Words: Anita Shukla
Birmingham. We absolutely love it. Culture is exploding from its every nook and cranny and if there’s anything to reflect its evolution as the UK’s most buzzing, inspiring, multi-cultural hub of creativity – then it’s got to be the Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival.
Every year, there’s an impressive line-up of acts representing a vast range of soundscapes. Last year we saw the Peaky Blinders, Courtney Pine, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Earth Wind & Fire. This year, the organisers have managed to pull some serious hat tricks with some last minute changes… Read on to find out more…
So as the residential park of Birmingham suburb, Mosely, opens its gates for this jazz-soul-funk-soaked fest for music lovers from all walks of life – and you can prepare yourself for a music program designed to include an eclectic mix of sounds for a wide spectrum of tastes…
The festival kicks off on Friday 10 July with Public Enemy, replacing original headliners, Sugar Hill Gang & Furious Five feat. Melle Mel & Scorpio who had to sadly cancel due to health reasons.
With just weeks till take off, it’s no easy feat to find, match and replace hip-hop pioneers of such legendary status; however the organisers did well at the witching hour when they pulled in with Public Enemy.
The trailblazing hip-hop band re-released the epic album, ‘It takes a Nation of Millions…” in just December 2014. Chuck D and co will no doubt make this one of the most phenomenal editions of the Mostly Jazz Festival. The finesse and elocution of the production behind the Public Enemy sound will no doubt appeal to a massive spectrum of music lovers as they set the floor alight and initiate the masses into the opening day of this incredible event that makes us so proud to be Brummie!
So from the powerful politik of influential hip-hop to local talents like ambient electro outfit, Free School and the Afro-twang of Namiwa Jazz – Mostly Jazz once again becomes a vibrant melting pot of exceptional talent to please even the most insatiable lovers of the live music experience.
Come Saturday, you’ll find yourself suitably immersed by jazz composer and vibraphone player, Roy Ayers. There’s also a DJ set from Craig Charles of Red Dwarf fame as he shakes up the floor with some blues, funk, jazz and soul to electrify the senses.
Drumming fanatics will be in their element by Sunday as Johnny Hoo and co make a tribute to their old time friend, the late, great Andy Hamilton. Headlining that day however, is the wonderful Gregory Porter who will no doubt project some highly emotive and profound vibrations from that deeply powerful trademark voice of his – an expression of the clarity found in some of the darkest moments of his life.
The stage also becomes a platform for the jazz greats of tomorrow, showcasing the talents of young musicians aged 11 to 19. Known as Birmingham’s Jazzlines Ensemble, this amazing lot – some which have graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire – will blow your brains with their dexterity for both impro and the most complex of jazz rhythms.
Finally, one of our favourite highlights has to be Columbian outfit, Baila la Cumbia. Fun-tastic is the word for this awesome 10 piece band featuring four-piece percussion, five-piece horn and a show-stomping mix of vocals and instrumentals.
Read all about the Mostly Jazz Festival and get your tickets by visiting: