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Preston Jam is a treat for the ears

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Preston Jam music festival is taking place between 25 March and 1 April.

Music festival to bring big names to city centre

Saxophonist, rapper and MC Soweto Kinch will headline a brand new festival in the county, Preston Jam, this month.

The Ribble Valley Jazz Festival has teamed up with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for the mainly free festival, celebrating musical influences from all over the world.

One of the founder members of the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival Geoff Jackson said: “This is a really exciting venture and there’s going to be so much going on in the city.

“It’s a real coup to have Soweto Kinch, at the first Preston Jam, and a host of amazing bands and acts too.”

Preston Jam runs from 25 March to 1 April and Mr Jackson added: “We bring the experience of organising eight Ribble Valley Jazz festivals since 2010, and it is a great link up.

“We also benefit tremendously by having the University of Central Lancashire as our festival sponsor and from their enthusiasm for establishing Preston Jam as an annual music festival.”

The Preston Jam, a precursor to next month’s Ribble Valley Jazz Festival, opens up with a monster 25-hour music jam.

Meanwhile, last year’s Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year, London female collective Nerija, inspired by the sounds of jazz, hip-hop and afrobeat, are on a crackerjack of a bill at UCLan’s Venue 53 on 1 April ahead of Soweto Kinch’s headline slot.

This is a really exciting venture and there’s going to be so much going on in the city. It’s a real coup to have Soweto Kinch, at the first Preston Jam, and a host of amazing bands and acts too.

And Lancashire five-piece Atomic Brass will be turning up the heat with their jazz funk brass grooves - and putting their own spin on classics Uptown Funk, I Feel Good and Valerie.

The city’s Harris Museum, meanwhile, will provide a grand setting during Preston Jam, hosting a performance seminar celebrating the influence of Djanjo Reinhardt, the first European Jazz guitar hero.

“Professor Stuart-Hampton Reeves will discuss Django’s achievements and his influence on modern music – it should be a fascinating talk,” said Mr Jackson.

“It will be illustrated by performances of Django’s music by the Wrong Notes, a quartet who play gypsy style jazz.”

Meanwhile, leading civil rights author Professor Brian Ward will be will be one of the guest speakers at the festival’s Music and Freedom Symposium, Freedom Sounds: Music and the Civil Rights Movement on 31 March.

Free events: Go to Eventbrite website and type in University of Central Lancashire and then select the event. For more details about Preston Jam go to www.uclan.ac.uk/prestonjam

Book tickets for Preston Jam Finale, featuring Soweto Kinch, Nerija and Atomic Brass on 01200 421599 or on their website www.thegrandvenue.co.uk

The eighth Ribble Valley Jazz Festival, 27 April to 1 May, and includes Jazz Jamaica, Yolanda Brown, Soft Machine, Get the Blessing, Norma Winstone and the Printmakers, Riot Jazz and Jay Phelps.

Rachel Atkinson | 08 March 2017