Marsden brings jazz to the Pennines

Marsden Jazz Festival returns this October in its 22nd incarnation with over 70 events including Dennis Rollins and Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band

What is claimed to be the largest annual north of England jazz festival returns for its 22nd year this autumn from 10 to 12 October, boasting over 70 events with around 50 free entry.

Held in various venues in and around the Yorkshire village of Marsden, from the restored nineteenth-century Mechanics Hall to local café Crumbals-on-the-Corner, the festival aims to put on a variety of music to appeal to all ages, seeing around 5,000 visitors annually.

Headliners this year include the Doncaster Jazz Orchestra featuring DJO alumnus and trombonist Dennis Rollins (pictured), who has played with the likes of Courtney Pine and the Jazz Warriors and currently leads jazz/funk bands Badbone & Co and the Velocity Trio. Other ticketed events include close harmony group the Sugar Sisters, mixing ukulele-accompanied forties swing with nineties calypso, London-based trio Troyka, who have been described as “both deep-rooted and as modern as the moment” by the Guardian, and Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band, a multi-instrumental outfit with a colourful history going back to 1967.

The festival will also feature world premieres of music commissioned especially for Marsden Jazz Festival, including I Have A Duck Who Can Roar, a jazz septet story set to music with the younger jazz fan in mind, and Revolutionary Traditional, a sextet composition inspired by early ragtime. Winners of the 2014 Jazz North Introduces scheme for young musicians, Jam Experiment (featuring BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year award-winner Alex Bone), will also play at the festival on the Saturday.

Entry for ticketed gigs is reasonably priced with a “4 for 3” option also on offer, making the lowest-priced gig free if you purchase tickets for four.

More information is available at, where you can also purchase tickets; alternatively, you can call the box office on 0845 519 4415.

Sally Evans-Darby

Relax with the luxurious print edition of Jazz Journal and enjoy more jazz news, reviews, features and debate.

post a comment