Preston is gearing up to be blanketed in the sounds and sights of some fantastic artists next week as the Jazz and Improvisation Festival kicks off.
A whole host of exciting acts will be entertaining the city, celebrating the huge range of styles and sub-genres that Jazz music and the art of improvisation encompasses.
With amazing performances from British jazz legend Courtney Pine and rising star Camilla George, to special improvisation led events from the likes of Graham Massey, founding member of electronic pioneers 808 State – the festival, which runs from Wednesday, June 6 to Sunday, June 10, features an international cast ranging across jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop and more.
But in amongst all these stars of jazz, funk and soul are some of Preston's finest, and often uncelebrated, musicians.
A true local legend, Harold Salisbury, is a master of the saxophones. Harold has been on the scene for many, many years. And he shows no sign of letting up. He will be performing with Free Parking, Preston's longest running outfit on Sunday, June 10 at The Ferret. This gig will also feature drummer Paul Burgess, who is well known as a session drummer for the likes of 10cc, Jethro Tull and Joan Armatrading.
The night before his jazz fusion band outfit Pinto Beans will be gracing the stage at 53 Degrees. On this occasion they will be joined by famed percussionist Luke Flowers. Luke has been a long standing member of the Cinematic Orchestra for seventeen years; touring and performing around the world in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Montreux Jazz Festival, New York Summer Stage and Glastonbury.Other artists Luke has worked with include Corinne Bailey Rae, Roots Manuva, Kandace Springs (Blue Note) and The Breath (Real World).
And the festival, which was the brainchild of the University of Central Lancashire, wouldn't be complete without a performance from some of their very own musicians. Step in Cold Bath Street, who consist of instrumentalists currently completing their music degree at UCLAN, as well as a senior music lecturer and alumni students.
Additional performers of note include: guitarist Aziz Ibrahim, who has played with Simply Red, the Stone Roses and Paul Weller; and a live performance from Shades of Django and guitarist Michael Joseph Harris, celebrating the music of Django Reinhardt, including a unique chance to see the first screening outside London of the film ‘Django’, directed by Etienne Comar.
From professional musicians, interested in the festival’s conference on ‘The Future of Live Music’, to family shoppers intrigued by city centre buskers and outdoor live performances, the programme will celebrate all forms of improvisational music, bringing local artists, student talent, and headline acts together to share the best in musical entertainment for all people across Preston and the region.
There’s plenty to cater to all tastes, and with many events free to attend, it’s the perfect opportunity to experience superb live music, film and atmosphere – plus don’t miss the Saturday night event, curated by Manchester’s Idle Moments, as they bring Preston it’s very own ‘pop-up jazz club’ for one night only.
The Festival is sponsored by the Arts Council, the University of Central Lancashire, the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries and the Creative Arts Development Group. They are partners with the Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival, the Preston Caribbean Carnival and Making a Mark and are supported by Preston City Council.
For a full programme of events, and for tickets, visit www.prestonjazzfest.co.uk