Jazz Preview: Music inspired by Turner’s art at Wakefield jazz

Tim Whitehead getting turned on by JMW Turner at Wakefield Jazz tonight and the joyously unpredictable Erika Stucky descending on Hovingham next Thursday make it a week of contrast in Yorkshire.

Tenor saxophonist Whitehead and his quartet – completed by Liam Noble, piano, Pat Bettison, bass, and Milo Fell, drums – will perform themes inspired by Turner watercolour sketches which were given an enthusiastic reception at Scarborough Festival last autumn .

The relevant paintings will be projected onto a screen as Tim and his colleagues interpret them musically. Whitehead wrote the pieces – collectively titled Colour Beginnings – when he was the first musician to be artist in residence at Tate Britain. Wakefield is the start of a British tour.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Quirky, original, idiosyncratic. All these descriptions can be applied to Stucky, who appears in the congenial confines of The Shed in Hovingham village hall, which makes such a wonderful job of specialising in the unusual.

The Swiss singer and accordionist revels in applying her own twist to the unlikeliest material, with Prince’s Sometimes it Snows in April, Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock and Michael Jackson’s Bad as typical targets, not to mention compositions by Jimi Hendrix.

All are dissected with admirable gusto by Stucky who is also liable to inject a spot of yodelling into her anarchic act. This is Erika’s only UK appearance outside London in her current itinerary – the Barbican and the Royal Opera House being the only other, slightly larger, venues.