This October Band On The Wall and the Royal Northern College of Music will join forces to host the UK’s first ever jazz and pop harp festival. Commissioned by the United Kingdom Harp Association, Wild Strings Festival is the first event of its kind in the UK and a celebration of the harp’s unique place in jazz, blues, pop and electronic music. Taking place from Friday 5th October until Sunday 7th, players and listeners alike can experience the versatility of this beautiful instrument up close over a weekend of concerts, jams, open mics, raves and workshops, with tickets for events starting at just £5.
Things get underway at Band On The Wall on Friday 5th, where you can catch a performance from the world’s finest jazz harpist Park Stickney, along with local harpist and songwriter Rachael Gladwin, joined by her Mancunian outfit Rachael and the Red Socks. Stick around later to see the Swan Street venue transformed into a rave party with DJs joined by live electro-harpists.
On Saturday night the Royal Northern College of Music will explore the dynamic sound of the harp within jazz and improvised music with visits form Australian harpist and vocalist Tara Minton alongside her trio, also be joined by Welsh harpist Amanda Whiting. Over three days you can also catch the talents of folk outfit Ranagri featuring Eleanor Turner on electro-harp, along with Viennese jazz harpist Monika Stadler. RNCM Young Harps and Junior RNCM will showcase their efforts on utilising the harp in jazz on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The festival will also offer informative workshops on blues harp with Brenda Dor-Groot and pop harp with Shelley Fairplay and Amy Turk. Budding producers can join informative talks on home recording and drum programming, as well a window into the life and music of Alice Coltrane by the acclaimed Coltrane specialist Alina Bzhezhinska.
Tickets are available here, priced from £10 – £18, with £5 tickets available for the electroharp rave & showcase concert.