Stars confirmed for Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2015
- Credit: Archant
Cheltenham Jazz Festival returns at the end of April with a bold programme featuring performances from a range of established stars and emerging talent, including Jamie Cullum, Caro Emerald, Laura Mvula, Gregory Porter and Squarepusher.
Taking place across 6 days in April, this year’s festival will present a balance of classic and contemporary jazz, blues, soul and pop from a string of pioneering acts including singer-songwriter Rumer, Dutch star Caro Emerald, experimental producer and composer Squarepusher, one of the queens of soul Martha Reeves, world-renowned DJ and broadcaster Gilles Peterson, former Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson, Californian blues-rocker Beth Hart, and jazz singer and broadcaster Clare Teal.
Returning as Guest Director is Jamie Cullum who, alongside handpicking a selection of events for this year’s programme, will perform with US jazz-funk band Medeski, Martin & Wood. Other high profile acts on the bill include jazz-fusion star John Scofield, the sounds of jazz composer Sun Ra Arkestra, master ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate, the UK premiere of jazz heavyweight Lee Konitz’s new quintet featuring virtuoso trumpeter Dave Douglas, and a treat for fans of Afrobeat in the form of two contrasting concerts – a Saturday afternoon show from African drummer Tony Allen, who performs music from his acclaimed 2014 album Film of Life, followed that evening by Joe Lovano’s Village Rhythms Band, an inventive 7-piece outfit which explores the connection between West African music and jazz.
BBC Radio 2 continues its long-term association with the festival and has confirmed a range of activity across the week. Alongside live festival-themed shows recorded onsite by Jamie Cullum on Saturday, May 2 and Clare Teal on Sunday, May 3, the network will air Caro Emerald’s concert on Thursday, April 30, a Frank Sinatra-themed ‘Friday Night Is Music Night’ featuring appearances from Kurt Elling, Clare Teal and Anthony Strong on Friday, May 1, and a world premiere to close the festival on Monday, May 4, a celebration of the music of George and Ira Gershwin featuring Laura Mvula and Gregory Porter.
The next generation of global jazz stars are represented this year by the likes of Anglo-French trio In Bed With, Swiss trombonist and composer Samuel Blaser, Spanish singer and multi-instrumentalist Andrea Motis, the first ever UK performance by Surnatural Orchestra, and European trio Phronesis, whose Pitch Black project will be performed in total darkness.
Festival Director Ian George said: “Jazz legends, stars of tomorrow, groundbreaking international acts and local emerging talent all once again populate a Cheltenham Jazz Festival programme that reflects the incredible breadth and diversity of the genre. Over the course of the last two decades we have constantly looked at ways in which to improve the festival and build on the success of previous years with the aim of producing an exciting, multifarious festival that introduces jazz to new audiences and celebrates its positive, creative potential.”
The 2015 Cheltenham Jazz Festival takes place from Wednesday, April 29 – Monday, May 4 and is hosted in a tented festival village in Cheltenham’s Montpellier Gardens including the Big Top, the Jazz Arena, the Take Five Tent - which will feature talks, workshops and family activities - a food, drink and market area, as well as shows at various venues around town.
Tickets and further line-up details are available from www.cheltenhamfestivals.com.