Jazz and blues, Bristol fashion

Next spring, Bristol is to host a refreshingly eclectic new jazz and blues festival featuring local and international artists, among them Arturo Sandoval, John Scofield, Ginger Baker and Chris Barber

Arturo SandovalIn March 2013, Colston Hall, Bristol's largest concert hall, is to be the hub of what is described as the city's first international jazz and blues festival.

Home-grown jazz artists as well as big names from around the world will be playing at the three-day festival, creating what promises to be a heady mix across the jazz-blues genres: funk, trad, gospel, blues, Latin, gypsy, contemporary and more.

The festival takes place over the weekend of Friday 1 to Sunday 3 March 2013, and the headline acts include Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion (with Pee Wee Ellis, Alec Dankworth and Ghanaian percussionist Abass Dodoo), the John Scofield Organic Trio and vocalist Clare Teal accompanied by saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, famed for his collaborations with James Brown in the 60s.

Arturo Sandoval (pictured right) is considered a leading trumpeter on the world stage, having learnt his craft under Dizzy Gillespie and recently played for President Obama at the White House.

There will also be tributes to Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington: the City of Bristol Choir will contribute to a rare performance of music from Ellington's Sacred Concerts, with Yolanda Quartey (of Phantom Limb fame) as the featured vocalist and a special appearance by British tap dancer, Junior Laniyan. The Bateman Brothers Jazz Band will perform a tribute to Louis Armstrong, playing some of the great numbers from his All Stars years.

The full line-up so far announced is Arturo Sandoval, John Scofield Organic Trio (with Larry Goldings on Hammond organ and Greg Hutchinson on drums), Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion, the Big Chris Barber Band, Andy Sheppard's Trio Libero, Pee Wee Ellis and Clare Teal, Lillian Boutté, Duke Ellington's Sacred Concerts (with the 16-piece Big Buzzard Boogie band), Get The Blessing, Alyn Shipton's Buck Clayton Legacy Band, the Bateman Brothers Jazz Band and the Matt Schofield Trio. More bands and artists are expected to be announced over the next few months.

Supplementing these main-stage shows will be a running set of free events in the Colston Hall foyer, plus instrumental and vocal workshops and late-night jam sessions. The house band will assemble each evening of the festival in the upstairs bar, and budding players are invited to come and play or just listen.

For tickets and to find out more about the festival, visit the Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival website or call Colston Hall box office on 01179 223686.

Sally Evans-Darby

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