Preview: Music In The Garden

Dame Cleo Laine’s garden at Wavendon is once again the venue for five weekends of music this summer, as her Music In The Garden festival reaches its 15th year

The concerts take place under an all-weather canopy with private gazebos and catering available. This year’s event was announced as a sculpture of John Dankworth by David Annand was unveiled at Wavendon (pictured).

The festival, directed once again by Becky Stevenson, takes place from 13 June to 11 July. As well as music it features refreshments, the Vineyard Bar, craft and book stalls and free parking. Concerts begin 13 June at 12 noon with Pure Brubeck, in which Simon Bates (as), Paul Harris (p), Dominic Howles (b) and Pete Cater (d) play music by the classic Dave Brubeck Qt (Brubeck, Desmond, Wright & Morello).

Among the jazz highlights on following days are: Elaine Delmar, appearing with Barry Green (p), Dave Green (b), Jim Mullen (g) and Matt Home (d) at 11.30, 20 June; the London Jazz Orchestra performing Kenny Wheeler’s Windmill Tilter at 2.30, 28 June; clarinettist Emma Johnson exploring the development of jazz from ragtime to swing at 2.30, 4 July; Mark Nightingale & Rob Fowler in tribute to Mulligan and Brookmeyer at 11.30, 5 July; keyboardist Charlie Wood performing material from his New Souvenirs album (profile and review in JJ 1114) at 2.30, 5 July; Esther Bennett performing The Duncan Lamont Songbook with John Crawford (p) and Mick Hutton (b) at 11.30, 11 July; and Ian Shaw singing jazz and pop standards with Jamie Safiruddin (p) and Mick Hutton (b) at 2.30, 11 July.

The festival also features comedy from Shrimpton & Routledge (14 June) and Bremner & Bird (26 June) and a musical take on Charles Dickens with the writer’s great-great-grandson Gerald.

The full address is: The Old Rectory Garden, Stockwell Lane, Wavendon, MK17 8LU. More details are at the Music In The Garden website, the booking office is at 01908 280 800 and queries can be addressed to

Mark Gilbert

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