Inaugural success for jazz festival

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Roller Trio performing Picture © Liverpool International Jazz Festival/Facebook

Roller Trio performing Picture © Liverpool International Jazz Festival/Facebook

Jazz icon Courtney Pine played a marathon session to close the city’s inaugural International Jazz Festival.

The Festival showcased original and innovative instrumental sounds from an collection of the world’s most renowned jazz musicians, including Roller Trio, Led Bib, Kit Downes Quintet, Robert Mitchell and Denys Baptiste’s Triumvirate, as well as performances from the city’s most creative local jazz musicians.

Neil Campbell, creative campus venue manager at The Capstone Theatre, told JMU Journalism: “It really was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. There was just a good vibe around the place and there was such a fantastic variety of jazz music on show.”

In its maiden year, the festival set out to satisfy the needs of the jazz lovers and to introduce the music to a whole new generation. It will now become an annual event.

Campbell added: “We are looking to make it an annual event, that’s the intention. We just have to build on this weekend.

“We are still a relatively new venue trying to establish itself and build the profile of the venue. And hopefully people will respond to that and realise that we are here to provide top quality, diverse music within the city.”

Neil Campbell, Creative Campus Events Manager, before the festival Picture © Liverpool Internaltional Jazz Festival/Facebook

Neil Campbell, Creative Campus Events Manager, before the festival
Picture © Liverpool Internaltional Jazz Festival/Facebook

One of the original torch bearers for the revitalized young British jazz scene, Mercury Music Prize nominees Led Bib, kicked off proceedings, while composer, teacher and pianist Robert Mitchell took to the stage alongside the Kit Downes Quintet.

Denys Baptiste performed with his three-piece band, Triumvirate. Other performers included Roller Trio, who have been described by BBC’s Radio’s Gilles Peterson as “Dark, menacing, bass heavy – the new sound of UK jazz”.

The event was closed by Courtney Pine who was awarded an OBE in 2000 and a CBE in 2009 for his services to the UK’s jazz scene and his attempts to reinvigorate it back to its former glory.

Neil Campbell is in no doubt that Pine stole the show and provided the best performance over the weekend, saying: “To see Courtney Pine return to the venue two years after he opened it was probably the highlight of the year never mind the highlight of the weekend.

“It was such a high energy performance. Courtney Pine played for 2 hours and 10 minutes without a break. It was such a high-octane performance in front of a full house. You could just tell that everyone was really enjoying themselves.”

Since opening in 2010, The Capstone Theatre has established itself as one of the city’s leading alternative music venues and has consistently provided cutting edge jazz for music enthusiasts.

About Ryan McCann, JMU Journalism