Alex Clarke Quartet


Date: 3 October 2023
End Date: 3 October 2023
Type: open

TIME: 8.00 – 11.00PM


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Alex Clarke – sax
Dave Newton – piano
James Owston – bass
Clark Tracey – drums

The Alex Clarke Quartet brings together her fresh sound, with its firm grounding in swing and bebop, with backing from some of the most respected names in British Jazz. Their latest album, ‘Only A Year’, released in 2022, features a mix of innovative arrangements of standards, original compositions and music by the likes of Phil Woods, Erroll Garner and Paquito D’Rivera. Alex is one of the most in-demand and versatile young saxophonists emerging on the British jazz scene whose melodic sound showcases an authentic homage to the art of straight-ahead bebop.

A finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2020, winner of the Rising Star category in the 2019 British Jazz Awards and nominee in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2021. Known for her versatility and open-minded attitude towards jazz, Alex enjoys performing a range of genres from New Orleans to bebop. Praised for her extensive repertoire list and intelligent ear for harmony, she brings a youthful, intuitive approach that always sounds authentic in a variety of musical settings. Her musical voice is steeped in the tradition of jazz; her deep respect for the heritage of the music can be heard in her swinging, melodic sound which is reminiscent of Scott Hamilton and Lester Young, also heavily influenced by Phil Woods and Cannonball Adderley. As well as leading her own projects, Alex works with many bands up and down the country, performing alongside notable names such as Roy Williams, Bruce Adams, Enrico Tommaso, Gilad Atzmon, Greg Abate, David Newton, and Art Themen.

“One of the UK’s finest young jazz talents”  The Jazz Rag

 “strong and full sound… swinging, melodic and refreshingly cliché-free”  Jazz Views

Clark Tracey’s music is rooted in the bebop and hard bop traditions. He has played alongside some of the most important jazz artists at home and abroad, such as Johnny Griffin, Pharaoh Sanders, John Hicks, Bud Shank, Red Rodney, Scott Hamilton, Ronnie Scott, John Surman, Alan Skidmore, Kenny Wheeler, Alan Barnes, Don Weller and Tommy Smith. He has recorded 15 albums as a leader and has been awarded ‘Best Drums’ six times in the British Jazz Awards, most recently in 2018. Clark continues to play an ‘Art Blakey’ role by recruiting promising young players to his bands, thereby affording them the all-important exposure to audiences they deserve. Clark’s most recent album with his quintet, ‘No Doubt’, was released in 2018.

“Clark Tracey, an increasingly important catalyst in the development of young musicians…” – Jazzwise

A Fellow of Leeds College of Music in 2003 and 16 times winner of Best Pianist at the British Jazz Awards, David Newton has an impeccable record as an accompanist, collaborator, and composer, working with artists such as Martin Taylor, Alan Barnes, Don Weller, Tina May, and Claire Martin as well as running his own record label and composing for theatrical productions by playwright Alan Ayckbourn.  

James Owston is a Birmingham based double bassist and a highly active member of the UK jazz scene. As a recent graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire he received personal tutoring from esteemed bassists, Mark Hodgson and Arnie Somogyi.  

Over the past few years, James has been playing extensively and recording with artist including Clark Tracey, Paul Dunmall, Neil Yates, Jay Phelps, Xhosa Cole and many more. James performs regularly at some of the UK’s most highly regarded jazz venues including Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express, 606 Club, The Vortex, The Spotted Dog and Peggy’s Skylight. The past few years have also seen James playing and collaborating internationally in countries such as Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Thailand. 


In November 2018 James performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as a finalist for the BBC Young Jazz Musician Award. Later on in early 2020, James joined winner and long-time friend, Xhosa Cole on his first UK tour with over 20 sold out dates around the country.