“It’s about time Leeds had a decent jazz festival!”.
That phrase has been reverberating round the music and arts community in Leeds for long enough. For a city with such a buzzing jazz scene – 23 jazz venues (at the last count!), the UK’s best jazz club (official), the first (and still best) jazz music education courses in Europe not having a jazz festival is a big cultural gap. A group of some of the major jazz promoters have got together to change all that, forming a new charitable organisation called “JazzLeeds” to create a jazz festival that is both sustainable and rooted in the city.
The 2018 festival will take place over the weekend of 22-24 July 2018 and Earlybird festival tickets are now on sale!
It's a five-day edition this year, with events taking place at the Wardrobe, Leeds College of Music and in the city’s Millennium Square. Alongside appearances by marquee names such as Soweto Kinch, Ian Shaw and Nérija, expect leftfield performances from, among others, pianist Matthew Bourne and alt.jazz absurdists Shatner’s Bassoon, plus several fest highlights with a particularly regional resonance, such as Alan Barnes’ celebration of Duke Ellington’s October 1957 meet with the Queen in Leeds, as well as sax-man Alan Wilkinson and drummer Paul Hession’s punk-jazz tribute to local-hero musician, the late Matthew Coe