The Love Supreme Jazz Festival is set to open its gates this weekend, from 5 to 7 July, with organisers no doubt hoping that audience numbers match or exceed the 44,000 who attended in 2018. With a mainstage line-up to please soul and funk fans – with artists including Ms. Lauryn Hill, Gladys Knight and Cinematic Orchestra – the festival’s eclectic jazz programme has plenty on offer too.
Saturday night headliners in the Big Top include this month’s Jazzwise cover stars Snarky Puppy (bandleader Michael League pictured above right), revered jazz pianist Chick Corea’s Spanish Heart Band (the keyboardist pictured above centre), and leading UK vibist Orphy Robinson’s all-star band celebrating the 50th anniversary of Van Morrison’s classic album Astral Weeks. Many people arrived early for the 2018 event, so this year the opening Friday night will see both the Arena and Big Top stages get into full swing, with Mercury-nominated piano trio GoGo Penguin headlining the Big Top, while the Arena packs in Kongo Dia Ntotlia, Adrien Brandeis Quintet, Flash Mob Jazz, Yakul and Jazz FM DJs. The Jazz in the Round stage (above left) fires up the festival fringe with cutting edge sounds from innovative drumtronica percussionist Chiminyo and young beat-fuelled collectives Cykada and PYJÆN.
Other names on the bill include reggae legend Jimmy Cliff and Zambian-born singer/rapper Sampa the Great, while the vibrant Bandstand line-up features a swathe of emerging jazz talents. Names to watch out for there include Tomorrow’s Warriors Septet, storming Birmingham-based saxophonist Xhosa Cole and his Quartet, and the Mingus Underground Octet.
Also appearing are spiritual jazzers Maisha, funky flautist Tenderlonius, grime-jazz tuba-ist Theon Cross, heavy-groovers Steam Down Collective and the fast rising SEED Ensemble. Potent US names on the bill include funk-fuelled New Orleans quintet Tank and the Bangas, Grammy-nominated pianist Christian Sands, cutting-edge Chicagoan drummer/producer Makaya McCraven and trumpeter Marquis Hill’s Blacktet. Further main stage headliners also include charismatic jazz pianist/singer Jamie Cullum performing songs from his new album Taller and there’ll be latin jazz house grooves from the Louie Vega & The Elements of Life Band, while the heavy jazz dance sounds of Kamaal Williams will fire up the Big Top on Sunday night.
Additionally, the Verve Lounge hosts discussion panels on topics such as Blue Note’s 80th Anniversary, DJs Tony Minvielle and Chris Phillips chatting about UK jazz, and a timely talk on hard-bopping Brit-jazz legend Tubby Hayes, there’s even the ‘Kind of Clue’ jazz quiz to test your music knowledge after a few ciders. The Bands And Voices stage offers a varied selection of spoken word performers including dub poets such as Linton Kwesi Johnson and Roger Robinson alongside Steam Down MCs/DJs Nadeem, Brother Portrait and Wonky Logic. The music is complemented by numerous on-site activities with a kids’ area for families, wellbeing sessions, yoga and dance classes, a food village plus the on-site Rough Trade record store. Camping and glamping options are available as well as day and full weekend tickets. Jazzwise are media festival partners.
– Mike Flynn
For full details visit www.lovesupremefestival.com
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