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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Cleethorpes Jazz Festival beckons...

 Dave Newton

The widely acclaimed “Wonderful, musically enthralling …” Cleethorpes Jazz Festival takes place at the venue so successful last year, McCormack’s Bar at Pleasure Island, on King’s Road, Cleethorpes DN35 8HP 26-28th June 2015

Food, drink, and ambiance will be there aplenty to accompany yet another wonderful and varied programme of truly top line performers.

As usual the varied programme ranges from focussed groups offering Gypsy Jazz, Blues Bessie Smith style, or a jazz take on music from the movies.  There are small, tight, well rehearsed units to larger groups of musicians drawn together for the express purpose of enthralling this festival.

Friday evening has the Sarah Gillespie Quartet interpreting the great Bessie Smith, followed by bassist Andy Cleyndert’s percussionless quartet and Dave Newton’s Big Screen trio.

Saturday afternoon sees Manchester’s John Ellis Trio who take improvisatory twists and turns through township, soulful songs and local folk heritage. They are followed by the Jazz Worriers, recent and popular visitors to Grimsby Jazz with their exciting blend of scintillating jazz and beguiling Scouse-style humour. The afternoon session finishes with the ever popular Doncaster Youth Swing Orchestra, who always amaze with the maturity and strength of their sound, further enhanced by guest trombonist Dennis Rollins.

Saturday evening opens with the exciting Gypsy Jazz of Ultraswing featuring guitarist and rising star Remi Harris. Then local favourite Pat McCarthy’s quartet featuring the highly rated pianist John Horler, A big finish to the evening is assured with Anita Wardell singing Johnny Mandel with the Alan Barnes Septet. The remarkably talented Alan has arranged some of Mandel’s many memorable tunes for septet, including M.A.S.H., The Shadow of your Smile and Emily.

 Sunday opens early 11.45 am with a half hour of developing local talent – members of the Franklin College youth jazz band, under the direction of Barry Whitfield. At 12.45 expect infectiously swinging straight ahead jazz, with tenor saxophonist Dave O’Higgins with his quartet.  Alan Barnes comes next, on clarinet this time, playing alongside accordionist Karen Street, and then something even more different, Namvula fusing urban Zambian music, Scottish music and the eclectic fringe of London’s music scene.

Sunday evening begins with John Horler, who returns to the stage with his trio, featuring Alec Dankworth on bass and the locally popular Winston Clifford on drums and vocals.

And then the big finish. To close the festival another major ensemble of talent,  five saxes – Alan Barnes, Robert Fowler, Sammy Mayne, Dave O’Higgins, Judith O’Higgins – with Robin Aspland, piano, Alec Dankworth on bass and drummer Steve Brown.  A mighty way to bring the curtain down on what looks set to be a memorable weekend of jazz.

Pre-festival freebies on Friday  include a not to be missed solo piano session from Dave Newton, who will play at the Music While You Eat Lunchtime concert at St Peter’s Church at 12 noon.  Arrive early if you want to be sure of picking up sandwiches and/or a drink! Later (5pm) at the same venue the North East Lincs Music HUB Phase Two Jazz Orchestra will be tackling some complex arrangements.

Reduced price early bird tickets will be available until the end of May so its time to sign up.  The full weekend discounted price this year is £75 – full price after 1 June will be £85. Individual sessions £27 for each evening, £21 Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  Full day for Saturday or Sunday £36.
Tickets and Information are available from Grimsby Jazz (01472 873730), Off The Beaten Track 36 Aswell St. Louth (01507 607677), Cleethorpes Tourist Information Centre 01472 323111,

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