Marsden Jazz Festival
Jazz In The Yorkshire Pennines

How We Programme the Festival

Marsden Jazz Festival showcases artists from a wide range of locations and at various stages of their career. The festival welcomes a number of youth groups, early career musicians, as well as world-renowned established artists.

The festival also pushes and questions the boundaries of the genre of “jazz” showcasing traditional jazz bands and cutting-edge new sounds, encouraging audiences to expand their own knowledge and understanding of the genre. It also ensures that there is a little of something for everyone.

The programme is put together to allow each of these groups to have dedicated space at the festival and to give visitors a clear guide as to the different types of gig on offer.

The types of gig on offer are roughly categorised into the following areas:


The 19th century Mechanics Hall and the 1920s Parochial Hall are our headline venues with gigs taking place there throughout the festival weekend.


Our New Stream gigs feature cutting edge and experimental jazz music as well as our new commissions, some of which have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.


Our programme of youth jazz celebrates the dozens of young musicians who perform at the festival every year. The number of gigs by youth groups has steadily grown since the festival first took place in 1992 and we now have a dedicated youth stage – the Bandstand in the Park.


We’ve seen young musicians who first performed at the festival with school bands break through to become mainstream jazz artists.