BLACKBURN act Neutrino play music to groove to - and their quirky sound has landed the trio a special prize ahead of their appearance at this weekend’s free on-line Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival.

The inaugural Jackson Jazz and Blues award, won by Neutrino, is inspired by Geoff Jackson, who has played a major role in developing the festival and attracting international artists to the town.

Clitheroe’s Mr Jazz stepped down as the festival chairman in 2019 - a decade after the first Ribble Valley Jazz Festival was staged in Clitheroe, British jazz vocalist Jacqui Dankworth providing the headline act.

Born in Clitheroe, Geoff says his interest in jazz was sparked by seeing American pianist Duke Ellington at Manchester Free Trade Hall.

A retired youth and community worker, Geoff has a special interest in young people’s participation in jazz and blues music.

“The Jackson Jazz and Blues award is aimed to develop and support the musical career of emerging local bands and solo artists – and Neutrino are a fabulous young band,” said festival treasurer Miles Peachey.

The prize also includes a free recording session at Clitheroe Grand Theatre’s studio where Neutrino are set to record fresh material.

All three days of this weekend’s festival which starts today will be streamed for free featuring some of the biggest names on the British jazz and blues scene.

North-West based singer song-writer Kyla Brox, one of the crown jewels of British blues, will play her first live show of 2021 on Sunday.

“I can’t wait – it is going to be a special gig at one of my favourite festivals,” said Kyla.

For Neutrino think the classic soul and funk theme song of Shaft fused with a Seventies blast of psychedelic fast funk, dance and jazz. Catch them tonight from 10pm.

And there’s plenty more action to as the festival gets underway with the Nicola Farnon Trio (8pm-9.10) and local girl and multi-instrumentalist Gaynor Sutcliffe and Friends from 9.15pm.

Tomorrow’s highlights include the John Pope Quintet (4pm), exciting Leeds outfit Yaatri (8pm) and Newcastle groovers Not Now Charlie (9.15pm)

Sunday sees Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat performing (4pm), Women in Jazz with Issy Barratt at 7.10pm before festival headliner Kyla Brox at 8pm.

Organisers are hoping the online festival audience can donate to this year’s Festival Fundraiser: Fairplay to Musicians as they bid to raise £2,000.

Festival co-ordinator Sue Bradley said: “We hope our fantastic audience this weekend will enjoy and value the brilliant artists, to make a kind donation to support the festival and keep jazz and blues music alive into the future beyond these difficult times.”

For full festival line-up and details of how to watch all the live acts visit