Last week The Streets music festival returned to Ilford to brighten the high street with music, jazz and entertainment. The public were treated to fantastic performances in locations in and around the high street. The event started off with a musical street parade with progressive brass band Perhaps Contraption and ended with a soulful performance by international artist Allan Harris at the General Havelock pub.
Walking in and out of Redbridge Central Library all day, I had the pleasure of catching glimpses of just some of the great acts performing last week. The space next to the welcome desk was transformed into a small stage area where artists such as Randolph Matthews, Ryan Green and Stan Edelman picked up their instruments and amazed the public with their smooth sounds. Over at the Town Hall on Friday, our regulars (and even a few new faces!) were treated to an extra special free tea dance with DJ favourite, Mr Wonderful playing great jazz beats. He was later accompanied by Perhaps Contraption, who made a guest appearance at the dance to get people moving!
The Friday buzz carried on into Saturday as the wet weather wasn’t enough to keep people away! This year Ilford hosted The Jazz Exchange where The Exchange Shopping Centre became a venue for a number of performances by featured artists such as Allan Harris and Natalie Williams. Shoppers were treated to the unique sounds of jazz while they stopped for a coffee in Debenhams Cafe or shopped around the mall. Many visitors stopped to enjoy the full performances before they went on about their day.
The two day event was enjoyed by all the public including adults, families and children. One of my personal highlights was the afternoon street parade, which brought in a huge crowd! Perhaps Contraption, with the power of their instruments and the sound of their voices impressed onlookers who followed the brass band through the high street, many of which were filming the wonderful performance on their phone. One excited child showed her appreciation when she shouted out “They’re good. They’re fantastic.” Now there’s a statement I can agree with!
Post Author: Nida Hussain