Preview: Newport Jazz Weekend

The Isle of Wight jazz festival announces some early highlights for its latest edition, Stacey Kent, Karen Sharp and Dave Newton included

The Isle of Wight's Newport Jazz Weekend, now in its fifth year, has announced its 2016 edition which will run from Wednesday 1 June to Sunday 5 June. The Newport Jazz Weekend is a self-funded festival run by volunteers and musicians from the vibrant local scene: the 2016 festival is slightly bigger than last year's successful event and is notable for a wide range of performers.

The programme combines local musicians with some of the best names in UK jazz and one or two international stars. Taking place in half-term week, it provides an ideal opportunity to combine jazz with a holiday in one of the UK's favourite destinations. The concerts centre on the Apollo Theatre but the weekend programme covers a variety of venues including the Quay Arts Theatre and the Medina Theatre.

The 2016 event starts on Wednesday 1 June with a two-day jazz tuition course for musicians at Grade 5 or equivalent, led by Nick Page and Gary Plumley. The concert programme begins on Thursday 2 June with a concert by saxophonist Karen Sharp (pictured left), accompanied by the Nick Page Trio and goes on to feature appearances from Dennis Rollins' Velocity Trio, Dave Newton, the California State University big band, Amy Roberts' Magnificent Seven, the Janet Seidel Trio, Robert Fowler's tribute to Gerry Mulligan and others.

Dave Newton appears twice: as a guest with violinist Tim Kliphuis's trio on Saturday and at a Sunday brunch in a duo with bassist Arnie Somogyi. Amy Roberts will play the music of Chris Barber, Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball on Friday - her Magnificent Seven includes trombonist Ian Bateman and pianist Craig Milverton (whose trio also appears at the festival). Robert Fowler's tribute to the piano-less Mulligan band features Somogyi, trombonist Mark Nightingale and drummer Steve Brown.

The Newport Jazz Weekend closes with a concert by vocalist Stacey Kent at the Medina Theatre.

Concert timings and ticket prices are still to be finalised. Up-to-date information can be found at the Newport Jazz Weekend's website. The organisers also have a mailing list. It can be subscribed to by emailing

Text and photo by Bruce Lindsay

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