Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival
Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival is set in the truly beautiful and unique setting of Moseley Park, Birmingham. Every year, the park plays host to a weekend of blistering live music, attracting people from all over the world who gather to see International legends alongside the latest contemporary breakthrough artists from the world of Jazz, Funk & Soul.
This is a special year for the organisers as they gear up to celebrate the festival’s Tenth Anniversary in 2019. The team are promising their biggest programme of entertainment yet, having opened the new ‘Off Piste’ area of the park in 2018.
The programme for Off Piste and the festival as a whole is set to expand in 2019 to encompass even more music plus Dance Sessions, Artist Q&A’s, Music Workshops and more, ready to celebrate Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul’s Tenth Anniversary.
FRIDAY 12TH JULY
Having celebrated 50 years as one of the most successful groups in music history, The Jacksons headline the Friday night of Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul. Initially finding international success with the Motown label, their recordings, including ‘I Want You Back’, ‘ABC’ and ‘I’ll Be There’, have sold in excess of 200 million. They have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame amongst many other accolades. Expect a funky Friday night filled with classics from their extensive back catalogue of hits.
Filling the headline support slot is Ibibio Sound Machine, fronted by Nigerian singer, Eno Williams. Ibibio is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West-African funk and disco and modern post-punk and electro. As of Monday 28th January, they have been playlisted to 6 Music’s A-List with new single “Tell Me”. Jurassic 5’s Soup will also take to the main stage with his new project, The Fullee Love Collective. This gold-selling artist now performs with his own full band. Along with performing Jurassic 5’s favourite hit tracks he’s also bringing his own edgier original soul-funk hip-hop sound.
Combining 8 horns with 2 percussionists, scratch DJ and live MC, Renegade Brass Band mix funk, hip-hop and jazz with a raw brass sound and high-energy live show. Having supported past Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul artists on their tours including Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy and Craig Charles, they are a perfect addition to the line-up for 2019.
Also appearing on the Friday are high-energy 9-piece brass ensemble Young Pilgrims, Boca 45 with a blistering live funky hip-hop DJ Set, jazz/soul vocalist Alice Auer and one of Birmingham’s most talented young acts Odd Soul.
SATURDAY 13TH JULY
The Brand New Heavies describe their music as “a unique mix of Jazz, Funk and Soul”, making these pioneers of Acid Jazz arguably the perfect people to headline the Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul stage. Tracks such as ‘You’ve Got A Friend’, ‘You Are The Universe’ and ‘Never Stop’ have resulted in 16 top 40 singles and over 2 million album sales.
Brian Jackson wrote, arranged and produced over 10 albums across an eight-year period as half of a power duo with Gil Scott-Heron. 40 years later, Brian continues to create with artists such as M1 (Dead Prez), Gregory Porter, Scott Tixier (jazz violinist with Stevie Wonder) and many more. He’s a true jazz legend and a welcome addition to the line-up.
Making a return as Saturday’s co-curator and performing his ever popular headline DJ set is Craig Charles. Craig has garnered global recognition as one of the UK’s foremost Funk and Soul DJ’s after 10 years of broadcasting on BBC 6 Music. His 2018 choice for Album Of The Year was ‘Free Me’ by JP Bimeni & The Black Belts who join him on the line-up. Having been likened to artists such as Otis Redding and Leon Bridges, Burundian-born royal family descendent JP Bimeni is sure to be one to watch at the festival.
Sharing their Tenth Anniversary with the festival, northern soul and funk outfit Smoove & Turrell will return to the Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul stage. Providing even more Northern Soul and funk with a touch of swing and ska is 6-piece live band, Daytoner.
Spreading the word of Guerilla Soul since 2011, James & Black have performed alongside acts such as Sister Sledge (Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul 2018 headliners), Fatoumata Diawara, Jools Holland and more. Joining them on the Saturday line-up are Moseley’s own 9-piece soul band The Atlantic Players, much-loved Birmingham DJ Sam Redmore, expansive soul-fusion band Necktr and soulful singer-songwriter Nick Corbin.
SUNDAY 14TH JULY
One of the world’s most acclaimed and award-winning composers/songwriters, Burt Bacharach, will be bringing the celebrations to a close on Sunday 14th July. He’s received three Academy Awards, eight Grammys and an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. ‘I Say A Little Prayer’, ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’, ‘Walk On By’ and ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love’ are just a few of the 48 Top 10 hits and 9 #1 songs under his belt that have been written for or covered by some of music’s greatest legends; Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones, Etta James and Luther Vandross are just a few of the long list of artists he’s worked with
Khruangbin’s journey began when they were invited to support Bonobo on his 2010 American tour. Their debut album, released in 2015, was met with widespread critical acclaim from the likes of Zane Lowe, Cerys Matthews and Don Letts. Don also picked their latest album ‘Con Todo El Mundo’ as his album of the year, which resulted in them claiming the overall #2 slot on BBC 6 Music’s Top 10 Albums of 2018. There is nothing else out there quite like them and audiences are in for a treat when they perform their headline support slot at the festival.
After honing his craft as a vocalist, guitarist and composer with countless acts, Gil Scott-Heron influenced Oscar Jerome is now becoming a major draw as a solo act. Another new act making waves, Ishmael Ensemble have quickly caught the attention of tastemakers such as Giles Peterson and Tom Ravenscroft with their fusion of psych-out Jazz and evocative ambience.
Representing the jazz connection between London and Paris is jazz quartet Neue Grafik Ensemble, who perform at the festival alongside Notebenders Big Community Band, the brainchild of late legendary saxophonist Andy Hamilton MBE, and Giles Peterson’s Worldwide FM’s Tina Edwards playing a DJ Set. The line-up also features Birmingham based electronic soul band, Delta Autumn, who will perform their new project “Multiplayer Mode” featuring special guests.
Also heading to Moseley Park for performances on the Sunday are energetic samba/reggae/afro-beat 8-piece Ponyland, jazz and soul keyboardist Ashley Allen’s Quintet, high octane Forj with their expansive improvisation and the return of the much-loved Jazzlines Ensemble providing a platform for young up-and-coming jazz musicians from in and around Birmingham.