.queensheadreading@gmail.com
tel: 0118 986 3040

Jazz Gig Calendar

When you’re in the mood to listen to live jazz, check out lots of other gigs in the area in our Jazz Gig Calendar. The calendar listings are compiled and edited by our listings editors, Paul Johnson and Jim Wade. If you’re a musician, promoter or venue owner, you can submit your gig to the calendar here

Promote Your Gig

We can help you promote your jazz gigs, at a realistic and very reasonable cost. We have a growing mailing list of 860+ jazz fans in the Reading and Thames Valley area, and active Facebook and Twitter feeds, taking our reach to well over 1,800 jazz lovers in the region. Musicians, bands, venues and promoters can contact us to find out more here

Book a party band

If you are looking for a jazz band for a party, wedding or other special occasion, let us know. We have extensive contacts in the jazz world and can help you find just the right band to suit your needs and budget.

Contact us to find out more here

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