Monday 3 October 2022, 8pm

Holding Hands

£14 £12 Advance £7 MEMBERS

Co-led by two Norwich-based musicians - trumpeter Chris Dowding and saxophonist Rob Milne, holding hands is:

Chris Dowding / trumpet
Raph Clarkson / trombone & electronics
Dee Byrne / alto sax & electronics
Rob Milne / tenor sax & bass clarinet
Ben Higham / tuba
Martin Pyne / vibraphone
Mark Howe / samples, electronics & guitar
Andrew Lisle / drums

Halfway split between Norwich and London, the individual experience brought to holding hands includes Dee Byrne’s work with her quintet Entropi, Raph Clarkson’s groups Resolute and Dissolute Society, and tuba player Ben Higham’s own octet, The Brass Monkeys.

In May 2021 they completed a UK tour with the Arts Council-funded 'Critical Time' project, which also included a commission from Norfolk and Norwich Festival featuring visuals made with a South Norfolk school group.

Tonight's gig launches their new cassette/download release, 'social butterfly EP', out on the 33Jazz label, with two special guests - poet John Hegley (with pieces from a new collaborative story project) and vocalist Brigitte Beraha.

Chris Dowding

Chris Dowding is a trumpeter and workshop leader based in Norwich. He performs regularly around the UK with Natural Causes ( and Rude 2.0 (with the trombonist Annie Whitehead), and leads the Moonrise Trio. He has been commissioned by Durham Brass Festival, has led workshops with Spitalfields Music and Dartington, and enjoys swimming.

Raph Clarkson

Raph Clarkson has extensive experience as a UK trombonist, including performing with World Service Project, Laura Jurd, and with his own groups Resolute and Dissolute Society. Raph also has significant experience of workshop leading, including with Spitalfields Music and English National Opera.


Dee Byrne is known as one of the most exciting improvisers in the UK, through her work with saxophonist Cath Roberts, her quintet Entropi and the electronic duo Deemer. Through the organisation LUME, with Cath, she has produced live events (including in London Jazz Festival), made available an excellent series of releases on the Luminous label, and performed around Europe.

Rob Milne

Rob Milne is the Norwich-based saxophonist who studied at Middlesex University. He is a long-standing member of the groups Mimika and Nebula Sun, and leads his own Double Trio. Recent activity has also included creating electronic music.

Ben Higham

Ben Higham is the leader of the 'improvising brass band' The Brass Monkeys, which has recently performed sold-out concerts at Pizza Express, London, amongst other performances. He founded the organisation Community Music East in 1985, and was Director of the organisation for 25 years. He performs with the trio Arthur, is an occasional guest with The People Band, and plays tuba in the Moonrise Trio led by Chris.

Martin Pyne

Martin Pyne has emerged as one of the most exciting vibraphone improvisers. His output has included several solo albums, often reflecting his significant work with contemporary dance, as well as collaborating with leading UK jazz musicians, in groups such as Kepler Orbit (with saxophonist Tom Ward), and a duo with pianist Stephen Grew. His recent solo album 'Spirits of Absent Dancers' was released on the Discus Music label.

Mark Howe

Mark Howe is a community arts practitioner and performing artist whose practice is rooted in the spontaneous music making approaches developed by John Stevens et al. He is a core member of the Neutrinos/KlangHaus and is a musician for The Irene Taylor Trust.

Andrew Lisle

Andrew Lisle is the London-based drummer who performs regularly with saxophonist Colin Webster and guitarist Dirk Serries, with releases on the Raw Tonk and New Wave of Jazz labels. He studied at Leeds College of Music, as well as having a period in Portugal working with some of Lisbon’s veteran improvisers. Now based in London, he works regularly with saxophonist Alan Wilkinson and clarinettist Alex Ward.

John Hegley

John Hegley is the 'scandalously talented' poet who grew up in Luton and is now based locally in Newington Green. He has appeared on BBC Radio several times, was poet in residence at Keats House, and has recently led an Arts Council-funded project introducing school children to art galleries.

Brigitte Beraha

Brigitte Beraha is the London-based vocalist who has been a longstanding member of the groups Solstice and Babelfish. Her new group Lucid Dreamers has been critically acclaimed and appeared at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of London Jazz Festival, as well as being played on BBC Radio 3.

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