After last year’s one-day trial, JazzLeeds now comes the real thing – a five-dayer. Peter Bacon reports.
Leeds gets a real jazz festival this year with JazzLeeds running from Friday 20 to Tuesday 24 July 2018. Topping the bill is Soweto Kinch and other big names include Ian Shaw leading his trio, Chris Batchelor’s Pigfoot and the all-women Nerija.
There are strong local angles. As JazzLeeds’ Steve Crocker said: “It’s got a lot more of a city slant to it that some jazz festivals, we realise, but then Leeds has quite a few jazz stories to tell!”
So, The Queen and the Duke, for example, has Alan Barnes’ Eliingtonians Octet celebrating the 60th anniversary of the meeting between Duke Ellington and Queen Elizabeth II – in Leeds – by playing the little-known The Queens Suite. And New Briggate Blues will remember Studio 20 on New Briggate which was the main jazz club in the city in the 1950s and played host to Jimmy Rushing among others.
Local hero Jamil Sherrif will be presenting his tribute to playwright Bill Naughton and there will also be some adventurous music from Matthew Bourne and Shatner’s Bassoon. Like all proper festivals this one too will have a Fringe.
Earlybird tickets for JazzLeeds festival are now on sale (£90 until 30 April).