THE ORGANISERS of one of the UK’s longest established jazz festivals are searching for sponsors to help fund this year’s event.
Marsden Jazz Festival celebrated its 25th year in 2016 and the charity is hoping the live music weekend can keep going strong for another 25 with the support of the region’s businesses.
Funding is needed to support over 70 free gigs, the festival’s renowned Saturday street parade, over 20 youth and community performances, free children’s workshops and even a free jazz bus.
Marsden’s 25th festival last October saw over 140 hours of live music and 11,000 gig attendances, with more than 60 volunteers helping to make the weekend a success.
Barney Stevenson, Artistic Director at Marsden Jazz Festival, said: “One in four of the people who visit the festival say they only ever get to see live jazz music at our festival, so it’s really important to us that the majority of our gigs are free.
“We are proud to showcase a wide range of jazz musicians from internationally-acclaimed artists to local school bands and rising talent.
“The Saturday street parade is always the talking point of the festival weekend, with three of the UK’s leading street bands and a moving scrap metal sculpture among the highlights of the 2016 parade.
“We rely on donations from festival goers and local businesses to help fund the festival, so we’re really keen for anyone interested in supporting the 2017 festival to get in touch.”
Marsden Jazz Festival 2016 (Pictures thanks to Elizabeth Baker)
Marsden’s venues include four outdoor stages as well as pubs, clubs, bars, cafes, churches and a restored mill.
Jazz legend Digby Fairweather returned to the festival’s headline venue – the 19th century Mechanics Hall – in 2016, 24 years after he performed at the first Marsden Jazz Festival in 1992.
The number of gigs by youth groups has steadily grown since the festival first took place in 1992 and it now has a dedicated youth stage – the Bandstand in the Park.
Musica Youth Jazz, Heckmondwike Grammar School Soul Band and Greenhead College Big Band were among over 20 youth and community groups to perform to appreciative festival audiences in 2016.
Marsden’s New Stream gigs also feature cutting edge and experimental jazz music as well as new commissions. In 2016, double-bassist, improviser and composer Dave Kane was commissioned for a unique solo performance at Marsden’s Royal British Legion.
For more information about the festival or the find out more about becoming a sponsor, contact Artistic Director Barney Stevenson on 07954 700699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org