A popular Yorkshire festival with a global reputation for bringing together the very best jazz talent is preparing to welcome more than 10,000 music lovers to a village in Kirklees.
Celebrating its 27th annual event, the Marsden Jazz Festival – recognised as being one of the UK’s longest-established jazz festivals – promises to be even bigger than before with a packed programme that will see over 800 performers, 250 of which will be young musicians from America to Australia, showcase an array of unforgettable live music.
With scores of internationally-acclaimed jazz talents spanning the length of the globe set to descend upon Marsden, the registered charity festival’s 70-plus volunteers have been working tirelessly to prepare the Kirklees village to stage a feast of weekend wonder in October across 12 pubs, clubs and bars, as well as three outdoor stages, a forest school, a musical instrument makers, a spa, a coffee roastery and a brewery.
Those set to take centre stage across 26 venues include Jazz FM’s vocalist of the year Polly Gibbons; Sardinia’s Mal Bigatto Trio; Dee Byrne’s Entropi; four-time British Jazz Awards winner, Enrico Tomasso; SAWA, a trio led by British-Iraqi composer Alya Al-Sultani; SK2 Orchestra featuring trumpeter Simon Gardner; Swiss-based band, The Great Harry Hillman; and maverick pianists, Matthew Bourne and Keith Tippett.
Jonny Mansfield, the 2018 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Award winner and Shepley resident, will also be leading his 11-piece band, Elftet onto the festival’s headline stage, the 19th Century Mechanics Hall, to perform a specially commissioned pieced based on the work of Marsden-born playwright and poet, Simon Armitage.
Young jazz musicians from Musica Youth Jazz, selected to perform at the Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and Heckmondwike Grammar School Soul Band will be showcasing their talent at the specially-created venue, Bandstand in the Park, off Peel Street too.
And there will be a showcase from the Marquee on the Bridge, in Argyle Street, by the village’s own community jazz band, Marsden Swing – a group set-up by festival supporters.
“We try to be ahead of the curve and help define current taste, rather than follow it. Several times we have had our choices vindicated by our artists being nominated for Mercury Prize and MOBO awards such as Kit Downes, Roller Trio and Dinosaur, in the same year as they have played at Marsden,” said Barney Stevenson, artistic director of the festival.
“The beauty of programming a large festival like Marsden is that we are able to reflect such a broad range of jazz and improvised music, from old-school New Orleans-style trad jazz to out-there, free improv and related music such as blues, western swing and soul, which, along with our family friendly events, attracts an increasingly diverse audience.”
The festival takes place from Friday, October 12th to Sunday, October 14th, with the popular Street Music Parade, starting from Peel Street, being one of the major attractions on Saturday.
In the run-up to the 27th festival event, there will be more highlights such as family friendly musical workshops on Saturday, October 6th, and the opportunity to work with Beats & Pieces Big Band to create new music on Sunday, October 7th.
Organisers of the festival have eclipsed their fundraising target of £12,000 to stage the event which was first held in 1992.
For more information about what’s on, festival details and how to buy tickets, visit: www.marsdenjazzfestival.com