Nick Haywood: “Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra have been an inspiration”

“Charlie Haden is a significant figure in 20th Century music and has been a huge influence on me throughout my career. The theme of songs of protest that we are presenting at the festival also fits well with Haden’s music we will be performing – LMO music inspired by the Spanish Civil war and the Cuban revolution amongst others, as well as some Australian songs of protest by the likes of Midnight Oil and Archie Roach.”

The Senegambian Jazz Band: “Every gig we see people losing themselves in our music”

“For us jazz is about a willingness to explore new possibilities with only a moment’s notice, whether it be inviting a guest on stage who has no idea what they’re getting themselves into, or intentionally playing something that goes against what would normally be done, say in a piece of music that has become well known. As a more broad ranging metaphor this can be used as an invitation to leave past mentalities behind that were potentially stifling, freeing us to move forward in life.”

James Macaulay: “the charm of the trombone is in its mystery”

“My idea of excellence is something which takes incredible patience and great care. A master craftsman doesn’t get bored of their craft, but rather finds more depth in it over time. I can’t remember where it is from, but I think it’s a Nietzschean aphorism – ‘seriousness is a child at play’, which I think is important too.”

Get in the Christmas mood with James Mustafa

“I was divided into four parts, arranging the music, recording the music, videoing the footage and finally, bringing it all together into a single film. I began the recording and arranging job simultaneously, something I’ve never really done before. I just started recording whatever I thought sounded good, adding whatever instrument I wanted along the way. Eventually, I realised this was going to be best suited to a big band (with a few woodwind doubles) and began notating arrangement and the recording alongside it.”

Chris Frangou’s kaleidoscope of sounds

Contrary to most modern jazz recordings, that verge towards minimalism and a downtempo, contemplative approach to analyzing and exploring musical ideas, Chris Frangou created an uplifting, visceral rollercoaster of rhythms.”I’ve got a bit of hyper-energetic personality”, he agrees, “and that’s something that came in that record. I like music to invigorate me, to motivate me, to make me run 14,000 km and climb a building from the outside. That’s what I want music to make me feel and I was trying to transfer that energy in the recording.”

Steve Fitzmaurice: “I’m lucky to have fantastic players in Mingus Amongst Us”

“Mingus’ music is very deep on so many levels. It delves into human feelings, political oppression, issues of inequality in society, intimate relationships… all of which is still significant today. I find his compositions, playing and life in general to be a massive outpouring of emotions that were possibly his only way of dealing with the world he found himself living in. A world that in a lot of regards has changed very little today.”