Preview: Brecon Jazz, August 2015

We preview Brecon's 2015 programme, promising big names such as Dave Holland and Kenny Barron in ’its most international line-up ever’

Internationally-renowned acts including Kenny Barron and Dave Holland, Courtney Pine and Zoe Rahman (pictured right), and Scott Hamilton are all booked to perform at the Welsh festival (7-9 August), organised for the fourth successive year by Orchard. The younger generation will be represented by Go Go Penguin, Sons Of Kemet and the Barcelona-based singer and trumpeter Andrea Motis.

Pine and Rahman will be performing a programme of ballads, based on Pine's album Song (The Ballad Book) which featured Pine on bass clarinet alongside Rahman's piano. Neil Cowley will pay homage to Dudley Moore, with the show that he premiered at Ronnie Scott's earlier this year. Phronesis, Norma Winstone MBE, Digby Fairweather's Half Dozen, Partisans and Pigfoot are among the other artists who will feature during the weekend.

Welsh pianist and composer Huw Warren is the 2015 Artist-In-Residence. He will present two shows, Wales Meets Brazil and Tales For Wales. A range of workshops, led by artists including saxophonist Mark Lockheart and pianist Gareth Williams, will offer participants the chance to improve their skills as musicians. As with previous years, the festival will take place at a number of venues across the town.

Ray Davies, of Kinks fame, will be the bill-topper on Friday night, on a programme that also includes the duo of Holland and Barron. Regarding the presence of Davies at a jazz festival, Orchard director Pablo Janczur told Wales Online: “We like to put at least one big mainstream name on the bill each year, to appeal to music fans who might not love jazz.”

Dr John (pictured left) will headline on the Saturday night with his Louis Armstrong show, Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit Of Satch. The festival will end on the Sunday evening with a programme including a solo set by guitarist Martin Taylor and a headline performance from Robert Glasper and his acoustic piano trio.

Dr John's tribute to Louis Armstrong will feature a UK band including trumpeters Percy Purseglove and Laura Jurd. Slowly Rolling Camera vocalist Dionne Bennett, from Cardiff, will also join Dr John on stage, at his invitation after he heard Bennett sing They Can't Take That Away From Me. She will add vocals to some of the songs alongside the legendary New Orleans artist.

Tickets for Brecon Jazz can be obtained from the festival website or by calling the box office on 01874 611622 or Ticketmaster on 0844 844 0444.

Bruce Lindsay

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