Marlborough Jazz festival opens - with sunshine and, of course, jazz
The 29th Marlborough International Jazz festival was opened in Friday evening sunshine outside the Castle and Ball Hotel with a foot-tapping audience penned in on the edge of the High Street.
The Town Mayor, Councillor Margaret Rose led an official party which included her Chaplain, David Campbell. He called for "A moment of quiet before we begin" and called on God to bless the town and the musicians: "Thank you for the music."
The Festival was declared open by Alexander Bone. Inn March 2014, he was named the first ever BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year - at the age of seventeen. He is a saxophonist, pianist, music producer and composer.
He has just finished his course at Chethams School of Music in Manchester - and this Saturday (July 18) evening he is appearing for the last time with the Chethams Jazz Ensemble. They are playing at the prestigious Buxton Festival.
Later on Friday, he played at ASK with his band - The Jam Experiment.
Nick Fogg, who founded the Festival and is now consultant to the Marlborough Arts Association which runs the Festival, told the audience: "It's been a tough year." And he thanked the sponsors - with special mention of Brewin Dolphin who are the lead sponsor for the eleventh year: "If you're a millionaire already, they will make you a multi-millionaire.”
The audience at the Grand Opening heard a spirited set from St John's School Jazz band.
And in place of the advertised Original Rabbit Foot Spasm and The Jazzsports, the second set came from the Marlborough Big Band - a 20-piece band founded by teacher and sax maestro Mick Allport. They will be playing again on Saturday at the New Road bandstand at 9.15pm. Nick Fogg told the audience that whereas poor old Devizes has no big band to its name -
Marlborough has a flourishing big band - and there it was pening the town’s 2015 jazz spectacular.