BLAZE Curated by Soweto Kinch

Festival regular Soweto Kinch brings a new programming voice to this year’s festival with BLAZE, a strand showcasing up-and-coming talent from the wider UK including Xhosa Cole, Blue Lab Beats, Rosie Frater Taylor and Scotland’s own Anoushka Nanguy. 

Soweto said: 

"I’m really excited to present such a diverse and dynamic roster. All of these new voices have one foot firmly steeped in the history, yet aren’t afraid to take bold artistic risks. They each push boundaries, challenging us to imagine new traditions. 

Lockdown presented obvious setbacks, but also rare moments of introspection for artists. A new generations of composers and musicians had time to contemplate the role of creativity in times of great social upheaval. Challenging, yet invaluable time to incubate original concepts, away from the glare of media and live touring. All these artists integrate technology or new modes of creativity at the same time as retaining the organic and spontaneous nature of jazz improvisation. They’re a reflection of the breadth and daring of current UK jazz scene. 

The new music is fresh, redolent of change, reflecting the excitement and daring of a post-lockdown world. From colossus-like tenorist Xhosa Cole, rising stars Anoushka Nanguy and Rosie Frater to genre-melding pioneers Blue Lab Beats; I can’t wait to hear the results of considered introspection, as well as the untrammelled excitement of playing before festival audiences again. I’m privileged to present young artists at the vanguard of this renaissance in live jazz.”