Why jazz is vital at a time of global meltdown

Michael Mansfield

Michael Mansfield

Quickly setting itself up at be a vital part of the Midlands jazz scene, the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton has announced Michael Mansfield QC, the barrister particularly renowned for his work with the Birmingham Six and with the family of Stephen Lawrence, is to be Patron of its jazz programme.

The programme is being launched in the autumn.

Mansfield said: “For me, jazz instils freedom of spirit and freedom of thought, both vital at this time of global political, economic and environmental meltdown caused by oppressive forces. The Arena Theatre’s jazz programme in Wolverhampton is a fine example of how to capture the imagination of a diverse community. Vibrant, stimulating and inclusive.”

The Arena press release gives this detail:

“Michael was born in 1941 and called to the Bar in 1967. He established Tooks Chambers in 1984 and achieved the status of Queen’s Counsel in 1989. He has represented defendants in criminal trials, appeals and inquiries in some of the most controversial legal cases the country has seen, particularly where issues of civil liberty have arisen. He has represented the Birmingham Six, and the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence. He participated in the inquests into the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, and Jean Charles de Menezes, and will be representing families in the Hillsborough inquest next year.

“The Arena’s new jazz programme will bring high profile national and international jazz artists to Wolverhampton and offer educational and participation opportunities to young people in the city. The season begins on Saturday 5 October, with the Zoe Rahman Quartet. Zoe won the 2012 MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act.

In 2010, Mr. Mansfield was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Law from the University of Wolverhampton. He now joins Wolverhampton-born jazz legend Dave Holland and British/Bengali musician Zoe Rahman as patrons of the city’s Arena Theatre and its jazz programme.”

For more about the Arena Theatre jazz programme, go here.

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