Preview: Saga's jazz holidays

Saga Holidays announce four jazz-themed special interest vacations across Europe, with live jazz, specialist talks and excursions

British company Saga Holidays, winner of seven British Travel Awards 2014 including Best for Special Interests, has released details of a series of jazz-themed holidays, taking place in late 2015 and 2016. Four specialist vacations are planned, all featuring jazz performances and talks, including hotel breaks and a river cruise.

Channel Islands Jazz is the first of the four, scheduled for four nights from 19 October 2015. Hosted by Margaret Saddington the holiday, based in St Helier, will feature a jazz performance every night plus two jazz talks and two excursions to explore the island of Jersey.

From 25 February 2016, for seven nights, Saga offers Jazz And Swing In Andalusia. Based in Punta Umbria, the holiday offers music from the five-piece JB Jazz and Blues Band (pictured right), led by John Beckingham on piano. The band’s repertoire features the music of Louis Jordan, Louis Prima, Duke Ellington and Hoagy Carmichael. The holiday also includes two jazz talks and two tours, to Huelva and Almonte, to make the most of the stay in Andalusia.

New Orleans Jazz In Croatia takes place over seven nights from 4 May 2016. Laurie Chescoe’s Re-Union Band will play five live sessions on this holiday, which includes two informative talks by trumpeter and host John Shillito. Chescoe’s band was formed in 1990: the line-up for this holiday on the south Croatian coast of Makarska includes Allen Bradley (trumpet), Jim Douglas (banjo and guitar), Pete Skivington (bass), Dave Hewitt (trombone, cornet, baritone horn), Colin Bray (piano), John Lee (clarinet and sax) and Laurie Chescoe (drums and band leader).

The Douro Valley Jazz river cruise is also a seven night holiday, from 20 October 2016. The river cruiser Douro Princess will travel through Portugal and Spain. Margaret Saddington will host the cruise which includes two talks and music from the Matt Palmer Jazz Band. Palmer (clarinet, vocals & sax) has worked across the UK and abroad. He will be joined by Brian Mellor (banjo, guitar and vocals), Pete Brown (trumpet and valve trombone and vocals) and Brian Lawrence (bass and sousaphone).

Flights are available from Gatwick. The Andalusia and Channel Islands holidays also have flights from some regional airports. Prices vary between the holidays and range from £581 to £1499. Further details can be obtained from the Saga Holidays website or by calling 01303 772499.

Bruce Lindsay

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