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Thursday, 2 January 2020

Hull's jazzy highlights - from David Porter

                                                   Sarah Tandy Sextet

From David Porter, Festival Director Hull Jazz Festival 

A merry Christmas to all jazz promoters and artists in the north from the Hull Jazz Festival. Here are our 3 highlights from a busy year over on the east coast. As the year draws to a close, we’re looking back on another great year for Hull Jazz Festival and J-Night.

We kicked off a busy summer with two weekends of incredible new music at the New Music Biennial 2019. We were involved in three of the 20 pieces performed at the festival, commissioning Sarah Tandy to write The Dream Without a Name inspired by the poetry of Langston Hughes and supporting new work by Arun Ghosh and Numb Mob. 

Sarah Tandy brought together two incredible sextet line-ups for her performances at The Southbank Centre and Früit, including Jordan Hadfield, Rio Kai (Nérija), Rosie Turton (Nérija), James Mollison (Ezra Collective), Ife Ogonjobi (Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd Exodus), Joe Bristow (Jason Moran’s Harlem Hellfighters), Xhosa Cole (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year) and Mark Kavuma. We might be biased, but their set in Früit was one of the highlights of the festival!

Arun Ghosh’s two performances of AMBHAS, inspired by the River Humber and commissioned by Freedom Festival Arts Trust, were joyful. And we were more than a little bit proud to see Hull Youth Wind Orchestra raising the roof at the Southbank Centre, before bringing the piece back to the banks of the Humber for an epic outdoor performance the following week.

And Numb Mob’s reworking of their audio-visual piece Where to Build in Stone was mesmerising. Originally commissioned by J-Night to celebrate Hull Jazz Festival’s 25th anniversary in 2017, this new version was commissioned by Serious, producers of the EFG London Jazz Festival and featured new instrumentation. Always good to see Hull represented on the London stage and their set at Früit the following week was another highlight for us.”

Further details about the year in Hull can be found here https://hulljazzfestival.co.uk/hull-jazz-festival-2019-round-up/

Cheers!  David

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