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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2008, 09:24 GMT
Liverpool jazz festival kicks off
Andy Gangadeen from The Bays performing
Dance music band The Bays will perform with the Heritage Orchestra
A three-day jazz festival with a twist is to kick off in Liverpool to welcome in the city's capital of culture year.

The festival is the brainchild of the executive director of the Liverpool Philharmonic, Simon Glynn.

It combines jazz with other styles including electronica, acoustic, hip hop and drum and bass.

The centrepiece event will be a collaboration between the legendary jazz composer Wayne Shorter and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra.

Programme manager at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Gavin Sharp, said: "Fresh Festival is contemporary music, primarily jazz but other forms as well.

Completely improvised

"It's a real flavour of new music that is developing certainly within the UK but we have got some special guests coming in from across the world."

Dance music band The Bays are also performing a completely improvised gig with the Heritage Orchestra.

Local singer/songwriter Thomas Lang, who has performed with Nina Simone, said: "Liverpool is not that well known for jazz.

"When I was asked to do it I like the idea that it wasn't the typical jazz festival, that it was more contemporary.

"This is exactly the type of thing that I would like to go and see personally and it's right on my doorstep."

There are four venues for events during the festival - the Philharmonic Hall, clubs Magnet and Bumper and the residents' lounge at the Hope Street Hotel.

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