Festival will celebrate music from from all over the world

Soweto Kinch.
Soweto Kinch.

British saxophonist, rapper and MC Soweto Kinch will headline a new festival in the county this month.

The Ribble Valley Jazz Festival has teamed up with the University of Central Lancashire for the mainly free festival, Preston Jam, celebrating musical influences from all over the world.

One of the founder members of the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival Geoff Jackson said: “This is a really exciting venture and there’s going to be so much going on.

“It’s a real coup to have Soweto Kinch at the first Preston Jam, as he was one of the stars of the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival a couple of years ago.”

Preston Jam, a precursor to next month’s Ribble Valley Jazz Festival, runs from March 25th to April 1st.

Mr Jackson added: “We bring the experience of organising eight Ribble Valley Jazz festivals since 2010, and it is a great link up.

“We also benefit tremendously by having the University of Central Lancashire as our festival sponsor and an enthusiasm for establishing Preston Jam as an annual music festival.”

Preston Jam opens up with a monster 25-hour music jam featuring musicians from across Britain.

Last year’s Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year, London female collective, Nerija, inspired by the sounds of jazz, Hip-Hop and Afrobeat, are on a crackerjack of a bill at the 53 degrees venue in the city on April 1st, ahead of Soweto Kinch’s headline slot.

And Lancashire five-piece Atomic Brass will be turning up the heat with their jazz funk grooves – and putting their own spin on classics Uptown Funk, I feel Good and Valerie.

The city’s Harris Museum and Art Gallery will provide a spectacular backdrop to a performance seminar celebrating the influence of Django Reinhardt, the first European jazz guitar hero.

“Professor Stuart-Hampton Reeves will discuss Django’s achievements and his influence on modern music – it should be a fascinating talk,” said Mr Jackson.

“It will be illustrated by performances of Django’s music by the Wrong Notes, a superb quartet who play gypsy style jazz.”

Leading civil rights author Professor Brian Ward has been confirmed as one of the main speakers at the festival’s Music and Freedom Symposium, Freedom Sounds: Music and the Civil Rights Movement on March 31st.

For details of the free event, go to the Eventbrite website and type in University of Central Lancashire and then select the event.

For more details about Preston Jam go to www.uclan.ac.uk/prestonjam.

Tickets for the Preston Jam Finale, featuring Soweto Kinch available from 01200 421599 or thegrandvenue.co.uk

The Ribble Valley Jazz Festival runs from Thursday, April 27th to Monday, May 1st, and includes concerts from Soft Machine, Get the Blessing, Norma Winstone and the Printmakers, Riot Jazz and Ella Shaw.

The festival will be held at various venues around the Ribble Valley and there will also be a street festival on the Saturday of the event.

For full details of the programme, visit rvjazzandblues.co.uk