Brecon Jazz Festival has just celebrated its 30th anniversary in style, with ticket sales up 20% and a high number of sell-out gigs.
Even the weather – the tail end of Hurricane Bertha dumped a lake-full of rain on the mid-Wales town on the final day – couldn’t dampen spirits.
Now in its third year in the capable hands of Cardiff-based media and entertainment experts, Orchard, the festival continues to provide a stunning variety of music in an equally varied range of venues – a theatre, an indoor market, a marquee, as well as the pubs and streets of the historic market town.
I only caught a few acts myself, but thoroughly enjoyed Dennis Rollins’ Velocity Trio performing on the Captain’s Walk; as well as the uniformed, jokey Imperial Kikiristan, and the glorious Gregory Porter – from the ridiculous to the sublime, one might say.
Songwriting legend Burt Bacharach opened proceedings in the festival’s largest venue, the Market Hall, and Porter closed the festival on the same stage – both to sell-out audiences of 1,000.
As I’ve mentioned before, Porter is the hottest jazz property around at the moment, and he wowed the audience with a selection of toe-tapping clap-along tunes and more poignant songs from his three albums – most self-penned, but with a few covers too. Among them, was Nat Adderley’s Work Song– and what an appropriate lyric (by Oscar Brown) “Brecon rocks out here on the chain gang.” 🙂 [Or did I mis-hear?]
Orchard is now undertaking market research to determine the value of the festival to the regional economy. Surely, it must be significant, judging from the amount of food and drink consumed and the ‘no vacancies’ signs in evidence.
Musician Django Bates, who brought Loose Tubes back to Brecon 30 years on, said: “The invitation to bring Loose Tubes back is a tribute to the ethos behind Brecon Jazz which from the very beginning has been unpretentious, stylistically broad-minded, genuinely friendly, and welcoming to all.”
So true. Here’s to the 31st anniversary!
You may also be interested in Piece of Pink Pie’s review of the 2013 festival, and of this year’s Love Supreme.
Hi, I have some photos of Burt’s amazing show here – http://thegphotography.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/burt-bacharach-at-brecon-jazz/
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