Jazzing it up in Petersfield

Jazz enthusiasts will be delighted that the PMF has decided to stage a jazz evening for the first time in several years. The concert, which takes place on Friday 22nd March, is a tribute to legendary drummer and band leader Art Blakey who pioneered an iconic and varied style of American jazz influencing Wynton Marsalis, Horace Silver and beyond. Blakey infused his music with a type of African rhythm which became the foundations of the Hard Bop style, and he was well known for his collaborations with other artists.

The concert features a sextet of emerging professional jazz musicians aged 18-25 from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) and celebrates Blakey’s unique contribution to the genre. Since its foundation in 1965, NYJO has grown from a single jazz orchestra to a multifaceted organisation committed to supporting and developing musicians of all standards and which aims to deliver impactful performances. The sextet features drums, bass, keys, trumpet, tenor sax and trombone and the programme will include jazz classics such as Blues March, Caravan, Crisis, One by One, Moanin’ and Sleeping Dancer Sleep On.

Kicking off the Festival this year is a double programme of contrasting music on Friday 15th March. Encore Choirs comprises a series of choirs from across Hampshire which brings together people who simply enjoy singing together. Founded by Josh Robinson and partner Gemma Ford, Encore is an un-auditioned group of singers. Tonight’s choirs, drawn from Alton and Nyewood, will have fun with some popular classics such as Phantom of the Opera, Son of a Preacher Man, Day by Day, Come What may, Stand by me and Viva la Vida. The choir will be accompanied by Shaun Hall and Adrian Gregoryass on guitar, Joe Peall on Drums, Volodymyr Vasylenko on Accordion and Alfie Hickson on keyboard.

To wrap up the evening, Legends, the UK’s ultimate Boy Band Tribute act, will be performing smash hits from the Backstreet Boys, Take That, 5-live and Jackson 5, amongst others.  The trio of musicians – Jon Cole, Simon Crates and Elliot Port – come from different and eclectic branches of music performance and production including Italian Opera and pop punk and rock bands. The show will be full of dance choreography and rollercoaster musical escapades. Don’t miss it!

Read a review of this concert.