CREATIVE youngsters from Peterbrook School have been hard at work preparing costumes for the Solihull Jazz Fest parade this weekend (May 23 and 24).
The children will join the parade at the fourth annual Jazz Festival, which also features entertainers and town centre workers in fancy dress costumes, at 11am on Saturday (May 23), to entertain town centre visitors and hand out treats and multicoloured, giant ‘jazz hands’ as the festival gets underway.
Heather (pictured), aged six said: “I found half a star and another one and put it together and it made a really good shape.
“I have used pink blue and purple and I am going to put glitter on it to make it sparkle.”
Solihull BID has also engaged Solihull College students for the 2015 event, hiring their multimedia students to produce a series of films about the festival.
Thanks to an Arts Council grant, secured by festival organisers Solihull Business Improvement District (BID), the children were invited to take part in workshops with professional costume designers Mahogany Carnival Designs, a group of multi-disciplinary artists who design and create large scale parade costumes and have worked on projects including the Olympic handover ceremony in London.
Melanie Palmer, director of Solihull BID, said more than 120,000 people attending in 2014, and the ambition has always been to involve as many members of the local community as possible.
She added: “Securing the Arts Council grant has made it possible to both run the costume workshops and to offer a professional filming engagement to the college students; something they can use in their portfolio after they graduate.
“It’s going to be another amazing weekend in the town, full of foot-tapping fun, a party atmosphere and family entertainment.
“We have two stages packed with live music and most of the town centre businesses are getting involved too so it’s definitely not one to be missed.”
Headlining the 2015 event will be acclaimed artists such as double MOBO-winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown, jazz guitarist Remi Harris, the Broombusters and King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys.
The Arts Council grant has also funded jazz mentoring workshops to promote collaboration between local grassroots jazz performers and established musicians with a regional or national reputation.
Also new for this year will be a photographic trail – showing behind-the-scenes views of the music industry – at accessible venues across the town.