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The Festival was formed in 1986 in response to the region’s growing audience for jazz and big band music created in part by the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra and is now one of the UKs longest running jazz festivals. Featuring many of the world’s finest jazz artists, many of iconic status, the event quickly gained a reputation for being one of the finest jazz Festivals in Europe.

Artists such as Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, Red Rodney Art Blakey, Diana Krall, Michael Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, Maynard Ferguson, Phil Woods, Ray Brown, Bobby Shew and many more attracted capacity audiences and through the 1990’s it became a ‘must-attend’ event on the European Festival circuit.

For the first twenty years of its life the main venue was the Mill at the Pier, a venue that through the Festival, the Wigan Jazz Club and the many high-profile performances by the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, earned a world-wide reputation for the provision of high-calibre jazz concerts. In 2003 following the closure of the Mill at the Pier, the Festival moved its base to the JJB Stadium and four years later to the Robin Park Indoor Sports Centre; a venue that when converted to a concert hall for the four days of the event, was rated by many as one of the UK’s finest larger festival venues. However, in 2019, aimed at generating a more vibrant atmosphere, the main venue was moved to Village on the Green, Aspull, a change that was met with the widespread approval of audience and artists alike.

The varied programme of artists combined with the excellent facilities available at Village on the Green and in the town of Wigan make the Festival very popular amongst jazz audiences and music fans in general. With a steady increase in audience numbers an increasing number of people are taking advantage of the excellent value offered by the Festival rover ticket. Each year in excess of 2000 people attend the Festival’s ticketed events with many more hearing jazz throughout the town.

Over a period of twenty years and more the Festival was organised and delivered through a partnership between Wigan Council’s Education and Leisure Departments and in recent years Wigan Jazz Club took on responsibility for presenting the event. In 2017 full responsibility for organising, funding and delivering the Festival was accepted by The Music Continuum, a newly formed company, whose directors Ian Darrington and Peter Fletcher, as co-founders of the Festival and Jazz Club, are committed to securing a healthy future for the event.

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- click here to add events, both online and in-person

Vasilis Xenopoulos Dexterity Quintet

 
Jan 28, 2022
  The Progress Theatre

Maddalena Ghezzi, Thodoris Ziarkas, Maurizio Ravalico

 
Mar 4, 2022
  Hundred Years Gallery

Hannah Horton Quartet

 
Feb 27, 2022
  Colchester Arts Jazz Club

Maddalena Ghezzi and Ruth Goller

 
Feb 19, 2022
  Hundred Years Gallery

Julian Costello Quartet

 
Jan 20, 2022
  Spice of Life

Dom Pipkin & The Ikos Trio

 
Jan 20, 2022
  Boston Room at George IV

COLECTIVA

 
Feb 4, 2022
  The Jazz Cafe

GOAT GIRL + PVA

 
Jan 18, 2022
  The Roundhouse

Momentum

 
Jan 20, 2022
  The Bulls Head

Art Themen Quartet

 
Jan 21, 2022
  The Bulls Head

LOS BITCHOS

 
Mar 2, 2022
  Scala

NEW GENERATION JAZZ FESTIVAL WEEKENDER

 
Feb 4, 2022
  Ropetackle

Jazz In The Round – Celebrating 10 Years

 
Jan 31, 2022
  The Cockpit

Sarah Moule & Simon Wallace Valentine’s Day – Love Go Round

 
Feb 14, 2022
  The Pheasantry, PizzaExpress King's Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4UT

PRIYA RAGU

 
Apr 21, 2022
  Scala

Komodo Horns + Francesca Confortini

 
Jan 19, 2022
  Pizza Express Jazz Club (Soho)

TERTIA MAY

 
Jan 27, 2022
  The Jazz Cafe

coming soon

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