The new Europe Jazz Media initiative: once every season, our writers recommend forthcoming jazz festivals in their country or region and share their recommendations with the readers of all member media!
by Mike Flynn, Jazzwise,
for Europe Jazz Media
GLASGOW JAZZ FESTIVAL 22-26 JUNE
The 30th edition of this top fest offers everything from trad and Dixie to free jazz, northern soul, world music, blues and hip hop crossovers. Names announced so far include George Benson, Soweto Kinch and the Darius Brubeck Quartet. Chief among the headliners will be an opening night concert from jazz guitar giant George Benson at Royal Concert Hall, while high caliber trio Fly, comprised of saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, appear at key festival venue, the Old Fruit Market. The programme balances established stars, new names and local jazz talent across the week – including Soweto Kinch (Saint Luke’s, 22 June), Pee Wee Ellis (Old Fruit Market, 23 June), Darius Brubeck Quartet (Recital Room, 23 June), the Scottish German Jazz Collective (City of Music Studio, 23 June) and the Ryan Quigley Big Band featuring Hamish Stuart (Old Fruit Market, 24 June). Another highlight of the weeklong line-up is sure to be LA sax colossus Kamasi Washington who stops off at the Queen Margaret Union on Monday 27 June as part of his UK tour. The festival also features a special ‘30 under 30’ strand as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, which will highlight ‘a collection of young Scottish Jazz musicians making waves in the global music scene’ – many of whom will appear at the festival. Further artists so far confirmed include US vibes virtuoso Joe Locke; acclaimed pianist Kit Downes with his feisty group Enemy; leading Scottish pianists David Newton and Euan Stevenson in a duo; while American blues rock guitar star Joe Bonamassa closes the festival in emphatic style on 3 July at the Clyde Auditorium.
Full programme details and further updates
MANCHESTER JAZZ FESTIVAL 22-31 JULY
The 21st edition of the Manchester Jazz Festival runs from 22 until 31 July, with 88 gigs at key venues and jazz clubs around the city and at the central Festival Pavilion in Albert Square. Known for its innovative blend of quality international headliners, original commissions and new talent, this year’s 10-day programme includes a headline appearance by Anglo-American supergroup The Impossible Gentlemen, who launch their new album, Let’s Get Deluxe, at the RNCM Theatre on 26 July, with the band featuring the expanded five-piece line-up of guitarist Mike Walker, pianist Gwilym Simcock, bassist Steve Rodby, drummer Adam Nussbaum and newly-recruited multi-reedist Iain Dixon. The RNCM also plays host to this year’s Irwin Mitchell MJF Originals commission, this year composed by Beats & Pieces bandleader Ben Cottrell. Entitled ‘New Seeing’, the work receives its world première. Inspired by Stan Getz’s influential and classic album, Focus, the piece is orchestrated for trumpet (played by Graham South), 12-piece string ensemble and double rhythm section. British sax titan Tim Garland brings his top-notch electric band of Ant Law, Jason Rebello and Asaf Sirkis to the festival and is one many diverse names performing at the Festival Pavilion, which also includes Empirical, Graham Massey’s Toolshed, Jeremy Sassoon’s Ray Charles Project and the final night double bill of Perhaps Contraption and Abstract Orchestra.
A 10% discount on all tickets purchased via the festival website is available until 30 June.
UPTON JAZZ FESTIVAL 23-26 JUNE
The 30th Upton-Upon-Severn Jazz Festival promises another packed programme this year with over 50 events planned and runs from the 25-28 June with a host of swing, jive and trad jazz bands on the bill. Highlights include the Alan Barnes Trio, Lamarotte, Enrico Tomasso, Keith Nichols, Enrico Tomasso, Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, Remi Harris and the Red Stripe Band. There will also be jazz jam sessions, jazz dance lessons and a Mardi Gras-style carnival parade.
PALATIA JAZZ, THE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL OF THE PALATINATE, GERMANY 8 JUNE-3 AUGUST
Very interesting festival ‘on the move’, they choose idyllic locations and then take everything there to make a show (including regional food and wine). An excellent line up this year includes Polish piano superstar Leszek Mosdzer, Charles Lloyd, Adam Bałdych Trio, Miroslav Vitous, Bill Evans/Mike Stern Band, Nguyên Lê and many more still to be announced – highly recommended.
ALFA JAZZ FESTIVAL, LVIV, UKRAINE 12-15 JUNE
In spite of the recent unrest and political upheavals in the capital (the Kiev jazz festival has understandably been cancelled this year), the organisers of this classy event, that’s just 85km from Poland, say they are open for business and have already announced a strong set of headliners that so far include Larry Carlton Quartet, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Charles Lloyd Quartet, Eliane Elias and Trilok Gurtu.