Preview: Polar Bear storms Fishguard




The Fishguard Jazz And Blues Festival will feature over 50 events, including performances from Emily Saunders, Huw Warren and Polar Bear, says Dave Jones

Aberjazz is pleased to present the 12th Fishguard Jazz and Blues Festival, held at numerous venues in the scenic West Wales coastal town over the bank holiday weekend 27-31 August 2015. Like previous years, it’s another very eclectic programme, representing a broad spectrum of jazz styles from Dixieland, gypsy jazz, and swing, to modal, post-bop, Latin and contemporary, including a number of vocal-led bands.

This time there are in excess of 50 events, featuring more than a sprinkling of workshops, including a drum workshop with The Coltrane Dedication’s drummer Ian Poole (who appear on the opening night) which focuses on the playing of Elvin Jones, African drumming (in the carnival with master drummer Emmanuel Okuni Annang), and also workshops in harmonica, ukulele, slide guitar, and beatbox and loop pedal.

The sizeable jazz element of the programme includes Seb Rochford’s Mercury Prize-nominated Polar Bear, Emily Saunders, Zoe Gilby (pictured above right), Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier, Huw Warren’s Trio Brasil (Warren pictured left by Tim Dickeson), Remi Harris, Sandra Grant, Seven Steps – A Miles Tribute, the Donnie Joe Sweeney Trio, and the Dave Jones Quartet, amongst others. Canadian blues guitarist Rusty McCarthy’s band (Kevin Lawlor and Stephen Tierney) will arrive courtesy of the ferry from Rosslare in Ireland, and their numerous blues counterparts in the festival include Trafficker, Paul Lamb and the King Snakes and Maharaja Blues.

As if all this wasn’t eclectic enough, there are a number of crossover acts including Bella Collins Band, the Madi Stimpson Trio, and Rebecca Downes, and there’s also a folk element to the festival, both in the shape of Fishguard Folk Festival at Aberjazz, and discreetly via several acts. For full programme details and tickets (priced at between £5.00 and £15.00 for individual shows), see the festival website.

Dave Jones


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