£4m Grand set to host Southport Jazz Festival

Some of the leading jazz musicians in the UK will be heading to Southport this February when the 2023 Southport Jazz Festival takes place at the new £4m Grand venue. Andrew Brown reports

Djanco will perform at Southport Jazz Festival in February

February will see the UK’s leading jazz performers and musicians descend on Southport for the three-day Southport Jazz Festival.

Taking place from Friday, February 3, to Sunday, February 5, the festival will be held in the the Art Deco The Grand venue on Lord Street as part of the landmark building’s centenary celebrations.

Built in 1923, the Grand has recently been restored by Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group in a £4m transformation. The UK’s finest jazz musicians will invoke the spirit of the roaring 20s with this event.

Southport Jazz Festival is being organised for the first time by acclaimed local musicians Jez Murphy and Emma Holcroft, who have taken over from Neil Hughes. Emma will be among the performers, starring with the Swingtime Big Band featuring herself and Liane Carroll on the opening night.

The new venue is among some welcome changes that audiences will enjoy seeing although some of the event’s much-loved traditions will remain.

The Alan Barnes Octet will close the Festival with a show on the final night. And there will be a variety of shows for people of all tastes from jazz enthusiasts to music lovers keen to enjoy something a little different in a glamorous setting.

Saturday will see jazz legend  and superstar trombonist Dennis Rollins perform with the Wendy Kirkland Quartet. This is a reboot of Roy Budd’s iconic film score celebrating Jack Carter, played by Michael Caine in the cult 1970 film.

Rising star Alex Clarke, with the Alex Clarke Quartet, will present her new album on Saturday afternoon. One of the most in-demand and versatile young saxophonists emerging on the British jazz scene, she was a finalist in the BBC’s Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2020.

On Sunday afternoon, internationally renowned singer-pianist Jeremy Sassoon and his band will pay tribute to some of history’s greatest Jewish musicians. It will cover the golden era of Gershwin, the Great American Songbook, through to the 21st century, honouring artists such as Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Randy Newman and Amy Winehouse.

On Sunday night, Southport Jazz Festival favourite Alan Barnes will present Copperfield. A great night out that is also a treat for the jazz connoisseur; it will delight anyone who loves music or literature – or just being entertained.

Southport Jazz Festival
Southport Jazz Festival takes place from Friday, February 3. Picture by Andrew Brown Media

There are 10 performances in total across the three days with people able to attend the show of their choice, or to buy a day pass, or to buy a Weekender Ticket with all 10 shows for just £150. You can buy tickets and see more details at the southportjazz.co.uk website.

Emma and Jez said: “Welcome to the 2023 Southport Jazz Festival. It feels good to be able to say that at last. It’s all change at festival central, a new team and a new venue, but don’t worry we will still have the same top class jazz music in stunning new surroundings.

READ MORE: Climbing gym to bring listed Southport building back to life

“When we were approached by Neil to take over as the new directors of the festival we jumped at the chance/ We have a deep affection for this festival and have many fond memories from years gone by, both as performers and as audience members.

“So, over the last few months we have been plotting and scheming to bring you a line-up worthy of the festivals of the past and we hope that you will get behind us to keep this gem of a festival going for many years to come.”

This article first appeared in Stand Up For Southport

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.