Thursday, 2 February 2017

Liverpool International Jazz Festival Highlights Feb 23-26th

The Neil Cowley Trio Sun 26 Feb
From Neil Campbell

Liverpool International Jazz Festival celebrates its fifth year!

The 2017 festival opens on Thursday 23rd February at 7pm, with a set from MOBO award-winners Sons of Kemet. Kinetic, earth-shaking and always electrifying, the group features four of the UK jazz scene’s brightest stars. Led by saxophonist, clarinettist, composer and ‘BBC New Generation Artist’ Shabaka Hutchings, their line-up includes Theon Cross and both Seb Rochford (Polar Bear, Babyshambles) and Tom Skinner (Melt Yourself Down, Mulatu Astatke) on drums. They will be supported by a set from Liverpool’s Blind Monk Trio. Admission is £11.50.

Manchester-based quartet Mammal Hands play on Friday 24th February at 7pm. Signed to Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana Records, Mammal Hands has carved out a growing following both in the UK and abroad for their hypnotic fusion of jazz, folk and electronica, appealing to fans from Bonobo and Gilles Peterson to Jamie Cullum. Support will be from Wandering Monster, winners of Jazz North’s Introducing scheme. Admission is £11.50.

Alongside free sets from North West artists on the afternoon of Saturday 25th February 2017, including a free admission Milapfest concert featuring music traversing jazz and Indian classical music styles by violinist Jyotsna Srikanth's Maya Jazz.  

The David Helbock Trio play on Saturday 25th February at 7pm. Creative, open, hip and unique, Austrian piano wizard David Helbock studied classical piano at the Feldkirch Conservatory, Austria with Prof. Ferenc Bognar and later became a private student of the New York jazz pianist Peter Madsen. This concert will be supported by the locally based Norwegian drummer Viktor Nordberg and his trio. Admission is £11.50

On Sunday 26th February, saxophonist/composer Iain Ballamy will deliver a free saxophone workshop (11am). A co-founder of Loose Tubes, Iain Ballamy has been a major contributor to improvised music in Britain for three decades since leading his own quartet at Ronnie Scott’s in 1984 aged 20. At 1pm on Sunday 26th February, he, along with pianist Huw Warren, will perform a programme spanning centuries and continents ranging from classical works by Dowland, Chopin and Butterworth through to early and rare English folk songs, re-workings of classic Jazz standards, Brazilian masterpieces and their own contemporary original works. Admission is £11.50.

The Festival concludes on Sunday 26th February at 7.30pm with a concert by The Neil Cowley Trio. Cowley has become the go-to pianist, lending his golden touch to many chart smashing hits including contributions to Adele’s global chart toppers, 19 and 21. He has also toured and recorded with bands such as Brand New Heavies and Zero 7. He formed The Neil Cowley Trio in 2005 and has produced six critically acclaimed albums, most recently Spacebound Apes in 2016. Admission is £11.50.

This year's Liverpool International Jazz Festival is generously supported by LiverpoolJazz, Milapfest, Curly Woodwind, D'Addario Woodwinds and Jazz North.

For more detailed information, box office links and ongoing updates about LIJF, please visit

Capstone Theatre, Liverpool Hope University, Shaw Street L6 1HP

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