#4Jazz Festival starts tomorrow – here’s your guide

Arun Ghosh (Photo © John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk)

Arun Ghosh (Photo © John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk)

Jazz UK, formerly Jazz Services, goes public in a big way tomorrow and Saturday with its first festival, called #4Jazz and taking over a variety of venues as well as the streets of Coventry, up here in the English Midlands.

The festival is attempting to cover an ambitious set of bases, drawing the public in through street performances, events aimed at children and a carnival procession, but also catering for the aficionados with some big names in British jazz, including Julian Arguelles, Courtney Pine, Zoe Rahman, Arun Ghosh and Christine Tobin.

Jazz UK’s Project Director, Heulwen Phillips, explained to me the spark for #4: “I was really inspired by my own experience of growing up in Brecon, being there at the very first jazz festival, and witnessing first-hand how the whole town responded to the music – it was at every street corner, in every public garden and car park. This was a real community event, everyone got involved and everybody benefited from it. This is what jazz could do.”

  • You can read a full Q&A with Heulwen here.

I have found the #4Jazz Festival programme online is a little too clever for its own good – certainly too clever for me, anyway – so here is a simpler outline of the main events as I understand them, by date and time, with venue and whether free or ticketed:


8.30pm – Julian Argüelles’ Tetra – The Herbert – Free.


12 noon – Black Top & Cleveland Watkiss – Urban Coffee. Fargo Village – Free.

12 noon – Misha Mullov-Abbado Quintet – Broadgate Music Marquee – Free.

1pm – Christine Tobin, A Thousand Kisses Deep – Drapers Bar – Free.

2pm – Courtney Pine & Zoe Rahman – Old Grammar School – Ticketed.

2pm – Andrew McCormack & Noemi Nuti – Urban Coffee, Fargo Village – Free.

2pm – Perhaps Contraption – Broadgate Music Marquee – Free.

3pm – Budapest Café Orchestra – Drapers Bar – Free.

4pm – Philip Clouts Quartet – Urban Coffee, Fargo Village – Free.

4pm – Julian Argüelles Septet – Broadgate Music Marquee – Free.

5pm – Arun Ghosh Sextet/Coventry Performing Arts Service – The Belgrade B2 – Ticketed.

8pm – Double Bill: World Service Project/Zodiak Trio – The Tin @ The Coal Vaults – Ticketed.

8pm – Double Bill: Dee Byrne’s Entropi/Corey Mwamba’s Yana – Urban Coffee, Fargo Village – Ticketed.

There are various other events, including the promenading band Jazz Undead. There are also a couple of apps relevant to festival events, showing that Jazz UK is being imaginative in trying to attract a broader audience.

  • For more information of the whole festival and to buy tickets for the events identified as such above, go here.

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2 replies

  1. Hi peter

    I meant to have a chat about this. I know Jazz Services has to try to survive but I can’t see what their strategy is other than becoming yet another promoter rather than a supporter of jazz musicians and clubs?

    Plus there’s a lot of top notch acts for free – again as we have discussed not a great model for encouraging folks to pay for jazz.

    Be interested to hear what you think.


    • I’ll keep my powder dry on this for the moment, Brian, but I’d be interested in other views of both the issues you raise. On the second point it is a little strange that the events for which there is a charge are lesser known bands which might benefit from some free exposure whereas the ones we can see for free are the bigger names for which other venues and festivals generally charge an entrance fee. This could be a really revolutionary and creative new approach to jazz event pricing, but I haven’t heard the logic explained yet.

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