THE COUNTDOWN is over and the biggest music weekend of the year for Marsden kicks off tonight.
The Pennine village is gearing up for its award-winning annual jazz festival which notches up its 20th anniversary this year.
Jazz will pack the streets and the venues across the village throughout the weekend.
The village is braced for an influx of visitors to what organisers say is the biggest festival ever.
Festival coordinator Taru Sinclair said: “We expect to host about 7,000 visitors, some of them huge jazz fans, and some simply people who enjoy the festival atmosphere and the chance to hear some great music.
“We have planned over 70 events which will happen within 48 hours! The whole village is packed with music in every conceivable venue!”
Once again the impressive line-up of artists at this year’s festival underlines its significance on the jazz calendar.
Mike Lucas, the founder of the festival puts it best, saying: “The Marsden Jazz Festival started 20 years ago from two basic principles.
“The first was that it would be an eclectic festival with all types of jazz represented. And the second was that the festival should be everywhere in the village.
“In the main venue, the Mechanics Hall, yes, but also in pubs and clubs, on the streets; seeping out of the pores of Marsden.”
This year’s line-up of musicians includes established artists such as Kenny Ball, Ben Crosland, Liane Carroll, Asaf Sirkis and Soweto Kinch.
Also playing are Trio VD, Submotion Orchestra, and Joe Tatton of The New Mastersounds.
The New Stream, presents cutting edge gigs, including Stuart McCallum, WorldService Project, Olivia Moore and Richard Ormrod.
The festival will close with a celebratory All-Stars gig, featuring at least twenty musicians from across the festival. Recently added to the list of stars playing this extravaganza is sax player Snake Davis who is joining the gig because of his love of the festival.
“I have fond memories of our show there in 2008, the whole ‘alpine’ village of Marsden was soaked in a friendly, celebratory love of and desire for great music and a great time.”
Even better news for jazz fans is that many of the gigs are free.
“We pride ourselves on being able to offer music to suit every taste and you don’t need to buy a ticket for at least 60 of the gigs,” Taru added.
Seats for the paid events are limited so to avoid disappointment the festival team recommends that you buy tickets from the LBT box office on 01484 430528 or visit www.marsdenjazzfestival.com. And with so many free events it’s well worth a visit to Marsden during the weekend even if you have not pre-booked.