Supergroups, maverick pianists and new commissions ready to perform at Marsden Jazz Festival

THIS year’s Marsden Jazz Festival on October 12-14 looks set to be as innovative as ever.

The 27th festival includes appearances from two maverick pianists – a generation apart – making their first appearance together, a special commission based on the poetry of Simon Armitage and a supergroup of musicians, poets, and producers, conceived in the aftermath of the 2016 EU referendum.

Jonny Mansfield’s Elftet will perform the world premiere of ‘On Marsden Moor,’ Mansfield’s setting of five different poems by Marsden-born poet Simon Armitage in a combination of song form and spoken word.

British-Iraqi composer and vocalist Alya Al Sultani appears with two groups, SAWA and Collective X, featuring poet, novelist, musician and lecturer Anthony Joseph.

Leeds-born trumpet legend Enrico Tomasso will be appearing at the magnificently restored 19th Century Mechanics Institute Hall.

After famously playing for Louis Armstrong at the age of seven, Tomasso has worked with the likes of Acker Bilk and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra.

Composer and saxophonist Dee Byrne will be there with her five-piece band Entropi.

The festival, which receives Arts Council England National Lottery funding, is one of the longest running and popular jazz festivals in the UK.

Every year more than 100 events take place in the village. In addition to the New Stream gigs, featuring cutting-edge and experimental jazz music, there is a range of activities for all ages, including walks, poetry jams and, of course, the famous street parade.

“The beauty of programming a large festival like Marsden,” says artistic director Barney Stevenson, “is that we are able to reflect such a broad range of jazz and improvised music, from old-school New Orleans-style Trad Jazz to out-there free improv and everything in between, which along with our family friendly events attracts an increasingly diverse audience.”

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