16-20 Middlegate, Newark NG24 1AJ

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Kopinski Coup

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3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Stray's Coffee



Jan Kopinski // Sax

Kopinski Coup


Steve Rodda // Guitar


Si Potts // Drums


Mat Short // Bass Guitar


Co-founder of cult-like contemporary jazz group PINSKI ZOO, Jan Kopinski’s reputation precedes him. Usually associated with improvised and formal compositions Jan surprised us when he said “I do play jazz occasionally you know!”

Now I had heard this rumour, but never expected to get Jan Kopinski playing jazz at our place. But here we are – it really is a coup!

A bit about Jan:

Fronting cross-genre music, ranging from Free-funk to contemporary European jazz, Jan Kopinski specialises in improvisational music drawing on jazz and influences from Eastern Europe and contemporary music.

For 25 years he has led a successful contemporary jazz group, PINSKI ZOO, regularly touring the UK, Europe, New York and Poland, playing at major jazz festivals, concerts and jazz clubs to critical acclaim. He travels regularly to Poland, for both research and touring projects –including international trio, ZONE K. With REFLEKTOR he composes and performs to silent films and to projected visuals, most recently MIRRORS, a dream journey with Polish imagery, commissioned by Opera North.

He has recorded several radio and TV broadcasts, 13 albums on various record labels, including live recordings from concerts in Poland, Austria, New York and UK. His numerous projects include PINSKI ZOOMIRRORS REFLEKTOR LIVE SOUNDTRACKS to film, KOPINSKI & KONIKIEWICZ GHOSTMUSIC PINSKI ZOO 7, PZBASSCORP, JAN KOPINSKI QUARTET, MUSTARD PIE.

He has toured extensively in the UK as well as Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, France, Austria, Italy, Norway and New York; he has also recorded various sessions for radio, fillm and TV. His RECORDINGS, (13 albums and 2 singles) include, – MIRRORS PINSKI ZOO EARTH ZONE K GHOST MUSIC

Jan is a singular musician who has followed a personal path, in a search of an expressive sax sound earning him a reputation as a true original. He was studying Fine Art at Art College and came under the spell of John Coltrane’s “My Favourite Things” epic recording in the mid sixties and Jan took up saxophone seriously. First on a white Grafton acrylic alto then on soprano and tenor. . In 1980, with co-founder keyboard player Steve Iliffe, they formed the almost legendary PINSKI ZOO.

Jan’s set list comprises tunes from John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Duke Ellington, Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis amongst others, so if you’re familiar with Jan’s playing, can you imagine just how awesome this gig is going to be?! The rest of the band have recovered from the shock of getting to sit in with Jan and are now getting to grips with his lead sheets. It’s going to be a date to remember so get in early to secure your seat.

Joining Jan for this date, first up is drummer Simon Potts, who cites his influences as Buddy Rich, Art Blakey & Max Roach to name a few. Having worked as a session drummer with the BBC at their Maida Vale and Paris Studios playing with both big and small bands, Simon’s love of jazz was fuelled by his father, a jazz trumpeter, who led his own band for over 40 years.

Following in his dad’s footsteps, Simon has worked with many artists including Jamie Cullum, Digby Fairweather, Stacey Kent, Jacqui Dankworth, Barb Jungr, Denny Illett Jr. and Johnny Mars (American blues harmonica player not to be confused with Johnny Marr guitarist from the Smiths!)

“You can hear the music in Si’s solos – he’s unreal…” – Steve Rodda – Guitar


Next up is Steve Rodda, who picked up his first guitar in 1976 (we know, he doesn’t look old enough!) and has been playing jazz gigs since the late nineties, with strong Django Reinhardt influences apparent in his sound. He also loves Reggae, Ska, Country and Blues but primarily is known as a jazz guitarist. For this date, Steve will be playing his electric guitar, rather than the usual acoustic – as he says “…with someone like Jan, we’re gonna want the full-on electric sound”.


The third element of this trio is Stray’s Coffee co-founder Mat Short, playing his late father’s Fender Jazz Bass Guitar.

Originally Mat played alto sax, influenced by the likes of Ben Webster and Cannonball Adderley, studying originally with Jan Kopinksi and later being guided along the road of  improvisation by jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger and all-round nice guy Nathan Bray. Since the passing of his father Mat has turned over to the dark side and hasn’t looked back!

Mat cites his musical influences as wide as the drum ‘n’ bass of LTJ Bukem to the smooth Steely Dan, the superb Duke Ellington to the sublime Oscar Peterson. Bass heroes of Mat’s are Scott Devine, Esperanza Spalding, Christian McBride and Pat Sprakes.


 Date/Time: 4/11/17 – Jazz from 3:30pm

Venue: the Jazz Courtyard, Stray’s Coffee | 16-20 Middlegate | Newark NG24 1AJ