Marlborough jazz festival bookings take off despite the austerity blues
The economic blues may have hit the country but it is not affecting next month’s Marlborough International Jazz Festival when performers from 22 countries arrive to delight music lovers.
With the box office now open for the weekend event being staged on July 13, 14 and 15, initial reports indicate that jazz lovers want to shrug off austerity and enjoy themselves.
“It’s early days yet but we are taking a lot of phone bookings and the online books are already up on last year’s figures,” festival founder and consultant Nick Fogg told Marlborough News Online.
“That’s pretty remarkable give the economic climate. So it’s going well.”
And he added: “People do have to spend money on something despite austerity, and may be that rather spend it elsewhere, they’re coming to Marlborough for the jazz festival next month.”
“You can never know the real reasons but it’s working for us.”
There are plenty of highlights to attract maximum audiences, not least that it is an international event.
“We’ve got 22 countries involved this year, which is a figure on a par with last year,” said Mr Fogg. “And the list runs all the way from America and Australia all the way down to Zimbabwe, and you can’t get further down the alphabet than that.”
“Ours is an international festival and that is one of its great attractions. I always enjoy our Africa bandstand. I defy anyone to keep their feet still when they’re performing. And that’s a fantastic thing to have.”
One of the most remarkable events will be the revival of The Queen’s Suite, a unique tribute to Her Majesty written by Duke Ellington, the legendary American jazz pianist, composer and band leader.
Ellington composed it in tribute to Queen Elizabeth after he met her at a music festival in Leeds, only one vinyl copy of the suite being recorded and sent to Buckingham Palace.
Now it is being revived at the festival as part of Marlborough’s own contribution to the Queen’s diamond jubilee events.
“That is attracting great interest,” said Mr Fogg, whose wife Edwina, Marlborough’s new mayor, will be present at event. “There is a Duke Ellington Society in the UK and they’ve put it on their website for all their members.
“So we’re going to get lots of Ellingtonians here in Marlborough.”
Clare Teal, the queen of British jazz singers, is making a return visit to this year’s festival along with Darius Brubeck, son of the late American jazz pianist Dave Brubeck.Dazzling new acts include Flap, from Australia, one of whose members has been voted the Australian Jazz Musician of the Year, and, from Israel, the Sarah Gillespie trio with saxophonist Gilad Atzmon.
“Getting Flap to come to Marlborough is a real coup,” said Mr Fogg. “And as for the Sarah Gillespie Trio they always have a uniquely original show that’s never the same. They’re all very talented.”
Brewin Dolphin are the festival’s lead sponsor again this year
For festival website go to www.marlboroughjazz.com and for phone books ring 01672 515095 or 08443 350 822.