MUSIC lovers enjoyed another entertainment extravaganza at this year’s Marsden Jazz Festival.
Crowds flocked to Marsden from Friday to yesterday to see top jazz and blues acts perform at venues all over the village.
One of the festival highlights was a colourful grand parade of musicians along Peel Street on Saturday.
As well as up and coming local musicians the festival featured big names, including The Big Chris Barber Band, who played everything from New Orleans-style jazz to music by Duke Ellington and the soulful blues of Miles Davis.
Barber and his 11-piece band have proved an influence to musical greats including Mark Knopfler, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison.
John Kelly, 45, from Marsden, saw them at Marsden Mechanics Hall on Friday.
He said: “It was just fantastic to be able to watch musicians of that standard in our area.
“The artists at the festival every year are amazing, both the big names and the newer musicians.”
Famous jazz trombonist Dennis Rollins spent the whole weekend at the festival. He performed on Friday with Ben Crosland, Rod Mason and Dave Tyas in a tribute concert to American jazz-funk soul band The Crusaders at the Royal British Legion Club.
On Saturday, he conducted a masterclass on composing and playing before joining his band, Badbone and Co., for a closing concert at the Mechanics Hall yesterday.
Other highlights of the festival included Honley blues singer Emily Druce, who teamed up with gypsy jazz group Dizzy Fingers to perform at the Marsden Parish Church Jazz Concert on Saturday.
Young local musicians also got a chance to shine.
Huddersfield gospel choir True Colours joined forces with Marsden female choir Unity to perform a freedom- themed concert at St Bartholomew’s Church on Saturday. It was a tribute to Nelson Mandela and tied in with True Colours’ forthcoming tour with the Soweto choir in South Africa.
Also performing over the weekend were Huddersfield Young Singers gospel choir, the Calderdale Big Band and big bands from the Colne Valley, Dewsbury, Holme Valley and Shelley Music Centres.
Visitors to the festival were impressed by the acts.
Jason Andrew, 35, from Oldham, was a first-time visitor, but said he would be back next year.
He said: “It’s a fantastic event. There’s plenty of variety, so if you are not a massive fan of one kind of jazz you can find something you like.”
Jenny Smith, 50, from Dalton, is a regular visitor to the festival with husband Tim.
She said: “We come every year because it’s a great atmosphere. It’s great fun and lovely to be able to listen to music in such a nice setting.”