Cambridge International Jazz Festival

I must admit to being a bit of a jazz virgin and didn’t know what I was letting myself in for when given the opportunity to capture images for the second Cambridge Jazz Festival. Founded in 2014 by Roslin Russell and Gavin Spence the goal of this festival was to bring together the already thriving Cambridge Jazz scene with other renowned national and international artist.

I am used to the traditional single venue festivals, having attended both Cambridge Folk Festival and Cambridge Rock Festival earlier in the year but the thought and logistics of presenting nearly 100 events, taking place in over 30 different locations across Cambridge, over a 12 day period was difficult to comprehend.

This was my chance to experience the enormous variety of music that goes under the umbrella of jazz and it did not disappoint.  During the 12 days I managed to photograph 40 separate performances at venues in Cambridge, some of which I never knew existed, from the Cellars at Clare College to the Corn Exchange, Hidden Rooms to Hot Numbers Coffee House, Churchill Chapel to the Unitarian Church and more…..

At times, I got so swallowed up by the music that I almost forgot I was there to take pictures. The festival is a celebration of the huge variety of music that jazz encompasses, from gypsy jazz to funk, from jazz poetry and spoken word to hip-hop, from solo artists to big bands and to open jazz up to new audiences.  I was both proud and privileged to be part of the event and I would encourage anyone with a love of music to give Cambridge Jazz Festival a try next year.

However, you don’t have to wait, there is already a thriving jazz scene in Cambridge, best known to local jazz followers so take a look at and I look forward to seeing you at one of their events. 

Like many festivals, the vision of the organisers would never be possible without the generous support of sponsors including the Arts Council England and CambridgeBID, over 30 venues and Festival partners, and the sea of volunteers working together to make this a great success. I am looking forward to Cambridge Jazz Festival 2017 already!

Images © Trevor Lee Photography

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