Slow Cotswolds

  • Stars line up for Cheltenham Jazz Festival

    The Cheltenham Jazz Festival returns later this month with a bold, multifarious programme featuring a range of world premieres, festival commissions, unique collaborations and rare shows from an eclectic mix of established stars and emerging talent.

    Running across six days from April 26th to May 1st against the stylish backdrop of Regency Cheltenham, this year's festival presents a balance of classic and contemporary jazz, blues, soul and pop from a variety of pioneering acts including star vocalists, Gregory Porter, Jack Savoretti, Will Young, Paul Carrack and Laura Mvula. There's a solo set from cult alt-rock pianist and singer Ben Folds that will include a special, one-off collaboration with the festival's Artisitic Curator Jamie Cullum.

    Multi-million selling keyboard icon Rick Wakeman, with his specially reunited Green Dolphin Trio, will showcase material from his solo piano album Piano Portraits.

    Other high profile acts lined up are Mica Paris, who will perform the Ella Fitzgerald songbook with an eight-piece ensemble to celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday, Booker T. Jones, Grammy award-winning drummer Steve Gadd, a rare UK show from Latin music matriarch Toto la Momposina, Benin-born guitarist Lionel Loueke, the debut of a new project from Mercury-nominated Polar Bear drummer Seb Rochford, iconic Afro-Cuban outfit Orchestra Baobab, an exclusive preview of Kit Downes' forthcoming solo album and much, much more.

    BBC Radio 2 continues its long-term association with the festival, who will broadcast live onsite festival-themed shows recorded by Jamie Cullum and Clare Teal, as well as a soul-themed 'Friday Night is Music Night', and Jo Whiley 'Live in Concert' featuring Jack Savoretti.

    This year's Cheltenham Jazz Festival is hosted in a tented festival village in Cheltenham's Montpellier Gardens, featuring a Big Top stage, Pizza Express Live Arena, food stalls, an on-site record shop, and the Family Tent with Town Hall, Cheltenham Ladies' College Parabola Arts Centre, Hotel du Vin and The Daffodil (see page 160 of Slow Travel: The Cotswolds) venues all within short walking distance of the stylish spa town's centre.

    Tickets are on sale from: www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz

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