It’s less than two weeks to the start of one of the UK’s most keenly-anticipated annual musical events – the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in Gloucestershire. It celebrates its twentieth birthday this year and, in keeping with its tradition of blurring genre boundaries and mixing the old with the new, the lineup for 2016 (27th April to 2nd May) is an excitingly eclectic mix of acts and range of styles.
Those with a penchant for soulful music will find much to engage them, especially in the alluring shape and sound of homegrown UK female vocalists Beverley Knight, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Lianne Le Havas. US singers Lizz Wright (who is due to perform with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band) and Becca Stevens are also on the bill. More soulful sounds come from UK singer/songwriter Tony Momrelle and US jazz singer José James while for those whose palate demands something funkier then the bands the Brand New Heavies and Australia’s much-lauded Hiatus Kaiyote promise grooves galore.
By contrast, Florida saxophonist Marcus Strickland and his band Twi-Life, whose shape-shifting music embraces elements from jazz, R&B and hip-hop, offers something different. Jazzier still is trumpet maestro Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and his Stretch Music band while veteran alto saxophone player, David Sanborn, is guaranteed to serve up a soul-infused set. Also on the bill are British saxophone marvels, Courtney Pine (who will perform with pianist Zoe Rahman) and Soweto Kinch, plus singer/pianist/DJ Jamie Cullum, the Giovanni Guidi Trio from Italy, and all the way from Ethiopia, the legendary jazz man, Mulatu Astatke. Another much-garlanded veteran blues maven, Taj Mahal, will also appear leading a trio, as will British blues-rock chanteuse, Elkie Brooks.
For the full lineup, more info and ticket availability go to: