Star rating – 7/10
I’m not what you would call a jazz devotee at all, but was persuaded to sample a Manchester Jazz Festival event on the last night of this year’s jamboree. And I’ve got to say I was very pleasantly surprised by the friendly, chilled and laid back atmosphere there. John Ellis Big Bang and some female guest vocalists were quite lively, but I really enjoyed the ska music of Baked à la Ska – (get it? – Baked Alaska...). Not really my idea of jazz at all but I wasn’t complaining.
There was a tremendous variety of ages in the audience in the Albert Square Festival Tent – and the atmosphere was nice and relaxed. There were kids happily dancing alongside with the elderly statespersons of the jazz scene. And after this really enjoyable evening, well who knows, I may well just try a few more events next year.