I try and keep up to date on some of the March highlights at the Vortex in a more quirky way than on the programme. But there's a lot on and I actually wouldn't really want to say that I prefer these to others.
5 Phil Robson Organ Trio - With Phil now living in New York, his visits are to be treasured. Here with Ross Stanley (who was mind blowing last week on piano with James Allsopp and Ed Jones) and NY-meets-London drummer Gene Calderazzo.
7 Lume. Lume nights are always special, though not enough audience. Totally undeservedly really. Adam Fairhall has always sparkled when we've had him here. He'll be well prodded by Tom Ward and Olie Brice, no doubt.
10 Vein The previous gigs by this Swiss band (With Greg Osby and Dave Liebman). Now we have the chance to hear them alone. I heard some of this last year in Schaffhausen and can't wait to hear more.
11 John O'Gallagher/Hans Koller A thoughtful saxophonist is Mr O'Gallagher. Not many musicians can translate Webern for grooving jazz. John can. Glad to have him back with Hans Koller
13 Emilia Martensson with all star guests. Worth it for a great series of vocalists.
15 Sacha Rattle/Zeynep Ozsuca + Bruno Heinen. A slightly broader variety of music. As James Allsopp pointed out to me, music by Berg and Lutoslawski are almost 100 years old. So not that 'contemporary' or 'avant garde' to our ears.
18 Alice Zawadzki and Box String Quartet. We all love Alice. Box String Quartet could develop with a little help from our friends, into a new Kronos Quartet. Help them on their way!
19, 20 Festival of the Between. Alya has put together a mouth-watering combination of musicians fusing Europe and the Middle East.
25 Penny Rimbaud presents the complete war poems of Wilfred Owen. Has the founder of Crass mellowed? He was always thoughtful, but here he brings out his strong views by focussing on a great poet. He's done it here before and I was very moved.
31 The Enemy Well not really.Kit Downes, Petter Eldh and James Maddren are great guys, when you get them away from the stage, at least. Back on 1 April with a double bill of Tom Harrison Sextet.