• Doors Open: 7:30 pm
  • Event Start: 8:00 pm
  • Theatre
  • Admission: £15

Led by bassist and composer Alison Rayner, multi award-winning quintet ARQ are widely celebrated from several years of extensive UK and European touring – and critically acclaimed for their three album releases August (2014) , A Magic Life (2016) and Short Stories (2019). Their music combines richly nuanced compositions, rhythmic interplay and folk-infused melodies; this, along with their love of improvisation, creates a strong sense of narrative and cinematic quality. ARQ play ‘songs without words’ and are lauded for their vibrant, communicative performances.

Short Stories, their most recent album, supported by Arts Council England and the PRS Foundation, garnered extensive press acclaim and international radio play; its release was followed by a twenty- four date UK promotional tour with one of the songs from the album ‘There is a Crack in Everything’ subsequently winning a 2019 Ivor Novello Composer Award.

ARQ’s recent appearances include London’s Ronnie Scott’s and Pizza Express Jazz Clubs, Poole Lighthouse, Gateshead Sage and Liverpool Capstone Theatre; jazz festivals include EFG London, Birmingham, Swanage and Ribble Valley. They band are currently previewing new material from their forthcoming album (working title ‘All Will Be Well’) with release expected later in 2023.

ARQ are:
Alison Rayner: bass

Buster Birch: drums

Deirdre Cartwright: guitar

Diane McLoughlin: saxophone

Steve Lodder: piano
★ Ivor Novello Composer Awards 2019 Alison Rayner
★ All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2018 Ensemble of the Year
★ British Jazz Awards 2018 Best Small Group (Public Vote)


A collection of eight perfectly formed originals. ★★★★ BBC Music Magazine
...Tells its tales through strong melodies, sinewy rhythms and luminous solos, is by turns tender and exuberant...a great album.★★★★ All About Jazz
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