Major line-up announced for inaugural Preston Jazz and Improvisation Festival
International cast of jazz, funk, blues, soul and hip-hop artists to hit event high notes
Courtney Pine, the legendary jazz artist, will be headlining the Preston Jazz and Improvisation Festival, an amazing gathering of live music events running between 6 and 10 June at various venues across the City.
Courtney’s show will be the closing act of the festival with a performance on Sunday 10 June, cementing the link with Preston Caribbean Carnival, which will be taking place on that day.
Featuring an international cast of jazz, funk, blues, soul and hip-hop artists, the event is the brainchild of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), now celebrating its 190th anniversary, in partnership with Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival, and supported by Arts Council England.
Commenting on the event Professor Mike Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of UCLan, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring this exciting and diverse programme of events to Preston. The festival will take place at locations right across the city, with a number of free-to-attend events, helping to cement the already strong links the University has with Preston communities, and our civic mission. We are equally delighted to welcome a true icon of the British Jazz scene, Courtney Pine, as our festival headliner – who together with the rest of the line-up, is sure to bring a fantastic show befitting of the University’s 190th anniversary celebrations.”
"The festival will take place at locations right across the city, with a number of free-to-attend events, helping to cement the already strong links the University has with Preston communities, and our civic mission."
Courtney Pine’s act will showcase material from his latest album Black Notes From The Deep and will feature UK soul star Omar on vocals. Omar is best known for his hit single There’s Nothing Like This and for his collaborations with artists like Stevie Wonder and Erykah Badu.
Other highlights during the week include Alto Sax player Camilla George, the critically acclaimed young star of British Jazz, whose music embraces elements of Afrobeat, Caribbean Calypso, Hip-hop and blues. Camilla’s show will feature numbers from her album Isang and introduce brand new material from her album in the making.
Additional performers of note include: guitarist Aziz Ibrahim, who has played with Simply Red, the Stone Roses and Paul Weller; Graham Massey, founder of Techno pioneers 808 State; 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.
To maximise opportunities for people of all ages to ‘join in’, many of the events will be free of charge and staged at different times of the day and evening.