Liverpool International Jazz Festival 2020 opens with a concert headlined by Cykada, an innovative and energetic collective of musicians from the new London jazz scene. Cykada is an energetic bomb of unique style. It engages distant poles, analogue worlds crashing with electronics, eastern influences crossing with western, harmonising nostalgic moments with dance floor bangers. It seems that Western Africa is just bordering with Eastern Europe, where Turkish music high fives Flamenco and all of this is wrapped up with the fundamentals of the London club scene. There are so many inspirations that it may seem impossible to unite them, however they make it happen, creating layers of devastation, beauty and intrigue. The groups members are established musicians on the new London jazz scene, the groups members have played in groups including Myriad Forest, EZRA Collective, Maisha and Don Kipper. Bassist Jamie Benzies is the spine of the project along with Tilé Gichigi-Lipere, also a fellow former member of the legendary band Myriad Forest and Drummer Tim Doyle aka Chiminyo, together were the first members of Cykada. Trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lidstrom, Saxophonist James Mollison and secret weapon Guitarist Javi Pérez complete the ensemble. Tilé shows a unique and indispensable role within the band, aside from playing keys, he is programming, processing and modifying the sounds of the instruments, a massive factor in creating the distinctive vibe of the band. Cykada’s unique vibe is a testament to its members and the crucial role they each play in the creative process. Cykada is supported with an opening set by Jazz North Introduces winners, Yaatri. Yaatri is a five piece jazz crossover quintet formed in Leeds in September of 2018. Their blend of complex composition and ethereal soundscapes captivates the heart as well as the mind. Influenced by the emotive quality of the Scandinavian jazz tradition, the momentum of the rhythms of India and the energy of rock and roll, their music has a strong sense of purpose and journey. Assembled by guitarist and composer Liam DeTar, Yaatri consists of Bethany Herrington on vocals, Felix Bertulis-Webb on keyboard, Jona Tromp on drums and Joe Wilkes on bass, all students or alumni of the Leeds College of Music. Funded by the Leeds College of Music and recorded/produced by Andy Hawkins, their debut EP will be released in early 2020.