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Established in 2017 to promote collaboration and diversity in the jazz scene, DJAZZ offers a fresh take on the festival format.

Utilising a range of venues and pop-up spaces we aim to find new ways to celebrate the genre and reach new audiences. As such the festival is different year on year, shifting and adapting in response to the city, the scene and our ever changing list of partners and collaborators.

2019 Statistics


Bands with female representation


Bands with BAME representation


Bands with performers under the age of 25

Quotes & Testimonials

It was an honour to open last year’s DJAZZ festival, at the prestigious, historic and totally beautiful Durham Miners Hall.

After the show, there was an exciting, and free to enter jam session… As well as being a wonderful musical event, this was a fantastic opportunity to meet our audience in a more informal setting, and to make artistic and social connections with local musicians.

All in all, DJAZZ was a brilliant performance opportunity for myself and the band; a festival with cutting edge programming, first class production values and excellent audience engagement.

Arun Ghosh

2019 opening headliner

The band and I really enjoyed playing at DJAZZ in 2018 – it was one of the highlights of our tour.

The festival has a rare connection to its local history, both the venue and audience felt authentically grounded in the city and its traditions.

I also really enjoyed participating in the jam session after the show – it was a great way of connecting the different generations, with older jazz audiences and student groups all involved

Soweto Kinch

2018 headline act

“I don’t like jazz but I didn’t know it could sound like this”
– Attendee, overheard by DJAZZ staff


“The organisation is most impressive and a gig in Durham Castle’s ancient Norman Chapel proved to be an inspired choice… Few could have envisaged it as a viable proposition and yet it worked brilliantly.”
– Russell Corbett, Bebop Spoken Here (Parliamentary Jazz Media Award)


“I thought I would give it a go and really enjoyed it, I was there from the first gig in the castle right to the very last! I tried to catch as much as possible.”
– Attendee


“DJAZZ is a brilliant! As someone who grew up in Durham only to leave the area for college to study music, it makes me so happy to see a thriving jazz scene in the city of Durham. The festival has provided a platform for the young musicians I work with in Jambone to perform alongside the internationally renowned Soweto Kinch. DJAZZ has also given opportunities for myself and professional players from the region to perform new music to new audiences. The approach of the team in organising and executing the festival demonstrates a genuine commitment to cultivating the jazz scene in Durham and the wider region for musicians and audience members of all ages and backgrounds.“
– Paul Edis, Musician and band leader


“…this is the kind of adventurous programming from which many bigger and more established festivals could learn!”
– Paul Bream’s Jazz Alert

Sustainability & approach
DJAZZ operates as a sustainable festival, meaning we don’t rely on any one source of funding and build in self initiated income streams. We strive to deliver a version of the festival no matter what and always price tickets at a truly accessible level.

It is our firm belief that jazz is for anyone; as a genre its roots spread far and wide meaning that everyone likes some form of jazz, even if they haven’t discovered it yet.

Dates for 2020 will be happening on September 18th, 19th & 20th. There will be a launch event, with live music, in June – dates TBC. Sign up to the mailing list to stay in the loop – click here