Liverpool International Jazz Festival will return for a 10th anniversary celebration in the city next year, organisers have announced.
The Capstone Theatre on Shaw Street will play host to a jazz extravaganza from 23rd to 26th February 2023 and will feature award-winning international artists spanning a range of genres from Indo-jazz to Afro-funk and classical.
Liverpool International Jazz Festival (LIJF) was established in 2013 by Liverpool Hope University, and in previous years has included performances from some of jazz music’s leading lights. The emphasis of the festival is on contemporary instrumental jazz in a variety of styles with a focus on presenting work from an international selection of world class artists, taking audience members on a musical journey that traverses numerous genres and cross-genres.
Kicking off the festival on the 23rd February will be a special collaboration with Milap – the UK’s leading Indian arts and culture company. With original music, new improvisations and a collective harmony and groove, the Milap Indo Jazz Club will bring together some of England’s top Indian and Jazz musicians in a performance curated specially for LIJF 2023.
The show will be ‘the foremost contemporary collaboration between Indian and Jazz music in England today’ and is the result of ten years of creativity between the professionals of Milap and the National Youth Jazz Collective.
On 24th February, electronic fusion trio Devils of Moko will take the stage at LIJF. The group consists of Dominic J Marshall on piano and synth (Dominic J Marshall Trio, The Cinematic Orchestra), Mulele Matondo on bass (Kongo Dia Ntotila) and Sam Gardner on drums (Septabeat, Samadhi Quintet). Their music is a collective melting pot that captures all of their individual styles.
With the Western musical structure of Mulele’s grooving Congolese rhythms and sonic stories, Sam’s explorations of electronic music, drum & bass and production and the soulful jazz melodies of Dominic’s piano playing, the trio’s music has an uplifting and soul busting sound.
Luxembourg trio Dock In Absolute (DIA) will be flying in to Liverpool on the Saturday afternoon of the festival. Composed of Jean-Philippe Koch on piano, Arne Wiegand on bass and Victor Kraus on drums, their music is built around Koch’s original compositions, fusing different styles from progressive jazz to classical and rock elements.
The group brought its first album out in 2017, under the Label CAM JAZZ with a second one following in 2019, and a third album planned for 2023. DIA has been named the “Export Artist of the Year 2017 and 2019” by music:LX and are considered the most active band in Luxembourg. The band’s latest album has been listed in Jazzit Magazine Awards “100 Greatest Albums of the Year”.
Later on the Saturday, and presented by Milap, virtuoso British-Asian bass player Shez Raja will bring his high energy live show to the festival. Voted one of the ‘hottest bass players in the world’ by readers of Bass Player magazine, Shez Raja’s unique ‘Indojazzfunk’ sound and global star collaborations with Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Trilok Gurtu and Wayne Krantz has seen him perform at the likes of Ronnie Scott’s, the Jazz Cafe and at major international festivals.
Shez’s set will also feature Tony Kofi – a British jazz multi-instrumentalist born of Ghanaian parents, and a player of the alto, baritone, soprano, tenor saxophones and flute. Having cut his teeth in the ‘Jazz Warriors’ of the early 90s, Kofi has gone on to establish himself as an award-winning musician, teacher and composer of some authority.
Closing the festival on Sunday night will be Norwegian saxophonist and composer Marius Neset, who has earned countless nominations and awards for his performances and recordings, including the Spellemannprisen in Norway, and an ECHO award in Germany. Downbeat magazine also listed him as the only European jazz musician in their list of ’25 artists to watch’ in 2017.
Marius has performed with jazz musicians all over the world and has received composition commissions from the BBC. Marius has also worked with classical musicians such as Leif Ove Andsnes, Andreas Brantelid, Michala Petri, Ole Edvard Antonsen, Louisa Tuck, Ingrid Neset, and the Vertavo String Quartet.
The Liverpool International Jazz Festival runs from 23rd to 26th February 2023 at the Capstone Theatre. Tickets are on sale now via the Capstone Theatre website.