The future of jazz is in good hands

One of the key reasons for the success of Scarborough’s annual jazz festival since it began in 2003 has been the eclectic mixture of young talent alongside established names.

This year’s festival, at the Spa from 20-22 September, is no exception, with a host of young musicians on the bill.

Alto saxophonist Jasmine Whalley will be first on stage. Her quintet Jasmine combines the influences of jazz and hip-hop and was selected by musicians and promoters for the Jazz North Introduces scheme.

Bonsai, formerly known as Jam Experiment, was a highlight of the 2015 festival. Described as the shape of jazz to come in Jazzwise magazine last year, the London-based five-piece band includes the winner of the rising-star accolade in the 2017 British Jazz awards, trombonist Rory Ingham.

Several talented youngsters will appear alongside two mainstays of the UK jazz scene.

Clark Tracey is one of the country’s top drummers. Over many years he has fronted bands that play passionate and stimulating jazz and showcased emerging new talent. Three members of his new quintet are recent finalists in the BBC young jazz musician of the year competition.

Pianist John Law is another major figure on the UK jazz scene. His latest project features well-known tunes from the worlds of jazz and pop. Re-Creations features Parliamentary Jazz award-winning saxophonist Sam Crockatt and a new group of young musicians. Alongside classic jazz standards, the quartet plays interesting arrangements of tunes by the Beatles, Sting, Radiohead, Adele, Daft Punk and others.

The Eastern Area Schools Youth Jazz Orchestra will run Saturday morning workshops in the Spa Suncourt, tutored by saxophonist Robert Fowler and drummer Matt Skelton. They will then play a free concert in the Suncourt between the afternoon and evening sessions.

Festival director Mike Gordon commented: “There’s some amazing young jazz talent in the UK today and we are proud to have promoted many young performers since the first event in 2003. They are the future of jazz and many who have played at the festival have gone on to great things at home and abroad.

“So come and enjoy these exciting and varied bands. Who knows, you may be listening to a future Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis”.

Sharing the bill are Alan Barnes +11, Alec Dankworth’s Spanish Accents, Dave Newton, the Freddie Gavita Quartet, Jeremy Sassoon’s Ray Charles Project, Jim Mullen’s Volunteers, Kate Peters’ Big Band, Liane Carroll, New Jazz Extempore, Partisans, Sam Rapley’s Fabled, the Tony Kofi Quartet and Wild Card.

Tickets cost £100 (£45 for students) for the weekend and £50 (£21) per day. Add £2 if you go to the box office and £2.50 if you want your ticket posted. To book, ring 821888 or visit www.scarboroughjazzfestival.co.uk. Session tickets will go on sale on 1 July.