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Matt's review of the festival

Festival 2019 Review

Sunday 26 May 2019 From 1:50pm to 1:50pm
Venue: The Grand Theatre, 18 York Street, Clitheroe BB7 2DL Tel: 01200 421 599 Web: www.thegrandvenue.co.uk | Tickets:

Festival celebrates its 10th birthday in growing hot spot for arts and culture

By Matt Evans

WHEN it comes to lifestyle, the Ribble Valley appears to be attracting ever-increasing coverage in national publications.

If it’s not the winding rivers and the wealth of walking and cycling trails across the borough, then it’s the food, drink and bolthole-friendly attractiveness of its picturesque country villages.

This tourism appeal is being increasingly embellished by a growing calendar of arts and culture events in a beautiful pocket of Lancashire that is fast challenging its own ‘best-kept-secret’ tag.

Culture vultures who might normally need to take the 90-minute train journey to Manchester or Leeds to enjoy a decent concert are now experiencing artistic interventions on their doorstep.  These are springing up in the Forest of Bowland, the farm fields of Sawley or in one of the excellent choice of venues in the market town of Clitheroe. 

The Ribble Valley International Jazz Festival – which took place across the May Day Bank Holiday weekend – basks in all of the qualities that the location can offer.  It celebrated its 10th birthday this year, welcoming record audiences to the market town of Clitheroe and visitors to a number of events at venues in the surrounding villages.

The festival took place over five days and nights with more than 60 gigs, music workshops and talks that featured a variety of headline music stars from across the spectrum of jazz and blues music.

If this wasn’t enough, it was also preceded by a ‘Women in Jazz’ workshop session, aimed at empowering female musicians to improvise and create music and encourage dialogue in this semi-rural setting.

The 250-seat auditorium at The Grand was also a hub of diversity throughout the festival programme, hosting European hot property including Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset and emerging world music virtuosic xylophonist player Moussa Dembele, from Burkina Faso.

Fielding these international quality bands ensured a diverse audience from Lancashire as well as travellers from as far away as Germany. It also gave more locally rooted music fans the chance to experience exciting performances not commonly found in a non-urban area.

One of the great qualities of the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival is to take a cohesive community approach which contrasts well to more highbrow tastes. A lively free-to-attend “fringe” event attracted revellers into the streets with a street festival on Saturday. This featured community bands, party bands, barber shop quartets, Astrid, a 9-year-old jazz singer from Liverpool, and a delightful school choir from Elms Bank special education School.  

Throughout the weekend, there was a blues-heavy programme at The Rose and Crown, highlighted by veteran Jacky Bond while Victor Brox brought his well-oiled group to the upstairs of the beautifully restored Holmes Mill.

Encouraging participation is a key component of the Festival’s enduring legacy.  Top UK jazz singers Liane Carrol and Claire Martin not only performed a mesmerising duo concert at The Grand, but they hung around to present an intimate singing workshop for 12 singers on the following day.  Preston-based improvisation group Cold Bath Street also delivered a music workshop for musicians of all ages, before inviting them onto the stage of the Old School Room to play live in front of a packed audience.

Young Ribble Valley musicians also starred, with members of the highly regarded Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Swing Band having the opportunity to work with professional jazz outfit Bonsai, who wrote a specially commissioned piece to tie in with the Festival’s 10th birthday edition.

The Monday bank holiday afternoon finale was conducted by P J Rigby’s Northern Jazz Orchestra at The Grand. A spectacular big band performance with an introduction by Stanza Poets from Clitheroe who were commissioned to pen their thoughts on jazz and its history.

“It has been another hugely successful festival, promoting cultural diversity, community cohesion and a brilliant range of music,” said Festival Director Geoff Jackson. “The festival could not happen without the tremendous support we receive from volunteers, venues, the borough and town council, and of course, the audiences."

“We are also very appreciative to Arts Council England, who supported us financially to deliver the festival.”

“The culture of Music and Arts in the Ribble Valley is growing and making a big contribution, both to the tourism economy and the cultural ecology of the area.”

Matt Evans, The Grand Theatre, Clitheroe.
For further information please go to:
rvjazzfestival.co.uk or visit our Facebook site, @RVJazzEventsFestivals
Photos by: @evakahanphotography - please click here to go to our Facebook site to view all of Eva's fabulous photos!

 

Eva's photo exhibitionAn exhibition of photos taken by Eva Kahan during the 10th anniversary festival.

Jazz Fest 2019 Photo Exhibition

Saturday 6 July 2019 From 9:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: The Grand Theatre, 18 York Street, Clitheroe BB7 2DL Tel: 01200 421 599 Web: www.thegrandvenue.co.uk | Tickets: Free

An exhibition of photos taken by Eva Kahan during the 10th anniversary festival.
Jungle, 6-8 Moor Lane, Clitheroe BB7 1BE
@evakahanphotography   evakahanphotography.com

If you were a volunteer or supporter for the Festival then please contact Jenni about the special opening evening for all our helpers on Friday 5th July.

Eva's photo exhibition poster

 
the Emporium

Jane Smith & Trish Ferrarin’s Breaking Jazz

Sunday 28 July 2019 From 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Venue: The Emporium, Moor Lane, Clitheroe BB7 1BE | Tickets: Free, but if eating, table booking advised.

Jane Smith (vocals) and Trish Ferrarin’s Breaking Jazz return to The Emporium to bring classic jazz songs from the Great American Songbook, and some of Jane’s originals.

Join us at The Emporium for laid back Sunday jazz session, every last Sunday of the month.

Relax and unwind and enjoy your Sunday afternoon in style, and while you’re here why not enjoy a delicious Sunday Roast.

Book a table with us by calling 01200 444 174. Or you can book online (please give 48 hours notice, cannot book on the day)

Jane Smith

 
Spread Eagle at Sawley

Western Valley Hot Club Special with Molly Maddox + Stanley’s Dixieland Band from Czechoslovakia

Sunday 11 August 2019 From 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: The Spread Eagle Inn, Sawley Near Clitheroe BB7 4NH Tel: 01200 441202 Web: www.spreadeaglesawley.co.uk | Tickets: Free, but if eating, table booking advised.

Featuring: Gaynor Sutcliffe - keys/accordion; Simon Brady - vocals, guitar, mandolin; Ray Walmsley - double bass; Molly Maddox - vocals; + Czech Guests of Stanley’s Dixieland Band - trombone and clarinet/saxophone.

This sunday afternoon brings an extraordinary special event - a Spread Eagle debut for Western Valley Hot Club plus guests from Stanley’s Dixieland band of Czechoslovakia with Molly Maddox’s vocals. The band will perform Western Swing, a foot tapping combination of Country and Jazz fused together. You will go away on a high!

 
the Emporium

Jazz Club 3

Sunday 25 August 2019 From 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Venue: The Emporium, Moor Lane, Clitheroe BB7 1BE | Tickets: Free, but if eating, table booking advised.

The Jazz Club 3 specialise in jazz standards from the 20s through to the 60s with an emphasis on the 1940s. The band’s repertoire includes timeless songs from the pen of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter etc and performers such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.

Join us at The Emporium for laid back Sunday jazz session, every last Sunday of the month.

Relax and unwind and enjoy your Sunday afternoon in style, and while you’re here why not enjoy a delicious Sunday Roast.

Book a table with us by calling 01200 444 174. Or you can book online (please give 48 hours notice, cannot book on the day)

The Jazz Club 3

           

 
Spread Eagle at Sawley

Mark Lewis Trio with Lyn Fairbanks

Sunday 1 September 2019 From 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: The Spread Eagle Inn, Sawley Near Clitheroe BB7 4NH Tel: 01200 441202 Web: www.spreadeaglesawley.co.uk | Tickets: Free, but if eating, table booking advised.

Featuring: Ed Lomax - keys; Derek Smith - drums; Mel Hatchman - bass; Lyn Fairbanks - vocals.

The Mark Lewis trio is a popular local and experienced band presenting fine music and excellent entertainment. Expect to hear top jazz standards from the Great American Songbook from a band influenced by George Shearing, Bill Evans and Horace Silver. The session will be enhanced by Lyn Fairbanks’ delightful vocals!

 
Artephis

Artephis

Friday 13 September 2019 From 7:00pm, Stage: 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Venue: The Grand Theatre, 18 York Street, Clitheroe BB7 2DL Tel: 01200 421 599 Web: www.thegrandvenue.co.uk | Tickets: Adv £10 / £8 members | Book now: Available soon from The Grand

Artephis create light-footed grooves inspired by late 60s/70s Miles Davis, Prog Rock and Electronica sources.

Outstanding musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music, Artephis have a sophisticated, self-assured presence that is both forward looking yet evoking a past reminiscent of the golden age Nice or Newport, USA!

This is their second visit to Clitheroe in 2019, so for those who missed-out at our Festival in May, we would urge you not to lose a wonderful opportunity to unwind and relax.

Line-up: Aaron Wood - trumpet, flugel horn, electronics / James Girling - guitar / Ali Roocroft - piano, keys / Alistair Simpson - bass guitar / Matt Brown - drums.

www.artephis.co.uk/

 
Spread Eagle at Sawley

Eric Ainsworth with Eddie Taylor & Irene Martin

Sunday 6 October 2019 From 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: The Spread Eagle Inn, Sawley Near Clitheroe BB7 4NH Tel: 01200 441202 Web: www.spreadeaglesawley.co.uk | Tickets: Free, but if eating, table booking advised.

Featuring: Eric Ainsworth - keyboard; Ken Marley - double bass; Jimmy Scaiffe - drums; Eddie Taylor - Trombone; and Irene Martin - vocals.

Local legend, Eric Ainsworth, returns to the Spread Eagle with his experienced and talented team, Jimmy Scaife, Ken Marley and probably Eddie Taylor. But watch out! Eric brings new talent in Irene Martin, one of the top vocalists in the North-West who has performed at the Orinoco Jazz Festival in Venezuela as well as our very own Ribble Valley Jazz Festival. She will bring a blend of Jazz standards, Latin classics, Blues and contemporary Soul! Irene's classy performance is not to be missed!

 
Spread Eagle at Sawley

Shades of Django

Sunday 3 November 2019 From 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: The Spread Eagle Inn, Sawley Near Clitheroe BB7 4NH Tel: 01200 441202 Web: www.spreadeaglesawley.co.uk | Tickets: Free, but if eating, table booking advised.

Featuring: Professor Stuart Hampton Reeves - guitar; Paul Murphy - rhythm guitar; John Wilton - double bass; James Goodwin-Hudson - lead guitar; Laurence Woof - violin.

Shades of Django make their third appearance at the Spread Eagle thanks to excellent previous performances. It delights audience with some memorable Django Reinhardt Hot-Club Gypsy Jazz tunes. Django Reinhardt’s music fused American swing, classical music and Gypsy music creating a unique sound. Don't miss this notable performance from Shades!

 
Gordon Vernick trio

From the USA - the Gordon Vernick Trio

Friday 22 November 2019 From 7:00pm, Stage: 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Venue: The Grand Theatre, 18 York Street, Clitheroe BB7 2DL Tel: 01200 421 599 Web: www.thegrandvenue.co.uk | Tickets: Adv £12 / £10 members | Book now: Available soon from The Grand

Gordon Vernick is director of the GSU Faculty Jazztet which performs regularly in Atlanta and has appeared at the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the High Museum Jazz Series, the International Association for Jazz Education Conference and many other venues in the southeast.

He has performed with such world-renown jazz artists as Kenny Werner, Clare Fischer, John Hart, Kevin Hays, Conrad Herwig, Marc Copland, Randy Brecker, Paul McCandless, and many others.

His podcasts, Jazz Insights, are available on I-Tunes and all 225 of them will soon be available on his new website: jazzinsights.org (not working yet)

 
Ribble Valley Jazz

Xmas Bash

Friday 13 December 2019 From 7:00pm, Stage: 8:00pm to 10:30pm
Venue: The Grand Theatre, 18 York Street, Clitheroe BB7 2DL Tel: 01200 421 599 Web: www.thegrandvenue.co.uk | Tickets: Available soon

It would be great to have a get together but what should we do? What music and where? Please let us know if you have a great idea.

 
Spread Eagle at Sawley

Ribble Valley Jazz Big Band

Sunday 15 December 2019 From 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: The Spread Eagle Inn, Sawley Near Clitheroe BB7 4NH Tel: 01200 441202 Web: www.spreadeaglesawley.co.uk | Tickets: Free, but if eating, table booking advised.

Featuring Paul Rigby - Band Director and Leader of NJO

Ribble Valley Jazz Big Band has been presenting a fine portfolio of famous big band tunes to audiences across East Lancashire to splendid applause! The band returns to the Spread Eagle for a Christmas Special which will give you a rousing and entertaining performance laced with solos and renditions of top American big band tunes. Reserve a table for afternoon dinner and jazz in good time. The band’s Christmas concerts sell out early!

 
THE MANCHESTER JAZZ COLLECTIVE

The Manchester Jazz Collective

Friday 10 January 2020 From 7:00pm, Stage: 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Venue: The Grand Theatre, 18 York Street, Clitheroe BB7 2DL Tel: 01200 421 599 Web: www.thegrandvenue.co.uk | Tickets: £12/£10 members, under 18s £5 | Book now: Available soon.

Rich orchestration rubs shoulders with Middle-Eastern harmonies, Afro-Jazz and and even Heavy Metal, defying stylistic categorisation!

This is a highly energised and focussed unit with more than a hint of 'Loose Tubes', so they should have some resonance with our own community bands.

Line-up: Kyran Mathews, Jeff Guntren, Emily Burkhardt all on saxes, woodwinds / Nick Walters & Graham Smith - trumpets / Ellie Smith - trombone / Rich McVeigh - bass trombone / Andrew Stamatakis-Brown on piano / Paul Baxter - bass / Johnny Hunter - drums.  £12 and £10 (Northern Line supported)

 

RVJ&B NEWS

Eva's photo exhibitionAn exhibition of photos taken by Eva Kahan during the 10th anniversary festival.

Matt's review of the festival

Supported and Funded by Arts Council England