Friday 17 June 2022

A Life In Music: John Fell talks Festivals and previews Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul

Three days of Funk, Jazz and Soul. Lots of new features this year too.

Three weeks from now, give or take, Moseley Park will jump to the Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival - a three-day event that will bring you exactly that: Jazz, Funk, and Soul.  Some stellar acts are booked, and a whole host of up-and-coming and established local acts as well. I have listed some of the main names at the bottom of this post, and there are more in podcast (scroll down) but for full details, head over to the MoJazz website, which is pretty comprehensive. 

There's an awful lot that goes into organising an event like this. I sat down with Festival Manager John Fell, to talk about some of the challenges. It's fascinating stuff, and the stories that have emerged over the past two very difficult years are compelling: acts that refused to use the stage entrance... acts that came back the next day because they enjoyed themselves.... embracing the local dance scene, and much more.  

I got rather excited about some of the new things that MoJazz are introducing. For the first time, there is some serious engagement with some of Birmingham's best dance outfits, Leftfoot, for example, running their own stage and playing host to a number of local DJs. You'll see Sam Redmore and Swingamajig as well. 

On top of that, to my enormous pleasure, they have rather upgraded their food offer, with some of Birmingham's best names. Last year, I had a dahl and samosa combo from Zindiya, only round the corner from the festival site, which still sticks in the memory. I liked it so much a had it twice. Greedy me. But there are loads of choices - Chakana is new this year, along with Brum Mi. And pizza, cocktails, Ice Cream, Waffles, BoneHead... the list goes on. 

So I'll see you in a few weeks. In the meantime, here are just a few links to follow.

The Podcast

A footnote: the intro and outro flourishes I'm using in this series of Lives in Music podcasts come from Jazz monsters Young Pilgrims. I asked them for permission to use their work in this podcast series; they said Yes, and this was the result.  

The Lives in Music Podcast series has been running for over three years now. These are interviews with local musicians, looking at how music has shaped them throughout their lives.  To see all the artists, here's a link to every episode.

The Radio To Go blog

This blog has been going since 2007. I started it to focus mainly on radio stories, as the industry went through convulsive changes. Those changes aren't over yet, not by a long chalk. I then expanded the range of topics to cover local music, another subject close to my heart. I think it was a Destroyers gig that pulled me in that direction. I've banged out several hundred posts since then, and of course deleted quite a few. But if you're interested in thoughts on the local scene and/or radio futures, by all means visit the full topic index on the Radio To Go blog.

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