Ribble Valley Jazz Festival: your guide

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During the fourth Ribble Valley Jazz Festival Bank Holiday weekend starting tomorrow Friday May 3rd to Monday May 6th, The Atrium in Clitheroe is hosting a series of ticketed and non-ticketed events.

Starting with an evening of Freddie Hubbard jazz fusion, courtesy of Neil Yate (ex Brand New Heavies) tomorrow (Friday) at 8pm, this event is also linked to one of the headline acts this year at The Grand on Sunday night with the James Taylor Qrt.

Both artists were dramatically re-branded during the 90s within the so-called acid-jazz movement that also featured bands like Freakpower and Jamiroqui. A double ticket available from The Grand will save you £5.

The Sue Parish Trio bring a touch of class on Saturday afternoon at 2pm, and that is FREE. She’ll be singing familiar songs from the Great American Songbook. Perfect over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Female singers are much in vogue currently, and we’ve reflected this trend with appearances at The Grand on Saturday evening with our top-rated jazz diva, Liane Carroll, making her first appearance in Clitheroe.

However if you’re after something a little less pricey, then there’s another pleasing band and singer, Jazz Dept and Josie Smith, at the Atrium on Sunday May 5th at 4pm.

This year too, there are some notable additions to the festival programme.

Along with a collection of fine (free) blues acts at the Rose and Crown in Clitheroe, for the first time the village of Chipping “chips-in”, so-to-speak, 7-30pm Friday at the village hall with the well known local axe grinders Freebird doing a blues set. Tickets will cost £5 on the door. And hopefully this will establish a precedent for further collaborations around the Ribble Valley.

No self-respecting jazz festival could proceed without some Parisian swing, and the Django Bop Trio perform this amazingly well. They can be heard at Piccolinos restaurant tomorrow (Friday) from 5-7pm, or again at the Old Post House on Saturday evening.

There is really too much to mention in such a short space, but the “family friendly” feel is cemented this year with the Saturday Street Fest on May 4th, organised by Valley Gigs and RVJB to involve shops, artists (Harris Court) performing artists and locally based musicians in a celebration that will hopefully have a wide appeal. It will be difficult to avoid anyway as Castle Street is being closed to traffic, so be prepared to smile broadly and lighten the mood if you’re in the Clitheroe vicinity. Apart from workshops these activities are free to the public. So, see you there!