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Southport Jazz Festival is back next month with a packed line-up

1 year ago

Southport Jazz Festival is back next month with a packed line-up
Djanco will perform at Southport Jazz Festival

Some of the greatest jazz musicians in the UK will be heading to Southport this February.

Southport Jazz Festival takes place from Friday 3rd February to Sunday 5th February 2023 in the spectacular setting of the art deco The Grand on Lord Street in Southport as part of the landmark building’s centenary celebrations.

The beautiful venue, which was built in 1923, has recently been lovingly restored by Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group in a £4 million transformation and the UK’s finest jazz musicians will invoke the spirit of the roaring 20s with this superb event.

Southport Jazz Festival
The Wendy Kirkland Quartet featuring Dennis Rollins MBE will perform Get Carter Reimagined at Southport Jazz Festival

Southport Jazz Festival is being organised for the first time by acclaimed local musicians Jez Murphy and Emma Holcroft, who have taken over from Neil Hughes.

Emma will be among the performers, starring with the Swingtime Big Band featuring herself and Liane Carroll on the opening night.

The new venue is among some welcome changes that audiences will enjoy seeing although some of the event’s much-loved traditions will remain.

Jazz lovers will be delighted to see for example that the Alan Barnes Octet will close the Festival with a show on the final night.

There will be a variety of shows for people of all tastes from jazz enthusiasts to music lovers keen to enjoy something a little different in a glamorous setting.

Southport Jazz Festival
Swingtime Big Band feauring Liane Carroll & Emma Holcroft will perform at Southport Jazz Festival

There are so many highlights that guests won’t want to miss. Saturday night for example sees jazz legend  and superstar trombonist Dennis Rollins MBE perform with the Wendy Kirkland Quartet. This is an exciting and diverse reboot of Roy Budd’s iconic film score celebrating Jack Carter, played by Michael Caine in the cult 1970 film. 

Rising star Alex Clarke, with the Alex Clarke Quartet, will present her new album on Saturday afternoon. One of the most in-demand and versatile young saxophonists emerging on the British jazz scene, she was a finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2020.

On Sunday afternoon, Internationally renowned singer-pianist Jeremy Sassoon and his superb band will take you on a journey through some of history’s greatest Jewish musicians from the golden era of Gershwin, the Great American Songbook, through to the 21st century, honouring artists such as Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Randy Newman and Amy Winehouse.

On Sunday night, Southport Jazz Festival favourite Alan Barnes will present Copperfield, with something for everyone. A great night out that is also a treat for the jazz connoisseur; it will delight anyone who loves music or literature – or just being entertained.

There is so much to choose from.

There are 10 performances in total across the three days with people able to attend the show of their choice, or to buy a day pass, or to buy a Weekender Ticket with all 10 shows for just £150.

Credit: Andrew Brown Media

Emma and Jez said:

“Welcome to the 2023 Southport Jazz Festival! It feels good to be able to say that at last. It’s all change at Festival central, a new team and a new venue, but don’t worry we will still have the same top class jazz music in stunning new surroundings

“When we were approached by Neil to take over as the new directors of the festival we jumped at the chance as we have a deep affection for this festival and have many fond memories from years gone by, both as performers and as audience members. So, over the last few months we have been plotting and scheming to bring you a line-up worthy of the festivals of the past and we hope that you will get behind us to keep this gem of a festival going for many years to come.

“I’m sure you’ll agree that we have managed to secure the very best in UK jazz artistes to entertain you over three days, from trio to big band, there’s something for everybody.

“Our hosts at Mikhail Hotel & Leisure Group are looking forward to welcoming you all and have assured us that you will all be royally looked after. Based on Lord Street, in the Northern Quarter of Southport, they have four newly refurbished establishments, all on each others doorstep – The Grand, The Lord Street Hotel, The Bold Hotel and Punch Tarmeys Bar will all be offering discounted food and drink for SJF attendees over the weekend as well as discounted hotel rooms.

“Now, more than ever we need to keep music live, we hope you will all support this festival, as you have done so often in the past, and let’s have the best jazz house party possible!”

Jeremy Sassoon’s MOJO – Musicians Of Jewish Origin perform at Southport Jazz Festival

Shows include:

Friday 3rd February 2023

The Brownfield-Byrne Quintet 1pm  £15

Djanco – Hot club jazz – with a twist 4pm £15

Swingtime Big Band feat. Liane Carroll & Emma Holcroft 8.30pm £25

Saturday 4th February 2023

Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra in Concert 12.30pm £10

Alex Clarke Quartet presents Only A Year 3pm £15

Pete Long & Georgina Jackson present A Tribute to Peggy, Benny & Duke 7pm £25

Wendy Kirkland Quartet feat. Dennis Rollins MBE – Get Carter Reimagined 10pm £15

Sunday 5th February 2023

O’Higgins & Luft Tour 2023 – Pluto 1pm £15

Jeremy Sassoon’s MOJO – Musicians Of Jewish Origin 4pm £25

Alan Barnes presents Copperfield – A Dickensian Jazz Suite 8pm £25

The festival is taking place at The Grand, 180 Lord Street, Southport, PT9 0QC from Friday 3rd February to Sunday 5th February 2023 – get tickets here.



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