Jazz Festival launches new weekly Hope Street Jazz night at Frederiks
2 years ago
A Jazz Festival at Frederik’s, the biggest event by Hope Street Jazz yet, is launching a new weekly night there.
The venue is already home to Hope Street Jazz on Tuesdays and Thursdays and now, thanks to demand from fans and from artists, it’s adding a regular Wednesday night too.
To celebrate, Hope Street Jazz Fest is a Bank Holiday party, with Liverpool psych jazz favourites Bop Kaballa and guests on Wednesday and then an eclectic line-up of artists on Thursday from 5pm through to close.
DJ and promoter John Dean, who started the nights four years ago, says the festival is a thank you to everyone who’s supported them and helped them give a showcase to local talent.
“It’s a celebration of the success of Hope Street Jazz, to shine some light on the acts, and also a party for people who’ve been coming to the events for the past few years,” he says.
“On Wednesday, which will be the first of our new nights, we’ll have Bop Kaballa, who are currently one of the brightest stars of the scene. They’re based in Liverpool, they actually formed in Frederik’s, now they’re just about to release an album.
“That’s the really good thing about the night, it’s its own ecosystem. Two or three other bands have also formed just to play the night so it’s a really growing thing.
“Thursday will be the biggest one we’ve done for Hope Street Jazz because, instead of the usual one act per night and a jam afterwards, we’ll have five acts on all doing a 45-minute set each.
“Bop Kaballa will be on again, and we’ve got local rapper Dayzy & Troupeau de Couleur, Viktor Nordberg Ensemble, Olvine, The Ensemble, and Nonunonu, as well as DJs.
“We’ll be starting around 4pm, with the first act on about 5pm, and it’ll run right through the night and then we have a jam where guest musicians and artists will get up and play.”
John says with so many other festivals happening in the city which focus on other types of music, this is a first for jazz, showing just how popular it’s become here.
“I think more people are realising now, and because of the acts I’ve been booking, that jazz is such a wide spectrum. It can cover rap, spoken word, lounge and upbeat dance stuff, it spans a wide range, and the younger generation, 20-year-olds and up, are really taking to it so it’s just getting better and better.
“Every band on in this festival sounds completely different to each other but they all fit under the jazz genre because it’s so varied and I think that’s a big part of the success of it.
“I didn’t want us to have a resident band, where you’re hearing the same thing every week, so I’ve tried my best to make it constantly different.”
He says taking Hope Street Jazz into three dates a week was an obvious next step.
“We could easily fill all three nights just with Liverpool bands and 90% of them still are.
“Initially, I was quite stubborn about who played because I’d seen scenes come and go because everybody would book the bands from outside the city and I used to find that bands from the city would get neglected. So for the first couple of years I wouldn’t book anyone from outside, I wanted it to be only Liverpool-based and to give the opportunity to just Liverpool artists.
“But now we’ve opened it up a bit, as it’s become more successful, and we’ve been inviting artists from Manchester, London and Leeds, and some international artists who come here when they’re touring.
“Since I started Hope Street Jazz the amount of jazz nights that have popped up is astounding, you can go to a jazz night in Liverpool pretty much every night of the week now. People are asking for it, and the demand is so high from bands who want to play at the venue, that it was just a bit of a no-brainer.”