Wednesday 6th June

Aziz Ibrahim

Venue: The Ferret 7pm

Aziz Ibrahim, who has played with many world-class artists including The Stone Roses, Paul Weller, and Simply Red, will be showcasing his experimental digital project which utilizes djing techniques with live guitar playing and iPad iOS technologies. He will also be premiering his Asian Blues project as part of the event.   

Johnny’s Jazz Jam  

Venue: The Ferret 9pm  

Johnny's Jazz Jam will trace the story of jazz from its roots to the contemporary music genres it influences, facilitating performance from members of the public often excluded from traditional events. Johnny Jay is well known for developing activities for music practitioners from under-represented groups. The event will be open mic themed so feel free to pop up on the stage at any moment and join Johnny in his performance.

Thursday 7th June

Graham Massey and the Toolshed Collective - £10
With special guests Skeltr, Paddy Steer and Henrietta Smith Rolla

Venue: UCLan's Media Factory, Main Theatre ME007 - 7.30pm

Graham is a multi-instrument musician, accomplished on keyboards, guitar, drums and Soprano Saxophone and a proponent of experimental jazz-rock.  A prolific writer and producer, his rich ability to move between, and blend genres creates a set of wildly free ranging music.

Graham was a founding member of the seminal and internationally successful electronic group 808State and his collaboration, remixing and production list reads like a “who’s who” of contemporary music from the past 30 years, including the likes of David Bowie, Quincy Jones, Bjork, Goldfrapp, SMD, Primal Scream, YMO and many others.

Whether composing for film, TV and theatre or organizing the musical community of his home city of Manchester into wayward soundtrack orchestras and organ quartets, Graham’s is a life of constant musical reinvention. One can find Graham, with various instruments in tow, playing his music anywhere from small clubs to huge festivals all over the planet.

TOOLSHED started as an electronica club in Manchester’s Northern Quarter of the late 90s playing host to many of the post rave improvisers such as Autechre, Mathew Herbert, Kieren Hebden & Squarepusher. Graham Massey ran the ‘house‘ band made from a revolving line up of local improvisers invited to jam around his computer and vintage synthesiser collection. Twenty years later the project continues the idea with a six piece line up performing an hour-long set plus various shorter solo sets featuring;

Paddy Steer - MCR is king of the DIY scene, build his own synths, makes his own costumes, puts out his own records and drives them to his customers’ door. He makes his own unique musical universe by employing every limb and both sides of the brain.

Afrodeutsche - Henrietta Smith Rolla has been causing a buzz of late with her solo Techno set or her improvised acoustic piano soundtracks. She is a British born Ghanaian/Russian/German composer, producer, singer and DJ based in Manchester. Her production crosses a wide range of styles, classical solo piano, techno, house and electro. AFRODEUTSCHE recently composed a section of the film Baraka and performed live at the RNCM as part of Video Jam. Check her regular slot on NTS radio.

Skeltr – Jazzwise Magazine ‘One to Watch’ 2018  

Skeltr’s Spiritual Punk Funk comes at the audience with sumptuous, technically prolific saxophone solos alongside mysterious samples, synths and loopers for a heart- wrenching and thoughtful cascade of modern and technical soulful funk. Having recently warmed up for KNOWER at the London Jazz Fest ’17 and played alongside Dinosaur at the famous ‘Oslo Jazzscene’ in Norway - Skeltr are making big waves in their first year. Having had their debut album recently played on JazzFm and earmarked by Jazzwise Magazine as one to watch for 2018, Skeltr’s winding musical journey is one not to be missed.  

Patrick Pulsinger

Conference Keynote, 'The Future of Live Music'

Venue: UCLan’s Foster Building, 10am

The Keynote for our festival conference is an international guest, Patrick

Pulsinger: music producer, DJ, co-founder of the label Cheap, curator and one

of the main creators of Vienna electronica. Living and working in Austria,

Patrick's special focus is on Jazz and improvisational music. Patrick will be sharing his expertise with our Festival conference in a keynote address and as a Panel member to lead a Q&A session.  

The conference will feature jazz and improvisation related talks and research including 'Different Stages', an exciting ‘new jazz’ influenced venture from Duncan Gallagher, representing new approaches to fusing cutting edge technologies with jazz and improvised music performance.

Friday 8th June

Improv @ the Conti - £3
Systme 50/50
Some Some Unicorn  

Venue: The Continental, 7.30pm  

Some Some Unicorn are a free flowing collective of improvising musicians that

value shared experience and community. They will be performing live at the

Continental, playing their thought-provoking music, inspired by many genres but with an emphasis on jazz and ambient drone. Their latest album, 'Unicornucopa', reflects their desire to inject new life into this focus.  The band is led by composer and improviser Shaun Blezard, and live performances usually field between eight and a dozen artists, with a passion for free improvisation.

Cold Bath Street

Venue: The Continental, 9pm

Cold Bath Street are a band with a sharp focus on improvisation, building upon small phrases to generate a big melodic sound, that switches effortlessly between genres. Their exploratory musical journeys excited the audience at last year’s Preston Jam, drawing a wide range of people in terms of age and an equal balance of gender. Following excellent feedback, they return this year as a main act, with a new twist on their development of improvised music from small cues, which are used as material to build in response to, or extend around.

A Day of Django

Friday 8th June

To celebrate the music of one of the foremost European improvisers of the swing era, Django Reinhardt, we present a day of film and music inspired by the great ‘manouche’ musician. This includes a special showing of the 2017 biopic Django and a unique tie-in concert.

Lewis and Dav

Venue: The Ferret, 4pm

Lewis Dickenson and David Libson are part of a new wave of instrumental jazz that is gaining strong ground. With performances at the Cheltenham festival, Manchester Jazz Festival and The Vintage Escape Festival, this duo brings together tight funky and experimental jazz chops with catchy hooks and a new spin on ‘gypsy jazz’ inspired by Django Reinhardt.  

Film: Django d.Etienne Comar (2017) - £10

Venue: Mitchell and Kenyon Cinema 6.30-9pm

This film is a gripping dramatization of the true story of Django Reinhardt, the leading jazz musician in Nazi-occupied Paris. Etienne Comar’s Django was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2017. This festival appearance will be the film’s UK festival debut. The film will be preceded by a talk by Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves.

Michael James Harris with special guest Daniel John Martin

Venue: The Ferret, 9.30pm

Michael James Harris is an exceptional guitar player who has built a reputation in the US for fusing Django’s music with modern ideas. With his band Ultrafaux, Harris has played at the legendary Festival Django Reinhardt in Fontainebleau, the Kennedy Center, and the Charm City Django Jazz Festival.

He will play a special set of Django tunes and his own original compositions inspired by Django’s story to tie-in with the Django film.  

For this unique concert, Michael will be joined by violinist Daniel John Martin. Daniel is a unique and charismatic performer and one of the most talented and sought after violinists of his generation, Daniel’s singing, swinging violin has joined such world Gypsy guitar greats as Boulou Ferre, Angelo DeBarre and Romane amongst many others.

This is a rare opportunity for UK audiences to see one of the most original American guitarists in this genre together with a legend of the Parisian scene.

Django Djam

Venue: The Ferret, 11pm

The day will end with a gypsy jazz jam led by Michael James Harris. If you want to play, just bring your instrument. Gypsy jazz jams are fast-paced, passionate and raucous occasions – anything could happen!

Saturday 9th June

City Jazz

During the day, the Festival comes to the city. There will be music events in the flag market all day to bring performance to shoppers and passers-by, with contributions from the Worldwise Samba Drummers, the Acoustic Dance Movement plus other performances at various locations around the city from Different Stages, A Louder Device, Shhh, the Busking Collective, and more. There will also be events in the Harris Museum, including live performances by Shades of Django, Robin Moody and Lawrence Woof, and Aziz Ibrahim.

Jazz in the Museum, 12-4

Shades of Django 12-1

Shades of Django are a string quintet who play the music of the Hot Club of France in the authentic style of the swing era.

Robin Moody and Lawrence Woof, 1-2

A unique and fully improvised set by two violinists. Their music draws on the improvising traditions of European folk music; especially on their shared familiarity with the language of traditional Cumbrian melody.  At the same time the influence of American and Afro-Cuban music is an unmistakable part of their unusual sound.

Aziz Ibrahim, 2.30-4

Project 71 Desi Guitar  

Aziz Ibrahim returns to the Festival for a special solo performance where he will be sharing the sonic heritage and legacy of ancient South Asian musical instruments. Aziz will be using innovative digital technologies to re-imagine these classic sounds in contemporary ways for new platforms in a traditional heritage setting.

Jazz in the Market

Join us on the streets of Preston in its amazing new flag market for a summer’s day of music, improvisation and dance.

Worldwise Samba Drummers

The Acoustic Dance Movement

100 Murmurists

Venue: St. Peter’s Arts Centre, 4-6

100 Murmurists will be bringing their innovative and immersive live performance

to St Peter's Art Centre, Preston. Anthony Donovan is behind this project,

bringing together artists from many disciplines to take part in a mass multi-

media live event, where performers are dispersed throughout the available

space, with a blurring of boundaries between them and the audience. The

sound they produce is a mixture of free jazz and intelligent noise elements.

Idle Moments: An Evening of Jazz - £10

Join us at 53 Degrees for an evening of modern, cool jazz in relaxed surroundings. Curated by Manchester’s Idle Moments, the evening will include live concerts by local fusion hero Harold Salisbury and his band Pinto Beans, the rising star of the London scene Camilla George, and a DJ-set led by Pablo Blanquito, who brings Manchester’s unique Idle Moments to Preston for the first time.

Idle Moments 5-7

Idle Moments is a monthly multi generational day long event combining live music and DJs playing music Jazz and within its diaspora.  

Harold Salisbury and Pinto Beans

Venue: 53 Degrees, 7.30pm

A true local legend, Harold Salisbury is one of the best saxophonists in the country.  

Camilla George

Venue: 53 Degrees, 9pm

Camilla is a London-based alto Saxophonist, recently nominated as a rising star in the British Jazz Awards. With an interest in tracing the African roots of jazz through to its present forms, Camilla has created a sound the embraces elements of Afrobeat, Caribbean Calypso, as well as hip-hop and blues. Her debut album Isang, pays homage to her native South East Nigeria, and with a new album based on African folk tales in the making, we are delighted to confirm that Camilla will be bringing her inventive and fresh sound to our Festival audience.


Venue: The Ferret. 9pm

This show sees the return of a much-loved Preston favourite.  New Orleans inspired, large ensemble jazz outfit Brassic return to play original and classic material  

Sunday 10th June

Tea Time Jazz featuring Free Parking - £3

Venue: The Ferret, 5pm - 7pm

Preston’s longest running Jazz outfit come out for another evening of candlelit classic, traditional jazz  

J. Frisco

Venue: 53 Degrees 7.30pm

The inclusion of the Leeds College of Music alumni trio, J. Frisco, underlines

our Festival's ambition to promote rising young Jazz talent. This all female free

experimental trio are Jemma Fresse on Keyboards, Lara jones on Saxophone,

and Megan Roe on guitar. Featured by the pioneering 'Jazz North Introduces',, J.Frisco will bring their improvised music and

soundscapes to our Festival audience, drawing upon their emotions, cross art

forms and gender issues.

Courtney Pine, featuring Omar - £20 (£10 for Students)  

Venue: 53 Degrees 9pm

Our headline act, Courtney Pine, stands out as the trailblazer in the black British

community, embodying the dramatic transformation in the UK Jazz scene over

the past three decades. His revolutionary, multi instrument talent has inspired a

new generation of musicians to broaden their own styles to bring Jazz to wider

and more diverse audiences. He is a previous winner of the Mercury Music

Prize and the Gold Badge award. Now honoured with an OBE and CBE for

services to music, and with 16 studio albums to his credit, he continues to play

on an international scene with his award-winning band. Just recently, he was

commissioned by The Tate, to write and give a new performance, dedicated to

the work of Henri Matisse.  His 'Black Notes from the Deep' album release last

year, underlines his effortless talent and ability to collaborate with other artists in

a way that excites and inspires those who hear it.  

Courtney will be playing with Omar, nationally know for his new 8th studio album 'Love in Beats', through which his unique voice, multi-instrumental talent and production skills, really shine. Courtney will be closing our own Festival with a performance on Sunday 10th June, marking closer collaboration (partnership working) with the Preston Caribbean Carnival.