Preview: Marlborough Jazz Festival

The Marlborough International Jazz Festival promises the unusual mix of "street closures and ever-present foot-tapping sounds" at its mid-July event, which features over 100 acts from across the globe

The 2015 Brewin Dolphin Marborough International Jazz takes place over the weekend of 17-19 July, with big-name guests including the Orient House Ensemble led by Gilad Atzmon (pictured right), Digby Fairweather's Half Dozen, singer Elkie Brooks and MOBO award winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown. The festival programme will feature acts from 27 countries including Slovakia (the Bratislava Hot Serenaders), Hungary (the Bohém Ragtime Jazz Band) and Senegal (kora player Diabel Cissokho).

It's a festival that aims to involve the whole community of this Wiltshire town, not just a few performance venues. The organisers promise that "Street closures and the ever-present foot-tapping sounds emerging from every pub and alley will ensure a carnival atmosphere." The festival programme lists 19 venues, including the Conservative Club and the Fire Station.

Blues fans have much of interest in Marlborough. Elkie Brooks - billed as "Britain's Queen Of The Blues" - appears on Saturday 18 July but has already sold out. Lil' Jimmy Reed (aka Leon Atkins), British Blues Award winner Steve "Big Man" Clayton, Barrelhouse (formed especially for the festival) and the Back Water Rhythm & Blues Band are a few of the other blues acts scheduled across the three days.

The jazz programme is extensive, with acts such as the Darius Brubeck Quartet, the Jeanie Barton Quartet, The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band and the Stan Sulzmann Quartet covering traditional through to contemporary styles. Other top British players inculding clarinettist Julian Marc Stringle, trumpeter Enrico Tomasso, saxophonist Karen Sharp and bassist Dave Green (pictured left) will feature in various bands during the weekend.

Young UK-based jazz musicians are also well-represented. The Sam Leak Quartet, the Samuel Eagles Quartet, the Ben Cipolla Band (winners of the 2014 Brewin Dolphin Best Newcomer Award), the Matt Ridley Quartet and the Melissa James Quartet are among those appearing.

Weekend stroller tickets (giving entry to all of the festival events except for the Elkie Brooks concert - as above, already sold out) are available at £67.00. Day tickets and a combined Friday/Saturday ticket are also available. Further information can be obtained at the festival's website.

Ticket bookings can be made by calling the Marlborough International Jazz Festival box office on 01672 515095.

Bookings can also be made through the website, via email or by post to:

Marlborough Jazz Box Office
132 High Street

Text and photos by Bruce Lindsay

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