Preview: Marsden Jazz Festival

This October's Marsden Jazz Festival brings a packed and eclectic programme of jazz to Yorkshire, with almost 100 events over three days

The 2018 Marsden Jazz Festival takes place over the weekend of 12-14 October, with the extensive programme featuring headline acts including Enrico Tomasso, the Beats & Pieces Big Band and Polly Gibbons (pictured right). The festival was established in 1992 and now takes place at around 20 venues including bars, clubs, outdoor stages, the 19th-century Mechanics Hall and a former cowshed.

The festival’s line-up covers a wide range of jazz styles, from Tomasso’s straightahead jazz to the New Orleans swing of Alligator Gumbo, the improvisational sextet Entropi, Ben Crosland’s interpretations of the music of Ray Davies and a homage to Bobby Hutcherson from Orphy Robinson (pictured below left). This year’s New Stream of experimental music features Simon Fell’s specially-composed Double Standards suite. Three Marsden Mob Workshops for children (free events) will give youngsters the chance to make their own instruments from plastic bottles and other junk. A Sunday afternoon workshop, run by members of the Beats & Pieces Big Band at the University of Huddersfield’s School of Music, will involve participants in creating new music to be performed at a public concert at the end of the workshop.

Friday’s programme begins at 6.00pm, the busy Saturday programme starts at 9.30am and goes through to 11.30 in the evening, while Sunday’s gigs run from 10.30am to 7.00pm. Major concerts take place at the Mechanics Hall (Enrico Tomasso; Entropi; Orphy Robinson Septet’s Bobby Hutcherson Project), Parochial Hall (Ben Crosland All-Star Quintet with the Ray Davies Songbook Volume 2; Beats & Pieces Big Band; Polly Gibbons) and Royal British Legion (Simon Fell Quartet; Match & Fuse present Tapp and The Great Harry Hillman).

The Unicorn’s Horn, an intriguing tale of "vicious sheep, jazz parades, prejudice and the ultimate triumph of music…", takes place in the woods between Marsden and Standedge. Other performances, many of them free, take place in a range of Marsden’s clubs and bars.

Tickets are now on sale – with reduced prices for students, young people and children. For more information and ticket bookings please go to the Marsden Jazz Festival website.

Bruce Lindsay

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