1992 – The birth of Hull Jazz Festival

It was back in 1992 -1993 when Hull City Council asked founder producer David Porter to work with local jazz promoter Ken Ford to grow a small event that had been promoted as part of the Hull Regatta to become a nationally accepted event on the UK jazz calendar.

Backed by the Hull Daily Mail, Hull Tourism and Jazz Action, a 5-day event Jazz on the Waterfront was planned, held mainly around the historic venues backing onto Hull Marina, including the atmospheric warehouses and in particular the open-sided Boatshed. Many Hull folk still remember the unique Boatshed gigs to this day.


Andy Sheppard

Every concert was a sell-out, with 4,500 people attending the 11 gigs. Top jazz names confirmed in the first years included Andy Sheppard, Jazz Jamaica, Martin Taylor, John Etheridge, the Bhundu Boys, King Pleasure, Steve Williamson and Julian Joseph, Elaine Delmar and Pearls Cab Ride. Amazing to note that many of those – then young – artists still make regular visits to the Festival and are still at the cutting edge of the business.