This year, the Festival reaches more places and spaces than ever before and welcomes new venues, such as Jesus College and University Arms Hotel, to a packed roster. In total, there are 24 venues – from the Cambridge Junction, Bar-Oh and La Raza to the LAB Cocktail Bar, Saffron Hall and West Road Concert Hall – 44 events and over 150 musicians performing.
The most widely anticipated events include performances from multi-award-winning UK Vocalist ZARA MCFARLANE, the Festival’s Artist-In-Residence. Zara is part of the new vanguard of UK jazz masters. This is absolutely one not-to-be-missed for anyone who loves good music.
The Festival concludes on 27th November with its main headliner event, OMAR + QCBA. Omar is one of the greatest soul music talents the UK has produced in the last 40 years.
The Festival is also delighted to welcome COURTNEY PINE, the undisputed master of UK jazz whose 1995 album Modern Day Jazz Stories was nominated for the Mercury music prize. He also won best jazz act at the inaugural MOBO awards in 1996. Courtney has received both an OBE and a CBE and, in 2021, was honoured with the Jazz FM Gold award.
To kickstart this year’s programme, the Festival launches on 10th November with an exclusive preview night, featuring the stomping powerhouse that is THE BRASS FUNKEYS at the Cambridge Junction.
From 17th November, a packed programme of events gets underway with two events: JASPER HØIBY’S PLANET B + LYDIAN COLLECTIVE and JULIE CAMPICHE. Both events promise to be a musical tour de force.
Friday 18th features two further world-class performances at the stunning St Catherine’s College Chapel, The Mattan Klein Duoand Ashley Henry, who celebrate their craft with a beautiful concoction of world jazz music.
Saturday 19th has a range of events for all the family including the Arts Council England developed storytelling performance piece, A WALTZ IN NEW ORLEANS. Legendary author, musician and broadcaster ALYN SHIPTON is in conversation for the launch of his new book Alyn Shipton On Jazz. And, of course, there will be music with a performance of Alyn Shipton’s New Orleans Friends.
The evening of Saturday 19th sees Jazz FM’s Chris Phillips & Jez Nelson: Jazz in The Round ft. Alina Bzhezhinska, Rouhangeze & Tomasz Bura, Ant Law & Alex Hitchcock for a packed billing of the very latest and dynamic sounds during the most intimate of events. One of the UK Jazz scene’s greatest young drummers JAS KAYSER also hits the city centre at of the city’s most iconic subterranean venues, Clare College.
Sunday 20th is all about big bands, large ensembles and jazz orchestras with three events for people of all ages and at all stages of their career: SCHOOLS BIG BAND CONCERT, CAMBRIDGE GROOVE ORCHESTRA and the climax to the opening weekend, CUJO – CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY JAZZ ORCHESTRA FT ZARA MCFARLANE.
Throughout the following week, the Festival has Jam sessions, activities for all ages, gigs and more happening across the city. Thursday 24th brings the momentum towards the second Festival weekend with TIM BONIFACE & SAM MILES: REMEMBERING DEX & GETZ. Friday brings us some of the UK’s most loved and celebrated master musicians; TIM GARLAND & JASON REBELLOand COURTNEY PINE ‘Spirituality’ featuring ZOE RAHMAN.
Saturday 26th offers up a packed programme of workshops, including JAZZ IMPROVISATION WITH TIM GARLAND, and a series of family events including GROOVE BABY PRESENTS GROOVING WITH PIRATES. The Festival also welcomes back the Artist-In-Residence ZARA MCFARLANE for an exclusive duo performance of her award-winning repertoire at the intimate central Cambridge location of the Frankopan Hall (Jesus College).
The Festival begins its closing weekend with a return to Jesus College for an all-day session, starring JAZZ FM’S RUTH FISHER’S PROSECCO BRUNCH WITH IMMY & PETE CHURCHILL. Plenty of activities follow, such as SONITA ALLEYNE OBE AND ORPHY ROBINSON MBE ‘Developing your Creative Practice’ and a Choir Workshop with PETE CHURCHILL.
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