Marsden commissions new music from Lauren Kinsella and Ben Crosland for jazz festival

Lauren KinsellaFestival goers will get the chance to hear two new compositions for the first time at Marsden Jazz Festival next month.

The festival organisers have commissioned Leeds College of Music lecturer Lauren Kinsella and Huddersfield-based musician and composer Ben Crosland to perform one-off arrangements for this year’s festival.

Lauren, who was nominated for Vocalist of the Year at Jazz FM’s 2015 Awards, will be performing at the Royal British Legion on Saturday 10 October as part of the festival’s New Stream gigs, which support new and experimental artists.

Lauren’s composition is called ‘What Window Do You Look Out Of?’ and she will be joined by four other musicians, including Marsden-born saxophonist Tom Challenger, for the hour-long performance.

The commission aims to champion the role of vocals in contemporary improvised music and the union of sound between an artist’s voice and a band’s instruments.

Lauren said:

“I’ve been inspired by so many different aspects of culture over the past few months.

“An important starting point was the documentary ‘Salt of the Earth’, a beautiful film about photographer Sebastião Salgado and his work through a political, social and cultural lens. What his pictures convey about the world and human suffering are some of the most moving images I’ve ever seen.

“The music was also inspired by other artists and writers, including Marsden-born poet Simon Armitage and his book ‘Gig’ and Patti Smith and her autobiography ‘Just Kids’. Lastly and most importantly, I am inspired by the wonderful musicians in my ensemble that will play with me at Marsden.”

Ben Crosland will also be appearing at the Royal British Legion in Marsden at 8.30pm on Friday 9 October. He has been commissioned to arrange and perform a jazz interpretation of songs by the Kinks’ lead singer Ray Davies.

Ben plays bass and will be joined by four other musicians, including Dave O’Higgins on sax, and John Etheridge on guitar, for the two-hour gig.

Ben said:

“I began my musical education at 13 by taking up the drums and the Kinks’ singles were constantly on as I played along in my bedroom. Fifty years on, as a bandleader and composer, I am again discovering new subtleties and strengths in these wonderful compositions.

“Ray Davies is a songwriter whose work is rooted in the blues, music hall, popular song, variety and musical theatre. His songs provide the perfect vehicles for jazz interpretation.

“He is self-evidently one of the greatest ever British songwriters. To my knowledge, no one has yet undertaken a serious study of his work in a jazz context.”

Marsden Jazz Festival is now entering its 24th year and will take place between Friday 9 and Sunday 11 October. Commissions at the 2014 festival by Simon Fell and Let Spin were featured on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Jazz on 3’ programme earlier this year.

Tickets for Lauren Kinsella’s and Ben Crosland’s gigs at this year’s festival are priced at £7 and £14 respectively, and are available to buy at