Monday, 3 January 2022

JazzLeeds memories of 2021

2021 has been a good year for us at JazzLeeds despite all the restrictions. We've managed to put on over 70 live jazz gigs since lockdown lifted in May. Many thanks to all the fantastic musicians who have brought good music, and good cheer, to our audiences in Leeds

 Some things to remember. The gig of the year - no debate - was Nikki Iles and her Jazz Orchestra - wonderful arrangments, brilliant band led by the most respected jazz leader in the UK bar none

The Jazz & Blues Sunday picnic at Gledhow Sports Club in Gledhow Valley Woods - 5
00 people came, the sun shone, lovely music - perfect!

The JazzLeeds Reset Festival - no big festival in the city centre for obvious reasons but we had lots of fun in the venue and courtyard of Seven Arts with an eclectic mix of 12 live bands over a sunny weekend in July.

We lost one of our Inkwell venue during lockdown, but found another instead - the very welcoming Meanwood Valley Urban Farm Barn - just the place for our jazz jams and workshops

Our international evenings kept the jazz flag flying - for example with Liam Noble, Byron Wallen, Greg Abate, Ari Hoenig, Ian Shaw, Jospehine Davies, and Malcolm Strachan's  About Time - and of course Liane Carroll and Brian Kellock - a gig we'll never forget! Other memorable gigs were Alex Fisher, Eliot Richards, Will Howard and more at Rush Hour Jazz, our Sunday afternoons with the energy of Nic Svarc's quartet, the fun of Caroline Boaden's new quintet the wackiness of Adam Fairhill and Johnny Hunter tribute "Winifred Atwell Revisited" and the swansong performance of the Ancient Infinity Orchestra. In August we had music outside in the Seven Arts courtyard - notably Backchat Brass and John Settles's Vibeology.

We saw some brilliant new Leeds groups too, including Mangorata, Joel Stedman and Greg Vincent, Amy Clark's Quintet, Jonah Evans trio, Edison Herbert and Ben Gilbert, and many more.

Thanks then to our volunteers, our supporters, our interns, trustees, the staff at Seven Arts, Jon Chamberlain for his photography and livestreams, Arts@Leeds and Leeds Inspired for keeping us financially afloat and of course our lovely audience!

See you in 2022 (we hope!)

Steve Crocker 



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