On a sunny bank holiday weekend at the beginning of May we visited Cheltenham Jazz Festival to hear a number of great artists, particularly Young Pilgrims who were formed as part of a Jazzlines commission in 2012.
Led by trombone player and composer Richard Foote, the band appeared in a number of pop up performances around the town, before performing on the Free Stage at the heart of the festival.
This was the first date in a summer tour organised and supported by Jazzlines which includes performances at Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, and a special show in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games.
It’s great to see the band having such success, developing a superb reputation with audiences and promoters across the UK.
In April we invited the Tomorrow’s Warriors group Nerija to Symphony Hall Cafe Bar for a special collaboration with the Jazzlines Trio as a result of our partnership with Music For Youth. The two ensembles rehearsed together, sharing music before giving a joint performance as part of our regular Jazzlines Free Gigs programme.
That event was part of our growing programme of talent development work and in June the Jazzlines Ensemble will be taking part in a workshop with members of the internationally acclaimed big band, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (with Wynton Marsalis, pictured above). The Ensemble will then perform in Symphony Hall Cafe Bar ahead of the JALC performance in Symphony Hall that evening.
At the end of May we experimented with an in the round experience at Town Hall presenting Scandinavian / British jazz trio Phronesis. With hopes to use the Town Hall space in this way in the future for small band jazz it was a great way to work with the wonderful acoustic there for a more intimate performance experience.
ESKA at the Hare & Hounds continued our programme of British jazz at the venue and showcased the wonderful vocalist who as well as a prolific collaborator is a brilliant songwriter and performer.
The summer season for Jazzlines is traditionally a time when we are heads down in planning and tying up for the autumn, spring and beyond. This summer we continue our partnership with Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival, programming the Jazzlines Stage on Sunday 13 July and showcasing new projects by bass player Ben Markland, vocalist Sara Colman and pianist Andy Bunting. We will also feature local gospel funk fusion band led by bass player REED and the Jazzlines Ensemble. Headlining the Jazzlines Stage are the Young Pilgrims.
– Mary Wakelam Sloan, Programme Manager and Phil Woods, Project Manager
Image: Adrian Burrows for THSH