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Sage Gateshead

 →  John Pope

John Pope


John is an improviser and composer based in Newcastle upon Tyne. He plays the double bass, bass guitar, musical saw and occasionally dictaphone. An artist with a diverse and expansive creative practice, John funnels a lifelong engagement with jazz, funk, rock music, pop-culture and mysticism through the cracked vessel of the free improviser. He has performed and recorded with folk artists, jazz-fusioneers, free improv legends and at least one genuine rock star.

John currently composes and leads his own chordless jazz quintet, as well as being one third of garage-jazz trio Archipelago. He has performed and collaborated with artists including Roger Turner, Mick Beck, Rhodri Davies, Greg Spero, Field Music, Anton Hunter, Chris Biscoe, Joe McPhee, Laura Cole and many others. Outside of performance John has worked extensively as an educator, as a lecturer at Newcastle University (where he completed and MMus in 2010) and as facilitator for Jazz North East’s ‘Improvisers Workshop’, where he leads monthly practical sessions in improvisation. He has also devised music and performance for theatre, including engagements at the Edinburgh Fringe and Northern Stage.

“I am very excited to be a part of Summer Studios this year! The opportunity to dedicate some serious time to new creative ventures, surrounded by like-minded musicians and supported by Sage Gateshead, is a huge benefit to any artist trying to make dynamic new work in this era of challenges and austerity. I’m looking forward to exploring my practice as a composer and trying out new ideas with a brand new line-up of improvisers and I’m hugely grateful to Summer Studios for extending the invitation.”