Head for the hills and Brecon next weekend

With the jazz scene in the West Midlands a little quieter this week, there is time to look ahead to one of a jazz Midlander’s favoured away fixtures.

Brecon Jazz Festival takes place from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 August in the little riverside Welsh town and it really does take over the town in a most satisfying way, with events in all kinds of places, from the Market Hall to the Brecon Cathedral.

The programme for 2013 shows a wide range of styles with the mainstream and trad rubbing shoulders with the thoroughly modern, and the popular sitting alongside the relatively niche appeal.

Busy man - Huw Warren

Busy man – Huw Warren

A key figure in modern Welsh music is the pianist Huw Warren, and he is a busy man at Brecon, participating in a Wales meets Naples concert with regular musical partner Maria Pia de Vito, a Wales meets Brooklyn gig with drummer Jim Black, in a piano/vocal masterclass again with Pia De Vito, and in his fine jazz-folk trio Quercus, alongside June Tabor and Iain Ballamy.

Representing the finest of the mainstream, guitarist Martin Taylor duets with reed-master Alan Barnes, and the Dutch Tim Kliphuis Trio joins forces with pianist David Newton.

When it comes to contemporary British jazz heavyweights, you can’t do better than the Julian Siegel Quartet, the Zoe Rahman Quintet, and Gilad Atzmon and his Orient House Ensemble.

Showing the pan-European nature of many of the finest bands are Django Bates Beloved and Phronesis, while joining hands across the Atlantic are The Impossible Gentlemen.

Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer is appearing with Biosphere, and there is the welcome return to jazz of pianist Jason Rebello, after many years touring with the likes of Jeff Beck and Sting.

Courtney Pine presents his House Of Legends band, Jools Holland is there with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, and Mr Acker Bilk brings his Paramount Jazz Band.

The John Surman Trio, the Roller Trio and the Ian Shaw Trio are just three more trios worth catching, and Streets Alive turns the centre of Brecon into a churning cauldron of music, madness and mayhem for all the family.

For more about all of this and everything else that is happening go to www.breconjazz.com

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