Jazz up your Fridays – county’s new arts events

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Jazz up July at First Friday events across Lancaster and Morecambe tonight.

The official launch of Lancaster Jazz Festival takes place at The Hall in China Street while over at Forrest Hills, music fans are invited to The Jazz Mansion.

The quintet ACV will be playing as the organisers of September’s Lancaster Jazz Festival announce details of the forthcoming programme from 7.30pm. And at Forrest Hills, from 8pm, there’s an evening of jazz, swing and fusion bands and DJs plus a fun casino and cocktails.

There’s more music on the menu at Williamson Park and The Stonewell Tavern in Lancaster and The Hothouse in Morecambe.

July’s First Friday has plenty of drama about it too. It’s the first night of The Dukes return to Williamson Park after a year’s break with their outdoor walkabout version of Robin Hood.

Meanwhile, Lancaster’s Grand Theatre is staging Carrie’s War, Nina Bawden’s classic tale of two siblings evacuated to a Welsh village during World War Two.

Across town at The Storey Institute, there’s a performance of M.A.I.R.O.U.L.A, a collection of one woman’s comedic and dark stories serving as a metaphor for the crises faced by modern Greece.

Also at The Storey Institute on the same night is the free official opening of the latest exhibition by Lancaster & District Art Society.

And if you want a free multi-arts experience, get along to Scratch at The Ashton, a new artist-led evening of music, theatre and performance featuring artists from across the North West.

First Fridays are organised by Lancaster Arts Partners and take place every month. They offer special events, most of them free, to encourage more people to experience the wide variety of arts activities available in the district.

See www.artscity.co.uk.