25th year party – Wednesday May 14


We’re feeling so excited about our 25th year party that we’ll be pouring glasses of champagne FREE to the first 25 people who arrive at the Vortex. Doors will open at 8pm, it will be a very busy night so do book your tickets – or arrive early, pay on the door and have a champagne start to the evening.

Lovely rehearsal with Louise and Mervyn, great South African and Latin influenced tunes, Ruby and Josefina all set.

Join us for an evening of exuberant playing, Latin and African influences mixed with blues and jazz, older excerpts from Guest Stars days, shiny new songs from Ruby Thompson and very special guest Mervyn Afrika.
Come and help us as we celebrate the first TWENTY FIVE YEARS of Blow the Fuse!
We look back, we peer forward….

Blow the Fuse celebrates 25 years.
and we have the musicians from our very first night in 1989!
Louise Elliott sax/flute & Cheryl Alleyne drums.
With special guests Mervyn Afrika piano, Josefina Cupido voice, percussion and Ruby Thompson voice, guitar, piano, ukulele
Hosting, toasting and playing – Deirdre Cartwright and Alison Rayner.

Louise Elliott virtuoso flute and sax player has played regularly with Grand Union, Penny Rimbaud and Yusuf Ali Khan.
Cheryl Alleyne Studied Jazz and Classical music at the College of Arts & Technology and then returned to London where she worked with Loose Tubes, The Jazz Warriors and rap/hip-hop group ‘Us3’.
Mervyn Afrika has been one of the great names of South African jazz for the last 30 years. He creates sumptuous piano improvisation and composition drawing from his rich cultural and musical background.
Josefina Cupido is a charismatic vocalist and percussionist with a unique voice that sits between Phoebe Snow and cante flamenco.
Ruby Thompson will be singing with guitar, piano, ukulele and a paper cup!

The Vortex Jazz Club
11 Gillett Street
London N16 8JH
Doors 8pm First set 8.45pm £10 concessions available

Adm £10 concessions available
020 7254 4097 between 12 and 6pm on weekdays to book by phone
Online booking: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/268744

Friday eves in the candlelit medieval St Mary’s Church on Stoke Newington Church Street

Friday April 11

Deirdre Cartwright/Baluji Shrivastav ensemble
Deirdre Cartwright guitar, Baluji Shrivastav sitar, Alison Rayner bass, Linda Shanovitch, vocals, foot percussion, Yosuf Ali Khan tabla drums

Indian sitar player explores Ragas and improvisation with jazz guitarist Deirdre Cartwright.

balujisitar-back-wcoat-smiling_webBaluji Shrivastav is one of the greatest instrumentalists India has produced excelling in sitar, surbahar, dilruba, pakhavaj and tabla.

“Virtuoso multi-instrumentalist” The Times

Firmly established in the Hindustani classical tradition he delights in exploring music in all its forms – recently entertaining the world at the closing ceremony of 2012 Paralympic Games with Chris Martin and Coldplay. He composes for film, dance, theatre and original works for Western orchestras and Indian ensembles. He has recorded with Massive Attack, Madness, the Doves, Amorphous Androgynous, and performed with great artists such as Stevie Wonder.  He has his own Jazz ensemble Jazz Orient/Re-Orient and has recorded several albums.

plus Shama Rahman Quartet 

Sitar and vocals from rising young composer

MG_3992The Shama Rahman Band are masters of what they dub “Urban Folk” – mixing music from English, Bengali, Bulgarian and West African traditions, jazz to dubstep, punk to folk, spoken word to bosa nova, Singer/Sitarist/Composer Shama weaves stories that start life as poems and take flight as songs. The album features musicians from Bengal, Britain and around the world, recorded in support from Gabriel Prokofiev’s Non-Classical studios. It is already garnering praise from the likes of Gilles Peterson. The sitar is played in the context of storytelling, musically arranged to sit within layered harmonies and complex grooves of a 4-piece band. Expect a performance of challenging musical beauty.

June 13

Annie Whitehead 4
Trombone virtuoso with South African and ska influences.
with Steve Lodder keyboards, Jennifer Maidman bass, Liam Genockey drums

plus World Music Workshop Big Band.
An exciting blend of music from twenty horns, featuring jazz, african and latin grooves, under the leadership of Annie Whitehead. Repertoire includes tunes by Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, Duke Ellington and Diane McLoughlin.

Wednesday nights at the Vortex Jazz Club

March 12

Daphna Sadeh and the Voyagers


Daphna Sadeh bass compositions,
Stewart Curtis clarinets, flutes, recorders,
Ivor Goldberg guitars, 
Mark Bassey trombone,
Eddie Hession accordion,
Guy Schalom percussion & drums

A rich tapestry of Balkan, Klezmer, Middle Eastern and jazz led by acclaimed composer and double bassist Daphna Sadeh. The band have played festivals and clubs in UK and Europe and Daphna’s fourth CD is due for release this year.

“…a brilliant and hypnotic mix of Jazz,Western classical, Middle Eastern, Arabic Taqsim and Jewish music reflecting her eclectic life experiences. Seductive and powerful music…” John Zorn.

plus Bow and Bellows

Sally Davies and Martina Schwarz – violin, horn, accordion
A stunningly versatile duo – Klezmer, Balkan and Gypsy music with occasional sorties to savour the musical traditions of other countries.



May 14

Louise Elliott sax/flute & Cheryl Alleynedrums.
Blow the Fuse celebrates 25 years with the musicians from our very first night! With special guest Mervyn Afrika

Louise Elliott, virtuoso flute player has played regularly with Grand Union, Penny Rimbaud and Yusuf Ali Khan in his monthly series From Bengal to Bethnal Green.

July 2

ARQ album launch. A winner of the Jazz Services Recording Subsidy Award for 2013, bass player and composer Alison Rayner leads this contemporary jazz quintet.
Original compositions draw on a love for lyrical melodies, deep grooves and influences from folk, funk and Latin.

Diane McLoughlin saxophone, Deirdre Cartwright guitar, Steve Lodder piano, Buster Birch drums.

With her big warm acoustic sound, faultless time, tuning and taste and creative solo ability, she clearly belongs in the front rank of contemporary bassists.”Digby Fairweather

Plus Flo Moore Trio Double bassist currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music.

The Vortex Jazz Club 11 Gillett Street, London N16 8JH
Bookings: 020 7254 4097 Online: www.vortexjazz.co.uk

St Marys Old Church, Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 9ES
Online bookings: http://www.wegottickets.com

Both venues: Doors 8pm First set 8.45pm £10 concessions available

>>>>>>> 2014 Celebrating the 25th anniversary year of Blow the Fuse

Tomorrow the World: Six double bills set in two iconic venues of Stoke Newington
Where young meets old, where East meets West.

Can you believe it’s been 25 years since Blow the Fuse began running a regular jazz night in the theatre at the Duke of Welly on the Balls Pond Road!
Since then there’s been The Happening, Emma Peel Fan Club, Electric Landladies, the Kings Head Theatre, Samuel Pepys, the old Vortex, the new Vortex, 11 album releases….
Children have been born and grown up, family members have passed away, many dear friends have gone from this life and still the music plays!

Thank you, thank you for your support over all this time. We know you feel the joy and pleasure we feel from creating our events – and do we have a great season coming up this Spring 2014? Yes we do!

***Friday eves in the candlelit medieval St Mary’s Church on Stoke Newington Church St:

  • Fri 14 Feb – Valentines Day The Bloomsburys, a 25 voice choir led by Laka D – SOLD OUT
  • Fri 11 April Deirdre Cartwright/Baluji Shrivastav ensemble jazz meets Indian sitar, – SOLD OUT
  • Fri 13 June Annie Whitehead 4 plus World Music Workshop big band.

***Wednesday nights at the Vortex

  • Wed 12 March Daphna Sadeh and the Voyagers
  • Wed 14 May Louise Elliott & Cheryl Alleyne  with special guest Mervyn Afrika
  • Wed 2 July ARQ album launch

Thanks again to the PRSF and Jazz Services for supporting us in our new Tomorrow the World season. Six double bills of tremendous jazz and world music.
We’d also like to thank our own Fairy godmother and godfather Chloe and Seamus de Souza and the fabulous Vortex volunteers – Lorraine, John and Laurie.
We really couldn’t do it without all of you!
Love Deirdre, Alison and all at Blow the Fuse xx


If you can’t wait, take a look here at our new Electric landladies film….


Dress up Dress down for the Xmas Dance Party of 2013
but don’t wait until the Inn is full!

Laka Daisical vocals/kbd, Sarah Pritchard vocals/perc, Deirdre Cartwright/guitar
Diane McLoughlin kbd/sax, Alison Rayner bass/voc, Ann Day drums

Chats Palace
42-44 Brooksbys Walk
London E9 6DF
Doors 8pm First set 8.45pm
Tickets £12 advance £15 on the door
Online: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/244570

Carol Grimes at VORTEXMAS Party – Wed 11 December

Blow the Fuse VorteXmas party with special guest — London blues legend Carol Grimes.
Dorian Ford piano,  Deirdre Cartwright guitar,  Alison Rayner bass,  Winston Clifford drums.


Carol Grimes, singer, songwriter, poet, storyteller. An evening to remember as we celebrate the darkest month with the warmth and brightness of music and stories. With a wonderful range of material and her regular accompanist Dorian Ford. Carol Grimes’ caustic wit and quirky observations about life and art in a set of songs that blend jazz, soul and blues.

We will be showing a short film “Being for the benefit of Carol Grimes” in the first set which feature performances by Ian Shaw, Sarah Jane Morris, Annie Whitehead, Jennifer Maidman, Steve Lodder, Laka D, Mark Jennet, Josefina Cupido and all the live band from a gig at Chats Palace in 2008.

Film 9pm Live Music 9.45pm
The Vortex Jazz Club 11 Gillett Street, London N16 8JH
Admission £12 Tickets http://www.wegottickets.com/event/247846

Jan’s Bar Deirdre Cartwright Trio plus guests Friday 20 Dec


Yes, music that moves in mysterious ways!

Alison Rayner bass, Winston Clifford drums, plus Diane McLoughlin and a box of Cadbury’s Roses!

Yesterday… all my trouble seemed so ….


Look what we’ve uncovered recently. Alison and Deirdre from 1977. We can’t work out if they were supposed to be in fancy dress. We think this photo was taken on stage at the 1977 festival at the Drill Hall in London.

December 2013: WOAH… STOP PRESS…

THIS SUNDAY 12th… ‘ELECTRIC LANDLADIES UNPLUGGED’ aka Acoustic Landlady. Vortex N16.

Book tickets online http://www.wegottickets.com/event/252373

The 2014 Parliamentary Jazz Awards (APPJAG) are now open for public nominations, closing on Monday 3rd February.
Please vote here http://www.jazzservices.org.uk to ensure that your favourite albums and artists of last year are represented.

We are very proud to have been awarded a Jazz Promoters Award for the third year running. Our thanks to Jazz services and the PRSF for funding the scheme. The money will help us to run our ‘Tomorrow the World‘ series in 2014; A series of double bills led by women featuring some of the UK’s finest  jazz and world music with support from a younger generation of rising stars.


Last three gigs of 2013 coming up. More info to follow…
If we don’t see you at any of these, we hope you have a good break and a chance to relax.
It’s been quite a Year – see you in the next one, and don’t be late!

TOMORROW THE MOON at The Vortex – Wednesday Nov 13th

Our season of double bills this month features a wonderful piano player, recording artist and arranger – Janette Mason with support from a young guitarist starting to make waves on the jazz scene, Shirley Tetteh.

Janette Mason piano with Deirdre Cartwright guitar,
Alison Rayner double bass, Buster Birch drums
Shirley Tetteh Quartet
Shirley Tetteh guitar Reiss Ellis Beckles sax,
Daniel Casimir bass Patrick Boyle drums

Janette Mason a mainstay of the British Jazz scene for over a decade, Janette Mason has toured her unique sound in Europe, Israel, Japan, Thailand the United States, playing everywhere from The Atlanta and Rochester Jazz Festivals to the Carnegie and Albert Hall.
Her debut album, Din and Tonic, was shortlisted by Guardian Jazz Critic John Fordham as a contender for “Jazz Album of the Year.”


The Vortex Jazz Club
11 Gillett Street
London N16 8JH

Doors 8pm First set 8.45 pm £10 concessions available
Bookings: 020 7254 4097 Online: www.vortexjazz.co.uk

Friday Nov 29 @ Jan’s Bar

The Deirdre Cartwright trio is back at the Bar.

Last Friday of the month.
Doors 8pm Music 9pm Alison Rayner on bass, Simon Roth on drums and guests popping up. Imaginative, improvised, melodic and free admission.
Diane McLoughlin will be guesting on saxophone tonight.

Jan’s Belgian Bar (right next door to Sunstone Gym on Stoke Newington Common)
16 Northwold Road
Stoke Newington N16