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Letter: Jazzing up the city.

Byline: David Fishel

FORTY-SEVEN years ago on January 16, the world's most famous music venue,Liverpool's Cavern Club,opened. The Beatles were not first on stage. This honour went to a jazz band -The Merseysippi Jazz Band!

Recent editions of the Daily Post have included letters from jazz loving readers who lament the lack of a jazz scene in and around Liverpool.

Although several weekly jazz events are held throughout Merseyside and Lancashire, these feature more traditional styles of jazz. There are virtually no venues featuring live jazz music in styles that followed the swing era of the '30s.And therefore very few jazz audiences under the average age of 60.

There are jazz festivals in Wigan (now in its 19th year),Southport, the Wirral and Chester -but ``soon-to-be''Capital of Culture Liverpool -has none! Well, the under-rated(andpossibly the world's oldest jazz band) aforementioned Merseysippi Jazz Band hosts a weekend mini-festival every January (this weekend) -but once again, this features bands playing Dixieland,New Orleans and other traditional styles. If you'reinto Bop , you might as well stay at home and listen to your CDs.

When I returned to Liverpool last April (following 21 years working with jazz in Norway),I beg an to do something ab out the lack of a jazz scene. I soon met some like minded souls and we have formed an as-yet informal group which hopes to oversee a dramatic increase in the amount of jazz in and around town.

A comprehensive festival has been envisioned. Preliminary plans are being discussed for a monthly jazz club with a proper programme culminating in an annual international-class festival.

Glasgow was Capital of Culture in 1990 and their jazz activities that year were a great success. They featured Oscar Peterson,Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra. If ``names'' like that can be attracted to Glasgow, then they can be attracted to Liverpool.

David Fishel,Woolton
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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 16, 2004
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