Artist's 'Blues' Period For Jazz Festival

27 May 2010

John Goto- Jazz festival
John Goto Jazz festival

Backdrops for the Every Second Derby Jazz Festival adapted from John Goto's West End Blues series of prints

Jazz will be a feast for the eyes as well as the ears at the Every Secondfestival in Derby this weekend.

John Goto, Professor of Fine Art at the University of Derby, will be visual artist in residence at the Derby jazz festival being held in the city this Saturday and Sunday (May 29-30).

The festival will feature artists including Courtney Pine, John Bailey, Dave O'Higgins and Toni Kofi; and on Saturday night there will be a Jump Jive Party. It will all be happening at the Derby Assembly Rooms.

Associated photographic exhibitions and workshops will run alongside the festival. All concert ticket holders will receive a free copy of a booklet of images specially designed by the festival's resident artist, Professor Goto.

The catalogue features images and text from his West End Blues, Jazz Migrants in London, 1919-74 art series.

The colourful print images celebrate the history of jazz players migrating to and playing in Britain, often from America. Their titles include:

  • Sidney Bechet at the Royal Philharmonic Hall in 1919;
  • Louis Armstrong, London Palladium, 1932;
  • Lucky Thompson, Ronnie Scott's Club, 1962.

Images from the book will also be used as backdrops on stage, when today's musicians play at the festival.

Professor Goto, a jazz fan himself, said: "My images are designed to create a visual link between the musicians of yesterday and today, in the same way that modern artists are steeped in the history of the music that they play.

"For example, at the Every Second festival Courtney Pine plans to perform a work based on the music of Sidney Bechet, whose visit to Britain in 1919 is commemorated in these pictures."

Professor Goto has been an internationally exhibiting artist since 1980 and Professor of Fine Art  at the University of Derby since 2003. His narrative photo-digital images draw on a huge range of intellectual and visual sources, including jazz and jazz history.

Geoff Wright, Artistic Director for the Every Second festival, added: "We are very excited to have John Goto associated with the festival. The best jazz simultaneously engages with its past, present and future. John's work for the festival throws an interesting and different perspective on that idea."

For more information about the Every Second Derby Jazz Festival 2010 see website

For more information about the work of Professor Goto see his website at

For further media information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email 

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