Brecon Jazz Festival 2013 announced

This summer's Brecon Jazz Festival aims to build on last year's success with a third more gigs, including The Impossible Gentlemen, Acker Bilk, Courtney Pine, Gilad Atzmon, Zoe Rahman and Alan Barnes/Martin Taylor

The line-up for the Brecon Jazz Festival has been announced today, with highlights including Courtney Pine, Acker Bilk, The Impossible Gentlemen, and Mavis Staples.

The festival will run from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 August 2013 in the market town of Brecon at the heart of the Brecon Beacons. Building on the success of the first festival organised by events company Orchard last year, this summer's programme features a third more gigs than last year, as well as a weekend of street entertainment, late club nights in the Market Hall, and fringe music.

Courtney Pine plays the Market Hall on Friday with his House of Legends set, exploring his unique mix of Caribbean-influenced jazz. Friday's programme also includes Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble, as well as the Zoe Rahman Quintet, featuring Alec Dankworth on double bass. Pianist Zoe Rahman, described as "an important and unique artist" by Jamie Cullum, recently won Best Jazz Act in the 2012 MOBO awards.

On Saturday the highlights include singer Mavis Staples, who had Top 40 hits in the 1970s as part of the Staple Singers and has collaborated with Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, as well as having sang for three US Presidents. In 2011 she won a Grammy award for her solo project You Are Not Alone, and has been described as "the most underrated diva of the century" by Rolling Stone Magazine.

To close the festival on Sunday, legendary clarinettist Acker Bilk will perform with his Paramount Jazz Band. Sunday's programme also includes Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, as well as "jazz supergroup" The Impossible Gentlemen, who hold 18 Grammies between them.

The Impossible Gentlemen, described as "world-class jazz" by The Guardian, are made up of pianist Gwilym Simcock, guitarist Mike Walker (pictured above right), new bassist Steve Rodby and new drummer Mark Walker. Other big names closing the festival include the John Surman Trio, Quercus, and the Laura Jurd (pictured left) Quartet.

Full programme listings are available at, and tickets go on general sale this Friday 1 March.

Sally Evans-Darby

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