Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival, Birmingham 2014

This was truly one of my favorite low key festivals this year. In the heart and soul of Birmingham's little village park in Moseley, held the Mostly jazz, funk and soul festival. This little gem of a do, has been going on for years - and only til a few weeks ago I was finally able to go! The main attraction of course, was that I heard Earth, Wind and Fire Experience were playing (although I was more than a winge-bag when I heard they had to drop out last minute due to the lead singer hurting his voice). However, the event organisers really managed to pull the replacement act out of the bag though, when they announced Family Stone (real members of Sly & the Family stone) were headlining instead. My golly, was that a turn around and a fantastic day in the sun.

Those who have been to Moseley, obviously know and love their Bohemia, family orientated vibes. And this festival held no exception to their stereotypes. The whole weekend just had a great crowd, a real mixed bag of music lovers and head-phoned babies - no fashion fixes needed. This was all about the music, not about the flower garments. With two main stages, the soul stage and the jazz stage - the line up was incredible.

  1. I can't say I'm a jazz and soul connoisseur, but considering I know who Sly and the Family Stone are at my age - I like to think I can appreciate good music when I hear it. One act that I absolutely fell in love with was London Afrobeat Collective. With strong sounds from traditional Nigerian music, jazz, funk and saxophones. They seriously worked the crowd down to a tea, and no doubt I will try my best to catch them again in London. Oh and not forgetting that the lead singer is so super-cool, we all just want to be her or be with her.
  2. We were then lucky enough, to see Ginger Baker, most famously known for his work with the rock band Cream. One of the world's most famous and probably influential Jazz drummer, it was an absolute pleasure to listen to his music which provided a range of percussion instructions, African rhythms and drum solos. With his version of Wade in the Water, it was a great day to see and appreciate such a inspirational artist.
  3. On the jazz stage, it was great to hear the soulful band Trope for the first time. With unreal lead vocals, they completely made Stevie's Wonder top hits their own songs. A definite must see band, and I 100% guarantee you will start hearing them more in the lime light. If you get the chance, definitely start looking to see them locally before you miss out in the future.
  4. Another little band to keep an eye out, are the Birmingham based band Young Pilgrims. A young, and rather daymn cool brass band. Totally giving brass bands a new element, with some very talented songwriters. Apparently only celebrating their 1 year anniversary at the festival - these guys are ramped up with fun, ambition and no doubt will take Birmingham by storm. Let's hope it will soon be London.
  5. The night only got warmed up, once Courtney Pine entered the stage. An English jazz musician (rare find indeed) and multi-instrumentalist playing the jazz flute, clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone. Absolutely unreal talent. With his music somewhat mixing drum and bass, alongside garage with contemporary jazz. Not only that, but his personality is just as big as his musical skills - where he knows how to bring people together with the power of jazz. What a guy.
  6. Finally,Family Stone took the limelight as the sun stated to settle in. Not only did I get to hear one of my favourite old school songs "Everyday people" but they literally whipped out all the classics such as Family affair and Dance to the music. I literally loved this band on stage, because not only do they play some great crowd pleasers but they genuinely love being on stage. You can just feel the powerfulness of their joy and it was such a great change to the recent "too cool to look like you're having a good time" kind of music. Genuinely great artists and so lucky to have got to see them!

I will definitely be attending the Moseley Jazz, Funk and Soul festival every year. No doubt, a must attend festival. 

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