|The four acts appearing at this year’s showcase, clockwise from top left:
Nérija, Cameron Vale, Ashley Henry, Phaze Theory
Adrian Pallant previews the BBC Introducing showcase on this Friday 31st July 2015 at Band on the Wall in Manchester, part of this year’s jazz festival:
The BBC Introducing Showcase, which effectively launches Manchester’s annual ten days’ celebration of live jazz in and around the city centre, has become an exciting event for artists and festival-goers alike. The busy evening of music at Band on the Wall, before an audience selected by random ballot, offers a fantastic platform for unsigned, under-the-radar performers from across the UK.
Invited audio submissions, via the BBC Introducing Uploader, are honed down to just four acts by a team of BBC presenters – including Kevin Le Gendre and Jez Nelson (BBC Radio 3) and Gilles Peterson (BBC 6 Music) – to present to an encouragingly receptive audience a fascinating glimpse of hitherto unheard music, whilst providing all-important prominence to these hugely-talented emerging artists.
Recent years have seen consistently strong performances including Twelveheads, Dominic J Marshall, Moss Project, Moonlight Saving Time and Peter Edwards – and 2015’s line-up promises to be at least as vibrant and eclectic:
London-based all-female septet Nérija, emanating from multicultural jazz education programme Tomorrow’s Warriors, whose big-sound influences include Joe Henderson and Kurt Rosenwinkel; also from the capital, the Ashley Henry Trio (Ashley studies at the Royal Academy under Gwilym Simcock) with a spirited presence incorporating classic and contemporary piano trio styles; from Leeds, the energetic jazz/rock/electronic ‘riffage’ of sax- and guitar-led quartet Cameron Vale; and London quartet Phaze Theory who, with personnel including voice and tuba, explore “the vastness of the musical cosmos.”
Manchester Jazz Festival this year rejoices in its 20th year – and another impressive programme awaits, including big names John Surman, Partisans, Iain Ballamy, GoGo Penguin and Robert Glasper, plus a host of local and international performers who revel in this established, cosmopolitan event.
The BBC Introducing showcase, presented by Kevin Le Gendre will be recorded, for transmission on BBC Jazz on 3 on 10th August. There will also be transmissons on BBC 6 Music’s Freak Zone and Jamie Cullum’s BBC Radio 2 show.
LINK: Manchester Jazz Festival page