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Musicians and fans tune up for Swansea jazz special

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Swansea International Jazz Festival is back with a line-up packed with legendary performers and familiar favourites.

Swansea Council has joined forces with Swansea Jazz Club and this year’s Swansea International Jazz Festival will be held at venues across Swansea from Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th June 2022.

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The concert programme opens with Bruce Adams (trumpet) and Alan Barnes (saxophone), both award winning and highly respected musicians on the UK jazz scene, playing at Swansea Jazz Club at the Garage Music Venue in Uplands.

The Maritime Quarter’s Dylan Thomas Theatre is the setting for festivals further five ticketed events, starting with the Simon Spillett Big Band playing the music of Tubby Hayes on Friday evening. Spillett’s 17-piece Big Band is packed with the cream of British Jazz musicians, all regular members of BBC Big Band and Ronnie Scotts Jazz Orchestra.

Saturday afternoon sees the Karen Sharp Quartet take to the stage, putting the spotlight firmly on two of the UK’s finest female jazz musicians, Karen Sharp (saxophone) and Nikki Iles (piano). By way of contrast, the James Taylor Quartet, who perform Saturday evening, have set the standard for the coolest sounds in funky acid jazz for over 30 years, led by James on the Hammond organ.

The Louis and Ella Music show will recreate the great songs of the swing era on Sunday afternoon, with authentic arrangements of songs Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald recorded together and individually. The festival rounds off on Sunday evening with Some Kinda Wonderful, a band created by and featuring Jools Holland’s sax player Derek Nash, and with Noel McCalla’s soaring vocals, they will have you on your feet dancing to the great songs of Stevie Wonder.

Swansea Council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Swansea International Jazz Festival, which has become a strong fixture in the city’s event calendar.

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“The festival attracts some of the best musicians from the UK jazz scene playing a range of styles across the jazz music genre, which I’m sure audiences from across the Swansea region will come to enjoy.

 Swansea International Jazz Festival has done a great job in establishing the Festival over past years and we now look forward to working collaboratively to continue its success and develop it even further”

Swansea Jazz Club’s artistic director, Dave Cottle, said: “We haven’t had a big lead time for this year’s festival, but we have managed to get an excellent and varied jazz programme together quickly.

“There are great concerts to look forward too and some firm favourites are returning on the stroller programme. Swansea Marina will be buzzing again to a weekend of live jazz!

“We are delighted to be working with Swansea Council and look forward to some exciting times ahead”

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Festival patron Sir Karl Jenkins is delighted that the Swansea International Jazz Festival is back for 2022. He said: “It’s great news that the festival is back this year. It has been a very difficult time for the whole music industry and musicians particularly these last two years.

“However, the festival’s return is a positive sign that things are finally getting back to normal and I do hope people are able to come along and support the concerts this year.”

Besides the exciting line-up of ticketed concerts, this year’s festival features a packed stroller programme at venues across Swansea’s maritime quarter including: The Pumphouse, Queens Hotel, The Swigg, The Riverhouse, and the amphitheatre outside the entrance to the LC.

Also part of the programme this year are the series of jazz cruises on board the Copper Jack, a narrowboat that tours the River Tawe, featuring Ellie Jones and Gary Phillips on Saturday afternoon and the Afternoon in Paris Duo on Sunday.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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