Saturday, 14 July 2018

JazzLeeds Festival at the airport - and the railway station!

For a new jazz festival it is important to get some exposure just so people know you are on the scene! So JazzLeeds festival are really pleased they have been able to exhibit the new JazzLeeds festival 19-24th July to arrivals at the city's airport. The commuters to Leeds will also get their chance to be serenaded on Wed 18th July too at Leeds Station - the day before the Festival starts.

Some encouraging signs - the jazz play about the 1950's Leeds Jazz Club Studio 20 "New Briggate Blues" has just sold out at the Carriageworks and so the festival are putting on an afternoon matinee the same day so as not to disappoint people. The other two Leeds-specific jazz events are selling well too - the Delights of the Duke with Alan Barnes all star Ellingtonians about the meeting between the Queen and Duke Ellington 60 years ago in the city - and as a result of which he wrote the Queen's Suite and Celebrating Xero Slingsby - a tribute to the Leeds punk jazz saxman curated by Sally Coe and featuring the Shuffledemons from Canada and Den Hoed from Belgium. Best but tickets in advance for those!

Then there are the marquee names not to miss - international stars like singer Ian Shaw, saxman Soweto Kinch, womens band Nerija, US saxman Greg Abate and Chris Bachelor's eclectic "Pigfoot" will all be making appearances during the six days.

Lots of fun in the city centre too with "Busk Stops" on Friday and Sat 20th and 21st organised by saxwoman Jemma Freese in Lands Lane in the City Centre, and the "Otley Jazz Run" on Sat 21st with street band Bassa Bassa visiting all the jazz clubs between Headingley and the City Centre, and two days of jazz in Millennium  Square featuring popular Leeds based swing dance, big bands, community and school groups, blues and salsa as well as jazz workshops and improvisation chamber people can join in with.

A special festival feature is "Fusebox presents" on Sunday 22 July put together by Laura Cole many highly respected improvisers and composers with a focus on the exploration of interactive, experimental improvisation and composition in performance at Leeds College of Music. The afternoon programme 1-5pm features the improvising trio Bennett/Murray/Vuillamy, with Seth Bennett (double bass), George Murray (trombone) and Aby Vulliamy (viola); saxophonist James Mainwaring (Roller Trio) in an improvised electronics/sax solo set; the Norwegian folk/jazz vocal trio R√łyst, with vocalists Kari Nergaard Bleivik, Cecilie Maria Pauline Giskemo and Maria Jardardottir; double bassist Dave Kane in a duo set of compositions/improvisations with trumpeter Alex Bonney; and the improvising trio Hiby/Bardon/Hession, with Hans Peter Hiby (saxophones), Michael Bardon(double bass) and Paul Hession (drums). The evening programme (7-10pm) will feature renowned improviser/composer Matthew Bourne in a solo piano set, and the fiery improvising quintet ( and Shatner’s Bassoon, with Michael Bardon on bass/electronics, Oliver Dover on sax/clarinet, Joost Hendrickx on drums/electronics, Johnny Richards on keys/electronics, and Craig Scott on guitar/electronics.

And of course there will be a Festival Jam session - at the Domino club on Central Arcade from Midnight on Saturday evening hosted by Leeds saxman Ben Powling - who will be there from the festival we wonder?

All the concerts will be Live Painted by jazz painter Gina Southgate too.
The Festival launch is at Seven Arts this Thursday 19 July with Leeds favourite youth band - Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra and then rolls out to the Wardrobe, Leeds College of Music, Millennium Square and the Carriage-works. The festival website with details is here 

Tickets can be obtained from Jumbo or Crash in Leeds City Centre, or from the specific venues or from the festival online ticket site here -

Steve Crocker
Festival Organiser
email -

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