Marsden Jazz Festival is back this coming weekend … thanks to a dedicated band of volunteers.

The future of the ever-popular event was put in doubt after failing to secure Arts Council England funding but organisers were determined the show will go on.

The headliners on Saturday, October 7, at Marsden Mechanics Hall will be festival legend Ben Crosland, award-winning saxophonist and composer Emma Johnson (pictured below) and Leeds sensations Vipertime.

There will be a festival parade through the village at 11am on Saturday and the bandstand in Marsden Park will be one of the main venues as it will feature young local musicians throughout the day who play with Musica Kirklees bands. It will include performances from all of the Musica Kirklees big band and jazz ensembles with some extra guest bands too.

These events are free, but people will be asked to give cash or card donations to Marsden Jazz Festival and the Gift of Music fund which supports and enables Musica Kirklees to provide music lessons for children and families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them.

Other venues taking part in the jazz weekend which starts on Friday and ends on Sunday includes the Railway Inn up the hill next to Marsden Railway Station, Zapato Brewery, Dark Woods Coffee, Katie’s Homemade Kitchen, Hansons Music Marquee, the Shakespeare pub, Marsden Liberal Club, Sass Wellbeing Studio and Coffee House, Marsden United Church, The New Inn, The Little Lock Café, Marsden Royal British Legion and St Bartholomew’s Church.

For the full line-up and timings go to

On Friday, Katie’s Kitchen on Market Place in Marsden will feature Love Music Hate Racism acts Silverfinger Singh and Pat Fulgoni. Silverfinger presents The Mixtape on BBC Radio Leeds . 

Huddersfield-based Pat will be doing his soul, jazz, drum and bass set including his collaborations with artists including London Elektricity, Camo & Krooked, Technimatic, Murdock and many other festival headlining artists.

On Saturday The Railway Inn will have the Paolo Fuschi Quartet (9pm), Velvet Hammer (6.30pm) and the Dana Ali Band (3pm).

Sunday will feature Tom Attah & Matt Walklate (9pm), Pat Fulgoni Blues Experience (6pm) and Chris Martin (3pm) who is described as a “silky fingered bluesmeister, raconteur and teller of unfeasibly tall tales.” 

The main Saturday evening at the Mechanics Hall will start at 6pm with a performance by Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat featuring music from their forthcoming album Northern Flame.

The group has been described as “one of the most refreshingly imaginative and perfectly configured acts in contemporary jazz.”

They’ll be followed at 8pm by Ben Crosland who has been a regular at Marsden Jazz Festival for three decades.

The Ben Crosland Quartet will be playing a set of original tunes and standards plus favourites from Jaco Pastorius, Bob Mintzer, Mike Mainieri, Don Grolnick and Sir Ray Davies.

The Independent called Ben a “fluid and inventive contemporary bassist” while Jazz Journal International described his compositions as “colourful, beguiling and thoroughly musical.”

Headliner Vipertime will be on stage at 10pm and draws from influences as diverse as John and Alice Coltrane, Count Ossie, The Jazz Warriors and Trio VD to create a scintillating jazz/punk vibe.

Tickets cost £10 for each gig or £25 for a Saturday Night Pass to see all three. There are reduced rates for anyone under 30 and child tickets (16 and under) are just £1 when accompanied by an adult.

For more details and to book tickets visit:

Jazz fans can get the government to cover the cost of their ticket by making a voluntary donation to help support the festival’s running costs.

Just select the Jazz Champion option for any of the gigs to make a £40 voluntary donation to the festival. Organisers can then claim an additional £10 (the cost of a gig ticket) from the government through the Gift Aid scheme.

People can also get a free Saturday Night Pass by making a £100 donation which will allow organisers to claim an extra £25 in Gift Aid.

Marsden Jazz Festival is a registered charity and support is vital to help secure the festival’s future. People must currently pay Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax to be eligible to make a Gift Aid donation.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.