A Jazz Festival at Frederik’s, Hope Street Jazz’s biggest event to date, kicks off a new weekly party there.
The venue already hosts Hope Street Jazz on Tuesdays and Thursdays and now, thanks to fan and artist demand, it is also adding a regular Wednesday night.
To celebrate, Hope Street Jazz Fest is a holiday party, with Liverpool psychedelic jazz favorites Bop Kaballa and guests on Wednesdays, then an eclectic lineup of performers on Thursdays from 5pm until closing.
DJ and promoter John Dean, who started the parties four years ago, says the festival is a thank you to everyone who has supported them and helped them showcase local talent.
“It’s a celebration of the success of Hope Street Jazz, to shine a light on the acts, and also a party for people who have been coming to the events for a few years,” he says.
“On Wednesday, which will be the first of our new nights, we will have Bop Kaballa, who is currently one of the brightest stars on the scene. They’re based in Liverpool, they actually trained at Frederik’s, now they’re about to release an album.
“That’s the good thing about the night, it’s its own ecosystem. A couple of other bands have also formed just to play at night, so it’s a really growing thing.
“Thursday will be the biggest we’ve done for Hope Street Jazz because, instead of the usual one act a night and a jam after, we’ll have five acts in all doing one set of 45 minutes each.
“Bop Kaballa will be there again, and we have local rapper Dayzy & Troupeau de Couleur, Viktor Nordberg Ensemble, Olvine, The Ensemble and Nonunonu, as well as DJs.
“We’ll start around 4 p.m., with the first act around 5 p.m., and that will go on all night, and then we’ll have a jam where the guest musicians and artists will get up and play.”
John says that with so many other festivals taking place in the city focusing on other types of music, this is a first for jazz, which shows just how popular it has become here.
“I think more people realize now, and because of the acts I booked, that jazz is such a broad spectrum. It can cover rap, spoken word, lounge and upbeat dance, it covers a wide range, and the younger generation, 20+, is really into it, so it’s getting better and better.
“Each band at this festival has a completely different sound to each other, but they all fit into the jazz genre because it’s so varied and I think that’s a big part of their success.
“I didn’t want us to have a resident band, where you hear the same thing every week, so I did my best to make it constantly different.”
He says taking Hope Street Jazz on three dates a week was an obvious next step.
“We could easily fill the three nights just with bands from Liverpool and 90 per cent of them still are.
“At first I was quite stubborn about who was playing because I had seen scenes come and go because everyone was booking the out-of-town bands and I found the out-of-town bands to be overlooked. . So for the first two years I didn’t hire anyone from outside, I wanted it to be Liverpool based only and give the opportunity only to Liverpool artists.
“But now we’ve opened it up a bit, as it’s getting more and more successful, and we’ve invited artists from Manchester, London and Leeds, as well as international artists who come here when they’re on tour.
“Since I started Hope Street Jazz the number of jazz nights that have popped up is staggering, you can now go to a jazz night in Liverpool just about every night of the week. People are asking for it, and the demand is so high from bands wanting to play there, that it was just a bit of a no-brainer.