American singer, songwriter and saxophonist Curtis Stigers has been performing in the North East of England for the last three decades. 

Throughout this time, the US-based artist has become familiar with the region and the differences between Newcastle and Gateshead along with the Geordie sense of humour. Curtis Stigers informs the audience that he has become acquainted with many of the area’s delicacies and beverages including both stotties and Newcastle Brown Ale, as well as picking up the local lingo with the occasional ‘Why aye man’ thrown into his onstage banter this evening.

Of course, the versatile jazzman has established somewhat of a rapport with his Tyneside based fans and as such the North East has become home away from home for the Boise, Idaho native. On this annual Bonfire Night he even thanks the audience for putting on a firework display to mark his return, much to their amusement.

Last year Curtis Stigers released his latest live album One More for the Road via Concord Records whilst working alongside the Danish Radio Big Band in Copenhagen. Stigers latest offering features reinterpretations of many of Frank Sinatra’s timeless classics. However, for those who prefer to experience the man himself in concert, tonight’s show at the Sage Gateshead gives his fans the opportunity to hear some of the tracks featured on the record performed live and in person, as well as a whole lot more.

This evening’s show spans two sets which traverses Stigers extensive discography of original compositions along with reworking’s of songs by many of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. This includes songs from a whole raft of artists that have inspired Curtis including the likes of Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Willie Dixon, John Lennon and Michael Jackson, to name but a few.

The show features an eclectic mix, to say the least, but each interpretation is greatly effective in tonight’s almost 2-hour performance. The works of each of the aforementioned artists are given a new lease of life thanks to Curtis and his incredible four-piece backing band. Stigers puts his one distinctive jazz imprint into the mix and by doing so he makes each of these songs his own.

In a setlist that is sprinkled with covers, it is Stigers incredible take on Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon”, which truly stands out in the set. During the track, Curtis channels the late great crooner himself, and as a result, brings a sense of old-school cool to the proceedings.

Of course, there’s plenty of room for many of Stigers original compositions including 90s classics such as the unmistakable “You’re All That Matters To Me” and “I Wonder Why”.  The latter of which being the penultimate song of the evening, before the show is brought to a fitting finale with his take on the 20’s jazz standard “Bye Bye Blackbird”.

Tonight Curtis Stigers well and truly charms the Sage Gateshead during a performance which is packed full of musical fireworks on this Guy Fawkes Night.

Curtis Stigers 
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Event Date: 05-Nov-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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