Seven Jazz - The Leeds Club for Quality Accessible Jazz

First Names Announced for the JazzLeeds Festival 2018

20 – 24 July 2018

Our second JazzLeeds festival is going to be a bit bigger than the first! We’ve grown from that one day in Millennium Square in August last year to five days this year at the Wardrobe, Leeds College of Music and TWO days in Millennium Square. We’re featuring international stars but also featuring some of the musicians and stories from this great city of Leeds.

  • Topping the bill at JazzLeeds Festival 18 is Soweto Kinch – saxman, rapper, BBC jazz broadcaster – at the Wardrobe on Friday evening 20 July
  • International jazz star (and former stand up comedian!) Ian Shaw will be here with his trio with music from his new album Shine Sister Shine at the College of music on the afternoon of Sunday 22 July
  • A special double header celebrating the new wave of British jazz with women’s band “Nerija” - from the Jazz Warriors and trumpeter Chris Batchelor’s band “Pigfoot” for the jazz party
  • Jazz Galore with Leeds favourites Atlantic Crossover, US saxman Greg Abate with his quartet, Leeds pianist Jamil Sheriff with his tribute to playwright Bill Naughton “Raefe’s Dilemma” and rising Northern Jazz Stars “Tetes de Pois” and “Archipelago”
  • New Stream Jazz Improv and Free Jazz with Matthew Bourne, Shatner’s Bassoon, Dave Kane, Alex Bonney and more
  • Festival Fringe at the “Busk Stop” in Lands Lane, in Millennium Square and late night jam session at the Domino

Three festival highlights you shouldn't miss!

“Delights of the Duke” - Alan Barnes Ellingtonians Octet : Sunday evening 22 July at Leeds College of Music

A celebration of the Duke’s music sixty years after Duke Ellington met the Queen in Leeds on Saturday, October 18, 1958. The Queen and the Duke were guests of honour at the finale of the Leeds Centenary Music Festival. The Duke sent Her Majesty a copy of his 1959 composition as a gift and it remains one of his most remarkable, but least well-known, works “The Queens Suite”. It will feature in the Ellington Celebration concert at the festival with music by saxman Alan Barnes and his eight piece “Ellingtonians” band.

“New Briggate Blues”: Monday evening 23 July The Carriageworks

Studio 20 was the Leeds main 1950’s jazz club on New Briggate run by tuba player Bob Barclay. Over the years it featured musicians like bluesman Jimmy Rushing, traditional jazz legend Ken Colyer, vocalist and raconteur George Melly, and sax legends Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott. Studio 20 also features in some of the crime novels written by Leeds crime writer Chris Nickson. Chris has written a jazz play as a commission to be performed at the festival about Studio 20 , directed by Ray Brown and featuring the jazz vocals of Jennie Smith

'Celebrating Xero Slingsby': Tuesday evening 24 July at the Wardrobe 

This event, curated by Sally Coe and a number of former band members and fellow musicians will celebrate the late Matthew Coe AKA Xero Slingsby (1953 - 1988) who was a powerful force in the Jazz scene in the UK, Belgium, Holland and Germany during the 1980’s.   He formed a number of bands along the way including Llamas in Pyjamas before forming his final line up of Xero Slingsby and The Works with bass player Louis Colan and drummer Gene Velocette. The idea was to present Jazz with punk-type brevity and he was remarkably successful becoming part of the movement flowering in Europe that included bands such as  Blurt, Rip, Rig And Panic and Pigbag. Saxophonist Alan Wilkinson and drummer Paul Hession, long standing pioneers of European Free Jazz scene, readily acknowledge their debt to Slingsby’s inspirational belief in musical communication. The event will be a celebration of those tunes and that energy.

Earlybird festival tickets are now on sale - priced £90 (until April 30th)

Also Seetickets, DiceFM, Jumbo Records, Crash Records

Visit  or call 07544 352594 for more details

Looking forward to seeing you all!!

Steve Crocker

Festival Organiser, JazzLeeds