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Marsden Jazz Festival: Music in the Yorkshire Pennine Hills

Published by Ruben Katzenbach

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The three day Marsden Jazz Festival features over 100 events at a variety of ticketed and non ticketed performances at indoor and outdoor venues.

The village of Marsden is situated in between Huddersfield and Manchester on the fringes of the Peak District National Park, the Pennine Way runs nearby, and the Last of the Summer Wine village Holmfirth is a near neighbour.

Playing at the Marsden Jazz Festival

This years ticketed artists include: Georgie Fame and Sons an icon of the British Music scene; The Ben Crossland Quartet appearing with Jim Hart one of the UK’s finest vibraphone players; Nicholas Meier Group a Swiss guitarist with world music influences and The Haggis Horns a brass heavy powerhouse.

Meanwhile all around the village at the pubs and outdoor venues there are a huge variety of free bands and events.

One of the strengths of Marsden Jazz Festival is that the crowds show as much appreciation for the amateur groups as well as the professionals making for a true festival atmosphere. This year Huddersfield University Big band, Heckmondwike Grammar School and Shelley College Jazz band are amongst the youngsters that the audiences will be enjoying.

The Marsden Jazz Festival Venues

Marsden Mechanics Hall, the centre point of the village, provides an ideal setting for the headline acts.

Pubs and venues all around the village play host to the many other bands.

A short walk outside the village the Standedge Tunnel is the highest deepest and longest canal tunnel in Britain. Over the weekend there are various family workshops and shows happening at the tunnel visitors centre and for those looking for an alternative to the half mile walk the venue is serviced by the jazz boat, a narrow boat shuttling backwards and forwards along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal from the village

Next to the Standedge Tunnel visitors will find the Tunnel End Pub. Recently featured in the Telegraph Newspaper the Tunnel End will be hosting the Jon Taylor quartet on Friday and serve its usual high quality fare of homemade food and real ale all weekend.

Situated in the centre of the village the Riverhead Brewery Tap produces seven beers which are named after the local reservoirs. The Riverhead will be vibrating to the Leo Jones Trio on saturday Morning, Stevie Williams on Saturday evening and Zoe Gilby for Sunday lunch

What Else is Going on at the Marsden Jazz Festival

The whole village comes alive for the festival. Family events will be happening all weekend at the Standedge Tunnel. St Bartholomews church joins in with a Jazz themed service including a live band on Sunday morning. The National Trust holds a duck race on the River Colne through the middle of the village on Sunday afternoon.

Each year a Mardi Gras style parade dances its way around the village from 12 noon on Saturday. Two years ago as a sop to the parasols of the Mardi Gras and in tribute to the Pennine weather villagers decorated their umbrellas, this year it is the slick stick sambastic parade.

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