Jazzeco Festival 2018 is set to be an amazing event, featuring a distinguished lineup of top jazzers against the stunning backdrop of Harlington Manor.
As this is our first year we thought it would be a great idea to feature heavily on local artists. We are extremely fortunate to have a fantastic array of world class talent within our local area, and this year we wanted to showcase some of these great acts for you.
"Real jazz singers flourish in the company of good jazz musicians, and Tina May is a real jazz singer. She can sing a straight melody, she can swing effortlessly and invent a wordless scat chorus as tricky as anything her fellow musicians can deliver. And, led by saxophonist and arranger Frank Griffiths, they are among the best you will find anywhere."
"One of Britain’s most popular vocalists."
"Tina May is to jazz what Madonna is to pop"
South London Press
"Considered as one of the finest jazz vocalist's the UK has ever produced."
All Music Guide
We are honoured to announce that renowned British jazz diva Tina May will be headlining the first ever Jazzeco Festival, accompanied by the mighty Frank Griffith Quintet.
Tina May is often referred to as the most expressive and technically gifted jazz singer on the UK scene. Tina has long been hailed as one of Britain's premier vocalists. With a list of accolades as long as your arm, and an extremely impressive discography that stretches back as far as the early nineties May has toured and recorded with some of the top names in British and European jazz.
Being one of the nation’s most intriguing jazz singers, Tina has truly graced the world stage. From europe's finest venues to faraway Shanghai, Tina has brought an aura of class and sophistication to countless audiences around the globe. With this in mind, Jazzeco Festival 2018 promises to be a very special occasion indeed.
“I will say without equivocation that this latest assembly of Frank Griffith’s work has delighted me."
Sir John Dankworth
“Simply listening to the way Griffith lays out the theme of a standard such as Where or When is a pleasure in itself."
“In a set of short solo explorations, poetic tenorist, Frank Griffith responds to the invitation with particular zest.”
Accompanying Tina May is the amazing Frank Griffith Quintet. Frank really has worked with the best in the business, including the orchestras of Toshiko Akiyoshi, Mel Lewis, Buddy Rich and Mel Torme, as well as with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine. Frank is a greatly respected player, composer and educator, and he has appeared almost everywhere, even appearing in the ITV's 'Britain's Got Talent' house band!
Having successfully performed at the 2017 Harlington Manor Mini Arts Festival (which led to the creation of Jazzeco) with vocalist Melanie May, Frank has been with us since the start. We are delighted that he will be returning to Harlington Manor at Jazzeco 2018.
"He has classically trained polish, a focus on cinematically seductive melody as both a composer and an interpreter, and refinement of a sophisticated kind of smooth jazz with just enough edge to sting."
"It isn’t often you discover a performer whose creative ability takes your breath away in the first 30 seconds of hearing their music... Marco is a breath of fresh air for…Jazz fans everywhere."
"A really impressive pianist who, although still relatively new to the UK scene has already made quite an impact."
Pianist and composer Marco Marconi has a style so innovative in concept and contemporary in style, that established Jazz artists you’ve come to know and enjoy over time are pushed aside to accommodate a musical sensation so rare that you’re knocked off your feet immediately.
Marco, born in Umbria in Italy, has earned a reputation as a class act, with his fame spreading from the British festival circuit, to the Fazioli Concert Hall in Venice and to the buzzing London Jazz Club scene.
As a true musical force of nature, we are thrilled that Marco will be kicking off the 2018 Jazzeco Festival. Definitely a performance not to be missed.
"Another nice and well thought out touch was the music for the afternoon. Instead of a covers or rock tribute band, NCC Beds had booked jazz and vintage vocalist Melanie May to entertain the hordes. Miss May is not only a very glamourous young lady, she has an amazing voice which she used to fine effect on timeless classics from the 1920's through to the 60's with songs from Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and others, fitting in perfectly with the surroundings of Old Warden Aerodrome."
100% Biker Magazine
Hezron is a young but ambitious Jazz Fusion pianist and composer.
Through his virtuosity and constant smile while playing piano, Hezron continues to jaw drop audience members concert after concert.
Hezron believes that there's a stigma behind solo piano concerts; boring music for old people. Hezron is out to change that. Hezron doesn't put a specific genre to his music saying that 'I mix ALL types of music but with the core of Jazz improvisation. From Latin, to Hip Hop and classical to funk, I compose music that appeals to everyone's ears.'
Hezron's explains that his mission is to put a smile on everyone's face. From personally experiencing the energy and pure passion of his live performances we can safely say he has accomplished this particular mission already.
Rising local jazz star Melanie May will be taking the Jazzeco Festival on a nostalgic journey, back in time to the golden age of song. With a repoirtoire of timeless classics Melanie's set will certainly contain highlights for everyone to enjoy. Miss May's unique interpretations and velvety smooth vocal is sure to dazzle and amaze.
As well as appearing on stage at the Jazzeco Festival 2018, Melanie is also a part of the Jazzeco team, providing a key role in making the Jazzeco dream become a reality.
Lutonian saxophonic legend Paul Jolly (Straight No Chaser, People Band, Mantrata) will be accompanied by pianist Richard Wilsher, bassist Pete Myatt and drummer Mark Burr, providing Jazzeco with quirky and unusual takes on jazz standards.
Paul certainly is a man of many talents. As well being an established local style guru, Paul is a gifted producer, a celebrated musician and is an advocate of free jazz. He has run a jazz club, has toured with some of the biggest names, and has maintained a presence in the music scene for well over four decades. As the top man at 33 Records (Luton's very own jazz record label, founded by Paul in 1990) Paul impresses not only with his knowledge, but also his support of new artists as well as established ones. He has even starred on the silver screen alongside Sting, Tommy Lee Jones, Sean Bean and Melanie Griffith!
Paul's personal mantra is "Wake up every day, and do something positive and with love." A view which is much admired and shared by all of us at Jazzeco.
Jazzface are an exciting musical experience featuring the ivory-tinkling Craig Stallwood's unique keyboard skills (not real ivory of course), Steve Seal's wondrous percussion thumping and Pete Myatt's rather interesting bass bashing.
Their mellifluous musical melange is made up of reinterpretations of a select choice of jazz, funk and latino tunes and has to be heard to be believed!
The unique Jazzface bop, funk, afro, latino mish-mash can be experienced in 3D at the 2018 Jazzeco Festival, and we can't wait to be a part of it.
Thelonious Monk, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, was always happy when he heard other bands playing his music. This highly regarded quartet celebrates this idea by playing entire concerts of 'Just Monk' compositions. Monk's compositions are renowned for their unusual melodies and dissonant chords and include standards such as Straight No Chaser, Well You Needn't, Blue Monk, Round About Midnight and many more less well known (and often fiendishly difficult to play) tunes.
The band is made up of very popular local musicians, featuring Luton's very own saxophone master Paul Jolly, Whitwell's drum monster Steve Seal, and the deadly Hitchin duo of piano giant Richard Wilsher and bass behemoth Pete Myatt.
After a heavy first season, Bristolians Snazzback are working on their new release for 2018. Inspired by the 'stretch' music of Christian Scott, the funk jams of Medeski, Martin and Wood and the high-energy melancholy of Portico Quartet and BBNG. They approach afro-funk and psych-jazz with a free improv sensibility and a collaborative spirit, expanding groove driven jazz with all the pizzaz that goes with being snazz.
Snazzback are Dave Sanders (Saxophone), Eli Jitsuto (Guitar), Chris Langton (Drum Kit), Richard Allen (Double Bass) and Myke Vince (Percussion).
Photo credits - Paul Jolly by Ryan Bedingfield Photography. Marco Marconi by Amy Turner Photographer. Melanie May by Keith Brown. Frank Griffith by Joe McCarty Jazz Photography.
Jazzeco Festival is provided by the Brownbury Blakelist Partnership, a collective of jazz lovers, based in Bedfordshire, but with a world sized vision of music and the future.
Website hand forged by Norseman Enterprises.
Fifth Avenue are young musicians from Harlington Upper School with a great passion for jazz funk. Lead by Pianist Tom Arnold with Jasper Thorne, Ed Stevens, Harry Jaggers, Nathaniel Denman, Isha Chavda and Katie Murray.