Tramlines 2012: Choose blues, jazz or soak up the folk

Taking to the stage: Nicola Farnon.
Taking to the stage: Nicola Farnon.
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ONE thing Tramlines tries very hard to be is something to all tastes.

And a bit like how panto is at giving many young ones their first taste of theatre so a lot of the Tramlines offering give a rare chance for a whole family to catch live music.

There’s plenty of family friendly stuff going on at each of the main stages but for those seeking something respite Leopold Square could hold the key.

It becomes the festival’s home of jazz from tomorrow when organisers pull some of the biggest names on the northern jazz scene.

Weather permitting Djs will take to the turntables in the square from 5pm followed by the Tramlines Jazz Stage on Saturday from 1pm.

Nicola Farnon opens ahead of New Orleans-style street jazz act The Dixie Three and singer/guitarist Danny Maddocks takes to the stage from 6.30 with his band.

Sunday sees Hull jazz vocalist Jenny Smith joining Trio Brasilia, led by Brazilian Zezo Olimpio through a set of authentic Brazilian samba jazz with a mix of jazz classics from 1pm.

Leeds singer Hayley Gaftarnick and her Nighstalkers unveil an eclectic mix of sounds from acoustic soul to jazz, blues and folk ahead of a headline set from Sheffield favourites The Dizzy Club.

One of the most prominent jazz and swing clubs in the north, they round off the weekend from 6.30 with a repertoire with influences from ‘40s swing, Sinatra and Latin rhythms. Saturday and Sunday performances will conclude with a DJ set until 9pm.

For a second year Sheffield’s outlying industrial heartland plays its part in the festival.

The CADS, off Shalesmoor at Snow Lane, again hosts the main blues stage led by Hummingbirds Blues Band.

Soulfaces, M&J Blues, Tim Graham & The Blackcats and Amelia Carter Band are also on a bill from 4pm that includes The Mudcats Trio, Natchez Burning and compere Billy Martin Jnr.

Shaggy Dog & Flat Foot Sam play the courtyard as burgers sizzle and the real ale flows.

Busker Buses will pass along the Blues & Ale Trail, heading off from outside blues stage sponsors The Hop every 20 minutes. No excuse not to dip in.

We also like the look of the Folk Forest which again pulls Endcliffe Park into the action.

James Yorkston heads a Saturday line-up boasting the Big Eyes Family Players and Mike Hughes while Roy Bailey headlines Sunday’s mix of Payroll Union, Joe Banfi and more.

Get involved with the Tramlines discussion on Twitter by using the hashtag #tramlinesatleopold.