Bristol festival enters second year

The second Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival in March will feature Pee Wee Ellis and Jacqui Dankworth as well as a feast of fringe music

The packed programme for the second year of Bristol's International Jazz & Blues Festival has now been announced, with tickets on sale now.

Taking place from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 March 2014, the festival's confirmed artists include James Brown bandmate saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, gypsy guitar-inspired Paris outfit Django à la Créole, and vocalists Lillian Boutté and Jacqui Dankworth.

Rockabilly vocalist Imelda May has also been added to the roster, closing the festival on Sunday 9 March at 9pm.

Building on last year's inaugural festival which saw as many as 6,000 attendees, the 2014 festival will again feature ticketed and fringe music throughout the weekend in Colston's Hall's two auditoriums and foyer.

Seventies Afro-pop band Osibisa will open the festival on 7 March with their distinctive brand of rock, reggae and soul; formed in 1969 by three Ghanaian and two Caribbean musicians, the band have had three top 10 hits including Coffee Song.

An afternoon of choral jazz starts the second day on 8 March with four choirs taking the stage: The Big Buzzard Big Band, the City of Bristol Choir, the North Bristol Wellbeing Choir and the Clifton College Choir. Together with Jacqui Dankworth, they will perform a set of new Gershwin arrangements.

Pee Wee Ellis and fellow funk frontiersman Fred Wesley will then put on a special funk night on 8 March with Gareth Williams on keyboard, Laurence Cottle on bass, Tony Remy on guitar and Mark Mondesir (pictured) on drums. Directly preceding this concert will be an appearance from drummer Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste, founder of New Orleans funk band The Meters, who have recently been nominated for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame.

Sunday's first performance is from New Orleans-based festival patron and vocalist Lillian Boutté, who also performed at the festival last year. Along with her New Orleans Gospel Project, she will be performing an afternoon set of jazz and gospel. She's followed by a concert celebrating Bill Evans from pianist Kate Williams and the Bristol Ensemble.

Other highlights include Alan Barnes, Andy Sheppard and Get The Blessing.

As well as the ticketed events, the Colston Hall foyer will also play host to free music from the afternoon to the small hours each day, with jam sessions beginning at 10.30pm each evening.

Tickets can be purchased from the box office on 01179 223686 or at

Sally Evans-Darby

Photo by John Bouchet

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