John Richardson talks about where Northampton Music Festival came from and what its organisers hope to achieve as planning gets underway for next year’s event…
Northampton Music Festival was initiated ten years ago by a group of local businessmen who joined forces with the University of Northampton and a group of amateur and professional musicians. The mission was clear: to enhance the profile of the town, and in particular the town centre, through musical performance of all kinds.
Northampton has an exceptionally varied and prolific music culture and NMF’s objective is to showcase and celebrate that culture. Northampton Music and Performance Arts Trust, situated on the Kettering Road in the town, has 22,000 music students and 300 music teachers. Our schools constantly win national and international competitions, and there are performances in local Northampton venues 365 days of the year.
The poor profile of the town is affecting our University, big and small businesses, and also the well-being of local people who recognise the attributes of the town and are determined to see change.
This year’s Music Festival in June involved five stages in the town centre and over fifty performances, from rock to opera.
A dedicated group of volunteers is currently planning Northampton Music Festival for 2018 and anticipate that it will be bigger with, once again, a focus on the Market Square.
Northampton Borough Council, the Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) and Northampton Community Foundation have given full support to the project. A very effective public-private partnership.
Chairman of NMF, retired school teacher, Brian Harding, said: “The festival this year succeeded in bringing the town centre alive and in making a visit a truly exhilarating experience. The 2018 festival will see even more music showcased from our town and county.”
On Thursday, 23rd November, NMF will present a special performance by multi award winning vocalist, Liane Carroll, following a gathering of interested parties keen to further the Northampton Music Festival’s aims: to be a showcase and greatly anticipated event for and in the ‘Teyn’ we love and live in.
We hope you will support us and this superb pre-festival event at the Picturedrome on November 23.
Liane one of the all time vocal greats
Liane Carroll is one of the greatest vocalists of her generation (or of any generation, for that matter) and has won enough awards to fill a rather large wall or, conversely, to expose the weakness of a cheap cabinet, writes Andy Shaw.
Although Liane, for the convenience of a music media keen to have artists neatly labelled, is best known as a jazz vocalist – and without doubt there are none better – she is much more than that. She is an astounding musician and, there is no other way to describe it, her profoundly beautiful, generous and open personality and total lack of affectation has allowed her to absorb a huge number of influences and idioms into her sensational performances – from Glastonbury (twice this year: in her own right and with mega Drum’n’Bass luminaries ‘London Elektricity’ ), The Proms, Ronnie Scott’s, New York’s Lincoln Centre, and all points of the globe.
It’s been said many times before, and I feel confident that anyone reading this who has seen Liane perform will agree: she communicates with an audience in a way so natural that you are totally drawn in and left, at the end, knowing you have been a party to one of the most extraordinary musical experiences you’ll ever have.
November 23 at Northampton’s Picturedrome can’t come quickly enough and, if you also have an open mind and a love of artistry, you really should be there.