Cheltenham Jazz Festival adds a few more jazz names

Marcus Strickland (Photo © Deneka Peniston 2015)

Marcus Strickland (Photo © Deneka Peniston 2015)

More names have been added to the roster of the 2016 Cheltenham Jazz Festival which runs from 27 April to 2 May in its 20th Anniversary year.

We’ll skip past the headliners which feature in the intro pars of the festival’s press release for the moment and concentrate on the bits further down that, on the grounds that I find them more interesting, you might find most noteworthy.

The marvellously quirky Ethiopian band leader and keyboardist/mallet man Mulatu Astatke will be there, as will saxophonist Marcus Strickland, and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band which has U.S. vocalist Lizz Wright out front.

There will be the world premiere of a Cheltenham commission from pianist Alexander Hawkins which will feature pop-up indoor and outdoor performances, and there is the chance to dine with pianists Sarah Nicholls and Kit Downes while contributing to the music by triggering samples from the dinner table. It’s called Dinner Games.

Also part of this Musical Encounters strand is a performance from Soweto Kinch and his trio which includes Joshua Redman drummer Gregory Hutchinson.

Other new additions to the programme are Jazz Jamaica, Ian Shaw, Courtney Pine, Zoe Rahman and bluesman Taj Mahal.

Lizz Wright

Lizz Wright

They join the already announced David Sanborn, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Meadow, Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, Julian Argüelles‘ South African Let It Be Told project, the Giovanni Guidi Trio, Omar Sosa’s Quarteto AfroCubano and Rom Schaerer Eberle from Switzerland.

Jazz music not really your thing? Never mind, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival caters for a broad sweep of music lovers, so the headliners announced include Guy Garvey, Lianne La Havas, Beverley Knight and Corinne Bailey Rae.

The closing night concert will be given by the festival’s Artistic Curator Jamie Cullum.

  • Tickets go on sale on 24 February for Cheltenham Festival members and on 2 March to the public. Find out more here.


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