Neneh Cherry, Lianne La Havas, The Wailers & more for Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul festival 2020

One of the parties of the summer, the Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul festival, returns to the intimate Moseley Park across the weekend of 10th-12th July for its 11th edition in Birmingham.

Set in one of the UK’s most beautiful festival sites, the family-friendly Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul experience continues to set the benchmark. Throughout its history, the festival has drawn scintillating artists from all corners of the world to the Midlands in a vibrant celebration of all things jazz, funk and soul, and continues as one of the most inspiring and sublime city-set weekends of music.

The festival is now incredibly proud to announce who is joining in the weekend fun this summer, across three intimate spaces: The Main Stage, Lunar Stage and Off Piste.

Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul 2020 UK poster

Friday is the start of something magical at Mostly Jazz, with a wildly international bill. The Swedish singer, rapper and bold 80s icon NENEH CHERRY headlines the festival and kicks off the first day. This year her incredible album, Raw Like Sushi, is re-released on its 30th anniversary, and this is a unique chance to catch her in such an intimate setting. And speaking of strong and inspiring females, LIANNE LA HAVAS cites Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott and Mary J. Blige as inspirations; her scorching voice is truly something special to behold. She co-headlines the Friday night following the release of ‘Bittersweet’ single which is an instant classic. Smoker’s Delight was one of a handful of records to define a generation, along with Massive Attack’s Blue Lines, Portishead’s Dummy and Tricky’s Maxinquaye. Performing live with a string section, NIGHTMARES ON WAX will bring their seminal 2nd album to life. Next up, are two of Birmingham’s prominent artists destined for great things. KOFI STONE is the wordsmith with a deep appreciation for the golden age hip hop; LADY SANITY blends grime, ’90s hip-hop and jazz influences, and on deck duty are DJ FORMAT, BOCA 45 and THEO (live).

The middle day of Mostly Jazz is chock full of America’s aural richness. THE FATBACK BAND is one of the most acclaimed disco, soul and funk groups to have ever emerged from America with a huge back catalogue, including I Found Lovin and Do the Bus Stop. And keeping the across-the-pond love, HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE are an eight-strong cohort of horn-playing brothers (plus one unrelated drummer) who take their stylistic cues from jazz, funk and hip-hop into a wild ride. CRAIG CHARLES is the funk and soul icon who never fails to have crowds bouncing returns as curator, compere and to DJ whilst Jay Z-sampled HANNAH WILLIAMS AND THE AFFIRMATIONS who are the current darlings of the worldwide soul scene join the bill. ANDREYA TRIANA is a sublime experimental and self-taught singer and the DELVON LAMARR ORGAN TRIO weave tantalizing grooves, lush sounds and vibrant jam sessions. Further artists and DJs include ALEXANDER NUT, STEVE COBBY (DJ SET – 30 YEARS OF FILA BRAZILLIA), TOUCAN, EBI SODA, FREEDOM 35S, SAM REDMORE & THE TROPICAL SOUNDCLASH ALLSTARS, THE LITTLE EASY BAND, MATT BECK B2B ADAM REGAN (LEFTFOOT) and VOYAGE DJS.

Seeing out the festival and travelling further around the world, the legendary WAILERS continue their quest to bring reggae to the forefront of the world’s stage on Sunday.  Led by renowned bassist and founder Aston “Familyman” Barrett, and joined by original Wailers guitarist Donald Kinsey, The Wailers give audiences around the globe the opportunity to experience their unique and innovative sound. Supporting on the bill and known for their mellow and lush productions, the duo composed of Chris Davids and Liam Ivory have crafted a unique space in electronic music; as MARIBOU STATE DJ Set they will deliver an eclectic masterclass. MARTHA REEVES & THE VANDELLAS were one of the most successful groups in the Motown roster during the 1960’s with hits including Nowhere to Run, Heatwave and Dancing in the Street. KOKOROKO’S Afrobeat band achieve a perfect blend of West African rhythms and inspired improv, whilst PAT THOMAS & THE KWASHIBU AREA BAND are modern-day leaders of Ghanaian highlife music. The very much legendary NORMAN JAY MBE (DJ Set) touches down, along with support from KENNETH WHALUM, SAM REDMORE (DJ SET), SELEXTORHOOD (DJ SET), DJUJU, JULIE DEXTER, JOYBANG, ALICA GARDENER TREJO and THE JAZZLINES ENSEMBLE.