Just the ticket!

Young musicians from Hull and East Riding head down to London this Sunday to perform in a special one-off show at the newly re-opened Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The performance is the culmination of The Jazz Ticket, a nationwide project led by award-winning jazz development agency Tomorrow’s Warriors. Over the past year, young musicians from around the country have had the chance to work with leading jazz professionals, developing their performance and improvisation skills and exploring the rich and inspiring history of the genre and six of its pioneering artists born in 1917.

Professional musicians from Nu Civilisation Orchestra led workshops with schools and youth jazz ensembles in Hull and East Riding last Autumn. 75 young musicians took to the stage alongside Nu Civilisation Orchestra in November, and blew the roof off Hull Truck Theatre at one of the closing gigs of Hull Jazz Festival’s 25th anniversary.

And now they get the chance to do it all again, but this time in the incredible surroundings of the Queen Elizabeth Hall. They’ll be joining young musicians from across the country, coming together to celebrate six Giants of Jazz.

20 members of City of Hull Youth Jazz Orchestra will be performing Neal Hefti’s Fantail, made famous by Count Basie in the late 1950s. Sean Miller, from Hull Music Hub, says: “The Jazz Ticket event held as part of the Hull Jazz Festival in November 2017 was a fantastic project to be part of, helping young musicians from across the City develop their understanding of the history of Jazz; improve improvisational and ensemble skills, and watch and listen to professional musicians at the top of their game.  To be able to follow this up at the Tomorrow’s Warriors Gala event in London is fantastic, enabling the band to perform with and listen to other young musicians from across the 9 cities that have also been involved in the project.”

Ella Fitzgerald

And 19 members of East Riding Youth Jazz Orchestra will be joining them, performing Ella Fitzgerald’s version of Get Happy and Josef Zawinul’s Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. Ben Croombs, from East Riding Music Hub, says: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Tomorrow’s Warriors on the Jazz Ticket Project. Pupils have grown in confidence and developed skills in Jazz improvisation through working with the amazing musicians from the Nu Civilisation Orchestra. Together they have created bespoke arrangements and explored Jazz tonality, melody and rhythm. This project has provided the young people with the opportunity to perform on big stages with professional musicians – an experience they will never forget!”

Big thanks to our friends at Tomorrow’s Warriors, Hull Music Hub and East Riding Music Hub for making the project possible. And break a leg  for Sunday’s show to all our talented young musicians – can’t wait to hear how you get on!

Hull Jazz Festival pledges gender balance by 2022

We’re proud to announce that Hull Jazz Festival is now a Keychange associate festival. This means the festival’s pledged to reach a 50:50 gender balance in its programme by 2022, with 50% of acts including at least one woman.

Keychange logo

Keychange began as a European talent development programme for female artists and innovators, led by PRS Foundation. The 50:50 pledge was proposed by Keychange festival partners who wanted to show they are serious in their commitment to gender equality in addition to offering showcasing opportunities to female talent.  Since then festivals from all over the world have signed up to the pledge, making Keychange a movement for positive change. Hull Jazz Festival joins a list of festivals and other associates that includes Iceland Airwaves, Liverpool Sound City, Hull’s own 53 Degrees North, BlueDot, BBC Introducing, Manchester Jazz Festival and New York’s Winter JazzFest.

Hull Jazz Festival Director David Porter says: “We became aware of this initiative through our ongoing work with the PRS Foundation. I knew that jazz had been traditionally male-orientated, but I’d always thought that J-Night and the Hull Jazz Festival were pretty progressive around working with women. I was shocked to find that just over 50% of our acts featured during 2017 featured no women whatsoever in their line-ups. It seems a pretty obvious decision to try and rectify that and our board are pleased to sign our pledge to Keychange.” 

For more information, visit the Keychange website: keychange.eu. Hull Jazz Festival 26th Summer Edition takes place from 19-21 July, with a line-up featuring female artists including Camilla George, Vimala Rowe, Natasha Watts, Janette Mason, Sarah Tandy and The Dyr Sister. Full programme and box office details here.