Leeds arts festival ready for brand new summer sound

HEADLINERS: Acid jazz and funk group The Brand New Heavies are topping the Playground Party bill.
HEADLINERS: Acid jazz and funk group The Brand New Heavies are topping the Playground Party bill.
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Garforth Arts Festival has confirmed its reputation as one of the hottest cultural tickets in town.

Acid jazz and funk band The Brand New Heavies were today revealed as the headline act for the annual summertime festival’s closing night Playground Party, which will be held in the grounds of Garforth Academy.

They are joined on the bill by singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman and afrobeat star Femi Kuti And The Positive Force.

Also playing will be the BBC Big Band, featuring Yorkshire jazz singer Clare Teal.

Festival director Dave Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I think we’ve put together a line-up that’s high quality and really varied. Hopefully there will be something there for everyone.”

Taking place this year for the 11th time, the festival will run from June 29 to July 11.

A packed programme of shows and activities will be staged in Garforth throughout the fortnight.

Stand-out attractions include The Borealis Saxophone Quartet, an award-winning chamber ensemble which will be playing at St Mary’s Church on July 4.

Happening at Garforth Academy on July 8, Sing Freedom will tell the story of anti-apartheid campaigner Rusty Bernstein, who was arrested and tried alongside Nelson Mandela.

A number of events will be held at Garforth WMC, including a celebration of 50 years of rock legends The Who on June 30.

The festival is run by the School Partnership Trust, with additional funding and support from Arts Council England, CapeUK and Arts@Leeds.

For full programme details and ticket information, visit the www.garforthartsfestival.co.uk website from midday today.

Music acts who have appeared at the festival in previous years include Richard Hawley, Billy Bragg, Buzzcocks, Courtney Pine and Chumbawamba.