Ilford jazz and arts festival returns to put spring in shoppers’ step
- Credit: Archant
Ilford town centre is set for a musical takeover, as artists from America to Redbridge itself perform for the public in a variety of venues.
The Streets, which forms part of the EFG London Jazz Festival, kicks off tomorrow (Friday) and the event’s executive producer, Ian Nolan, is excited to be returning to Ilford for the fourth time in two years.
“The event is about putting culture on the high street and reanimating spaces that are at the heart of our communities, and Ilford has a long-standing history as a shopping destination for residents of Redbridge,” said Ian.
“We will be bringing it to life with a number of international and local artists over the two days.
“Across the two days we have something like 21 different artists, and that’s everywhere, from the town hall to the library to the General Havelock Pub and The Exchange shopping centre.”
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If you are not a fan of jazz do not fret, as there will be musicians from a mix of genres, ensuring there is something for people of all ages – such as Mr Wonderful’s Tea Dance.
“It’s great seeing the tea dance and the older members of the community coming together and enjoying it.
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“It’s an inter-generational event. There is Jazz for Toddlers, it includes music, singing and jazz played in the background that encourages children to dance and get into music, it accommodates the tea dance well.”
Redbridge is one of seven boroughs to take part in The Streets, and its events are some of the most well attended, something which surprised staff at Serious, the live music promoter behind the free attraction.
“It has been fantastic, we’ve had a 56 per cent higher attendance than we anticipated in the borough,” added Ian. “There is always a passion for these events in Redbridge.”
Acts to look forward to include Randolph Matthews, an American jazz and soul beatboxer, who will perform at Redbridge Central Library tomorrow, from 12.30pm.
The event is being supported by the council and Cllr Ross Hatfull, cabinet member for civic pride, hopes the event will boost the area.
“These performances not only raise the profile of Ilford as a destination, they bring music, colour and excitement to the area for all to enjoy.”