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Marlborough’s “royal” jazz festival prepares to blow away those economic blues

Double-dip recession? Don’t you believe it. Marlborough’s International Jazz Festival is on its way – and it is proving to be the ideal opportunity to blow away those economic blues.

This year’s three-day festival for the weekend of July 13, 14 and 15, sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, is expected to be the biggest ever with a 100 bands from countries galore providing their own unique music.

“We are experiencing another year of phenomenal growth,” Nick Fogg, the festival’s founder and organiser told Marlborough News Online “We seem to be recession-proof.  “We have never had so many sensational acts on the bill.  To see all the bands individually would cost hundreds of pounds.”

And the appropriate royal landmark for the Diamond Jubilee Year is the world premier tour of The Queen’s Suite, specially composed by the late American composer and band leader Duke Ellington after he met Her Majesty in 1958.

Claire TealClaire TealOther highlights include a galaxy of top award-winners -- Britain’s top jazz singer, Clare Teal (pictured), the only jazz artist in recent years to have had a CD in the Top Twenty, and is twice winner of the Singer of the Year in the British Jazz Awards.

Sarah Gillespie is bringing her new show with Gilad Atzmon, “The War on Trevor”, premiered at Ronnie Scott’s, and the Azerbaijani virtuoso pianist, Amina Figurova, as well as Darius Brubeck, will be performers too.

At the last count, 18 nationalities will be represented during the festival, together with the winners of every possible jazz award.

And among some  of the 100 bands on show around the festival will British jazz stars Richard Bryant, Dave Green, John Crittenson, Ian Bateman, Julian Marc Stringle, Derek Nash, Clark Tracey, Steve Kershaw, Enrico Tomaso and Bobby Wellins.  

The bands Fusion Experience and The Juncture Quartet, winners of the 2008 and 2011 Brewin Dolphin Award for The Best Newcomer respectively, are among other returning stars.

“This is indicative of the festival’s ability to build enduring contacts with rising artists,” said Nick Fogg. “At the time of going to press, artists have been booked from 21 countries, including Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroons, France, Hungary, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, New Zealand, The Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, USA, South Africa and even Zimbabwe.”

The 1,000-capacity Awdry Bailey and Douglas Marquee will feature the Red Stripe Band, The Echoes of Ellington Orchestra, Protect the Beat, Sticky Wicket and his Swing Orchestra, the Adam Winslett Band and the legendary jump-jive outfit, Jive Aces.

The festival box office is on 01672 515095 or 08443 350822 – calls cost 5ppm from a landline.

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