Richmond Jazz Festival was established in 2008 to promote the performance of contemporary jazz at an acoustic level by leading musicians on the British scene, and by regional and local musicians. A longer term aim was to promote workshops for young musicians.
The prime Festival performance venue is The Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, a Grade 1 listed theatre built in 1788. The small scale and intimate nature of its auditorium provides the perfect acoustic to listen to and perform music at an acoustic level.
Professional musicians who have performed at the Festival are Acoustic Triangle with Gwilym Simcock, Alec Dankworth’s ‘Spanish Accents’, Chris Garrick & John Etheridge, Jackie Dankworth with Chris Allard, John Law Trio, John Law ‘Congregation’, John Taylor & Julian Arguelles, John Parricelli, Liane Carroll, Martin Taylor & Alan Barnes, Neon Quartet, Paul Edis Sextet, Polar Bear, Roller Trio, Tina May with Stan Sulzmann and Nikki IIes.
In 2009, a two-day workshop for young musicians was held. Unprompted, many of the musicians who attended, asked for further workshops. Four of the musicians had been brought to the workshop by Colin Bailey, a community musician. Following a discussion with Colin and the interested musicians, Colin agreed to help to establish and run the workshops. Workshops for musicians aged 12-19 have been held fortnightly since 2010. The aim of this unique, ongoing programme, is to help the musicians to gain the knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to create their own music through individual and group improvisation. The programme includes occasional concerts and an annual concert at The Georgian Theatre Royal as part of the Richmond Jazz Festival. Some of the workshops are self-led, the others are led by professional musicians; currently, Paul Edis and James Mainwaring. Somewhere along the way, the programme became known as ‘Richmond Jam’. Seven of the eleven musicians who attended the two-day workshop became founding members of ‘Richmond Jam’. Most of the music played by ‘Richmond Jam’ is original.
In September this year, for the first time, the Festival will present a concert featuring ‘emerging’ young musicians. Initially, this concert is being offered to groups which include a former member of Richmond Jam who is studying jazz at a music college or a university. This year, two groups will share the concert, The Continuum Trio and Square One.
On October 24th, pilot creative music workshops for Richmondshire musicians ages 8-13, led by professional musicians, will be delivered by Richmond Jazz Festival and funded by NYMAZ. See NEWS for details and registration form
Founder and Director Richmond Jazz Festival
Richmond Jazz Festival's objects are; to advance and promote, by all available means and widest interpretation, the appreciation, practice, study and knowledge of the art of Jazz and other improvised music.