Preview: Bournemouth Jazz Festival

The south-coast festival extends its remit and includes gigs by Ginger Baker, Jacqui Dankworth and Theo Travis

Drum legend Ginger Baker and singer Jacqui Dankworth are two of the featured artists in an expanded 2016 Bournemouth Jazz Festival. The brainchild of film director and entrepreneur Gerry Clarke, the festival takes place from 22 to 24 April at venues across the south-coast town. Baker (pictured right at the 2014 Montreal Jazz Festival by Victor Diaz Lamich) will bring his Jazz Confusion band and Dankworth will appear with keyboardist Charlie Wood.

The new-look festival features five distinct strands: a "headline acts" programme comprising international and national jazz names including saxophonist Jean Toussaint, singer Tina May and trumpet player Yazz Ahmed; a "world jazz jamboree" featuring jazz styles from Africa, Europe, India, the Middle East and South America; a "jazz village" in Bournemouth Town Centre with a live music stage plus food and drink stalls; and a programme of "street jazz" across the town. Additional concerts, which the festival organisers are calling "razzmajazz" pockets, are planned for Westbourne, Southbourne and Boscombe.

An education programme will offer jazz workshops for young musicians, followed by a schools jazz competition in which bands will be judged and given feedback from an expert panel. The education programme will culminate in an awards ceremony with a concert featuring the Dorset Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Bournemouth University Big Band plus special guests.

The festival will feature many of Bournemouth and Dorset's best-loved jazz musicians and groups including tenor sax player Ian Ellis's quartet, trumpet player Andy Urquhart's Sound of Blue Note with special guest Mark Nightingale on trombone, celebrated club singer Rachel More, Sarah Bolter's Not Just Sax with special guest Tina May on vocals, The Swing Unlimited Big Band performing a night of swing classics, The Girls Only Jazz Orchestra and Zoe Schwarz's award-winning Blue Commotion band.

Theo Travis's Double Talk are also booked to appear. Travis (pictured left) has played with Soft Machine Legacy, David Gilmour and Keith Tippett. He will be joined by guitarist Mike Outram, keyboard player Pete Whittaker and drummer Nic France. More artists are still to be announced.

The expanded 2016 Bournemouth Jazz Festival has been made possible by successful funding bids to Arts Council England, the Bournemouth Coastal BID and the Bournemouth Town Centre BID.

Paul Clarke, Coastal BID Chairman and General Manager of the Bournemouth Hallmark West Cliff Hotel said: "The vision of the Bournemouth Jazz Festival team is to create a world-class event that will attract visitors to Bournemouth and help to establish the town as an internationally recognised jazz venue with the festival positively contributing to the town's future economic growth and cultural development."

Festival director Gerry Clarke commented: "We had a great response to last year's festival and I was able to recruit a team of experts to help me develop it into something much bigger. We've lots of great quality jazz in the programme with more still to be finalised and announced. But it's not just about the music. We want people to come to Bournemouth and enjoy the perfect jazz weekend by the sea. We are aiming to raise the town's cultural profile, widen its appeal and build its economy as well as encouraging new talent and developing international links through our World Jazz Jamboree programme."

More information about the Bournemouth Jazz Festival can be found on the festival website.

Some events are free; ticket prices for other concerts range from £8 to £25. Ticket bookings can be made on the festival website, or on the BH Live website.

Bruce Lindsay

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Your Comments:

Posted by Paul Kelly, 8 March 2016, 14:13 (1 of 2)

Sadly since this was written Ginger Baker has had to withdraw owing to a serious heart problem. Headlining the Festival on the Saturday night will now be The Ginger Baker Experience featuring Andy Sheppard with the highly regarded Gene Calderazzo in the drum chair. Ginger or no, it still promises to be a great gig and the ticket price has been reduced to reflect the changed billing. Paul Kelly, Artistic Director

Posted by Mark Gilbert, Editor, 8 March 2016, 16:42 (2 of 2)

Thank you, Paul - this story was updated on 2 March as soon as we heard the news:

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