Preview: Barker's Big Band Christmas

Guy Barker's Big Band Christmas returns to the Albert Hall for the 2017 festive season, with Clare Teal co-presenting an all-new line-up of guests

Guy Barker’s Big Band Christmas returns to the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 10 December after a successful 2016 concert - and it looks set to become an annual event on the London venue’s calendar.

Last year’s Guy Barker’s Big Band Christmas was one of the biggest successes of the Albert Hall’s winter season and starred Kurt Elling (pictured right, with Barker), Clarke Peters, Soweto Kinch, vocal group Accent and Vanessa Haynes.

For 2017 Barker and co-compère Clare Teal will return with a new cast of performers - including Joe Stilgoe, Giacomo Smith, Georgie Fame, Shaun Escoffery and Teal herself - with what the Albert Hall promises will be “a mixture of jazz classics, unearthed treasures and Christmas oddities that’ll put a swing in your step as the festive season kicks off”.

Lucy Noble, artistic director of the Royal Albert Hall, said: “Guy’s show last year was like the best Christmas party you’ve ever been invited to: an evening of pure joy … the return of his Big Band Christmas will be one of the highlights of this year’s programme. We can’t wait to see what he’ll come up with”.

Guy Barker said: “We were delighted by the reception to last year’s show, and I’m looking forward to welcoming some of my favourite musicians to the hall for another fantastic, one-off Christmas concert”.

Barker’s bands have played at venues across the world. Barker himself has worked with the likes of Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Gregory Porter, Jamie Cullum and Van Morrison. He arranged music for the 1999 film The Talented Mr Ripley and has been the musical director for the London Jazz Festival’s opening gala, Jazz Voice, for the past nine years.

Guy Barker’s Big Band Christmas will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 10 December, beginning at 6.00pm.

For further details and updates about the line-up, as well as to buy tickets, go to the Royal Albert Hall website.

Bruce Lindsay

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