Swansea International Jazz Festival is back! It returns for the sixth consecutive year (October 2 – 6), but with a slightly different look.
The event has grown to replace Brecon as Wales’s premier jazz festival, thanks in part to support from the Arts Council of Wales and Swansea City Council. But due to budget uncertainties and the timescales for applications, it proved impossible to gain funding from either for 2019, and it looked likely the festival would have to take a year out.
But, thanks to the hard work and determination of creative director Dave Cottle, it’s back! The usual summer festival on the city’s waterfront has shifted to an autumn event at the Garage Music Venue, which is home of Swansea Jazzland.
The festival is again sponsored by Prescott Jones Insurance Solutions, now joined by sponsors Genre Music and Swansea International Festival.
Dave Cottle, who also programmes the weekly jazz at Swansea Jazzland, said: “It’s been a challenge this year without the support of our hitherto biggest financial supporters. We have moved the event from the Swansea Maritime Quarter and now based the ticketed show at the Garage Music Venue.
“We have free events running at venues nearby to the Garage, and I am particularly please that we have managed to continue the South Wales Schools Big Band Workshop on the Saturday. This now takes place at St James Church and is open to all young musicians”.
The ticketed concert programme includes Swansea-born bass guitarist Laurence Cottle with his All-star Big Band presenting – Soul Vaccination: Celebrating 50 years of Soul and Funk. The band features the cream of UK’s session and jazz musicians who regularly pack out Ronnie Scott’s Club in London.
Founding members of the Average White Band Hamish Stuart and saxophonist Molly Duncan are back to provide more funk with the Hamish Stuart Band, supported on the night by JAKATAK.
UK award-winning saxophonist Alan Barnes opens the festival with his Octet; Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier brings his World Group; and French violinist Daniel John Martin provides the nod to Stephane Grappelli.
Saturday’s evening concerts feature Chris Ingham Quartet playing the music of Stan Getz, plus Dutch band TRISTAN provide the late gig with their soul/funk set. More local favourites Ray ‘Taff’ Williams and Li Harding also feature on the bill.
For tickets and more info visit www.jazzwales.com
Here are my reviews of the festivals in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
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